Sam and Duncan’s Top 25 Ultimate 80s Rewatchable Movies List... Wait, Let's Make That 30 – Hope 103.2

Sam and Duncan’s Top 25 Ultimate 80s Rewatchable Movies List… Wait, Let’s Make That 30

By Duncan RobinsonThursday 31 Jan 2019Hope Breakfast with Sam & Duncan

When Sam and Duncan start talking 80s pop culture, there’s no stopping them.
This list, a collection of iconic 1980s film classics, will keep you entertained for weeks.
It’s an education in epic adventures, unlikely heroes, coming-of-age tales, fantasy, sci-fi and comedy. And it may be a little bloke-skewed…

The Top 25

 

1 – The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club

IMDB Rating: 7.9
IMDB Summary: Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.
Why You Should Watch It: It’s a John Hughes film and if you don’t know who he is, by the end of the list you will. Emilio Estevez and Molly Ringwald are quintessentially every teenage kid from the 80s. It’s a story of love, friendship, and figuring out your identity in the 80s. This might be a time capsule but as radically as things have changed, the things that shape our identity seem to stay the same.
Who’s on the Couch: Me and my wife


2 – Ghostbusters

Top 80s Movies List - GhostbustersIMDB Rating: 7.8
IMDB Summary: Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.
Why You Should Watch It: The soundtrack alone for this is incredible. It features Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd at the peak of their game along with Sigourney Weaver (sidenote – watch Aliens for why she is awesome). It’s hilarious, fun, set in 80s New York and absolutely iconic. Not to mention, if you’ve never experienced Rick Moranis, you’re in for a real treat. Pump the volume and prepare yourself for an epic ride.
Who’s on the Couch: Me, my wife, our teenage kids.


3 – Labyrinth

LabyrinthIMDB Rating: 7.4
IMDB Summary: A 16-year-old girl is given 13 hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King.
Why You Should Watch It: Ground control to Major Tom! This features Bowie in an acting masterpiece. It’s a Jim Henson movie but far more dark and brooding than the Muppets. Yes, this is a little scary and a little unsettling. It features a young Jennifer Connelly who must find her way through a labyrinth to rescue her brother. That’s intense! It’s a fantastic journey into an 80s fantasy world.
Who’s on the Couch: Me, my wife, our teenage kids.


4 – The Dark Crystal

Top 80s Movies List The Dark CrystalIMDB Rating: 7.2
IMDB Summary: On another planet in the distant past, a Gelfling embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of a magical crystal, and so restore order to his world.
Why You Should Watch It: Jim Henson strikes again! This has such a following that they are rebooting the Dark Crystal for 2019. It’s brooding, it’s dark and the story is sensational. You are immersed into another 80s fantasy world. Don’t sit down and watch this with the little kids; the costumes are elaborate and scary. Well worth a watch, it’ll get you ready for the reboot.
Who’s on the Couch: Me, my wife, our teenage kid and our pre-teen kid.


5 – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day OffIMDB Rating: 7.8
IMDB Summary: A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the Principal thinks of that.
Why You Should Watch It: John Hughes is back again, with another quintessential teenage masterpiece from the 80s. If you haven’t seen this, you must. Another wonderful story of rebellion, identity and growth. Matthew Broderick might have peaked here, but what a lofty, spectacular peak. So many one liners, so many epic scenes!
Who’s on the Couch: Me, my wife, our teenage kids.


6 – Back to the Future

Back to the FutureIMDB Rating: 8.9
IMDB Summary: Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.
Why You Should Watch It: I could not write an essay long enough on the brilliance of this movie. Michael J Fox is brilliant, Christopher Lloyd is iconic. There is a reason why this movie has an 8.9 rating on IMDB now. I’m 38 and still want to own a Delorean with a working flux capacitor. This movie is special!
Who’s on the Couch: It’s a Fam-Jam. Everyone is invited.


7 – The Empire Strikes Back

Top 80s Movies List - The Empire Strikes BackIMDB Rating: 8.8
IMDB Summary: After the rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader.
Why You Should Watch It: Hi, my name is Duncan Robinson, I’m a Star Wars fan. It’s the sequel to the first one, and it’s amazing. When George Lucas was hungry and driven, he created something very special. It’s a great story, with a great cast, and a wonderful sequel.
Who’s on the Couch: Me, my wife, our teenage kids.


8 – St Elmo’s Fire

Top 80s Movies List - St Elmo's FireIMDB Rating: 6.4
IMDB Summary: A group of friends, just out of college, struggle with adulthood.
Why You Should Watch It: Think Breakfast Club, but not on detention, slightly older, and hanging out in a bar. It tackles the same issues of identity and growing up in the 80s. There is politics, love and friendship, and a whole world of emotions. If you want to be hit right in the feels with shoulder pads and a power suit, this is your movie.
Who’s on the Couch: Me and my wife for a date night.


