DsaLast week, I started off my best-of-the-decades series with the ’70s. This week, I will continue the series with the ’80s. The ’80s saw the decline of the American New Wave, the rise of the independent film movement and possibly the height of genre film-making.
As always, the list is ordered alphabetically.
1. Aliens (1986) The quintessential female action hero, Ellen Ripley, and a team of marines killing everything in sight. On a spaceship.
2. Back to the Future (1985) Is there a more classic ’80s film? Doc Brown and Marty McFly will forever be ingrained in our popular culture.
3. Beverly Hills Cop (1984) Eddie Murphy was arguably the biggest movie star of the ’80s, and this was his absolute apex.
4. Blade Runner (1982) Harrison Ford’s first of many appearances on this list. Blade Runner is definitely the most thought-provoking of those films, while also being the most visually stunning.
5. Brazil (1985) Watching Brazil is like viewing 1984 through a kaleidoscopic. Watch the movie and that description will hopefully make sense.
6. Die Hard (1988) The most influential action movie, possibly ever. It spawned the “Die Hard Scenario” and the toughest action hero of the decade, John McClane.
7. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Two quotes should justify its inclusion: “No, I am your father” and “I love you…..I know.”
8. Evil Dead II (1987) Equal parts terrifying and hilarious, Evil Dead comes at the horror genre from a completely new angle.
9. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) This is my favorite film of the ’80s. Ferris Bueller is cooler than everyone you know put together.
10. Ghostbusters (1984) Who would have thought Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis as ghost exterminators would have equaled comedy gold? Oh wait, everyone did.
11. Raging Bull (1980) This was Robert De Niro’s greatest performance. And that guy had a pretty good career if i’m not mistaken.
12. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Indiana Jones killin’ Nazis. Can you ask for more?
13. The Road Warrior (1981) Who doesn’t love post-apocalyptic car chase battles over gasoline led by Mel Gibson?
14. The Shining (1980) Hands down the scariest movie I have ever seen. Jack Nicholson is terrifyingly perfect in it.
15. The Thing (1982) The best movie of the John Carpenter/Kurt Russell collaborations.
16. The Untouchables (1987) Eliot Ness and his boys trying to take down the notorious Al Capone . The end shootout was pure beauty.
I would like to give a shout out to Jack Nicholson’s Joker, Rambo’s biceps, and Robocop. What did you think? Did I include too many sci-fi movies? Did I leave out your favorite ’80s movie? Is Top Gun extremely overrated? (Yes, it is.) Respond in the comments section.