Best '80s Movies

A lot of people associate the 1980s with John Hughes movies and high school hijinks, but many other great films came out of the decade, too. 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 Aqua Net 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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Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird Movie Poster Image
Big Bird finds his true home in this warm tale.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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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 Great Muppet Caper Movie Poster Image
Slapstick action in wonderful retro robbery romp.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1981)
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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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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 Great Mouse Detective Movie Poster Image
Clever Sherlock Holmes tribute mixes wit, peril.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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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 Muppets Take Manhattan Movie Poster Image
'80s Muppet musical has some mild innuendo, smoking.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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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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Pee-Wee's Big Adventure Movie Poster Image
Just as charming and curious as it was in 1985.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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The Boy Who Could Fly Movie Poster Image
A charming fantasy with a lot of heart.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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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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Labyrinth Movie Poster Image
Surreal coming-of-age fantasy -- with Muppets.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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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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The Secret Garden (1987) Movie Poster Image
Friendship and teamwork shine in classic book adaptation.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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The Secret of NIMH Movie Poster Image
Fascinating, but very dark with some creepy imagery.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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Star Wars: Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi Movie Poster Image
Ewok-filled finale less Force-ful than previous.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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Superman III Movie Poster Image
Outdated superhero movie may interest older kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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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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Hoosiers Movie Poster Image
Stirring tale of heroic sportsmanship will inspire families.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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The Journey of Natty Gann Movie Poster Image
Compelling adventure too violent for some kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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The Last Starfighter Movie Poster Image
Lighthearted space adventure has a fun '80s feel.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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The Last Unicorn Movie Poster Image
Classic '80s animated fantasy has some scary moments.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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Time Bandits Movie Poster Image
Fun fantasy has a bit of bite.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1981)
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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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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Movie Poster Image
Buoyant, farcical time-travel Enterprise escapade.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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Tucker: The Man and His Dream Movie Poster Image
Rousing dramedy about corruption has cursing, smoking.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure Movie Poster Image
Silly time-capsule comedy ideal for older tweens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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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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Innerspace Movie Poster Image
'80s sci-fi adventure comedy has some drinking, swearing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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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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Mr. Mom Movie Poster Image
Classic '80s comedy with some salty language, racy scenes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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WarGames Movie Poster Image
Suspenseful Cold War tale with teen gamer in control.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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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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Crocodile Dundee Movie Poster Image
Iconic outback comedy has strong language, drinking, drugs.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Movie Poster Image
Martin and Caine scam women in sly '80s comedy.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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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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Field of Dreams Movie Poster Image
Baseball crowd pleaser with a supernatural twist.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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Fletch Movie Poster Image
Chevy Chase at his very funniest. Teens OK.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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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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Little Shop of Horrors Movie Poster Image
Comic book creepiness, jazzy tunes, and fab cast.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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The Money Pit Movie Poster Image
Classic '80s fix-it comedy has some mature themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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The Right Stuff Movie Poster Image
Exciting '80s astronaut movie has cursing, sex.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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Romancing the Stone Movie Poster Image
Well-written romance/adventure is tons of fun.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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Roxanne Movie Poster Image
Charming '80s romantic comedy has innuendo, swearing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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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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Splash Movie Poster Image
'80s fishy fairy tale has sex, some cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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Steel Magnolias Movie Poster Image
Three-hanky special, but with lots of laughs, too.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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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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Yentl Movie Poster Image
Romantic folk tale retold with music and classic Streisand.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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Arthur (1981) Movie Poster Image
Sweet-spirited '80s comedy with lots of drinking.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1981)
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Beaches Movie Poster Image
'80s tearjerker about friendship is emotionally intense.
