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Of course, you remember iconic '80s movies such as The Breakfast Club, Top Gun, and Back to the Future. But what other films have you forgotten? With their wild plots, cheesy special effects, and ultra-quotable lines, '80s movies are some of the most entertaining of all time. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to the big hair and bigger shoulder pads of the decade to check out some of these movies that just might be worth streaming again (and don't forget to check our our guides to the best romantic comedies, scary movies and coming of age movies too!
Adventures in Babysitting
The adorable Elizabeth Shue must battle her way through the big city with the kids she’s watching in this comedy.
Big Trouble in Little China
Kirk Russell rescues Kim Cattrall from some weird goings-on that somehow involve an ancient sorcerer beneath Chinatown.
An American Werewolf in London
A walking tour on the moors, an incredibly hideous werewolf, and some wry humor (with a dash of blood and guts) made this a cult classic.
This sci-fi classic featuring a gentle and homesick alien is equal parts adventure and poignancy. The kids, including a very young Drew Barrymore, have to work together to save the day. Yes, it’s sappy, but it’s why you loved it the first time.
Tom Hanks and his neighbors (with Carrie Fisher as his sensible wife) are convinced the eccentric new neighbors actually are murderers. When another neighbor disappears, they’re compelled to find the body, with hilarious results, of course!
Desperately Seeking Susan
The hair! The clothes! The music! Nothing says the gloriously tacky '80s like this movie with Madonna in the lead.
Whatever you do, do NOT get them wet, do NOT feed them after midnight, and do NOT expose them to bright light. Bet you still can’t watch this without getting a little freaked out when that cute little fur baby morphs into the stuff of nightmares.
Howard the Duck
Lea Thompson (of Back to the Future fame) and a cigar-smoking duck from outer space must save Earth from evil aliens. It involves big hair, a duck-girl romance, and lots of other weird plot twists that famously earned this movie its dud status.
Young inventors and their homemade space craft venture into the galaxy to learn aliens are not so different from us. While not the most creative theme, the movie does feature newcomers Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix.
Melanie Griffith stars as the executive secretary whose boss steals her idea. When her boss, Sigourney Weaver, breaks her leg, Melanie uses her boss’s connections to partner with an investment broker, played by Harrison Ford. She advances her own career, but things get decidedly sticky after her boss returns.
Pretty in Pink
Follow your heart, or date the rich guy? These are the questions teenager Molly Ringwald must ask herself. If nothing else, watch this again for the fashion.
The popular '80s teen actor Mathew Broderick accidentally hacks into a military computer, which challenges him to a game between the U.S. and Russia. Unfortunately, the computer is playing for real, which may start World War III.
What causes us to be who we are: Nature or nurture? Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd’s lives are switched by unscrupulous millionaires who make a bet about what shapes a person. Jamie Lee Curtis also stars.
Young misfits from the Goon Docks find an ancient map to a buried treasure, which they hope to use to save their neighborhood in this adventure-comedy.
The Princess Bride
This story-within-a-story features a beautiful princess in love with a handsome stable boy, a nasty prince, and a cast of other fascinating characters including a Spaniard seeking revenge against the six-fingered man who killed his father. It’s definitely worth seeing again for the sweet romance and silly-but-quotable dialogue.
Who ya gonna call when your city is overrun by paranormal activity? The original version of this movie can’t be topped, but re-watch it with your kids and you be the judge.
In this medieval adventure, Mathew Broderick is a young thief who must help a knight (who turns into a wolf at night) and his lover (who turns into a hawk during the day) destroy the evil bishop who cast a spell on them. Talk about a complicated romance.
The Money Pit
Tom Hanks stars alongside Shelley Long (of Cheers) in this tale of a couple whose dream house is, well, a money pit.
When a beautiful heiress cheats a hired carpenter, then falls overboard from her yacht, what’s the result? She gets amnesia, and he gets a mom for his out-of-control kids. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell’s onscreen chemistry makes this movie more watchable than it sounds.
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Anyone who’s ever been stranded in an airport, struggled with a rental car company, or had to deal with a chatty seatmate can relate to this tale of woe about a man trying to get home for the holidays. Steve Martin travels alongside John Candy in this comedy with plenty of goofy humor.
Revenge of the Nerds: Panty Raid Edition
A bunch of smart but nerdy college kids get even with their tormenters. Anthony Edwards, before his fame in Top Gun and ER, is one of the bullied nerds.
The Secret of My Success
When a talented young man from Kansas, played by Michael J. Fox, comes to New York, he poses as management in a huge corporation, while actually being employed in the mailroom. It’s silly but worth revisiting for the always likeable Fox.
When robot Number 5 is electrocuted, he comes to life, escapes the lab, and then fights to stay alive with the help of Ally Sheedy. It's a lighthearted romantic romp that’s entertaining enough for a weekend afternoon.
The Secret of NIMH
A widowed mouse with an ill mouse-child must consult with a colony of rats to save him. Spoiler alert: The secret is the rats (as well as the widow’s late husband) have above-average intelligence due to a series of lab experiments from which they escaped.
