As far as many cinephiles are concerned, the 80s marked a decade in which good movies were bountiful. That was the generation in which it was not hard to find a quality movie to rent or watch at the cinema, because instant classics were so abundant.
Times like this in film history are hard to come by these days. The movies that were created in the ’80s hold a special place in so many fans’ hearts, and it would be hard to recapture their charm and magic – no matter how hard many filmmakers try. Let’s look back with nostalgia on some great ’80s movies that were way ahead of their time.
10 THE BREAKFAST CLUB (1985)
The Breakfast Club is one of John Hughes’ most famous movies, and perhaps the one that stands out as being the most original and unique, when remembering his collection of classic teen romances. It was released on February 7 of 1985 to critical acclaim and box office success.
Everybody knows of The Breakfast Club, even if you haven’t seen it. It’s one of those films that became a virtual instant classic, and today, it still holds a lot of relevance. For an ’80s movie, The Breakfast Club was ahead of its time, which is what makes it still very enjoyable today.
9 BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985)
Everyone got that delightful rush of nostalgia while they were watching Stranger Things 3 and saw that Back To The Future was playing in the cinema. 1985 was a great year for cinephiles, and Back To The Future largely contributed to that.
This film is still considered a timeless classic today, and what sets it apart from other classic ’80s films is the fact that Back To The Future actually aged pretty well, because it was ahead of its time (literally) back when it was first released.
8 THE SHINING (1980)
These days, The Shining is widely regarded as one of the best horror movies ever made. Back when it hit theatres in 1980, it had a similar effect on audiences to the one The Exorcist did in 1973. The Shining terrified people worldwide.
The Shining has such a strong influence on modern horror filmmakers today, and that is a notable indicator that the film was very ahead of its time.
7 THE PRINCESS BRIDE (1987)
Rob Reiner’s adaptation of William Goldman’s classic 1973 novel of the same name received critical acclaim when it was released in 1987. It was a groundbreaking film in its day, mixing elements of comedy, fantasy, and even social commentary all together – and the result was iconic.
The Princess Bride was a witty, heartwarming, hilarious masterpiece, and it’s a film that is still often quoted and referenced today.
6 BEETLEJUICE (1988)
Before Winona Ryder started to make it big time with films like Heathers and Girl, Interrupted, the young actress starred in Beetlejuice. The quirky comedy-fantasy would hit theatres in 1988, and would later be considered an underrated gem.
What makes Beetlejuice so iconic today is probably the same thing that contributed to its “sleeper hit” status back when it was first released; the film is completely, unapologetically eccentric and unique. Today, Beetlejuice has garnered quite a cult following.
5 DIRTY DANCING (1987)
Dirty Dancing was laced with a kind of magic that so many filmmakers would later try to recapture in years to come with remakes, sequels, and just shamelessly similar films.
But the magic and charm of Dirty Dancing would prove to be something completely unique to the film itself. Dirty Dancing is still considered a timeless classic, and is one that would still be enjoyable upon several rewatches.
4 GREMLINS (1984)
Gremlins is, at its heart, an ’80s movie personified. With its quirky, hilariously bad special effects, this movie has pretty much aged like any other ’80s horror movie, but it’s special. What sets Gremlins apart from others of its kind, is that it’s still very fun and even compelling to watch today.
It’s quirky, eccentric, funny, scary – and just unique in its own way. In a decade where The Shining, Nightmare On Elm Street, Hellraiser, The Thing, Friday The 13th, and Poltergeist dominated the film industry, Gremlins was an overlooked masterpiece.
3 THE COLOR PURPLE (1985)
The Color Purple is probably most well-known today for the fact that it was Oprah Winfrey’s breakout role. But at heart, this compelling coming-of-age drama was so much more. The Color Purple was a hit when it was released in 1985, and its progressive narrative means it still holds up in modern times.
Starring Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover, The Color Purple was one of Steven Spielberg’s most successful films. It’s considered a historical classic and holds a score of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes today.
2 ALIENS (1986)
In 1979, Ridley Scott’s Alien was the start of a massively successful franchise. Seven years later, James Cameron would take over as writer/director, and create Aliens. Sigourney Weaver portrayed a secondary character in the first Alien film, but in this sequel, her powerful performance as the lead would captivate audiences for years to come.
Aliens is arguably the most memorable, iconic addition to the franchise. It featured empowering performances and compelling storylines, and it is many fans’ favorite Alien film to rewatch.
1 DRIVING MISS DAISY (1989)
The controvsery that surrounded Green Book’s 2018 Best Picture win at the Academy Award, stemmed from the fact that many critics and casual viewers alike saw it as nothing but a thinly veiled Driving Miss Daisy knock-off.
But putting the drama regarding Green Book aside, Driving Miss Daisy was and still is an iconic classic. It starred Morgan Freeman in one of his most famous roles, and is still considered to be ahead of its time.
NEXT: 10 Stars Who Were Almost Cast On Parks & Recreation
Savannah Di Leo