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Top 50: Favorite Films of the 1980s
Films of the 1980s

For some reason I always considered the 80's dearth of quality films, but then when I went to narrow down my top 30 films of the decade I had a lot harder time than doing my 70's list. Part of it is I grew up in the 80's and a lot of these movies I saw in my formative years and they had a large impact on me, and it's probably partially that I love big action movies and this is the decade where they took centre stage. So I made the executive decision to up the limit to my top 40 films of the 80's. There were too many I couldn't allow myself to leave out. Here it is.


51. Class of 1984 (1982)
Class of 1984

50. Willow (1988)
Willow
I loved this film as a kid, I haven't seen it since then though. I'm worried it might not hold up.

49. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
An American Werewolf in London

48. Vampire's Kiss (1988)
Vampire's Kiss

47. Platoon (1986)
Platoon

46. Do the Right Thing (1989)
Do the Right Thing

45. Re-Animator (1985)
Re-Animator

44. The Abyss (1989)
The Abyss

43. The Long Good Friday (1980)
The Long Good Friday

42. Raging Bull (1980)
Raging Bull
I know having this so low might seem like blasphemy, but this list is of my favourite movie, not what I think are the best movies. I appreciate it, but it's not one I like to rewatch a lot.

41. Escape from New York (1981)
Escape from New York

40. Death Wish 3 (1985)
Death Wish 3
My personal favorite of the Death Wish series. It's amazing how crazy things get at the end. It's basically an all out war with Bronson vs. the street gangs. I love it.

39. Ghostbusters (1984)
Ghostbusters

38. Beetlejuice (1988)
Beetlejuice

37. Blues Brothers (1980)
Blues Brothers

36. Lethal Weapon 1 & 2 (1987 and 1989)
Lethal Weapon

35. 48 Hrs. (1982)
48 Hrs poster

34. Stand By Me (1986)
Stand By Me

33. A Better Tomorrow (1985)
A Better Tomorrow

32. Manhunter (1986)
Manhunter

31. The King of Comedy (1982)
The King of Comedy

30. Mosquito Coast (1986)
Mosquito Coast

29. Withnail and I (1986)
Withnail and I
Maybe the best comedy of the 80's. Reminiscent of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

28. Police Story (1985)
Police Story

27. Die Hard (1988)
Die Hard

26. Evil Dead II (1987)
Evil Dead II
This is the film I've probably re-watched the most in my life. Almost weekly during highschool. I'm still holding out hope for a sequel.

25. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Big Trouble in Little China

24. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Full Metal Jacket
The best opening 15mins of any film in history.

23. Raising Arizona (1987)
Raising Arizona

22. They Live (1988)
They Live

21. Brazil (1985)
Brazil

20. Time Bandits (1981)
Time Bandits

19. To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
To Live and Die in L.A.

18. Scarface (1983)
Scarface

17. Blue Velvet (1986)
Blue Velvet

16. Untouchables (1987)
Untouchables

15. Predator (1987)
Predator

14. Blade Runner (1982)
Blade Runner

13. The Fly (1986)
The Fly

12. Star Wars Episode IV: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Star Wars Episode IV: The Empire Strikes Back

11. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

10. The Shining (1980)

The Shining

9. The Thing (1982)
The Thing

8. Thief (1981)
Thief
Criminally underseen film. Most realistic recreation of how heists really go down... I think.

7. Robocop (1987)
Robocop

6. The Killer (1989)
The Killer
This is probably my favourite John Woo film, maybe the most violent film on the list.

5. Aliens (1986)
Aliens
Girl power at it's best.


4. The Terminator (1984)
The Terminator

3. Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Conan the Barbarian
Schwartzenegger's prime was definitely in the 80's, as evidenced by these last 2 picks.

2. First Blood (1982)
First Blood
Rocky's probably a more iconic character, but none of those movies measured up to how great the first Rambo film was.

1. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
My favourite film of all time. Probably the best example of why CG will never measure up to live action. Sure it's a lot safer, but the insane crashes and stunts that they pulled off here have yet to be matched.
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