We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion really. Here are the top 10 movies released from 1980-1990. Don’t forget to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.
10. Ghostbusters (1984) 97% at Rotten Tomatoes
Three disgraced parapsychology professors discover ghosts actually exist. They set up a business in NYC to remove ghosts and are soon getting business. While being harassed by the mayor and EPA for their usage of questionable technology, they manage to fight off the second coming of Gozer, an ancient demon hellbent on taking over the modern world.
Director: Ivan Reitman
Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver
9. Die Hard (1988) 92% at Rotten Tomatoes
NYPD cop John McClane is in L.A. to visit his wife Holly. During a Christmas party at Nakatomi Corporation, a group of bandits led by Hans Gruber takes everyone hostage, except McClane, who hides in the vents. He calls the police and works with them from the inside the foil the robbery in one of the greatest Christmas movies ever made.
Director: John McTiernan
Starring: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Alan Rickman
8. Beetlejuice (1988) 82% at Rotten Tomatoes
The Maitlands are dead, and a new family purchased their family home and moved in. They’re not ready to let go yet, so they enlist the help of a poltergeist named Betelgeuse to scare them out. Unfortunately, Betelgeuse has other plans, and they’re forced to work with the family’s young daughter to expel him and live in harmony happily ever after.
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis
7. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 94% at Rotten Tomatoes
Indiana Jones is an archaeology professor in 1936. His colleague, a museum curator named Marcus Brody tells him about a biblical artifact called the Ark of the Covenant. So he sets out to stop the Nazis from recovering it and using it as a weapon to win the world war.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
6. Back to the Future (1985) 96% at Rotten Tomatoes
Marty McFly is a teenager hanging out with an old, eccentric scientist (something that nobody in town finds odd). After watching Doc Brown get gunned down by Libyans he ripped off for nuclear material, he takes a time-travelling DeLorean back to 1955 and starts meddling in his parents’ teenage lives.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
5. Full Metal Jacket (1987) 93% at Rotten Tomatoes
A group of recruits is training to join the Vietnam War, but first they have to get past a tough drill instructor in the most realistic portrayal of basic training ever put on film. After a rough training, they’re finally sent off to face the realities of warfare during the Tet offensive.
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D’Onofrio
4. National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) 93% at Rotten Tomatoes
Clark Griswold wants to take his family to Wally World for the vacation of a lifetime. Of course, things don’t go exactly as planned, and they encounter several obstacles on the way. By the time they get there, they find out it’s the journey more than the destination that matters in life.
Director: Harold Ramis
Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Imogene Coca
3. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) 78% at Rotten Tomatoes
Slackers Bill S. Preston and Ted Theodore Logan are meant to be the leaders of our future society. Of course, before that happens, they need to pass their history exam. So Rufus is sent back in time to help them achieve this most difficult feat by witnessing history firsthand.
Director: Stephen Herek
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin
2. Scarface (1983) 82% at Rotten Tomatoes
Tony Montana leaves Cuba for Miami and finds himself a broke refugee. To escape, he takes on a contract killing, and soon he’s digging deeper into the underworld. First comes the money, then the power, then the women, and Montana wants them all…if he can live long enough to enjoy them.
Director: Brian De Palma
Starring: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer
1. Caddyshack (1980) 75% at Rotten Tomatoes
An exclusive golf club is filled with wealthy and eccentric members. The caddies (and most the rest of the staff) are all struggling youngsters. The class divide is wide but suddenly bridged when blue-collar millionaire Al Czervik challenges the power of Judge Elihu Smalls.
Director: Harold Ramis
Starring: Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray