10 Terrific 80s Movies To Add to Your Watchlist

The eighties were a colorful decade with big hair, eccentric music, sensational films, and cult classics. Recently, a Redditor asked, “What are the best films from the 80s?” The internet responded to deliver this fantastic list of eighties movies.

1. Twins (1988)

Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Twins is a hilarious movie with a ridiculous premise, but Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger nailed it. They star as Julius (Schwarzenegger), the book-smart brother with no life experience, and Vincent (DeVito), the streetwise and small-time criminal brother.

They are a result of a secret experiment to create the perfect child with the DNA of six men. However, they were separated at birth and only reunited after Julius learned the truth. As I said, ridiculous, but it is one of the decade’s funniest films. “Tonight is your night, bro. Tonight is your night, bro!” Stream Twins on Starz. 

2. The Burbs (1989)

the burbs
Image Credit: Universal Pictures

The Burbs is one of the funniest black comedies of all time. It centers around a culdesac in suburbia and the nosy neighbors trying to unearth what their strange new neighbors are doing. Peculiar behaviors have them on edge. For example, they dig in their backyard during the middle of the night. Ray (Tom Hanks), Art (Rick Ducommun), and Mark (Bruce Dern) lead the chucklesome charge when one of their neighbors goes missing.

But Ray’s wife, Carol (Carrie Fisher), and Mark’s wife, Bonnie (Wendy Schaal), insist they stop snooping and go over to meet the neighbors. It’s a riot and 80s cult classic. It stars Gale Gordon as Walter and Corey Feldman as Ricky, the teenage neighbor who throws parties to watch the trio leading the charge. 

3. Romancing the Stone (1984)

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Romancing the Stone is an action-adventure rom-com following reclusive romance novelist Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner), who journeys to Colombia to save her sister. After receiving a map from her sister’s murdered husband, she receives instructions to come to Colombia and bring the map as a ransom for her sister.

Upon arrival, she gets on the wrong bus and finds herself in trouble before American bird hunter, Jack T. Colton (Michael Douglas), helps get her out of a jam. After agreeing to $375 in traveler’s checks as payment, Jack escorts Joan to the hotel she needs to get to for her sister.

However, he’s intrigued by the treasure map as they bond while running for their lives through the jungle. It stars Danny DeVito and Holland Taylor. The Lost City (2022) with Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum draws very closely to this film. Stream Romancing the Stone on HBO Max. 

 4. Beetlejuice (1988)

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Beetlejuice is an iconic fantasy horror comedy starring Michael Keaton as the titular character. After a recently deceased couple’s home becomes occupied with new tenets, they seek help to get them to leave. A mysterious book leads them to a bio-exorcist in the Netherworld named Betelgeuse (pronounced Beetlejuice).

However, along the way, the couple grows fond of the new tenet’s gothic daughter, Lydia (Winona Ryder), as does the devious Beetlejuice. The film stars an ensemble cast of Catherine O’Hara, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, and Jeffrey Jones. Stream Beetlejuice on HBO Max. 

5. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

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Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is the third film in the Indiana Jones franchise. Harrison Ford returned in the title role, and Sean Connery portrayed his father, Henry. Henry sends Indiana his Holy Grail diary from Venice before he goes missing. So Indy goes to Venice with Marcus (Denholm Elliott), where they meet Henry’s Austrian colleague, Dr. Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody).

She takes them to Henry’s last known location, and adventure immediately ensues. The film returns to battling the Nazis like in the classic original, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Sean Connery is hilarious. 

6. National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

National Lampoon’s Vacation is a road trip comedy following the Griswald family as they drive cross-country to get to the Wally World amusement park. They encounter hilarious shenanigans on their trip, including crashing in the desert near Monument Valley and a skinny dipping incident.

But none as comical as their final obstacle. It stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, John Candy, Jane Krakowski, Christie Brinkley, and Randy Quaid as Eddie Griswald. Stream National Lampoon’s Vacation on Netflix. 

7. The Karate Kid (1984)

Image Credit: Columbia Pictures

The Karate Kid is a martial arts drama and the first in the Karate Kid franchise. It stars Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso, a New Jersey kid who moves to Reseda, Los Angeles, California. He immediately experiences problems when Cobra Kai, a group of Karate students, bullies and beats him up.

Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) leads the pack, upset that LaRusso is making a play for his ex-girlfriend, Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue). The handyman at LaRussos’ apartments, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), witnesses the bullying and offers to help teach him karate.

He gets the Cobra Kai to back off until the Under 18 All-Valley Karate Championships, where they can engage in a fair fight. The music is fun, and the story is phenomenal and has branched into a Cobra Kai TV series with Ralph Macchio and William Zabka.

8. Rain Man (1988)

Rain Man tomcruise
Image Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

Rain Man was the highest-grossing film of 1988. It follows a selfish wheeler-dealer Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise), who discovers that his estranged father died and left his multimillion-dollar estate and assets to his other son, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman). Charlie was unaware he had an autistic intellectual brother.

He doesn’t believe it’s fair, so he tricks Raymond into going for a drive in their dad’s vintage car to get him out of the mental institution and on the road. Then, Charlie asks Raymond’s doctor (Jerry Molen) for half the estate in exchange for Raymond’s return. However, Bruner refuses, so Charlie attempts to gain custody of his brother to get control of the money. Rain Man is streaming on HBO Max. 

9. Turner & Hooch (1989)

Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Turner & Hooch is a buddy cop comedy following a police investigator, Scott Turner (Tom Hanks), and his canine partner Hooch (Beasley the Dog). After Hooch’s owner and Turner’s friend Amos (John McIntire) is murdered, Turner reluctantly adopts the pooch, who may help him solve the case.

However, Hooch is a junkyard dog and causes Turner several headaches when destroying his belongings and shaking globs of drool all over his home. Nonetheless, they bond and work together to solve Amos’s murder in this film packed with laughs. It co-stars Craig T. Nelson, Mare Winningham, and Reginald VelJohnson. Watch Turner & Hooch on Disney+. 

10. Dirty Dancing (1987)

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Dirty Dancing is a romantic dance drama set in the summer of 1963. It follows Baby Houseman (Jennifer Grey) vacationing at Kellerman’s Resort with her family. There she meets rebellious dance instructors Johnny (Patrick Swayze) and Penny Johnson (Cynthia Rhodes).

Unfortunately, Penny becomes gravely injured by the botched abortion, and Baby races to get her father, Dr. Houseman (Jerry Orbach), to help. He’s disappointed, assumes Johnny is the father, and demands Baby stay away from him. However, he’s wrong and later admits it in this 80s classic. The dancing is fun, and the soundtrack is fantastic. 

We hope you enjoyed this Reddit picks list of terrific 80s films to add to your watchlist. Are there any other essentials you add to the list? Check out these stupid 80s movies that people love anyways.

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