Best Movies 1980’s

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

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Below are my picks for the best movies of the 1980’s. They are in order in terms of the best film for each year.

1980’s

1980:

  1. Ordinary People (1980) Director: Robert Redford (Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Timothy Hutton)
  2. Raging Bull (1980) Director: Martin Scorsese (Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci)
  3. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Director: Irvin Kershner) (Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher)
  4. The Shining (1980) Director: Stanley Kubrick (Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall)
  5. Airplane! (1980) Director: Jim Abrahams (Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty)
  6. Breaker Morant (1980) Director: Bruce Beresford (Edward WoodwardJohn WatersBryan Brown)
  7. The Elephant Man (1980) Director: David Lynch (John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins)
  8. Tess (1980) Director: Roman Polanski (Nastassja KinskiPeter FirthTom Chadbon)
  9. The Stunt Man (1980) Director: Richard Rush (Peter O’Toole, Steve Railsback)
  10. The Last Metro (1980) Director: François Truffaut (Gerard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve)
  11. Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)Director: Michael Apted (Sissy SpacekTommy Lee JonesLevon Helm)
  12. Kagemusha (1980) Director: Akira Kurosawa (Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki)
  13. The Great Santini (1980)Director: Lewis John Carlino (Robert DuvallBlythe DannerMichael O’Keefe)
  14. Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1980) Director: Vladimir Menshov (Vera AlentovaIrina MuravyovaAleksey Batalov)
  15. Melvin and Howard (1980) Director: Jonathan Demme (Jason Robards, Paul Le Mat)
  16. Dressed To Kill (1980) Director: Brian De Palma (Michael CaineAngie DickinsonNancy Allen)
  17. Fame (1980)Director: Alan Parker (Irene CaraBoyd GainesTresa Hughes)
  18. 9 To 5 (1980) Director: Colin Higgins (Jane FondaLily TomlinDolly Parton)
  19. Private Benjamin (1980)Director: Howard Zieff (Goldie HawnEileen BrennanArmand Assante)
  20. Inside Moves (1980) Director: Richard Donner (John SavageDavid MorseDiana Scarwid)
  21. Altered States (1980)
  22. Mon Oncle D’Amerique (1980)
  23. Caddyshack (1980) Director: Harold Ramis (Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield)

1981: 

  1. Chariots of Fire (1981) Director: Hugh Hudson (Ben Cross, Ian Charleson)
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Director: Steven Spielberg) (Harrison Ford, Paul Freeman)
  3. Atlantic City, USA (1981) Director: Louise Malle (Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon)
  4. Gallipoli (1981) Director: Peter Weir (Heath HarrisMel GibsonMark Lee)
  5. Diva (1981) Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix (Frédéric AndréiWilhelmenia FernandezRichard Bohringer)
  6. The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981) Director: Karel Reisz (Meryl StreepJeremy IronsPeter Vaughan)
  7. Das Boot (1981) Director: Wolfgang Peterson (Jurgen Prochnow, Herbert Gronemeyer)
  8. On Golden Pond (1981)
  9. Reds (1981)
  10. Mephisto (1981) Director: István Szabó (Klaus Maria BrandauerKrystyna JandaIldikó Bánsági)
  11. Excalibur (1981) Director: John Boorman (Nigel TerryNicol WilliamsonNicholas Clay)
  12. Absence of Malice (1981)
  13. Pixote (1981) Director: Hector Babenco (Marília PêraFernando Ramos da SilvaJorge Julião)
  14. The Road Warrior (1981) Director: George Miller (Mel Gibson, Syd Heylen)
  15. Arthur (1981) Director: Steve Gordon (Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli)
  16. Only When I Laugh (1981)
  17. My Dinner With Andre (1981) Director: Louise Malle (Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory)
  18. Ragtime (1981)
  19. Body Heat (1981) Director: Lawrence Kasdan (William Hurt, Kathleen Turner)
  20. The Howling (1981)
  21. The Four Seasons (1981)
  22. An American Werewolf In London (1981)
  23. True Confessions (1981)
  24. Dragonsalyer (1981)
  25. Pennies from Heaven (1981)

1982:

