Best '80s Movies

A lot of people associate the 1980s with John Hughes movies and high school hijinks, but there were so many other great films to come out of the decade. From underground comedies and uplifting family films to groundbreaking action franchises and beyond, this list includes some of our favorites from the '80s. Although some might be edgier than you remember, these classics stand the test of time -- like, totally for sure! Grab your Rubik's Cube and hairspray and settle in for some rad picks for all ages. For more fun throwback films, check out the Best '90s Movies for Kids

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An American Tail Movie Poster Image
Heartwarming tale of immigrant mouse has some peril.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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The Little Mermaid Movie Poster Image
Superb, entertaining animated musical has some scary stuff.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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Annie (1982) Movie Poster Image
Tale of cute orphan is great for the whole family.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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The Great Mouse Detective Movie Poster Image
Clever Sherlock Holmes tribute mixes wit, peril.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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The Fox and the Hound Movie Poster Image
Heartwarming tale of friendship, but expect some peril.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1981)
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The Land Before Time Movie Poster Image
Original baby-dinosaur buddy tale has scares, sadness.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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The Black Cauldron Movie Poster Image
Book-based fantasy is darker than much Disney fare.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial Movie Poster Image
Spielberg's family classic is still one of the best.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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A Christmas Story Movie Poster Image
Wonderful antidote to cutesy holiday tales; some swearing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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The NeverEnding Story Movie Poster Image
Boy bibliophile becomes part of fantasy tale.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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The Princess Bride Movie Poster Image
Witty, winsome fairy tale for the whole family.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Movie Poster Image
The best of the original series, but the most intense, too.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1980)
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Willow Movie Poster Image
Magic-filled fantasy adventure with a few battle scenes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Back to the Future Movie Poster Image
'80s time-travel favorite; some violence, bullying, cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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The Dark Crystal Movie Poster Image
A fantastic but more intense Muppet adventure.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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Dragonslayer Movie Poster Image
Vintage fantasy epic is great, despite a too-graphic death.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1981)
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The Flight of the Navigator Movie Poster Image
'80s time-travel adventure has some cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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The Goonies Movie Poster Image
Classic '80s adventure has lots of swearing, some scares.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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Chariots of Fire Movie Poster Image
Brilliant true story of 1924 Olympic footrace.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1981)
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Ghostbusters Movie Poster Image
Paranormal '80s classic has some scares, innuendo.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark Movie Poster Image
Indy's first adventure is a rip-roaring action masterpiece.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1981)
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The Karate Kid Movie Poster Image
'80s classic is still fun for families with older tweens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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Better Off Dead Movie Poster Image
Uneven, occasionally hilarious '80s teen comedy.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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Dirty Dancing Movie Poster Image
Hip-shaking guilty pleasure has mature themes, dancing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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Ferris Bueller's Day Off Movie Poster Image
Despite language, iffy behavior, this is a comedy classic.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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Gandhi Movie Poster Image
Brilliant biopic engages, educates, and inspires.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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Gremlins Movie Poster Image
Comic horror classic is still scary; some profanity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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Spaceballs Movie Poster Image
Goofy '80s parody has cursing, violence, innuendo.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Movie Poster Image
Deceptively mature movie mixes fun with guns, innuendo.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Beetlejuice Movie Poster Image
Tim Burton tale creepy, dark fun; some violence, language.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Big Movie Poster Image
Big
Wonderful story with some very mature material.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Dead Poets Society Movie Poster Image
Inspiring, intense story of a teacher and his students.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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Footloose (1984) Movie Poster Image
A dated rebellion tale.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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Out of Africa Movie Poster Image
Enthralling epic about 1900s Africa tackles mature subjects.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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Pretty in Pink Movie Poster Image
Dated high school tale is still fun for teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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Tootsie Movie Poster Image
Touching romantic comedy with a twist.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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Top Gun Movie Poster Image
Exciting Tom Cruise classic has some intense scenes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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The Color Purple Movie Poster Image
Powerful tale of survival with wrenching scenes of abuse.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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The Outsiders Movie Poster Image
Coppola's take on classic book has strong violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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Stand by Me Movie Poster Image
Edgy coming-of-age story isn't for young kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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The Breakfast Club Movie Poster Image
Classic '80s teen movie has mature themes, profanity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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Say Anything Movie Poster Image
Smart, edgy coming-of-age story.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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The Terminator Movie Poster Image
Terrific sci-fi action, but too violent for some.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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Weird Science Movie Poster Image
Guilty-pleasure '80s horny-geek sci-fi sex comedy.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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Do the Right Thing Movie Poster Image
Spike Lee's masterwork of racial unrest; discuss with kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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Rain Man Movie Poster Image
Drama about autistic savant has profanity, mature themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Sixteen Candles Movie Poster Image
Racy, drunken, hilarious '80s high school comedy.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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St. Elmo's Fire Movie Poster Image
Soapy 20-something friends saga isn't for kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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When Harry Met Sally Movie Poster Image
Wit- and charm-filled romantic-comedy classic.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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Fast Times at Ridgemont High Movie Poster Image
Teen movie is full of sex, drugs, and misbehavior.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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