101 movies from the 80's you DIDN'T know you should watch before you die.

by leegalea | created - 03 Jul 2011 | updated - 03 Aug 2018 | Public

IN NO ORDER:

98% of these movies I grew up watching in the 80's.

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1. Return to Oz (1985)

PG | 113 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

42 Metascore

Dorothy, saved from a psychiatric experiment by a mysterious girl, is somehow called back to Oz when a vain witch and the Nome King destroy everything that makes the magical land beautiful.

Director: Walter Murch | Stars: Fairuza Balk, Nicol Williamson, Jean Marsh, Piper Laurie

Votes: 22,699

2. The Peanut Butter Solution (1985)

PG | 93 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

Peanut butter is the secret ingredient for magic potions made by two friendly ghosts. Eleven-year-old Michael loses all of his hair when he gets a fright and uses the potion to get his hair back.

Director: Michael Rubbo | Stars: Mathew Mackay, Siluck Saysanasy, Alison Darcy, Michael Hogan

Votes: 1,719

3. Explorers (1985)

PG | 109 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

58 Metascore

A boy obsessed with 50s sci-fi movies about aliens has a recurring dream about a blueprint of some kind, which he draws for his inventor friend. With the help of a third kid, they follow it and build themselves a spaceship. Now what?

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, Jason Presson, Bradley Gregg

Votes: 18,205 | Gross: $9.87M

4. The Goonies (1985)

PG | 114 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

62 Metascore

A group of young misfits who call themselves The Goonies discover an ancient map and set out on a quest to find a legendary pirate's long-lost treasure.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman

Votes: 222,144 | Gross: $61.50M

5. Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

PG-13 | 109 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery

When assorted people start having inexplicable delusions that lead to their deaths, a teenage Sherlock Holmes (Nicholas Rowe) decides to investigate.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Nicholas Rowe, Alan Cox, Sophie Ward, Anthony Higgins

Votes: 17,732 | Gross: $19.74M

6. Heathers (1988)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime

72 Metascore

In order to get out of the snobby clique that is destroying her good-girl reputation, an intelligent teen teams up with a dark sociopath in a plot to kill the cool kids.

Director: Michael Lehmann | Stars: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk

Votes: 80,046 | Gross: $1.11M

7. Flight of the Navigator (1986)

PG | 90 min | Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi

64 Metascore

In 1978, a boy travels 8 years into the future and has an adventure with an intelligent, wisecracking alien ship.

Director: Randal Kleiser | Stars: Joey Cramer, Paul Reubens, Cliff De Young, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 40,939 | Gross: $18.56M

8. The Hitcher (1986)

R | 97 min | Thriller

32 Metascore

A young man who escapes the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker is subsequently stalked by the hitcher and framed for his crimes.

Director: Robert Harmon | Stars: Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jeffrey DeMunn

Votes: 40,539 | Gross: $5.84M

9. Willy/Milly (1986)

PG-13 | 86 min | Comedy, Fantasy

Milly is annoyed whenever her mom tells her to behave more appropriate for a girl. She's just not interested in fancy dresses or prom dances. Some day her best friend's little brother ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Schneider | Stars: Pamela Adlon, Patty Duke, Eric Gurry, Mary Tanner Bailey

Votes: 364 | Gross: $0.28M

10. Adventures in Babysitting (1987)

PG-13 | 102 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

45 Metascore

A babysitter must battle her way through the big city after being stranded there with the kids she's looking after.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Elisabeth Shue, Maia Brewton, Keith Coogan, Anthony Rapp

Votes: 34,537 | Gross: $34.37M

11. The Boy Who Could Fly (1986)

PG | 114 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

An autistic boy who dreams of flying touches everyone he meets, including a new family who has moved in after their father dies.

Director: Nick Castle | Stars: Lucy Deakins, Jay Underwood, Bonnie Bedelia, Fred Savage

Votes: 5,080 | Gross: $7.18M

12. Howard the Duck (1986)

PG | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

28 Metascore

A sarcastic humanoid duck is pulled from his homeworld to Earth where he must stop a hellish alien invasion with the help of a nerdy scientist and a cute struggling female rock singer who fancies him.

Director: Willard Huyck | Stars: Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, Tim Robbins, Ed Gale

Votes: 40,345 | Gross: $16.30M

13. The Journey of Natty Gann (1985)

PG | 101 min | Adventure, Family

In the 1930s, a tomboy runs away from her guardian to join her single father who is 2,000 miles away, where he has found work.

Director: Jeremy Kagan | Stars: Meredith Salenger, John Cusack, Ray Wise, Lainie Kazan

Votes: 4,691 | Gross: $2.14M

14. SpaceCamp (1986)

PG | 107 min | Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi

40 Metascore

The young attendees of a space camp find themselves in space for real when their shuttle is accidentally launched into orbit.

Director: Harry Winer | Stars: Kate Capshaw, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston, Larry B. Scott

Votes: 12,308 | Gross: $9.70M

15. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)

PG | 90 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

56 Metascore

Janey is new in town and soon meets Lynne, who shares her passion for dancing in general and "Dance TV" in particular.

