We didn't mean to leave you hanging! It's time to complete the Top 10 Best 80s Movies countdown. Let's refresh by looking at #s 10-5:
9. Child's Play
8. E, T, the Extra-Terrestrial
7. The Terminator
6. The Indiana Jones series
5. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Onto the rest of the countdown...
4. Star Wars saga (Empire Strikes Back, 1980; Return Of The Jedi, 1983)
Perspective is a good thing. Since the release of “The Phantom Menace”, claims and counterclaims of just how Episodes II and III will eventuate has taken the spotlight off of the “original” Star Wars films, making them part of a cohesive whole, rather than separate trilogies. When you look back on it, I can say both of the sequels to A New Hope managed to be just as good as the ‘77 masterpiece. Empire Strikes Back not only had a good story but left an impact by demanding an encore. Return Of The Jedi was the best film of the Star Wars series (despite the corny forest battle involving the Ewoks and Empire).
3. The Karate Kid (1984)
The Karate Kid is a true gem of a film that at times is shamefully underrated. Ralph Macchio, who looks like he should be on a magazine advertisement, brings a number of wide-ranging emotions to his character’s role that first may seem quite perfunctory as opposed to being dramatic. But the real reason we watch The Karate Kid is for Mr. Miyagi. Pat Morita brings grace and drama to a role that could have been quite typical. The Karate Kid is certainly a movie that deserves more attention than the little it receives.
2. Ghostbusters (1984)
What more can be said about Ghostbusters that hasn’t already been said? Ghostbusters is one of the most financially successful and biggest comedies of the 80s. Not only is Ghostbusters funny, it manages to include some truly scary scenes (and not just those loose-your-popcorn moments). The special effects hold up well, besides some obvious studio sets and models. What really creates this film’s world is its stunning cinematography. Manhattan, perhaps the pinnacle of Gothic architectural evolution, is brilliantly utilized here to create a sense of menacing grandeur. After watching Ghostbusters, I couldn’t imagine the thought of evil spirits or Gods coming from another universe!
And before I get to number 1 I’d like to give a few honorable mentions...
The Breakfast Club (1985)
The Breakfast Club is a bit odd about some high school students who take serving detention to the next level with fun dances, jokes, and somewhat clever humor. I just found it a little bit cheesy at times, but thought I would give it a mention.
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Beverly Hills Cop is a powerful, 'Los Angeles style' kinda movie. I thought it was a great movie, but it just didn’t quite meet my standards for being a great 80s movie. If some people like it, that’s great for them.
The Goonies (1985)
I wanted to put The Goonies on the list because it has its moments of being humorous. The Goonies isn't terrible, but it doesn't quite make the list for me.
Aliens has been the most stunning 80s movie I ever saw. While is does appeal to a lot of people, I didn't find it as incredible as I thought I would.
And with that being said, the number 1 Best 80s Movie is…
1. Back To The Future (1985)
Back To The Future is such an inventive and exciting piece of filmmaking that it’s nearly impossible to forget this movie even existed back then. The casting, from Marty McFly to Doc Brown, was absolutely perfect, and the performances were spectacular. I first saw this film when I was 14. One of the many great things about Back To The Future is that it really makes you think; you can have in-depth conversations about the plausibility of the story-line and spend hours discussing the film. The story is well thought out, is delivered clearly and entertainingly, and the movie, as a whole, is so much FUN that time-traveling discrepancies can be forgiven. Clever and humorous references litter this fun flick; references which are further improved upon in the sequels and views of the same scenes from different angles, different perspectives and different timelines abound make this the perfect film to watch. I consider Back To The Future the number 1 Best 80s Movie.
Even with these movies coming from the golden era of movies, this doesn’t mean that movies nowadays aren’t that good. Even today, we’re getting more and more groundbreaking, thrilling, and powerful movies that will live on forever. At the end of the day, I realize that we can see these movies when we need them most, despite the fact that they are 30 years old. I’m glad we have these movies to enjoy over and over again!
Do you think I missed a particularly good 80s movie? There are so many good 80s movies out there that were so big that they couldn’t make the list. Post to this blog and let me know your thoughts in the comments. As always, thanks for reading and I’ll be writing soon.