100 Greatest Movies of the 1980s - IMDb

100 Greatest Movies of the 1980s

by DavidFeld | created - 24 Jul 2011 | updated - 26 Jul 2011 | Public
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1. Raging Bull (1980)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

89 Metascore

The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper that led him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent

Votes: 318,276 | Gross: $23.38M

2. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi

91 Metascore

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace

Votes: 367,889 | Gross: $435.11M

3. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure

85 Metascore

In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 875,319 | Gross: $248.16M

4. Amadeus (1984)

R | 160 min | Biography, Drama, History

88 Metascore

The life, success and troubles of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as told by Antonio Salieri, the contemporaneous composer who was insanely jealous of Mozart's talent and claimed to have murdered him.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice

Votes: 365,376 | Gross: $51.97M

5. Platoon (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, War

92 Metascore

A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David

Votes: 377,539 | Gross: $138.53M

6. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

R | 155 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A filmmaker recalls his childhood when falling in love with the pictures at the cinema of his home village and forms a deep friendship with the cinema's projectionist.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore | Stars: Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili, Isa Danieli

Votes: 227,156 | Gross: $11.99M

7. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

R | 229 min | Crime, Drama

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams

Votes: 307,114 | Gross: $5.32M

8. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

84 Metascore

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space, and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Votes: 686,453 | Gross: $32.87M

9. Ran (1985)

R | 162 min | Action, Drama, War

96 Metascore

In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû

Votes: 110,972 | Gross: $4.14M

10. Do the Right Thing (1989)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama

93 Metascore

On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson

Votes: 88,065 | Gross: $27.55M

11. Blue Velvet (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

76 Metascore

The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern

Votes: 179,065 | Gross: $8.55M

12. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

82 Metascore

After the Rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader and a bounty hunter named Boba Fett all over the galaxy.

Director: Irvin Kershner | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Votes: 1,145,426 | Gross: $290.48M

13. The Elephant Man (1980)

PG | 124 min | Biography, Drama

78 Metascore

A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of kindness, intelligence and sophistication.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud

Votes: 217,522

14. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

66 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 886,695 | Gross: $44.02M

15. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

R | 116 min | Drama, War

76 Metascore

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Baldwin

Votes: 667,598 | Gross: $46.36M

16. Brazil (1985)

R | 132 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

A bureaucrat in a dystopic society becomes an enemy of the state as he pursues the woman of his dreams.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond

Votes: 186,164 | Gross: $9.93M

17. Airplane! (1980)

PG | 88 min | Comedy

78 Metascore

A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick.

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker | Stars: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Votes: 212,232 | Gross: $83.40M

18. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth and sheer terror.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch

Votes: 229,417 | Gross: $11.49M

19. Tootsie (1982)

PG | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

88 Metascore

Michael Dorsey, an unsuccessful actor, disguises himself as a woman in order to get a role on a trashy hospital soap.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman

Votes: 97,029 | Gross: $177.20M

20. The Untouchables (1987)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

During the era of Prohibition in the United States, Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop ruthless Chicago gangster Al Capone and, because of rampant corruption, assembles a small, hand-picked team to help him.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 278,082 | Gross: $76.27M

21. The Terminator (1984)

R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

A human soldier is sent from 2029 to 1984 to stop an almost indestructible cyborg killing machine, sent from the same year, which has been programmed to execute a young woman whose unborn son is the key to humanity's future salvation.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield

Votes: 793,661 | Gross: $38.40M

22. Die Hard (1988)

R | 132 min | Action, Thriller

72 Metascore

An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

Votes: 776,108 | Gross: $83.01M

23. The Last Emperor (1987)

PG-13 | 163 min | Biography, Drama, History

76 Metascore

The story of the final Emperor of China.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci | Stars: John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole, Ruocheng Ying

Votes: 93,196 | Gross: $43.98M

24. Gandhi (1982)

PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

The life of the lawyer who became the famed leader of the Indian revolts against the British rule through his philosophy of nonviolent protest.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth

Votes: 216,503 | Gross: $52.77M

25. Raising Arizona (1987)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Crime

68 Metascore

When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family's quintuplets, their lives become more complicated than they anticipated.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman

