Last Updated on 17 September 2023

The following list is the Official Definitive List of the 450 best movies made in the 1980s.

I found 36 different ranked lists online of “best” or “favorite 80s movies” and pulled them all into Excel and merged them all to get this definitive compilation.  See my Methodology page for the research process that was used, including links to all 36 lists that were averaged. Below is a checklist you can print to track which ones you’ve seen, followed by the ranked list.

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  2. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  3. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  4. Back to the Future (1985)
  5. The Shining (1980)
  6. Die Hard (1988)
  7. Raging Bull (1980)
  8. The Breakfast Club (1985)
  9. Blade Runner (1982)
  10. Ghostbusters (1984)
  11. The Princess Bride (1987)
  12. Do the Right Thing (1989)
  13. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
  14. Aliens (1986)
  15. Stand by Me (1986)
  16. The Terminator (1984)
  17. Blue Velvet (1986)
  18. Airplane! (1980)
  19. The Thing (1982)
  20. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
  21. The Karate Kid (1984)
  22. The Goonies (1985)
  23. When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
  24. Dirty Dancing (1987)
  25. Top Gun (1986)
  26. Sixteen Candles (1984)
  27. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
  28. Ran (1985)
  29. Scarface (1983)
  30. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
  31. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
  32. Batman (1989)
  33. Dead Poets Society (1989)
  34. Amadeus (1984)
  35. Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
  36. Heathers (1988)
  37. Beetlejuice (1988)
  38. Pretty in Pink (1986)
  39. RoboCop (1987)
  40. Risky Business (1983)
  41. The Outsiders (1983)
  42. Say Anything (1989)
  43. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
  44. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
  45. Rain Man (1988)
  46. Footloose (1984)
  47. Brazil (1985)
  48. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  49. Platoon (1986)
  50. The Color Purple (1985)
  51. Gremlins (1984)
  52. Big (1988)
  53. Coming to America (1988)
  54. Raising Arizona (1987)
  55. Tootsie (1982)
  56. Cosmos (1980)
  57. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  58. Poltergeist (1982)
  59. Purple Rain (1984)
  60. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
  61. Labyrinth (1986)
  62. The Elephant Man (1980)
  63. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
  64. Field of Dreams (1989)
  65. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
  66. Predator (1987)
  67. Broadcast News (1987)
  68. Akira (1988)
  69. The Road Warrior (1981)
  70. The Blues Brothers (1980)
  71. The Untouchables (1987)
  72. 9 to 5 (1980)
  73. Shoah (1985)
  74. The Little Mermaid (1989)
  75. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
  76. Cinema Paradiso (1988)
  77. The Lost Boys (1987)
  78. First Blood (1982)
  79. Paris, Texas (1984)
  80. Come and See (1985)
  81. Evil Dead II (1987)
  82. The King of Comedy (1982)
  83. Lethal Weapon (1987)
  84. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
  85. Trading Places (1983)
  86. The Thin Blue Line (1988)
  87. Das Boot (1981)
  88. Moonstruck (1987)
  89. The NeverEnding Story (1984)
  90. Fanny and Alexander (1982)
  91. A Christmas Story (1983)
  92. After Hours (1985)
  93. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
  94. Steel Magnolias (1989)
  95. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
  96. Terms of Endearment (1983)
  97. Fitzcarraldo (1982)
  98. Wings of Desire (1987)
  99. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
  100. Sophie’s Choice (1982)
  101. The Killer (1989)
  102. The Right Stuff (1983)
  103. Caddyshack (1980)
  104. Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
  105. Goodbye, Children (1987)
  106. Ordinary People (1980)
  107. Working Girl (1988)
  108. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
  109. Lonesome Dove (1989)
  110. Fatal Attraction (1987)
  111. Clue (1985)
  112. The Last Emperor (1987)
  113. Wall Street (1987)
  114. Videodrome (1983)
  115. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
  116. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
  117. Glory (1989)
  118. National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
  119. Bull Durham (1988)
  120. Rocky IV (1985)
  121. Lean on Me (1989)
  122. Beaches (1988)
  123. The Fly (1986)
  124. Stop Making Sense (1984)
  125. Friday the 13th (1980)
  126. Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
  127. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)
  128. Back to the Future Part II (1989)
  129. Blow Out (1981)
  130. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)
  131. Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
  132. Flashdance (1983)
  133. Gandhi (1982)
  134. Weird Science (1985)
  135. They Live (1988)
  136. Blood Simple (1984)
  137. 48 Hrs. (1982)
  138. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
  139. La Bamba (1987)
  140. My Left Foot (1989)
