1980s Best Movies

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.

Vice Versa (1988)

After an airport mishap leaves businessman Marshall Seymour (Judge Reinhold) in possession of a mysterious skull following a trip to the South Pacific, he unwittingly falls victim to its magical powers when he and his son Charlie (Fred Savage) swap bodies. Unable to switch back, each must lead the other’s life while trying to figure out the cause of the sudden change — all the while avoiding a pair of smugglers intent on getting their hands on the apparently valuable skull.

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)

Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen), a rather clueless police detective, tries to foil a plot to turn innocent people into assassins through mind control. After his partner, Norberg (O.J. Simpson), is shot, Frank sets out to find the culprit, leading him to business tycoon Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalban). However, Frank has no evidence until he meets Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley), Ludwig’s assistant. She knows nothing about Ludwig’s devious plans, but falls for Frank and agrees to help him.

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne), two American college students, are backpacking through Britain when a large wolf attacks them. David survives with a bite, but Jack is brutally killed. As David heals in the hospital, he’s plagued by violent nightmares of his mutilated friend, who warns David that he is becoming a werewolf. When David discovers the horrible truth, he contemplates committing suicide before the next full moon causes him to transform from man to murderous beast.

Masters of the Universe (1987)

When the evil Skeletor (Frank Langella) finds a mysterious power called the Cosmic Key, he becomes nearly invincible. However, courageous warrior He-Man (Dolph Lundgren) locates inventor Gwildor (Billy Barty), who created the Key and has another version of it. During a battle, one of the Keys is transported to Earth, where it is found by teenagers Julie (Courteney Cox) and Kevin (Robert Duncan McNeill). Now both He-Man and Skeletor’s forces arrive on Earth searching for the potent weapon.

Bull Durham (1988)

In Durham, N.C., the Bulls minor league baseball team has one asset no other can claim: a poetry-loving groupie named Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon). As the team’s season begins, Annie selects brash new recruit Ebby Calvin Laloosh (Tim Robbins), whom she christens “Nuke,” to inspire with the religion of baseball. Nuke also receives guidance from veteran player Crash Davis (Kevin Costner), who settles Nuke’s erratic pitching and teaches him to follow the catcher’s lead.

Stand By Me (1986)

After learning that a stranger has been accidentally killed near their rural homes, four Oregon boys decide to go see the body. On the way, Gordie Lachance (Wil Wheaton), Vern Tessio (Jerry O’Connell), Chris Chambers (River Phoenix) and Teddy Duchamp (Corey Feldman) encounter a mean junk man and a marsh full of leeches, as they also learn more about one another and their very different home lives. Just a lark at first, the boys’ adventure evolves into a defining event in their lives.

The Monster Squad (1987)

Count Dracula has until midnight to retrieve an ancient amulet that will give him final control over the delicate balance between good and evil in the world. To help him, the creepy Count calls on some old friends; the weird Wolfman, grotesque Gill-Man, mildewed Mummy, and freaky Frankenstein. As the ghoulish group gets closer to the amulet, it’s up to The Monster Squad, headquartered in the local tree house, to pool its questionable resources and stop the monster mayhem!