The 80s as a whole is less than the sum of its parts. As a decade, I’ve always been very against it, just because, as a decade… the culture was pretty weird. And this is the decade where films became more mainstream and taken out of the directors’ hands. In a way, it was probably for the best, because they started getting really indulgent, but also, it just felt like films swung entirely to studio filmmaking here for a decade, until independent film started cropping up again, eventually reaching its heyday in the 90s.
Though, while I don’t particularly love the 80s as a decade for film, there are some of my all-time favorites in this decade. So it’s definitely not as bad as I’d think in the abstract. Though I do feel like this list was harder to compile because, while I can always get to a solid top 20, the last couple were difficult to come up with.
For methodology purposes, the way I compile these Top Tens of the Decade lists: I take my top ten for each year of the decade, throw them all together, and simply whittle it down until I find what I feel are my ten favorites from that decade. Not the best, my favorite. That’s really all it is. I feel like if I can figure out what my favorite films of all time are, then I can figure it out by specific decades. (more…)
And we’re finally done with the 80s.
This is a very strong year, and I think that has to do with the growing independent film movement that would take over the 90s. You also get very strong top of the line stuff here. All the Best Picture nominees made the top 20 this year, and there were at least another two more options that could have made it and still kept the field as strong as it is.
Plus, the below the line stuff is all around solid. You can definitely tell we’re getting out of the 80s. Everything is starting to trend upward again. Even Disney! The Renaissance stars this year!
I feel like the top ten or fifteen will be largely the same for most people this year, with the exception of the two or three movies that are quintessentially ones that appeal specifically to me and likely are ones that most people haven’t seen as often as I have or don’t even know about.
But that’s what you come here for, isn’t it? (more…)
This is my favorite year of the 80s. And that has nothing to do with the fact that it’s the year of my birth. This year has, in my mind, the strongest set of films. I’ll take most of these ten over a lot of #1s and #2s from the other years.
You got an all-time great comedy, an all-time great action movie, two incredible animated films, four other classic comedies, an iconic Oscar-winning drama… and Moonwalker.
The top three movies on my list shaped my childhood. I am who I am because of those movies. You can’t say that about most years. (more…)
This is one of the strongest overall years of the 80s. This list goes pretty deep. The theme of it seems to be “great directors making great movies.” And then other cool, offbeat stuff too.
I’m sure there are other years from this decade that can match this one, but the minute I look down at this list, I’m struck by who made most of the movies: Brooks, Kubrick, Boorman, Donner, Jewison, Reiner, the Coens, De Palma. Sure, it’s not the biggest on star power, but also, when you look at some of the movies on there, you might argue that they’re those directors’ best movies. Or at least the movie for which they’re best remembered.
My interest in the films is definitely also picking up overall, which might just be a head of steam knowing the decade is on the way out. (more…)
If 1985 was peak 80s, this is more… how best to explain it… if we hit the pinnacle last year, then this is where everything starts to splinter off and go into its own little niche. This is where all the weird little strands start to appear as the decade winds down. I feel like the next three years are where you start to see the “80s”-ness dilute out of movies and you start to see the growing 90s independent film style start to creep up
But, while we’re still in the 80s, I think the main thing I get out of this year are the great comedies. Other than that, it’s mainly childhood staples, genre staples and weird or interesting movies by big filmmakers. That’s what it feels like.
Mostly, though. It’s the comedies. #1 and #2 on this list are unequivocally two of my absolute favorite movies of all time. (more…)
Peak 80s. That’s what this is. This feels like everything I remember the 80s being. Not that I particularly remember the 80s, since I wasn’t alive for just about 90% of it. But in my mind, this year epitomizes the decade for me.
This is one of those lists that was forged mainly by my childhood. A bunch of these are movies I grew up watching. Some of them I saw in college for the first time, and the rest I saw as part of the Oscar Quest. Which, for me, makes it feel like I’ve been with them for a while, given the amount of stuff I’ve seen since then.
Though I will say, as far as the decade goes… not the deepest. All the strength tends to be up top. But, so far we haven’t had a year that was horrendously bad, so we should be grateful for that. (more…)
We’re approaching peak 80s. The thing about this list is that you can look at most of them and go, “That’s an 80s movie.” It just feels like the decade. Also… it’s a great list. It’s just, boom, boom, boom, one after another.
The one thing I note about this year is that it has a proliferation of mainstream movies. All the best stuff are things that were not nominated for awards. In fact, this Oscar crop is one of the weakest of all time, in my mind. It shows that occasional disconnect where all the best stuff is ignored by the voting body in favor of the stodgy “Oscar” kind of movie.
I don’t have a whole lot to add about the year other than that. HOWEVER… there is a historical piece of information to relay about this one that makes it different from other 80s years. This is the year where the PG-13 rating was introduced. And we can thank Temple of Doom for that. And also Gremlins. These were movies with content above that young kids could handle that otherwise weren’t extreme enough for an R rating. So Spielberg suggested a rating in between, and then the PG-13 was introduced. Red Dawn was the first film to officially get the rating. (more…)