1980s Best Movies

When you think of the 1980s, a few images come to mind: shoulder pads, big hair, and all-cheesy-everything. However, the decade had more to contribute to pop culture than being known as the New Jersey of the 20th century. The 1980s were also an era for incredible classic movies, ones that shifted the film industry as we know it. From John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club to Steven Spielberg’s E.T., the best movies of the 1980s not only shaped its generation but inspired subsequent generations in every way imaginable.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)

Buckaroo Banzai is caught with his trusted allies, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, in a battle to the death between evil red aliens and good black aliens from Planet 10. Led by demonic dictator John Whorfin, who has taken over the body of Italian scientist Dr. Emilio Lizardo, the aliens try to get the Overthruster back from Buckaroo Banzai. But the good black aliens are willing to destroy Earth rather than let these renegades return to their planet.

I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988)

Jack Spade (Keenen Ivory Wayans) comes home to the ghetto and finds his brother dead from a gold chain overdose. With the help of his hero, John Slade (Bernie Casey), and a team of washed-up crime fighters, Spade declares vengeance on Mr. Big (John Vernon), the white crime leader responsible for selling gold chains on the streets. But Spade realizes that he must take matters into his own hands to finish the job in this zany spoof of 1970s blaxploitation films.

Krull (1983)

On the planet of Krull, an evil creature called the Beast decimates the world’s army and kidnaps the lovely Princess Lyssa (Lysette Anthony), who is destined to become queen. Her brave beau, Prince Colwyn (Ken Marshall), leads a motley band of warriors, including Ergo (David Battley) and Kegan (Liam Neeson), to rescue his beloved. However, before he can face the Beast, Colwyn must locate a mystical weapon known as the Glaive, which he can use to slay the hideous villain.

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Stanley Kubrick’s take on the Vietnam War follows smart-aleck Private Davis (Matthew Modine), quickly christened “Joker” by his foul-mouthed drill sergeant (R. Lee Ermey), and pudgy Private Lawrence (Vincent D’Onofrio), nicknamed “Gomer Pyle,” as they endure the rigors of basic training. Though Pyle takes a frightening detour, Joker graduates to the Marine Corps and is sent to Vietnam as a journalist, covering — and eventually participating in — the bloody Battle of Hué.

Silverado (1985)

Rambling man Emmett (Scott Glenn) assembles a group of misfit cowboys (Kevin Costner), (Kevin Kline, Danny Glover). After helping a group of settlers track down a pack of thieves, Emmett and his men descend on the troubled town of Silverado to seek their fortunes. Soon after arriving, they discover that the town has fallen into the grasp of greedy rancher Ethan McKendrick (Ray Baker) and corrupt Sheriff Cobb (Brian Dennehy) with whom many of Emmett’s men have unfinished business.

Three O’Clock High (1987)

Preppy high school reporter Jerry Mitchell (Casey Siemaszko) is asked to write a story on a tough new kid named Buddy Revell (Richard Tyson), a boy rumored to have a violent past. Jerry tries to call off the story, but in the process, he infuriates Buddy, who challenges him to a parking lot brawl immediately after school that same day. As Jerry desperately attempts to escape the impending fight, he instead ends up finding the courage to stand up to Buddy.

Ladyhawke (1985)

Upon breaking out of a dungeon, youthful thief Phillipe Gaston (Matthew Broderick) befriends Capt. Navarre (Rutger Hauer), a man with a strange secret. Navarre and his lover Lady Isabeau d’Anjou (Michelle Pfeiffer) were cursed by the wicked Bishop of Aquila (John Wood), who desires Lady Isabeau for himself. His dark magic prevents the pair from ever being in each other’s presence except at twilight, so they enlist Gaston in a dangerous plot to overthrow the Bishop and break his evil enchantment.

Taps (1981)

Bunker Hill Military Academy has been targeted by real estate developers for demolition. The students, outraged at the thought of their school being turned into condominiums, vow to fight back. Led by Cadet Maj. Brian Moreland (Timothy Hutton), they stage a school-wide rebellion that ends with them in charge of the campus. After winning over the headmaster (George C. Scott), Brian and his fellow cadets, Alex (Sean Penn) and David (Tom Cruise) face their toughest battle yet with the Army.