The Best (and Worst) Movies Made in the 1980s

The 1980s were a special time for moviegoers. The decade brought many of the most iconic films of all time to theaters, from sci-fi epics to buddy cop adventures. However, those same years are also responsible for some embarrassingly terrible films as well, the kind that years later the industry is still ashamed to admit happened. We look back on some of the best and worst films to come out of the 1980s. For the record, we’re focusing on films that are universally beloved (or, conversely, loathed) by audiences of all ages and that have their respective legacies firmly cemented. We’re not including films that were eclipsed in either regard by other entries in the same franchise. So don’t expect to see The Empire Strikes Back or The Terminator on here.


Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark

Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark | Source: Paramount

George Lucas took audiences to a “galaxy far, far away” with the Star Wars trilogy, but his work here with director Steven Spielberg has also had a massive impact on the industry. Designed as a throwback to the serials that Lucas grew up with, the rollicking adventure and playful tone of this film are still imitated to this day, and Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones remains one of the most iconic heroes to ever grace the silver screen.

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