Mike’s Top Tens of the Decade (1980-1989)

This has become a recurring feature here at B+ Movie Blog. Back in March, I posted my Top Tens of the 2000s, because, even though I don’t put much stock in them as be-all, end-all catalogues, I do love making Top Ten lists. So, three months later, I made a list of my Top Tens of the 90s. I liked doing it so much, I figured I’d try to do one for every decade (it gets murky past the 20s, but we have a ways to go before we get there). I’ll space them out every three months, so that way it feels like one of those “very special episodes” TV shows like to do.

What I like to do for each decade is, after listing the ten films from each year I like the best (as well as an 11-15, so that when I revisit the lists in the future (update them in five, ten years, or whatever), I won’t have look through at every film that came out over again), I like to put another list at the bottom for fun. For the 2000s, it was the “Terrible Ten” list of films I hated the most from each year. For the 90s, it was a list of “Films of My Childhood,” the films I grew up watching and loving. Now, for the 80s, I’ve compiled a list of “Awesomely 80s films,” movies from the 80s that are amazingly reflective of the decade. You’ll see what I mean when you see them.

Let’s get to the lists:

My Top Ten of 1989

Born on the Fourth of July

The ‘Burbs

Do the Right Thing

Field of Dreams

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Let It Ride

The Little Mermaid

Major League

My Left Foot

11-15: Batman, Dead Poet’s Society, Driving Miss Daisy, Glory, Henry V, Lean on Me, Lethal Weapon 2, Licence to Kill, Say Anything…, When Harry Met Sally… (ellipses galore!)

Awesomely 80s Movies (there’s ten here, because they’re awesome): Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Dream Team, Heathers, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Look Who’s Talking, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, No Holds Barred, Road HouseTurner and Hooch, Weekend at Bernie’s

My Top Ten of 1988


Cinema Paradiso

Coming to America

Die Hard

Grave of the Fireflies

Midnight Run

My Neighbor Totoro


The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

Rain Man

11-20: The Accused, Bull Durham, Dangerous Liaisons, A Fish Called Wanda, The Land Before Time, The Last Temptation of Christ, Mississippi Burning, Scrooged, Stand and Deliver, Tucker: The Man and His Dream

+ Honorable Mention to: Clean and Sober (Very solid Michael Keaton performance. Underrated as hell.)

Awesomely 80s Movies:  Beetlejuice, Short Circuit 2 (I fucking love this movie. “Los Locos kick your ass, Los Locos kick your face, Los Locos kick your balls into outer space!”), They Live, Twins, Who Framed Roger Rabbit

+ Honorable Mention to: I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (“Let me get one rib!”)

My Top Ten of 1987

The Brave Little Toaster

Broadcast News

Fatal Attraction

Full Metal Jacket

Hope and Glory

Lethal Weapon


Raising Arizona

The Untouchables

Wall Street

11-15: Cry Freedom, Dirty Dancing, Good Morning Vietnam, House of Games, The Last Emperor, Over the Top (The Citizen Kane of arm wrestling movies), The Princess Bride, RoboCop, Spaceballs, Throw Momma from the Train

Awesomely 80s Movies: *batteries not includedBeverly Hills Cop IILa Bamba, Less Than Zero (that soundtrack…), The Lost Boys, Moonstruck, The Running Man, Stakeout, Street Smart, Three Men and a Baby

My Top Ten of 1986


An American Tail

Back to School

Blue Velvet

Castle in the Sky

Children of a Lesser God

The Color of Money

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off



11-15: Cobra (it’s so fucking bizarre it’s amazing), Down by Law, The Great Mouse DetectiveManhunter, Mona Lisa, Peggy Sue Got Married, Salvador, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Whales!), Top Gun, Three Amigos

Awesomely 80s Movies: Big Trouble in Little ChinaCrocodile Dundee, Howard the Duck, Pretty in Pink, Short Circuit

My Top Ten of 1985

Back to the Future

The Breakfast Club


The Color Purple

The Last Dragon

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

Prizzi’s Honor

The Purple Rose of Cairo

Rocky IV

Runaway Train

11-15: After Hours, Agnes of God, Brazil, Cocoon, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Pale Rider, Ran, Silverado, Twice in a Lifetime, A View to a Kill

+ Honorable Mention to: The Black Cauldron (the least Disney Disney movie there is)

Awesomely 80s Movies: Better Off DeadThe Goonies, Krush Groove, Teen Wolf, Weird Science

My Top Ten of 1984


Beverly Hills Cop


Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

The Karate Kid

The Natural

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Once Upon a Time in America

Police Academy

The Terminator

11-15: Blood Simple, The Killing Fields, Micki + Maude, Moscow on the Hudson, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Places in the Heart,  Pope of Greenwich Village, Sixteen Candles, A Soldier’s Story, This is Spinal Tap

Awesomely 80s Movies: Beat Street, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (best subtitle to a movie (or anything) ever), Footloose, Gremlins, Purple Rain, Red Dawn, Repo Man, Revenge of the Nerds, Splash, Starman

My Top Ten of 1983

The Big Chill

A Christmas Story

Easy Money


The King of Comedy

The Right Stuff


Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Terms of Endearment

To Be or Not to Be

11-15: Bill Cosby: Himself, Educating Rita, Octopussy, Silkwood, Tender Mercies

+ Honorable Mention to: Mickey’s Christmas Carol

Awesomely 80s Movies: D.C. Cab, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Risky Business, Trading Places, WarGames

My Top Ten of 1982

48 Hours

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial


My Favorite Year

Pink Floyd The Wall

Rocky III

The Thing


The Verdict

The World According to Garp

11-15: Blade Runner, Fanny and Alexander, Frances, Missing, Night Shift, An Officer and a Gentleman, One from the Heart, Shoot the Moon, Sophie’s Choice, Victor Victoria

Awesomely 80s Movies: Conan the Barbarian, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, First Blood, Porky’s, Tron

My Top Ten of 1981

An American Werewolf in London


Blow Out

Clash of the Titans

Das Boot

Escape from New York

On Golden Pond

Raiders of the Lost Ark


The Road Warrior

11-15: The Fox and the Hound, Gallipoli, History of the World: Part I, Only When I Laugh, Pennies from Heaven, Thief

Awesomely 80s Movies: The Cannonball Run, For Your Eyes Only, Mommie Dearest, Stripes

My Top Ten of 1980


The Blues Brothers


The Elephant Man


Ordinary People

Raging Bull

The Shining

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

The Stunt Man

11-15: The Big Red One, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Inside Moves, Private Benjamin, Where the Buffalo Roam

Awesomely 80s Movies: Flash Gordon, Friday the 13th, Popeye, Superman II, Xanadu


2 responses

  1. Pingback: 80s Films | The Blue Pixel

  2. Michael

    If you haven’t seen it, I strongly recommend Breaker Morant.

    June 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm

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