9 – Footloose

Footloose - Top 25 Movies ListIMDB Rating: 6.4
IMDB Summary: A city teenager moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace.
Why You Should Watch It: I didn’t think it was possible for a small rural Midwest City to ban a musical genre. Then I spent time in the states and learned there are actually places this strict. The movie portrays this scenario featuring a young Kevin Bacon and Sarah Jessica Parker, and some of the best music from the 80s. It’s an essential dance movie from the 80s. Without this, you wouldn’t have Step Up volumes one through 900.
Who’s on the Couch: Me and my wife for a date night.


10 – The Man from Snowy River

The Man From Snowy RiverIMDB Rating: 7.3
IMDB Summary: In 1880s Australia, after young Jim Craig’s father dies, Jim takes a job at the Harrison cattle ranch, where he is forced to become a man.
Why You Should Watch It: I still have visions from childhood of the iconic scene from this movie; majestic brumbies being ridden down a crazy-steep slope. It’s a story of twin brothers who haven’t spoken, a family in jeopardy of losing their property, and a prize-winning brumby. The story and characters are great, and Australia portrayed in the 1880s is just fantastic.
Who’s on the Couch: Me and my wife for a date night.


11 – Running on Empty

Running on EmptyIMDB Rating: 7.7
IMDB Summary: The eldest son of a fugitive family comes of age and wants to live a life of his own.
Why You Should Watch It: Ok, so this is peak River Phoenix. If you don’t know who that is, he is the older brother of Joaquin. River sadly passed away in 1993 at the tender age of just 23. This classic film is an incredible story of a boy who is coming of age, and wants to establish his own identity – knowing that puts his entire family in jeopardy. It’s a great watch, and gives you an idea of why River Phoenix was one of the biggest names in Hollywood in the 80s.
Who’s on the Couch: Me and my wife for a date night.


12 – ET

ET - Top 80s Movies ListIMDB Rating: 7.9
IMDB Summary: A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.
Why You Should Watch It: It’s a young Drew Barrymore, and a Steven Spielberg masterpiece. A story of humanity, courage and the strength of a little girl to change and impact lives. It’s amazing. If you haven’t seen this movie, drop everything and watch it.
Who’s on the Couch: Me, my wife, our teenager, and our pre-teen. (It’s almost a Fam-Jam)


13 – The Goonies

Top 80s Movies List - The GooniesIMDB Rating: 7.8
IMDB Summary: In order to save their home from foreclosure, a group of misfits set out to find a pirate’s ancient valuable treasure.
Why You Should Watch It: I was a kid in the 80s and this was probably my fantasy. Dad and Mum are in trouble, and we’ve got an ancient treasure map that is going to bring us a fortune so I can help them. It’s wild, it’s whacky, and it hasn’t aged well. It might also be one of the first movies mentioned by a Gen Xer when you ask them about their favourite movie from the 80s. Corey Feldman is literally the biggest star you’ve never heard of, and he’s great.”
Who’s on the Couch: Me, my wife and our teenager.


14 – The Princess Bride

The Princess BrideIMDB Rating: 8.1
IMDB Summary: While home sick in bed, a young boy’s grandfather reads him the story of a farmboy-turned-pirate, who encounters numerous obstacles, enemies and allies in his quest to be reunited with his true love.
Why You Should Watch It: It’s inconceivable that you haven’t seen this. Robin Wright plays a pure fair princess. Andre the Giant was one of the icons of professional wrestling in the 80s. Inigo Montoya is basically the Count of Monte Cristo and the adventure he undertakes for love, with a rag-tag bunch of misfits and Wesley the Fair Prince as their leader, is amazing.
Who’s on the Couch: It’s a Fam-Jam. Everyone is invited.


15 – Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Top 80s Movies List Indiana JonesIMDB Rating: 8.5
IMDB Summary: In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler’s Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.
Why You Should Watch It: It won four Oscars as well as another 31 awards. Harrison Ford basically crushes the 80s with Star Wars and Indiana Jones. That doesn’t even account for all the other movies he makes great. This classic flick is sensational, wild, and filled with great action. An archaeologist looking for the actual Ark of the Covenant is a truly fantastical story.
Why You Should Watch It: Me, my wife and our teenager.


16 – The Blues Brothers

The Blues BrothersIMDB Rating: 7.9
IMDB Summary: Jake Blues, just out from prison, puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and brother Elwood were raised.
Why You Should Watch It: This is John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd at their very best. The Blues Brothers was originally a skit from Saturday Night Live that they adapted into a movie. It is brilliant, the script moves effortlessly. The cast is sensational and the music is a blue carnival of awesome. This movie is fabulous from start to finish.
Who’s on the Couch: Me and my wife for a date night.


17 – Gremlins

Top 80s Movies List - GremlinsIMDB Rating: 7.2
IMDB Summary: A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.
Why You Should Watch It: Because I’d take the risk and own a Mogwai. It’s the most adorable animal in the universe until you give it food after midnight. Gremlins are bad, Mogwai are good. It’s a story of good and evil, sin and redemption. It’ll make you jump and it’s a little scary. It’s also iconic.
Who’s on the Couch: Me, my wife and our teenage kids.