  1. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Director: Steven Spielberg (Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace)
  2. Missing (1982) Director: Costa Gavras (Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek)
  3. Sophie’s Choice (1982)
  4. Ghandi (1982) Director: Richard Attenborough (Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergen)
  5. Tootsie (1982) Director: Sydney Pollack (Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Bill Murray)
  6. Blade Runner (1982) Director: Ridley Scott (Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer)
  7. Victor Victoria (1982)
  8. The Verdict (1982)
  9. Diner (1982)
  10. Fanny And Alexander (1982) Director: Ingmar Bergman (Pernilla Allwin, Bertil Guve)
  11. Poltergeist (1982) Director: Tobe Hooper (Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams)
  12. My Favorite Year (1982)
  13. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
  14. Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982)
  15. The World According To Garp (1982)
  16. An Officer And A Gentleman (1982)
  17. Cat People (1982)
  18. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) Director: Amy Heckerling (Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh)
  19. Making Love (1982)
  20. Brimstone & Treacle  (1982)
  21. Fitzcarraldo (1982)
  22. Moonlighting (1982)
  23. Frances (1982)
  24. Shoot The Moon (1992)
  25. Eating Raoul (1982)
  26. Videodrome (1982)
  27. The Dark Crystal (1992)
  28. Tron (1982)
  29. The Executioner’s Song (1982) Director: Lawrence Schiller (Tommy Lee Jones, Rosanna Arquette)

1983:

  1. Terms of Endearment (1983) Director: James L. Brooks (Debra Winger, Shirley MacLaine, Jack Nicholson)
  2. The Dresser (1983)
  3. The Big Chill (1983) Director: Lawrence Kasdan (Kevin Kline, Glenn Close)
  4. The 4th Man (1983)
  5. The Right Stuff (1983) Director: Philip Kaufman) (Scott Glenn, Ed Harris)
  6. Local Hero (1983) Director: Bill Forsyth (Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert)
  7. Tender Mercies (1983) Director: Bruce Beresford) (Robert Duvall, Tess Harper)
  8. Educating Rita (1983)
  9. Silkwood (1983)
  10. Testament (1983)
  11. Entre Nous (1983)
  12. Return of the Jedi (1983) Director: Richard Marquand (Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher)
  13. Cross Creek (1983)
  14. Streamers (1983)
  15. Betrayal (1983)
  16. A Christmas Story (1983) Director: Bob Clark (Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin)
  17. The Year of Living Dangerously (1983)
  18. The Hunger (1983)
  19. The King of Comedy (1983) Director: Martin Scorsese (Robert DeNiro, Jerry Lewis)
  20. Reuben, Reuben (1983)
  21. Yentl (1983)
  22. The Dead Zone (1983)
  23. Never Cry Wolf (1983)
  24. Risky Business (1983)
  25. War Games (1983)
  26. Scarface (1983) Director: Brian De Palma (Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer)
  27. Heat and Dust (1983) Director: James Ivory (Christopher CazenoveGreta ScacchiJulian Glover)

1984:

  1. Amadeus (1984) Director: Milos Forman (F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce)
  2. A Passage to India (1984) Director: David Lean (Judy DavisVictor BanerjeePeggy Ashcroft)
  3. The Killing Fields (1984) Director: Roland Joffe (Sam WaterstonHaing S. NgorJohn Malkovich)
  4. Birdy (1984)
  5. A Soldier’s Story (1984) Director: Norman Jewison (Adolph Caesar, Howard E. Rollins)
  6. Blood Simple (1984) Director: Joel Coen (John Getz, Frances McDormand)
  7. Places in the Heart (1984) Director: Robert Benton (Sally FieldLindsay CrouseEd Harris, John Malkovich)
  8. Starman (1984)
  9. Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
  10. Once Upon a Time in America (1984) Director: Sergio Leone (Robert DeNiro, James Woods)
  11. Choose Me (1984)
  12. Another Country (1984)
  13. The Bostonians (1984)
  14. The Terminator (1984) Director: James Cameron (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton)
  15. This Is Spinal Tap (1984) Director: Rob Reiner (Michael McKean, Christopher Guest)
  16. Stranger Than Paradise (1984) Director: Jim Jarmusch
  17. All of Me (1984)
  18. Sixteen Candles (1984)
  19. 2010 (1984)
  20. Ghostbusters (1984) Director: Ivan Reitman (Bill MurrayDan AykroydSigourney Weaver)
  21. The Karate Kid (1984)
  22. Romancing The Stone (1984)
  23. Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)
  24. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
  25. The Natural (1984)
  26. Splash (1984)
  27. Body Double (1984)
  28. El Norte (1984)
  29. The Last Starfighter (1984)
  30. Crimes of Passion (1984)
  31. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) Director: Wes Craven (John Saxon, Robert Englund)

1985: 

