A few months ago I asked myself a question that’s been nagging me for a while now: Why do I love 80’s movies so much? More than half of my favorite movies come from this decade. Something about movies from the 80’s just gets me so excited and fulfilled, like I have just been on the most incredible adventure… And that one word sums up everything about why I love movies from this decade: Adventure. When I watch an 80’s movie, it doesn’t feel like a movie, it feels like an experience with the characters on screen from beginning to end. With that out of the way, here’s my top ten 80’s movies, this was so hard to choose!
Released: July 17, 1987
Summary: When cop Alex Murphy is killed in the line of duty, he is transformed into a one man army created to clean the streets of Detroit, but must also stop the corruption from the very company that created him and maybe remember who he was.
You know it’s a good list when Robocop barely cracks the top ten! I have to admit that Robocop was one those movies I saw as a kid, and got fucked up by the infamous death scene where Murphy gets turned into Swiss cheese. After that I didn’t see the movie for a long time until a year ago, and let me tell you… it’s still fucked up, but awesome! With Detroit looking apocalyptic, (Like it does today HAH) you know that you’re in for a wild ride. One of the best things about Robocop is that the bad guys have already won, and people and the police are doing what they can to just survive. There’s no takeover of OCP, because they already own everything, it’s just the story of one man-robot trying to fight corruption, and he’s somewhat successful. And let’s not forget about the blood, so much blood it is beautiful. Blood and explosions, so magnificent and gooey.
Released: June 8, 1984
Summary: When supernatural beings start popping up in New York, four men team up using unconventional weapons to send the back to where they came.
I surprised myself by putting this so low on this list; I didn’t think I would love the other movies that much. Back before Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon became the best Ghostbuster game ever, we had a movie that made us think twice about stepping foot in New York (Seriously, so much bad shit happens in New York, why would you live there?!). This movie gave birth to many iconic quotes and characters. Today, I can appreciate Bill Murray’s dry humor where I didn’t understand it as a child. Topped off with very funny moments from Bill Murray getting slimed to Gozer just destroying the gang, and of course the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Ghostbusters has become this classic that truly has aged like fine wine. On a side note, why isn’t Ernie Hudson on this poster?! Come on guys, give us a break!
8: Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Released: June 22, 1988
Summary: When a detective has to save a famous cartoon rabbit from getting killed, he has to put aside his prejudice to save his client and find answers about his past.
Before Space Jam, Who Framed Roger Rabbit was the first movie I know to try to combine real life action and animation at the same time. This was also the true beginning of the Disney Renaissance, but it would be The Little Mermaid that would kick it off. This was a big breakthrough, it was as if the cartoon characters were there talking to you. For Bob Hoskins, this was a much better project than the soon to be colossal bob-omb, the Super Mario Bros movie. To this day, it still looks pretty good in how they were able to get live action and animation to work together. Because of the cartoon aspect, there are more hijinks than you would usually see which gave room for more types of jokes and set pieces. And let’s not forget having some iconic characters from WB and Disney cameo in some scenes. And do I need to mention Jessica Rabbit? She’s probably the reason you saw the movie in the first place.
7: Rocky IV
Released: November 27, 1985
Summary: When Apollo Creed is killed in the ring, Rocky challenges Ivan Drago to a match at Russia in a Cold War showdown.
Okay, with the Rocky movies, your favorite is based upon who your favorite villain is, and to me there are only two real villains: Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago (Fuck Tommy Gunn and wannabe Don King). Whichever one is your favorite villain, that Rocky movie is most likely your favorite Rocky movie. Anyway, Apollo gets killed, Rocky wants revenge, and two nations’ pride and respect are on the line. I don’t know what else to say about this, your favorite Rocky movie depends on your favorite villain and training montage. I love Clubber Lang’s cockiness, but Ivan Drago’s robot-like persona seals the deal for me. Hearts on Fire and War are the definitive moments for me personally. On a side note, can we just appreciate how great a character Adrian Balboa was (SPOILER: She’s dead when we get to Rocky 6). You have to really love how much she has stood by Rocky throughout the series, even going to Russia to be supportive for him, and risking freezing to death, she doesn’t get enough credit. Also, who’s ready to see Creed?
Released: June 23, 1989
Summary: The Dark Knight pursues criminals to find the one who killed his parents and to stop the notorious Joker from destroying Gotham.
When it comes to the definitive Batman movies, it comes down to Batman 89 and The Dark Knight no question. I enjoy Batman 89 for very different reasons than The Dark Knight; I don’t think many people will argue with me there. Again, what can I say here, Michael Keaton is a great Batman, he gets both Wayne and Bats in a way that’s not seen today, Jack Nicholson is a fantastic Joker, one who loves to laugh, but will kill you if you rub him the wrong way. Have to give credit to Danny Elfman for the soundtrack and the theme of Batman, with a few missteps. Why is Lando Harvey Dent and why is he here? Why does Joker have an identity and kills Batman’s parents? It makes no sense whatsoever. The Prince scene at the museum explains itself and Batman kills people. He straight up kills people in this and in Batman Returns. About time the pansy, that no kill thing makes any sense in the real world.