Director: Alan Metter | Stars: Biff Yeager, Kristi Somers, Richard Blade, Ian Michael Giatti

Votes: 9,215 | Gross: $6.33M

16. The Dark Crystal (1982)

PG | 93 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

66 Metascore

On another planet in the distant past, a Gelfling embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of a magical crystal, and so restore order to his world.

Directors: Jim Henson, Frank Oz | Stars: Jim Henson, Kathryn Mullen, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz

Votes: 56,054 | Gross: $40.58M

17. Cocoon (1985)

PG-13 | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

When a group of trespassing seniors swim in a pool containing alien cocoons, they find themselves energized with youthful vigor.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Brian Dennehy

Votes: 53,199 | Gross: $76.11M

18. Legend (1985)

PG | 94 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Romance

30 Metascore

A young man must stop the Lord of Darkness from both destroying daylight and marrying the woman he loves.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent

Votes: 55,788 | Gross: $15.50M

19. Critters (1986)

PG-13 | 86 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

52 Metascore

A group of small, furry aliens makes lunch out of the locals in a farming town.

Director: Stephen Herek | Stars: Dee Wallace, M. Emmet Walsh, Billy Green Bush, Scott Grimes

Votes: 28,965 | Gross: $13.17M

20. Weird Science (1985)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi

46 Metascore

Two high school nerds use a computer program to literally create the perfect woman, but she turns their lives upside down.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock, Bill Paxton

Votes: 73,931 | Gross: $23.83M

21. The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)

PG | 100 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

1 Metascore

Dodger must confront the struggles of life as he is visited by the Garbage Pail Kids and intimidated by some older bullies.

Director: Rod Amateau | Stars: Anthony Newley, Mackenzie Astin, Phil Fondacaro, Katie Barberi

Votes: 7,101 | Gross: $1.58M

22. Just One of the Guys (1985)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Romance

57 Metascore

Terry feels discriminated against when the summer jobs at Sun Tribune go to 2 guys. She decides to do something about it. She dresses like a guy and gets a haircut. Will students at the other high school notice? Girls notice "him".

Director: Lisa Gottlieb | Stars: Joyce Hyser, Clayton Rohner, Billy Jayne, Toni Hudson

Votes: 12,647 | Gross: $11.50M

23. Supergirl (1984)

PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

42 Metascore

After losing a powerful orb, Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin, comes to Earth to retrieve it and instead finds herself up against a wicked witch.

Director: Jeannot Szwarc | Stars: Helen Slater, Faye Dunaway, Peter O'Toole, Hart Bochner

Votes: 17,123 | Gross: $13.60M

24. One Crazy Summer (1986)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Romance

47 Metascore

An aspiring teenage cartoonist and his friends come to the aid of a singer trying to save her family property from developers.

Director: Savage Steve Holland | Stars: John Cusack, Demi Moore, Linda Warren, Joel Murray

Votes: 12,968 | Gross: $13.43M

25. The Running Man (1987)

R | 101 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

45 Metascore

A wrongly convicted man must try to survive a public execution gauntlet staged as a game show.

Director: Paul Michael Glaser | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto, Jim Brown

Votes: 132,693 | Gross: $38.12M

26. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

PG | 107 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

The legend of Santa Claus is put in jeopardy when an unscrupulous toy manufacturer attempts to take over Christmas.

Director: Jeannot Szwarc | Stars: Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, David Huddleston, Burgess Meredith

Votes: 10,602 | Gross: $23.72M

27. The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

R | 118 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

67 Metascore

Three single women in a picturesque village have their wishes granted, at a cost, when a mysterious and flamboyant man arrives in their lives.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer

Votes: 57,276 | Gross: $63.77M

28. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

R | 96 min | Fantasy, Horror

49 Metascore

A psychiatrist familiar with knife-wielding dream demon Freddy Krueger helps teens at a mental hospital battle the killer who is invading their dreams.

Director: Chuck Russell | Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Craig Wasson, Patricia Arquette

Votes: 64,354 | Gross: $44.79M

29. Flowers in the Attic (1987)

PG-13 | 93 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

25 Metascore

Children are hidden away in the attic by their conspiring mother and grandmother.

Director: Jeffrey Bloom | Stars: Louise Fletcher, Victoria Tennant, Kristy Swanson, Jeb Stuart Adams

Votes: 8,739 | Gross: $15.15M

30. Cujo (1983)

R | 93 min | Horror, Thriller

57 Metascore

Cujo, a friendly St. Bernard, contracts rabies and conducts a reign of terror on a small American town.

Director: Lewis Teague | Stars: Dee Wallace, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Danny Pintauro, Christopher Stone

Votes: 35,453 | Gross: $21.20M

31. Harry and the Hendersons (1987)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

42 Metascore

The Henderson family adopt a friendly Sasquatch but have a hard time trying to keep the legend of 'Bigfoot' a secret.

