It’s time to take a look at some revolutionary gems of old time cinema: 80s movies. Personally, I think the 1980s were the golden era for movies because there are movies that withstood for decades being the best there ever was. These movies had something uniquely special about them that managed to make them better than the movies of today. Let’s check out the Top 10 Best 80s Movies, and more than ever, if you don’t like these movies, that’s great, we’re all entitled to our own opinions and it’s just my usual, silly personal opinion. I’m always glad you can see the good in other 80s movies that I’m not able to.
Onto the countdown!
10. Caddyshack (1980)
Crudeness doesn’t come much more, well, crude, than 1980s sublime “Caddyshack”. It’s a little bit of a surprise that writer/director Harold Ramis was involved. I’ve never been a huge golf fan and the only movie about golf that would appeal to me is Happy Gilmore. But, Caddyshack is old enough to be considered a classic. This is how the National Lampoon/SNL movies should work but rarely are seen. Chevy’s flaky Ty Webb and Bill Murray’s degenerate groundskeeper are unforgettable characters among a bevy of memorable parts.
9. Child’s Play (1988)
I know this one’s going to stir controversy, but never has a movie like Child’s Play taken horror movies to the next level. It was billed horror movie, but it’s hard to categorize it as such, especially by 1980s standards. When people think of Chucky nowadays, they think of him as a living, foul-mouthed, psycho doll complete with body modifications and a punky bride in a movie that mostly consists of funny one-liners and dark humor. However, when Chucky was first introduced in the Child’s Play saga back in 1988, he was a real thrill that redefined the horror genre and spawned a series of imitators. It’s breathes new life into horror because unlike many psycho killers who are usually human, Chucky is a DOLL. Tom Holland crafts this very original tale written by Don Mancini, where a dying sociopath uses voodoo to transplant his soul into an inanimate toy. Karen Barclay, a single mother, gets the possessed toy for her son Andy, not knowing what spirits are hidden deep inside. The movie moves at a very good pace, despite its slow start; it has that 80s feeling and it's surprisingly violent for its time (it was released when rules in the MPAA were turning a bit stricter). It has great special effects and a very creepy atmosphere inside it’s urban landscape. It might not be your taste because of its gruesome horror; but, it’s a movie I certainly don’t mind watching.
8. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982)
Everyone by now gets lost in nostalgia from time-to-time. Many of us vividly recall the days when the most important thing you had to do in an afternoon is find a place to stay cool or make sure that all of your friends were willing to go on whatever adventure you wanted to embark on.. E.T. was an instant classic and one of Steven Spielberg’s golden gems that he directed behind Jaws and Star Wars. E.T. is not a good movie, it’s a movie that lives in people’s hearts forever, young and old. It tells the story about an alien who gets lost on earth and wants to find his way back home. Gertie gets his friends together and they try desperately to get the alien back home. The movie is moving, heart-breakingly sad, yet phenomenally uplifting at the same time. When I first heard of this movie, I never imagined it would be this moving and powerful seeing it at age 12. Every moment in this movie is a dazzling amusement and I think what gave it all the success it had was the amazing soaring over the moon moment. It’s those kinds of images that people who haven’t seen the movie still know exactly what it is. What I think makes E.T. so powerful is the heart-wrenching way makes me realize how bad people wish they want to be kids again. E.T. is one of those more special movies that lives with me and I give Steven Spielberg all the critical acclaim he deserves.
7. The Terminator (1984)
The Terminator is a classic, good-versus-evil struggle, with little in the way of grey clouding the issue. The Terminator is an unstoppable, brutal, remorseless killer, and it perfectly suits Arnold Schwarzenegger's limited acting abilities. Coupled with his chiseled features, Arnold is the best choice for the role. This is the movie that blasted then new comer’s Arnold Schwarzenegger's career, made James Cameron a name in Hollywood, and gave a new meaning to a possible dark future that gave us nightmares. I remember the first time I saw this movie, it was my first rated “R” movie, and man did this movie leave such an impact on me.
A Cyborg Assassin by the name of the “Terminator” is hunting down Sarah and he proves to the audience that this programmed assassin isn’t just your usual psycho killer; he feels no pain, has no emotions, and will never back down unless the mission is accomplished. The Terminator is one of the most popular suspenseful movies I can think of and I think this this movie is really something special. The effects are kinda-iffy, because they're 80s standards, but for the time and even to this day, I think the special effects are much better than the CGI in modern cinema. The reason why Arnold’s most famous quote, “I’ll be back”, is so famous is not just because of his accent, but because you almost knew it was coming. The Terminator is one of those movies I highly recommend because it’s an incredible film that is sure to deliver entertainment to the fullest.
6. The Indiana Jones Series (Raiders Of The Lost Ark, 1981, Temple Of Doom, 1984, Last Crusade, 1989)
What more can be said about the Indiana Jones series that hasn’t been said? It’s evident that this one was a hard choice for me to make. All 3 movies were well worthy of making the list and just like Toy Story, Indiana Jones followed the process of making the sequel and three-quel just as good as the original. Every time I watch one of these movies, I’m left breathless. The beginning of each manages to be the best opening sequence I can think of. Indiana Jones is the best character to have ever hit movie screens in the 80s. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg did an amazing job casting Harrison Ford, who was already wowing audiences everywhere with his role as Han Solo from Star Wars. And, they managed to boost his credibility and popularity 10 times more than any other actor I can think of. Honestly, I was really gunning for Raiders Of The Lost Ark because that movie gave Indiana Jones the success it has today. Raiders Of The Lost Ark took a simple idea that people would have from watching Saturday afternoon movies and made it larger than life. This film never stops for you to take your breath. It’s filled with characters that have their own personalities that shine through and moments that live in our minds forever. It finds the youngster in all of us and bombards us with this silly, whip-cracking, average, incredibly determined archaeologist and only asks for us to have fun.
5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
This movie was (almost) a launchpad for Matthew Broderick and made him “Ferris Bueller” forever. Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a movie that can be seen throughout the years without dating too badly. Sure, the music and props signify a time of discontent and bad hairdos, but the idealistic teenager simply wanting to ditch school has never been made more daringly and charmingly. The message was, “how much could Ferris get away with?" And rightfully so. Ferris was able to outrun a lot of trouble, especially behind Mr. Rooney. Everything about Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was ultimate cinema GOLD, from the postmodern “conversations” with the audience to the little back stories which seem to shape the overall canvas of the film itself. While Alan Ruck was way too old to play in this movie, at least he proved to be a great opposite to the cool, laid-back, nonchalant Ferris. The dialogue was so well received that it has been printed on shirts and recited at parties by true fans of the film, I don’t blame them. The movie’s concept of Ferris wanting a day off from school, putting himself and his friends in constant mayhem and jeopardy, made the film. Ferris shows just how worthy “living your life before it passes by” can be and I hope in the near future I don’t get on the phone with Mr. Rooney.
What are your thoughts, ideas, and feedback? Do you agree or do you think T missed a film? Should E.T. be lower (I think so) or are you wondering if The Breakfast Club and The Goonies made the list ? What about Stand By Me? Talk to us in the comments, we'd love to hear from you!