Votes: 125,733 | Gross: $22.85M

26. The Princess Bride (1987)

PG | 98 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

77 Metascore

While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him the story of a farmboy-turned-pirate who encounters numerous obstacles, enemies and allies in his quest to be reunited with his true love.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon

Votes: 390,083 | Gross: $30.86M

27. The Big Chill (1983)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Drama

61 Metascore

A group of seven former college friends gather for a week-end reunion at a South Carolina vacation home after the funeral of another of their college friends.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt

Votes: 32,584 | Gross: $56.20M

28. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Drama

61 Metascore

A group of Southern California high school students are enjoying their most important subjects: sex, drugs, and rock n' roll.

Director: Amy Heckerling | Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Robert Romanus

Votes: 93,469 | Gross: $27.09M

29. Scarface (1983)

R | 170 min | Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

In 1980 Miami, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Votes: 731,626 | Gross: $45.60M

30. A Christmas Story (1983)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Family

77 Metascore

In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.

Director: Bob Clark | Stars: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Scott Schwartz

Votes: 128,460 | Gross: $20.61M

31. Poltergeist (1982)

PG | 114 min | Horror, Thriller

79 Metascore

A family's home is haunted by a host of demonic ghosts.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke, Craig T. Nelson, Beatrice Straight

Votes: 143,220 | Gross: $76.61M

32. Terms of Endearment (1983)

PG | 132 min | Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love, and her daughter's family problems.

Director: James L. Brooks | Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito

Votes: 54,524 | Gross: $108.42M

33. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

R | 82 min | Comedy, Music

92 Metascore

Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Kimberly Stringer

Votes: 127,735 | Gross: $0.19M

34. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)

PG-13 | 104 min | Comedy, Drama

77 Metascore

An ophthalmologist's mistress threatens to reveal their affair to his wife while a married documentary filmmaker is infatuated with another woman.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Martin Landau, Woody Allen, Bill Bernstein, Claire Bloom

Votes: 54,173 | Gross: $18.25M

35. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

R | 100 min | Drama

86 Metascore

A sexually repressed woman's husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher, Laura San Giacomo

Votes: 49,687 | Gross: $24.74M

36. Back to the Future (1985)

PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

87 Metascore

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the eccentric scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover

Votes: 1,043,700 | Gross: $210.61M

37. Rain Man (1988)

R | 133 min | Drama

65 Metascore

Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino, Gerald R. Molen

Votes: 469,027 | Gross: $178.80M

38. Ordinary People (1980)

R | 124 min | Drama

86 Metascore

The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.

Director: Robert Redford | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, Timothy Hutton

Votes: 46,451 | Gross: $54.80M

39. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

PG | 104 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

83 Metascore

A toon-hating detective is a cartoon rabbit's only hope to prove his innocence when he is accused of murder.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy, Charles Fleischer

Votes: 180,454 | Gross: $156.45M

40. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

PG-13 | 107 min | Comedy, Drama

90 Metascore

Between two Thanksgivings two years apart, Hannah's husband falls in love with her sister Lee, while her hypochondriac ex-husband rekindles his relationship with her sister Holly.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Michael Caine, Barbara Hershey

Votes: 66,582 | Gross: $40.08M

41. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby

Votes: 193,187 | Gross: $92.82M

42. Henry V (1989)

PG-13 | 137 min | Action, Biography, Drama

83 Metascore

In the midst of the Hundred Years War, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France in 1415.

Director: Kenneth Branagh | Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Simon Shepherd, James Larkin

Votes: 28,016 | Gross: $10.16M

43. Blood Simple (1984)

R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

82 Metascore

The owner of a seedy small-town Texas bar discovers that one of his employees is having an affair with his wife. A chaotic chain of misunderstandings, lies and mischief ensues after he devises a plot to have them murdered.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, M. Emmet Walsh

Votes: 86,656 | Gross: $2.15M

44. The Right Stuff (1983)

PG | 193 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

91 Metascore

The story of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program.

Director: Philip Kaufman | Stars: Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid

Votes: 55,717 | Gross: $21.50M