  141. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
  142. Witness (1985)
  143. Splash (1984)
  144. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
  145. Road House (1989)
  146. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
  147. Three Men and a Baby (1987)
  148. St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)
  149. Valley Girl (1983)
  150. Local Hero (1983)
  151. Mystic Pizza (1988)
  152. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
  153. Anne of Green Gables (1985)
  154. Repo Man (1984)
  155. The Evil Dead (1981)
  156. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
  157. Spaceballs (1987)
  158. She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
  159. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
  160. Withnail & I (1987)
  161. The Big Chill (1983)
  162. Near Dark (1987)
  163. Manhunter (1986)
  164. Reds (1981)
  165. Baby Boom (1987)
  166. Fame (1980)
  167. My Dinner with Andre (1981)
  168. Time Bandits (1981)
  169. The Killing Fields (1984)
  170. Something Wild (1986)
  171. The Mission (1986)
  172. WarGames (1983)
  173. Chan Is Missing (1982)
  174. The Verdict (1982)
  175. Down by Law (1986)
  176. Midnight Run (1988)
  177. The Land Before Time (1988)
  178. Ladyhawke (1985)
  179. Out of Africa (1985)
  180. A Room with a View (1985)
  181. Body Heat (1981)
  182. Stripes (1981)
  183. The Vanishing (1988)
  184. The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
  185. Mommie Dearest (1981)
  186. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)
  187. Short Circuit (1986)
  188. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
  189. Chariots of Fire (1981)
  190. Willow (1988)
  191. Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)
  192. Conan the Barbarian (1982)
  193. The Abyss (1989)
  194. Escape from New York (1981)
  195. My Life as a Dog (1985)
  196. Babette’s Feast (1987)
  197. Mississippi Burning (1988)
  198. Highlander (1986)
  199. The Name of the Rose (1986)
  200. The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
  201. Better Off Dead… (1985)
  202. The Natural (1984)
  203. Hairspray (1988)
  204. Hoosiers (1986)
  205. Major League (1989)
  206. Top Secret! (1984)
  207. Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)
  208. Yentl (1983)
  209. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
  210. Vagabond (1985)
  211. Empire of the Sun (1987)
  212. Zelig (1983)
  213. Missing (1982)
  214. Excalibur (1981)
  215. Kagemusha (1980)
  216. Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
  217. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacationy (1989)
  218. Hollywood Shuffle (1987)
  219. Atlantic City (1980)
  220. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
  221. Tron (1982)
  222. Jean de Florette (1986)
  223. Superman II (1980)
  224. Police Story (1985)
  225. Possession (1981)
  226. The Long Good Friday (1980)
  227. Thief (1981)
  228. Brewster’s Millions (1985)
  229. The Meaning of Life (1983)
  230. Pale Rider (1985)
  231. Parenthood (1989)
  232. Troop Beverly Hills (1989)
  233. The Brother From Another Planet (1984)
  234. The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
  235. The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
  236. Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
  237. Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
  238. An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
  239. Three Amigos! (1986)
  240. Tender Mercies (1983)
  241. Re-Animator (1985)
  242. Back to School (1986)
  243. A Short Film About Killing (1988)
  244. The Secret of NIMH (1982)
  245. Nostalghia (1983)
  246. The Money Pit (1986)
  247. Harlem Nights (1989)
  248. The Lion of the Desert (1980)
  249. Roxanne (1987)
  250. Commando (1985)
  251. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
  252. The Last Metro (1980)
  253. Creepshow (1982)
  254. Roger & Me (1989)
  255. Mystery Train (1989)
  256. To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
  257. Flight of the Navigator (1986)
  258. Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)
  259. Mephisto (1981)
  260. A Better Tomorrow (1986)
  261. On Golden Pond (1981)
  262. Time of the Gypsies (1988)
  263. House of Games (1987)
  264. My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
  265. Diner (1982)
  266. Salaam Bombay! (1988)
  267. The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)
  268. Uncle Buck (1989)
  269. Desert Hearts (1985)
  270. Shogun (1980)
  271. The Fox and the Hound (1981)
  272. Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)
  273. Henry V (1989)
  274. Elephant (1989)
  275. Breaker Morant (1980)
  276. Rumble Fish (1983)
  277. Gallipoli (1981)
  278. Victor/Victoria (1982)
  279. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
  280. Cocoon (1985)
  281. Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
  282. School Daze (1988)
  283. Threads (1984)
  284. The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)
  285. Day of the Dead (1985)
  286. Mask (1985)
  287. The Transformers: The Movie (1986)
  288. Eddie Murphy Delirious (1983)
  289. Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
