I have always said that I was born in the wrong generation. Yes, I loved growing up when I did and I love being the age I am in the world we have with all of its opportunities (i.e. blogging), but I have always LOVED the 1980’s. I loved the hair, the clothes, the colors, the music, and most of all, the movies. I am an 80’s movie freak and I genuinely think that movies from the 80’s are the best movies. I love so many movies from that decade I can’t even count them all. There is just something about watching a movie that isn’t necessarily the perfect quality or HD and the style from back then sometimes seems more real to me. I can seriously get lost in these movies like they’re my life and I’m living inside of them. That kind of sounds creepy but I promise it’s not. It’s only a pure appreciation for the films and what they have to say.
So if you’re ready to take a time machine, follow me back to one of the best generations there ever was and see if you agree with me that these are the 10 best 80’s movies!
Dirty Dancing (1987)
I have to put this movie first because not only is this one of my absolute all-time favorite movies, it is probably one of the most well-known and most popular movies of the 80’s. I think that it’s safe to say that even today’s generation will at least have some idea of what you’re talking about when you mention Dirty Dancing, even if they haven’t seen it.
I remember the first time that I watched this movie. It was in my aunt’s apartment on a day that I was skipping school and faking sick and I immediately fell in love with it. From the first few minutes, I was hooked. Part of this love comes from the fact that I loved dancing when I was that age and I could so easily picture myself as Baby with all of that happening to me. It was my ultimate dream to be transported into that world and I still feel so moved when I watch that movie because of the emotional response that it invokes. What girl doesn’t have the dream to be whisked up by a hunk of a dancer like Johnny and fall in love at a mountain resort?
If you’re looking for a feel-good movie and you haven’t yet seen Dirty Dancing, you need to take the time to watch Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in this independent film, which they actually at first thought no one would ever see. How wrong they were!
This is another one of those heartwarming movies about dancing that I love so much. While I actually enjoy the dancing in the remake from 2011, and I really hate to admit that, it will never top the original movie. No one is a better Ren MacCormack than Kevin Bacon and I will argue that point to my death bed.
Part of the reason that I love this movie so much is that it’s not something that has been done a lot, at least not done as well. The premise of this town and their laws against dancing and all that it entails is so ludicrous that it seems like it can’t be real, but also not so incredibly crazy that I think it couldn’t actually happen somewhere in the South.
Along with the dancing, the music is one of the best parts. It really gets you excited and most of the time, I end up singing and dancing while I’m watching the movie. It may seem silly but it’s so much fun to just let loose and go crazy, which is exactly what they do in this movie.
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Talk about a movie about different people coming together. This is definitely one of those classic “coming-of-age” films from the 80’s that most people have heard of. I love this movie for quite a few reasons but one of the biggest is that it’s funny. I mean, it might not make you pee your pants because you’re laughing so hard but it definitely has a lot of humor in it. A lot of that humor boils down to making fun of all of the things that we can relate to about being that age and possibly being in detention. And then of course, there is the real stuff this movie talks about that everyone that age goes through regarding puberty, crushes, friends, etc. The Breakfast Club is one of those movies that you can’t just watch once which is why it makes this awesome list of 80’s movies.
The Goonies (1985)
Okay, please help me out and tell me you’ve seen this one?! The Goonies is an all-time classic that so many people still watch today! I think I saw this movie when I was maybe eight years old and the was over ten years old at that point. This is the type of movie that will never cease to be around. No one is forgetting about The Goonies because everyone remembers this movie. I hear references to it all the time with the most popular one being an imitation of Sloth from the most heartfelt scene of the movie. Whether you’re in the mood for an adventure film or a sweet movie, this is perfect for either. If you haven’t already, you should watch these kids as they try to save the day, all the while being extremely funny.
The Shining (1980)
If you’re into horror movies, this is a quintessential one to see. Even if you only watch it to see Jack Nicholson go crazy or because you’ve read the book (which I shamefully haven’t done yet). The book is actually based on a real hotel not far from my hometown in Estes Park, Colorado. The Stanley Hotel is what it’s name is and it’s actually supposed to be haunted. After seeing The Shining, I would absolutely love to go there and check it out to see how much of the story they got right. One of the best things about this movie is that it has a real history to it. It’s not just a made up story from someone’s head, but has a little bit of a real basis to it that was fabricated into this amazing but horrific story.
Did you know that Alec Baldwin is in Beetlejuice? I actually saw this movie before I even knew who Alec Baldwin was and looking back I am astounded that I didn’t know that. If you’re into freaky movies that play tricks on your mind, this is the perfect 80’s film for you. I suppose you could call it a humorous haunting story. While some things might really make your eyes pop out of your sockets, they will also make you laugh in a what-the-hell kind of way which become pretty entertaining. I promise you even if you see the cover and you are scared out of your wits, watch it anyway. You will not regret it nor will you forget it.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Bueller. Bueller. Bueller…
That is all I need to say about this hilarious movie, good for any mood you’re in.
When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
The iconic movie about whether or not men and women can be just friends, When Harry Met Sally… is such a treat. Meg Ryan does a phenomenal job, not only on her fake orgasm in the middle of a restaurant but in general as a character that every woman can relate to. I also love how, even though I that Meg Ryan is beautiful, she’s not the most beautiful actress and Billy Crystal is definitely not the most attractive man but that’s what makes it so real. I can almost guarantee that everyone at one time or another has thought about whether men and women can just be friends without it becoming sexual and even though Harry and Sally’s relationship does end up that way, the movie really pushes the limits and makes a point about gender stereotypes, which is awesome, especially for the decade the movie was made.
The Outsiders (1983)
Before you even think about seeing this movie, you need to read the book. I read this book when I was in high school, like so many kids do (or at least pretend to) and am sometimes still amazed that I still remember so much about it. That is exactly why it is so vitally important to read the book! Your heart will break and it will be okay because you’ll also be in love with S.E. Hinton for the rest of your life. This is just one of those things that you need to do because you will be astounded at how much emotion you’ll feel. Stay golden Ponyboy.
Rain Man (1988)
And here we are at the bottom of the list. I genuinely think that most people that will read this, if they haven’t seen any other movie on this list, they will have seen Rain Man. For one, Dustin Hoffman has been and will always be an iconic American actor that everybody remembers for this performance as Raymond. Before seeing this movie I wouldn’t have even thought that Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman would be good together in a movie, but I was proved so wrong after watching this. Rain Man is definitely one of my favorite feel-good movies that you can never get enough of.
So there you have it, my favorite movies of the 1980’s which I also think are the best. There are so many other movies that I could have put on this list but then we would be here for days! Let me know what you think and if there were some that you wish would have made my list!