  1. Brazil (1985) Director: Terry Gilliam (Jonathan Pryce, Robert DeNiro)
  2. The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
  3. Ran (1985) Director: Akira Kurosawa (Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao)
  4. Out of Africa (1985) Director: Sydney Pollack (Meryl Streep, Robert Redford)
  5. The Color Purple (1985) Director: Steven Spielberg) (Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey)
  6. My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
  7. The Breakfast Club (1985) Director: John Hughes (Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald)
  8. Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985) Director: Hector Babenco (William Hurt, Raul Julia)
  9. Witness (1985) Director: Peter Weir (Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis)
  10. Prizzi’s Honor (1985) Director: John Huston (Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, Anjelica Huston)
  11. Agnes of God (1985)
  12. Mask (1985)
  13. Dance With A Stranger (1985)
  14. The Trip to Bountiful (1985)
  15. The Official Story (1985)
  16. Colonel Redl (1985)
  17. The Emerald Forest (1985)
  18. Lost in America (1985) Director: Albert Brooks (Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty)
  19. Back To The Future (1985) Director: Robert Zemeckis (Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd)
  20. Cocoon (1985)
  21. Silverado (1985)
  22. Insignificance (1985)
  23. Ladyhawke (1985)
  24. Fright Night (1985)
  25. Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
  26. Runaway Train (1985)

1986:

  1. Platoon (1986) Director: Oliver Stone (Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen)
  2. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)  Director: Woody Allen (Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Michael Caine)
  3. A Room With a View (1986) Director: James Ivory (Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter)
  4. Blue Velvet (1986) Director: David Lynch (Kyle MacLachlin, Dennis Hopper)
  5. Children of a Lesser God (1986)
  6. Aliens (1986)
  7. The Mission (1986)
  8. Stand By Me (1986) Director: Rob Reiner (River Phoenix, Corey Feldman)
  9. The Decline of the American Empire (1986)
  10. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) Director: John Hughes (Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck)
  11. Crimes of the Heart (1986)
  12. Jean de Florette (1986) Director: Claude Berri (Gerard Depardieu, Yves Montand)
  13. Mona Lisa (1986) Director: Neil Jordan (Bob Hoskins, Michael Caine)
  14. Manon of the Spring (1986)
  15. Parting Glances (1986)
  16. The Name of the Rose (1986) Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud (Sean ConneryChristian SlaterElya Baskin)
  17. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
  18. Lady Jane (1986)
  19. Round Midnight (1986)
  20. Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
  21. Hoosiers (1986) Director: David Anspaugh (Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper)
  22. Betty Blue (1986)
  23. Pretty In Pink (1986)
  24. Salvador (1986) Director: Oliver Stone (James Woods, James Belushi)
  25. The Color of Money (1986) Director: Martin Scorsese (Paul Newman, Tom Cruise)
  26. Sid and Nancy (1986)
  27. Echo Park (1986) Director: Robert Dornhelm (Susan DeyTom HulceMichael Bowen)
  28. The Assault (1986)
  29. Manhunter (1986)
  30. Mosquito Coast (1986)
  31. Withnail & I (1986)
  32. The Fly (1986)
  33. Something Wild (1986)
  34. The Big Easy (1986)
  35. Ruthless People (1986)
  36. Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)
  37. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
  38. Top Gun (1986)
  39. She’s Gotta Have It  (1986) Director: Spike Lee (Tracy Camilla Johns, Spike Lee)

1987:

  1. The Last Emperor (1987) Director: Bernardo Bertolucci (John Lone, Joan Chen)
  2. Moonstruck (1987) Director: Norman Jewison (Cher, Nicolas Cage)
  3. Broadcast News (1987) Director: James L. Brooks (William Hurt, Holly Hunter)
  4. Hope and Glory (1987) Director: John Boorman (Sebastian Rice Edwards, Sarah Miles)
  5. Wings of Desire (1987) Director: Wim Wenders (Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin)
  6. Maurice (1987)Director: James Ivory (James WilbyHugh GrantRupert Graves)
  7. Full Metal Jacket (1987) Director: Stanley Kubrick (Mathew Modine, Adam Baldwin)
  8. Babette’s Feast (1987)Director:Gabriel Axel (Stéphane AudranBibi AnderssonGhita Nørby)
  9. Prick Up Your Ears (1987)Director: Stephen Frears (Gary OldmanAlfred MolinaVanessa Redgrave)
  10. The Whales of August (1987)Director: Lindsay Anderson (Bette DavisLillian GishVincent Price)
  11. The Princess Bride (1987) Director: Rob Reiner (Cary Elwes, Robin Wright)
  12. The Untouchables (1987) Director: Brian De Palma (Kevin Costner, Sean Connery)
  13. Near Dark (1987)
  14. Au Revoir, Les Enfants (1987)
  15. Cry Freedom (1987)
  16. I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987)
  17. My Life As a Dog (1987)
  18. Empire of the Sun (1987)
  19. Gaby-a True Story (1987)
  20. The Lost Boys (1987)
  21. Fatal Attraction (1987) Director: Adrian Lyne (Michael Douglas, Glenn Close)
  22. Wall Street (1987)
  23. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
  24. Anna (1987)
  25. Dirty Dancing (1987)
  26. Raising Arizona (1987) Director: Joel Coen (Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter)
  27. The Dead (1987)
  28. Street Smart (1987)
  29. The Glass Menagerie (1987)
  30. Throw  Momma From The Train (1987)
  31. Overboard (1987)
  32. River’s Edge (1987)
  33. Radio Days (1987)
  34. House of Games (1987)
  35. Roxanne (1987)
  36. The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
  37. Hellraiser (1987)
  38. Black Widow (1987)

