The 100 Best Movies of the 1980s
It’s the decade that gave us the Reagan administration, Rubik’s cubes, “The Reflex” and Run DMC. (Thank you for Three of these things.) And if you went to the movies regularly, you were lucky enough to have a steady diet of horny teenagers, killer robots, nostalgic aliens, raging bulls, road warriors, teams cops and crooks and more dystopian visions of the future than you could shake a time-traveling DeLorean. For a long time, the 80s were considered a cinematic dead zone wedged between the 70s of New Hollywood / inventor of modern blockbusters and the more pointed and ironic 90s of the independent revolution. It was a lull, a pause button pressed, a throat cleared between the tunes. But that 10-year span has hit a handful of Hall of Fame movie stars. Multiplex culture flourished. Genres like science fiction and horror have reached new heights. Several major directors brought their A-game in the 1980s, a transfusion of fresh-blooded filmmakers came onto the scene with groundbreaking works and daring debuts, and a handful of veteran international authors made late-night masterpieces. . Documentaries have become formally innovative, socially insightful and more popular than ever. It was never really the lost decade that people claimed.
So it wasn’t so difficult, after many Zima-fueled nights of VHS tapes in and out of our VCRs, to put together a definitive list of the 100 Greatest Movies of the 1980s. Oscars. Some dominated the box office for weeks. Some of them became instant cult classics and some were smaller films championed by few at the time, only recently – and belatedly – rediscovered as true treasures. Some are films that may have escaped your radar entirely, but have not only stood the test of time, but proven themselves well worth yours. And all of these selections are ones that we believe represented not only the decade they came from, but the best that ’80s cinema had to offer.