18 – The Karate Kid

Top 80s Movies List - The Karate KidIMDB Rating: 7.2
IMDB Summary: A martial arts master agrees to teach karate to a bullied teenager.
Why You Should Watch It: Ralph Macchio may have played his greatest role right at the start of his career, but under the eccentric instruction of Mr Miyagi, it’s amazing. It is a great story of identity and overcoming challenges – and it’s got sensational, stereotypical 80s baddies. This movie probably made every kid in the 80s sign up for martial arts. It’s totally fun and amazing.
Who’s on the Couch: Me, my wife, our teenager and our pre-teen kid.


19 – Die Hard

Die HardIMDB Rating: 8.2
IMDB Summary: An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.
Why You Should Watch It: Would you believe me if I told you that buried beneath the amazing action and wild premise, is actually a story about becoming a better person? Without harping on every breath-taking action scene and over-the-top piece of wildness, this movie at its very heart is a story of a cop moving from selfish, to selfless.
Who’s on the Couch: Me and my wife for a date night… OK – more likely my buddies for an 80s action night.


20 – Beverly Hills Cop

Beverly Hills CopIMDB Rating: 7.3
IMDB Summary: A freewheeling Detroit cop pursuing a murder investigation finds himself dealing with the very different culture of Beverly Hills.
Why You Should Watch It: If someone hasn’t told you how good Eddie Murphy is, this is a great place to start. It spawned a bunch of sequels, but essentially, a street-smart cop from Detroit follows a crime into the heart of Beverly Hills, teams up with some locals, and hilarity and action ensues. This too is a great story of a self-obsessed human growing and learning to sacrifice himself for other.
Who’s on the Couch: Me and my wife for a date night… OK – more likely my buddies for an 80s action night.


21 – Dead Poets Society

Top 80s Movies List - Dead Poets SocietyIMDB Rating: 8.1
IMDB Summary: English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.
Why You Should Watch It: Robin Williams is sensational in this film. If you ever want to be fired up to learn, break this movie out. You’ll love poetry by the end and fall in love with just how amazing Robin Williams was as an actor. And is that a young Ethan Hawke? Sure is!
Who’s on the Couch: Me and my wife for a date night. Our teenage kid is secretly loving this movie from the corner of the room.


22 – The Terminator

Top 80s Movies ListIMDB Rating: 8.4
IMDB Summary: A seemingly indestructible android is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.
Why You Should Watch It: This honestly might be the best of the series. The story is fantastic, the action is fantastic and completely unbelievable. Arnie plays one of the greatest baddies ever created. It’s gritty and the special effects feel a little dated, but this movie was the Action Hit of the Decade.
Who’s on the Couch: Me and my wife for a date night… OK – more likely my buddies for an 80s action night.


23 – Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

IMDB Rating: 6.9
IMDB Summary: Two seemingly dumb teens set off on a quest to prepare the ultimate historical presentation with the help of a time machine.
Why You Should Watch It: Keanu Reeves and that other guy (poor Alex Winter, so overlooked) go on a fantastic adventure through time and space to craft one of the greatest high school presentation projects of all time. They do it in a time machine much like a Tardis (not actually a Tardis for copyright reasons) and have the most excellent adventure. It is a tale of growth, learning and discovering your purpose in the most excellent way.
Who’s on the Couch: Me and my wife for a date night. Our teenage kid is secretly loving this one from the corner of the room.


24 – Coming to America

Coming to America - Top 80s Movies ListIMDB Rating: 7.0
IMDB Summary: An extremely pampered African Prince travels to Queens, New York, and goes undercover to find a wife who he can respect for her intelligence and will.
Why You Should Watch It: Eddie Murphy is far more than an animated donkey (a la Shrek), and for almost a decade he was the hottest thing on the planet. He features in three movies on this list because he was so epic in the 80s. This story is wild. It also features an All-African American cast, and was insanely popular. For the 80s that alone is incredible. The movie itself is occasionally inappropriate but mostly hilarious.
Who’s on the Couch: Me and my wife for a date night.


25 – Dirty Dancing

Top 80s Movies List - Dirty DancingIMDB Rating: 6.9
IMDB Summary: Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle.
Why You Should Watch It: This is one of the all-time great dancing movies. I still listen to the soundtrack to this movie. Swayze and Grey absolutely sizzle on screen. This is the ultimate date night movie with your spouse. There are some adult themes but it is iconic, and the story is great.
Who’s on the Couch: Me and my wife for a date night.


Honourable Mentions

WILLOW26 – Willow

IMDB Rating: 7.3
IMDB Summary: A reluctant dwarf must play a critical role in protecting a special baby from an evil queen.


SPACEBALLS27 – Spaceballs

IMDB Rating: 7.1
IMDB Summary: A rogue star pilot and his trusty sidekick must come to the rescue of a Princess and save the galaxy from a ruthless race of beings known as Spaceballs.


WAR GAMES28 – War Games

IMDB Rating: 7.1
IMDB Summary: A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.


FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR29 – Flight of the Navigator

IMDB Rating: 6.9
IMDB Summary: In 1978, a boy travels 8 years into the future and has an adventure with an intelligent, wisecracking alien ship.


GALLIPOLI30 – Gallipoli

IMDB Rating: 7.5
IMDB Summary: Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.

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