5: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Released: May 24, 1989
Summary: Using his father’s treasured map, Indiana Jones will go on his most dangerous journey yet: to discover the legendary holy grail while fighting off the Nazis.
This one has become a more recent favorite of mine, by that I mean I have just started watching it in the last few years. Each Indiana Jones movie has its moments, yes even Crystal Skull (OPINION!), and whether or not you think that’s a good thing is up to you, but Last Crusade has the most fun in my opinion. Sean Connery is fantastic as Indy’s dad, giving that great father-son vibe to the Last Crusader. Everyone else does a great job at the supportive cast, from Elsa (Not the Disney queen) to the Nazis in general. Without a doubt the most intense moment is not when they pick which cup is the grail, it’s when Indy’s face to face with Mecha Hitl- sorry, just regular Hitler. How would you feel if you were face to face with the leader of the Nazis? And then Hitler takes the book and signs it, moving on. It’s like having the devil take a giant dump on the bible.
4: The Little Mermaid
Released: November 17, 1989
Summary: Ariel dreams of going to the surface and experiencing new things, even though King Triton forbids it. With help from her friends, and a sassy sea witch, Ariel finds herself in a new world.
Easily one of my favorite Disney movies ever, and if you want to know where it lands you can go to my list of favorite Disney movies and check it out there. This is the Disney movie that started the Disney Renaissance and the one to jumpstart the classic Disney movies in the 90’s. It is very beautiful to look at, still beautiful to this day; the characters are enjoyable to be around with a few exceptions, and it has some of the most iconic songs in any Disney movie with Part of Your World and Under the Sea. If I had any complaint, fuck Prince Eric. As I have stated before, he saw her when he was waking up, she’s the only redhead he’s seen in the whole movie, FIGURE IT OUT! Could have saved us thirty minutes by realizing she saved him but nooooo! And I love Ursula, the sassy witch, one of Disney’s best villains.
3: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Released: May 21, 1980
Summary: After the events of A New Hope, the empire has returned to make a striking blow against the rebels, and our hero will discover something that will change everything.
Star Wars today is an institution; it has become its own thing with an ever expanding mythology canon or non-canon. The Empire Strikes Back is a huge step for the series, as it has some of the most iconic reveals in cinematic history, and a dark tone overall. The empire delivers a harsh blow to the rebels by having Han being put in carbonite, Darth Vader battling Luke and beating him and cutting his hand off, and reveal to Luke that he is his father. This has become one of the most iconic reveals in cinema history. Empire Strikes Back serves as a great way to even the odds after A New Hope, leaving Return of the Jedi to finish the saga until The Force Awakens.
2: Back to the Future
Released: July 3, 1985
Summary: When Marty McFly goes back to 1955, he must find a way to get his parents together, get back to 1985, and save Doc Brown.
Do you wanna know how much I love this movie? I just started watching it and the trilogy THIS YEAR. In the summer to be more precise, yeah I’ve only started to see the trilogy since June of this year and now it’s near the top of my all-time favorites list. Part 2 and 3 are just as good as well, especially part 3 since I hate westerns. And I have to say, if anyone wants to make a sci-fi comedy adventure, this is how you do it! I love how the movie doesn’t explain how Marty and Doc are friends you just accept it, and works so well. And Biff is such a douche it’s great when you see him fall hard, and of course the DeLorean time machine which has some of the best action in any 80’s movie. Overall, Back to the Future is a prime example of why 80’s movies are just so unique.
Before I get to number one, here's a list of 80's movies I had to cut, this was so hard to do for me!
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
A Christmas Story
Nghtmare on Elm Street (Pick one)
Back to School
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Coming to America
I'm Gonna Git You Sucka
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
1: History of the World Part I
Released: June 12, 1981
Summary: Journey through some of the most important events in history retold by Mel Brooks as you will never look as history the same way again!
Come on, was there really any doubt this would be number one? And the thing is that this isn’t my favorite Mel Brooks movie! It’s more like third best next to Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles. There’s so much to remember in this movie, why don’t I recap some of them? The part where the Romans are talking about flanking, streets crawling with Romans, Romans getting high, Moses getting robbed, the Inquisition, the cavemen, the French Revolution, etc. There’s tons more stuff that I have yet to talk about, but rather say them, I want you to go find a copy and watch it for yourself. History of the World Part I is pure comedy gold, it’s a true adventure, and without a doubt, my favorite 80’s movie.