Director: William Dear | Stars: John Lithgow, Melinda Dillon, Margaret Langrick, Joshua Rudoy

Votes: 29,080 | Gross: $29.76M

32. The 'Burbs (1989)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Mystery, Thriller

45 Metascore

An overstressed suburbanite and his fellow neighbors are convinced that the new family on the block are part of a murderous Satanic cult.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Corey Feldman

Votes: 62,950 | Gross: $36.60M

33. The Ewok Adventure (1984 TV Movie)

TV-G | 96 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Wicket the Ewok and his friends agree to help two shipwrecked human children, Mace and Cindel, on a quest to find their parents.

Director: John Korty | Stars: Eric Walker, Warwick Davis, Fionnula Flanagan, Guy Boyd

Votes: 8,867

34. The Company of Wolves (1984)

R | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A teenage girl in a country manor falls asleep while reading a magazine, and has a disturbing dream involving wolves prowling the woods below her bedroom window.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Sarah Patterson, Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Graham Crowden

Votes: 13,841 | Gross: $4.39M

35. *batteries not included (1987)

PG | 106 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

54 Metascore

Apartment block tenants seek the aid of alien mechanical life-forms to save their building from demolition.

Director: Matthew Robbins | Stars: Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Frank McRae, Elizabeth Peña

Votes: 29,031 | Gross: $32.95M

36. Masters of the Universe (1987)

PG | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

35 Metascore

The heroic warrior He-Man battles against the evil lord Skeletor and his armies of darkness for control of Castle Grayskull.

Director: Gary Goddard | Stars: Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella, Meg Foster, Billy Barty

Votes: 34,393 | Gross: $17.34M

37. The Great Muppet Caper (1981)

G | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

70 Metascore

Kermit the Frog, The Great Gonzo, and Fozzie Bear are reporters who travel to Britain to interview a rich victim of jewel thieves and help her along with her secretary, Miss Piggy.

Director: Jim Henson | Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson

Votes: 12,365 | Gross: $31.21M

38. Willow (1988)

PG | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

47 Metascore

A reluctant dwarf must play a critical role in protecting a special baby from an evil queen.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Warwick Davis, Jean Marsh

Votes: 94,155 | Gross: $57.27M

39. Meet the Feebles (1989)

Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Music, Musical

Multiple animals and insects experience the sleazier side of show business while working on a variety show.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Danny Mulheron, Donna Akersten, Stuart Devenie, Mark Hadlow

Votes: 17,955

40. Near Dark (1987)

R | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

A small-town farmer's son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is bitten by a beautiful drifter.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton

Votes: 30,509 | Gross: $3.37M

41. Fortress (1985)

TV-MA | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

An Australian school teacher and her students are kidnapped. She and the children fight for their lives and try to escape from their captors.

Director: Arch Nicholson | Stars: Sean Garlick, Rachel Ward, Elaine Cusick, Laurie Moran

Votes: 2,417

42. Project X (1987)

PG | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

61 Metascore

An Air Force pilot joins a top secret military experiment involving chimps, but begins to suspect there might be something more to the mysterious "Project X".

Director: Jonathan Kaplan | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Helen Hunt, Willie, Okko

Votes: 9,649 | Gross: $18.53M

43. Mannequin (1987)

PG | 90 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

21 Metascore

A young artist, searching for his vocation, makes a mannequin so perfect he falls in love with it. Finding the mannequin in a store window, he gets a job there and his creation comes to life.

Director: Michael Gottlieb | Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Kim Cattrall, Estelle Getty, James Spader

Votes: 27,080 | Gross: $42.72M

44. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

60 Metascore

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis | Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher, Griffin Dunne

Votes: 83,614 | Gross: $30.57M

45. The Mosquito Coast (1986)

PG | 117 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

49 Metascore

An inventor spurns his city life to move his family into the jungles of Central America to make a utopia.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, River Phoenix, Jadrien Steele

Votes: 24,979 | Gross: $14.30M

46. BMX Bandits (1983)

PG | 88 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

53 Metascore

Two BMX expert bikers and a friend of theirs (Nicole Kidman) become entangled with a group of bank robbers after discovering a carton of walkie-talkies.

Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith | Stars: David Argue, John Ley, Nicole Kidman, Angelo D'Angelo

Votes: 4,404

47. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

PG | 93 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

63 Metascore

The scientist father of a teenage girl and boy accidentally shrinks his and two other neighborhood teens to the size of insects. Now the teens must fight diminutive dangers as the father searches for them.

Director: Joe Johnston | Stars: Rick Moranis, Matt Frewer, Marcia Strassman, Kristine Sutherland

Votes: 131,767 | Gross: $130.72M

48. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

PG-13 | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

53 Metascore

A rough-and-tumble trucker helps rescue his friend's fiance from an ancient sorcerer in a supernatural battle beneath Chinatown.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong

Votes: 114,643 | Gross: $11.10M

49. Innerspace (1987)

PG | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

6.8