1988:

  1. Rain Man (1988) Director: Barry Levinson (Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise)
  2. Dangerous Liaisons (1988) Director: Stephen Frears (Glenn Close, John Malkovich)
  3. Cinema Paradiso (1988) Director: Giuseppe Tornatore (Philippe Noiret, Salvatore Cascio)
  4. Working Girl (1988) Director: Mike Nichols (Harrison FordSigourney WeaverMelanie Griffith)
  5. The Accidental Tourist (1988)Director: Lawrence Kasdan (William HurtKathleen TurnerGeena Davis)
  6. A Fish Called Wanda (1988) Director: Charles Crichton) (Kevin Kline, John Cleese, Jaime Lee Curtis)
  7. The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) Director: Martin Scorsese (Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel)
  8. Bull Durham (1988) Director: Ron Shelton (Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon)
  9. Mississippi Burning (1988) Director: Alan Parker (Gene HackmanWillem DafoeFrances McDormand)
  10. Gorillas In The Mist (1988) Director: Michael Apted (Sigourney WeaverBryan BrownJulie Harris
  11. The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)Director: Philip Kaufman (Daniel Day-LewisJuliette BinocheLena Olin)
  12. Torch Song Trilogy (1988) Director: Paul Bogart (Anne BancroftMatthew BroderickHarvey Fierstein)
  13. Heathers (1988) Director: Michael Lehmann (Winona RyderChristian SlaterShannen Doherty)
  14. Salaam Bombay! (1988)
  15. The Vanishing (1988) Director: George Sluizer (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Gene Bervoets)
  16. Pelle the Conqueror (1988)
  17. A Cry in the Dark (1988)
  18. Dead Ringers (1988)
  19. The Accused (1988)
  20. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)
  21. Hairspray (1988)
  22. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) Director: Robert Zemeckis) (Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd)
  23. Stand and Deliver (1988)
  24. Big (1988) Director: Penny Marshall (Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins)
  25. Running on Empty (1988)
  26. Little Dorritt (1988)
  27. Married to the Mob (1988)
  28. Beetlejuice (1988)
  29. Dominick and Eugene (1988)
  30. Bird (1988)
  31. A World Apart (1988)
  32. Die Hard (1988) Director: John McTiernan (Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman)
  33. Another Woman (1988)
  34. Dead Calm (1988)
  35. Tucker: the Man and His Dream (1988)
  36. Bagdad Café (1988)
  37. Tequila Sunrise (1988)
  38. A Handful of Dust (1988)
  39. The Lair of the White Worm (1988)

1989:

  1. Field of Dreams (1989)  Director: Phil Alden Robinson (Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones)
  2. Glory (1989) Director: Edward Zwick (Matthew BroderickDenzel WashingtonCary ElwesMorgan Freeman)
  3. Henry V (1989) Director: Kenneth Branagh (Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi)
  4. Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989) Director: Steven Soderbergh) (James Spader, Andie MacDowell)
  5. Dead Poets Society (1989)
  6. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) Director: Woody Allen (Woody Allen, Martin Landau)
  7. Do the Right Thing (1989) Director: Spike Lee (Spike Lee, John Turturro)
  8. Driving Miss Daisy (1989) Director: Bruce Beresford (Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy)
  9. My Left Foot (1989) Director: Jim Sheridan (Daniel Day Lewis, Fiona Shaw)
  10. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)
  11. When Harry Met Sally… (1989) Director: Rob Reiner (Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan)
  12. Say Anything (1989)
  13. Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
  14. Shirley Valentine (1989)
  15. The Little Mermaid (1989) Director: Ron Clements, John Musker (Jodi Benson, Sam Wright)
  16. Steel Magnolias (1989)
  17. Jesus of Montreal (1989)
  18. Camille Claudel (1989)
  19. Drugstore Cowboy (1989) Director: Gus Van Sant
  20. Roger And Me (1989) Director: Michael Moore
  21. The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)
  22. Enemies, a Love Story (1989)
  23. The War of the Roses (1989)
  24. Batman (1989)
  25. Heart of Midnight (1989)
  26. The Big Picture (1989)
  27. Scandal (1989)
  28. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989)

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