Willow (Plus Bonus Features)
This fantasy is about the usual stuff: A foundling baby must be protected from an evil queen, or humanity ends. There’s also '80s heartthrob Val Kilmer swashbuckling about.
Stand by Me
This classic coming-of-age story recounts a writer’s boyhood adventures with his friends as they set out to look for the body of a missing boy. Big '80s names include River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and John Cusack.
Yep, this is the one that started it all way back in 1984. Watch it again to see how far Linda Hamilton has come as a force to be reckoned with.
Oh, what a feeling! The story focuses on the life of a Pittsburgh welder/ exotic dancer who wants to get into ballet school. The song won an Oscar.
St. Elmo's Fire
Another coming of age story — this time about friends just out of college — features all the big '80s Brat Packers including Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Emilio Estevez, and Judd Nelson.
Two teen computer geeks bring their “perfect” woman to life, but she turns their lives upside down. Anthony Michael Hall (another Brat Pack fave) stars alongside Kelly Lebrock as the fantasy woman. And admit it: It’s completely satisfying when big brother Chet gets his.
Dance movies were big in the '80s, and this one features Kevin Bacon shaking up the town where dancing has been banned. Let’s hear it for the boy!
It’s arguably one of the best movies about female friendship ever made. Watch it again, and don’t forget the tissues. Julia Roberts and Sally Fields won Golden Globes.
You either loved or hated this movie about an immortal Scot who must battle the last of his opponents. Sure, it’s a mishmash of romance/ fantasy/ and sci-fi with a lot of swordplay and crazy camera work, but it’s earned cult classic status and spawned plenty of sequels.
Whether or not you were a fan of Prince, this movie about a young musician’s rise to fame was memorable, if only for his iconic purple suit. The song won an Oscar for Prince.
The soundtrack alone makes this dance movie worth another viewing. Patrick Swayze is the smoldering dance instructor who teaches Baby, played by Jennifer Grey, never to be put in a corner.
This time, it’s a female coming of age story about three girls in a pizza shop in Mystic, Connecticut. Julia Roberts makes her first big screen appearance.
Yes, it’s dark comedy that leans toward straight-out weirdness, but it was probably a movie you couldn’t stop watching. Michael Keaton is unrecognizable as the title character who’s supposed to help the recently deceased Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin scare away the house’s new owners.
The Lost Boys
When two brothers move to a new town, they discover it’s overrun by a gang of vampires, headed up by Kiefer Sutherland in this teen flick/ horror movie hybrid.
Greed is good, according to the lead character, Michael Douglas, who is the epitome of '80s avarice. He’s the ruthless corporate raider who takes young stockbroker Charlie Sheen under his wing. Douglas won the Oscar for Best Actor.
A young Jennifer Connelly is the girl who must solve the puzzle of a labyrinth to save her baby brother while plenty of fantastical creatures surround her. And, honestly, what could be better than David Bowie with a shag wig as the Goblin King?
Terms of Endearment
Get. The. Tissues. The story covers 30 years of the sometimes-bumpy relationship between mom Shirley MacLaine and her daughter Debra Winger. This tearjerker won five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Actor.
With his career in a slump because he’s notoriously difficult to work with, Dustin Hoffman disguises himself as a woman to get a role on a hospital soap. Turns out, he becomes a huge hit that female viewers admire — which isn’t an issue until he falls in love with his costar, Jessica Lange, and wants to end the charade. Lange won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role.
We promise: This movie still will send tingles down your spine and make you check under the bed. When the youngest daughter, Carol Ann, says, “They’re here,” it’s just as creepy as the first time you saw it.
You know the story: A very young and vulnerable Tom Cruise dances in his underwear and generally wreaks havoc while his parents are away. It’s considered Cruise’s breakout film.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
A bunch of SoCal teens navigate life as high schoolers. Sean Penn plays the party-animal surfer. Totally awesome, dude.
The life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is chronicled, as told by his rival, Salieri, played by F. Murray Abraham. Tom Hulce is engaging as the genius composer. The movie won an incredible eight Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Abraham.
A Christmas Story
Though not a hit upon its release, this tale of a boy and his Red Ryder BB Gun has become a beloved classic. There are too many quotable lines to count including “You’ll shoot your eye out!” and “It’s a major award!” and “Oh, fudge!" Do yourself a favor and watch it right now. It will make you feel like a kid again any time of year.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Mathew Broderick plays a snotty but likeable high school con artist who is determined to take the day off from school, no matter what his principal thinks.
Tom Hanks is rescued by a beautiful mermaid. Totally cheesy but fun!
The Neverending Story
Through the pages of a book, a bullied boy is drawn into a fantasy world which is under threat. The movie with its fantastical beasts and emphasis on the power of imagination became an instant cult classic. Fun Fact: Dustin and Suzie sing the movie’s theme song in season 3 of Stranger Things!
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