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Kevin’s Lists: Top 50 Movies of the 80s

Over the last few weeks I have been pouring over movie lists, release dates, and even watching quite a few movies for the first time or to refresh my memory in order to come up with a Top 50 List for every decade. (I am a list guy what can I say!!) The first installment of this venture features the Top 50 Eighties Movies.

All of the following have gone into the ranking of this list to varying degrees: Critical Acclaim, Awards, Box Office Numbers, Personal Bias, Defining the Decade, Originality, Best of a Genre or Series

[A few Disclaimers]

#1: The following movies were not eligible to make my list due to the fact that I have NOT seen them yet :( I will be trying to watch these movies one by one though [Netflix] so each one will have a chance to break into my Top 50 as time passes.

Blade Runner, Private Benjamin, Cannonball Run, Gallipoli, On Golden Pond, Das Boot, Poltergeist, Tron, An Officer and a Gentleman, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Sophie’s Choice, Tootsie, Cujo, Terms of Endearment, Footloose, This is Spinal Tap, 16 Candles, Bachelor Party, Gods Must be Crazy, Purple Rain, Amadeus, Witness, A View to Kill, Cocoon, St. Elmo’s Fire, Day of the Dead, Out of Africa, Cocktail, Color Purple, Color of Money, Full Metal Jacket, Adventures in Babysitting, Lost Boys, Dirty Dancing, Presidio, A Fish Called Wanda, Gorillas in the Mist, Mississippi Burning, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Say Anything, Pet Semetary, When Harry Met Sally, Turner and Hooch, Sex, Lies, & Videotapes, Steel Magnolias, War of Roses, Tango and Cash, Driving Miss Daisy

#2: The following movies earned honorable mentions due to the fact that they were ranked in the Top 10 for their given release year even though they didn’t make it into the Top 50.

Uncle Buck, 48 hrs, Robocop, Land Before Time, Superman 2, Mad Max, Dark Crystal, Outsiders, Risky Business, Trading Places, War Games, Karate Kid, Police Academy, Beverly Hills Cop, The Natural, Summer Rental, Fletch, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, Spies Like Us, Brewster’s Millions, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Jewel of the Nile, Money Pit, Stand By Me, Three Amigos, Star Trek: Voyage Home, Crocodile Dundee, An American Tail, Spaceballs, Wallstreet, Stand and Deliver, Coming to America, Crocodile Dundee 2, Great Outdoors, Raising Arizona

And Now for the List…


The Top 50 Movies of the 80’s


#50: Stripes
#49: Good Morning Vietnam
#48: Who Framed Roger Rabbit
#47: Goonies
#46: The Burbs
#45: Predator
#44: Once Upon a Time In America
#43: Gremlins
#42: Airplane
#41: Lethal Weapon 2


#40: The Fox & The Hound
#39: Blues Brothers
#38: Friday The 13th
#37: Rocky IV
#36: Beetlejuice
#35: National Lampoon’s Summer Vacation
#34: Ghostbusters
#33: Nightmare on Elm Street
#32: Plains, Trains, & Automobiles
#31: Aliens


#30: Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom
#29: Star Trek: Wrath of Khan
#28: Roadwarrior
#27: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
#26: Glory
#25: Bull Durham
#24: Caddyshack
#23: Top Gun
#22: The Little Mermaid
Best Animated/Kids & Disney Movie of the Decade
#21: Dead Poets Society


#20: Field of Dreams
Best Sports Movie of the Decade
#19: Back to the Future: Part 2
#18: The Untouchables
#17: The Shining
#16: Platoon
Best War Movie of the Decade
#15: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Best Movie of 1986
#14: Scarface
#13: The Breakfast Club
#12: Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade
Best Movie of 1989
#11: Die Hard


#10: Terminator

Best Movie of 1984

#09: Lethal Weapon

Best Movie of 1987

#08: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Best Movie of 1983

#07: The Princess Bride

Best Comedy of the Decade

#06: Back to the Future

Best Movie of 1985

#05: Indiana Jones: Raiders of Lost Ark

Best Movie of 1981 & The Indiana Jones Franchise

#04: Rain Man

Best Movie of 1988

#03: Raging Bull

#02: E.T.

Best Movie of 1982


And the Best Movie of the Decade goes to…

#01: Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back

Also the Best Movie of 1980 & The Original Trilogy

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Kevin "OptimusSolo"

OptimusSolo is a Cartoon Historian and even has an actual History degree to go with it. He's also an avid Toy collector boasting an over 1,000 piece Star Wars collection and nearly 400 Transformer toys. He is one of the hosts of the Powers of Grayskull series. He also has a passion for cartoon Theme Songs, Star Trek, MacGyver, Baseball, and is a major Movie Geek!


  1. Very Nice list, my friend. My only nit-pick is that I think “Ghostbusters” should have placed a bit higher on the list. But that’s just me. It may not have had the same effect on you that it had on me.

  2. Yeah, my attempt in this was to actually rate them all based on quality and not any bias. Thats why I decided to title it the ‘Top’ movies of the 80s and not ‘my favorite’…now granted its impossible to eliminate all personal feelings/bias but that is why some are higher than others. For example, if it was purely based on my preferences, Princess Bride would beat out even Raging Bull and E.T. etc. Thanks for the comment though for sure!!

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