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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Cocoon Movie Poster Image
Sex talk, language make iconic '80s sci-fi better for teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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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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Dirty Dancing Movie Poster Image
Hip-shaking guilty pleasure has mature themes, dancing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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Footloose (1984) Movie Poster Image
A dated rebellion tale.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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Lucas Movie Poster Image
A realistic look at a teen's coming-of-age.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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Moonstruck Movie Poster Image
Award-winning '80s romcom has some mature themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! Movie Poster Image
Bawdy, dumb-humor classic spoofs '80s cop dramas.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Poltergeist Movie Poster Image
One of the all-time great haunted house movies.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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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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Real Genius Movie Poster Image
'80s college comedy with some sex jokes, cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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Stand and Deliver Movie Poster Image
Math teacher inspires in powerful fact-based drama.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Starman Movie Poster Image
Jeff Bridges as appealing alien; best for teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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Strange Brew Movie Poster Image
Classic '80s send-up of Canada; lots of beer drinking.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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Teen Wolf (1985) Movie Poster Image
Cheesy '80s comedy still works thanks to Fox-y star.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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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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UHF Movie Poster Image
UHF
Goofy '80s comedy is still funny but has dated stereotypes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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Uncle Buck Movie Poster Image
'80s comedy about a bachelor babysitter has profanity, sex.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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Weekend at Bernie's Movie Poster Image
Irreverent dead-body comedy has plenty of iffy stuff.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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Back to School Movie Poster Image
Classic '80s comedy has lots of profanity, innuendo.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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La Bamba Movie Poster Image
Sweet, sad rock-idol tale has violence, cursing, drinking.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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Mask Movie Poster Image
Moving, mature story of teen with facial differences.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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Mystic Pizza Movie Poster Image
Charming coming-of-age film infused with romance.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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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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Parenthood Movie Poster Image
Poignant family dramedy with lots of adult themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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Raising Arizona Movie Poster Image
Hysterically twisted tale has profanity, violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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Some Kind of Wonderful Movie Poster Image
Classic John Hughes teen drama has lots of cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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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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TAPS Movie Poster Image
A complex, violent movie for older teens only.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1981)
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This Is Spinal Tap Movie Poster Image
Hilarious, ribald, drug-filled rock send-up.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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The Abyss Movie Poster Image
Undersea UFO adventure is breathtaking but intense.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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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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Coming to America Movie Poster Image
Silly but dated '80s Eddie Murphy comedy; cursing, sex.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Good Morning, Vietnam Movie Poster Image
Robin Williams at his scatological finest.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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The Last Emperor Movie Poster Image
Beautiful Chinese biography is too long, mature for tweens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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Major League Movie Poster Image
Crowd-pleasing '80s underdog sports comedy.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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Planes, Trains and Automobiles Movie Poster Image
Funny comedy about a holiday travel nightmare has profanity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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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 Sure Thing Movie Poster Image
1980s teen-sex comedy that actually has an IQ.
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(Release Year: 1985)
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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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Terms of Endearment Movie Poster Image
Glossy, funny, and packs a real emotional wallop.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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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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Witness Movie Poster Image
Taut drama has a few moments of intense violence.
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(Release Year: 1985)
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Young Guns Movie Poster Image
Violent '80s Western with teen appeal.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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1984 Movie Poster Image
Book-based tale has brutal political torture, violence, sex.
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(Release Year: 1985)
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Beverly Hills Cop Movie Poster Image
Classic '80s Murphy vehicle; fun but foulmouthed.
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(Release Year: 1984)
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The Big Chill Movie Poster Image
College-reunion film with mature themes may bore teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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Blade Runner Movie Poster Image
A dark, philosophical sci-fi drama for older teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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The Blues Brothers Movie Poster Image
Cult classic has lots of profanity, some violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1980)
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Die Hard Movie Poster Image
Original Bruce Willis violent actioner.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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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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A Fish Called Wanda Movie Poster Image
Crime caper has a wicked edge, lots of mature humor.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Heathers Movie Poster Image
After Columbine, this dark comedy isn't as funny.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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Lethal Weapon Movie Poster Image
Mismatched cops spar in violent '80s action hit.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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Monty Python's The Meaning of Life Movie Poster Image
Edgy Python schtick better for older viewers.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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National Lampoon's Vacation Movie Poster Image
Funny family comedy is dated and risqué.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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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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Revenge of the Nerds Movie Poster Image
Racy college comedy has heart; OK for older teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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Risky Business Movie Poster Image
'80s classic is filled with sex, cursing, and smoking.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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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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Stripes Movie Poster Image
Comic '80s military romp has violence, nudity, language.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1981)
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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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Working Girl Movie Poster Image
Sexed-up '80s corporate tale with stellar cast.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Bull Durham Movie Poster Image
Winning but mature comedy about sex and baseball.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Caddyshack Movie Poster Image
Classic '80s comedy; not for kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1980)
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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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RoboCop Movie Poster Image
Cyborg actioner is more graphic than Terminator.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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