  290. Gregory’s Girl (1980)
  291. North & South: Book 1, North & South (1985)
  292. The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)
  293. Teen Witch (1989)
  294. The Man with Two Brains (1983)
  295. Young Guns (1988)
  296. Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)
  297. Bird (1988)
  298. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
  299. Arthur (1981)
  300. Dead Ringers (1988)
  301. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)
  302. The Holy Innocents (1984)
  303. A Passage to India (1984)
  304. Dekalog (1989)
  305. Police Academy (1984)
  306. Dressed to Kill (1980)
  307. Crocodile Dundee (1986)
  308. Birdy (1984)
  309. Stardust Memories (1980)
  310. The Changeling (1980)
  311. Big Business (1988)
  312. Kin-dza-dza! (1986)
  313. Blackadder’s Christmas Carol (1988)
  314. Teen Wolf (1985)
  315. Electric Dreams (1984)
  316. Ruthless People (1986)
  317. Sid & Nancy (1986)
  318. The Moderns (1988)
  319. Roger and Me (1989)
  320. Modern Romance (1981)
  321. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
  322. Cutter’s Way (1981)
  323. Overboard (1987)
  324. V (1983)
  325. Red Dawn (1984)
  326. Amanece, que no es poco (1989)
  327. Monsieur Hire (1989)
  328. Lost in America (1985)
  329. A Christmas Carol (1984)
  330. Heartbreak Ridge (1986)
  331. Romancing the Stone (1984)
  332. Torch Song Trilogy (1988)
  333. Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)
  334. Dragonslayer (1981)
  335. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
  336. Sweetie (1989)
  337. River’s Edge (1986)
  338. Scrooged (1988)
  339. The Sacrifice (1986)
  340. El Sur (1983)
  341. Twins (1988)
  342. A City of Sadness (1989)
  343. Maurice (1987)
  344. When the Wind Blows (1986)
  345. The Bear (1988)
  346. Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)
  347. Sans soleil (1983)
  348. The Official Story (1985)
  349. Matewan (1987)
  350. Miracle Mile (1988)
  351. Testament (1983)
  352. Castle in the Sky (1986)
  353. Mannequin (1987)
  354. Porky’s (1981)
  355. The Great Outdoors (1988)
  356. Turner & Hooch (1989)
  357. Mr. Mom (1983)
  358. Scanners (1981)
  359. Where Is the Friend’s House? (1987)
  360. Running on Empty (1988)
  361. Sleepaway Camp (1983)
  362. Pixote (1980)
  363. The Seventh Continent (1989)
  364. Rocky III (1982)
  365. UHF (1989)
  366. Look Who’s Talking (1989)
  367. The ‘Burbs (1989)
  368. The Last Starfighter (1984)
  369. Diva (1981)
  370. Real Genius (1985)
  371. Yellow Earth (1984)
  372. National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985)
  373. The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the Eighth Dimension (1984)
  374. The Big Blue (1988)
  375. Ghostbusters II (1989)
  376. Red Sorghum (1988)
  377. The Toxic Avenger (1984)
  378. Pet Sematary (1989)
  379. L’Argent (1983)
  380. Santa Sangre (1989)
  381. The Cannonball Run (1981)
  382. The Karate Kid Part II (1986)
  383. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
  384. The Dark Crystal (1982)
  385. Return to Oz (1985)
  386. Clash of the Titans (1981)
  387. Crocodile Dundee II (1988)
  388. Krush Groove (1985)
  389. Tampopo (1985)
  390. Fletch (1985)
  391. Fright Night (1985)
  392. The Big Red One (1980)
  393. Love Streams (1984)
  394. Tango & Cash (1989)
  395. Places in the Heart (1984)
  396. The Jewel of the Nile (1985)
  397. An American Tail (1986)
  398. Pelle the Conqueror (1987)
  399. Salvador (1986)
  400. Christine (1983)
  401. Radio Days (1987)
  402. Bagdad Cafe (1987)
  403. Enemy Mine (1985)
  404. Cry Freedom (1987)
  405. 84 Charing Cross Road (1987)
  406. Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
  407. All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
  408. The Ballad of Narayama (1983)
  409. Harry and the Hendersons (1987)
  410. Innerspace (1987)
  411. Flash Gordon (1980)
  412. Spies Like Us (1985)
  413. Summer School (1987)
  414. Private Benjamin (1980)
  415. My American Uncle (1980)
  416. The Blue Lagoon (1980)
  417. Cocktail (1988)
  418. The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)
  419. Yol (1982)
  420. *batteries not included (1987)
  421. Legend (1985)
  422. Heaven’s Gate (1980)
  423. Stand and Deliver (1988)
  424. The Dead (1987)
  425. Manon of the Spring (1986)
  426. Starman (1984)
  427. The Last Unicorn (1982)
  428. Dune (1984)
  429. The Brave Little Toaster (1987)
  430. The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
  431. Mona Lisa (1986)
  432. The Secret of My Success (1987)
  433. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
  434. Hope and Glory (1987)
  435. Eddie and the Cruisers (1983)
  436. The Beast of War (1988)
  437. Cujo (1983)
  438. Project A (1983)
  439. Ronia: The Robber’s Daughter (1984)
  440. Licence to Kill (1989)
  441. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
  442. Annie (1982)
  443. A View to a Kill (1985)
  444. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
  445. Alice (1988)
  446. Bad Boys (1983)
  447. Landscape in the Mist (1988)
  448. Silverado (1985)
  449. Betty Blue (1986)
  450. Prizzi’s Honor (1985)

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