In examining the best movies of the '80s, there can't be a better decade. It was when films were about entertaining people, not winning awards. They were about action, adventure, and comedy. Each of these movies set a precedent and is still referenced in pop culture.
1. "Airplane." What makes this one the best movies of the '80s is that it parodied the airplane disaster movies and started a long line of parody movies. Every time you watch it, you uncover more funny moments. Because of this movie, "Surely, you can't be serious." "Yes, I am serious. And stop calling me Shirley." crept into our vernacular.
2. "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Harrison Ford proved he could be more than an action hero in the future. He could also be one in the past. He didn't have to to be the bravest guy out there, either, to fall into one of the best movies of the '80s, as we knew how he felt about snakes. Besides, there is no better heroic music than this theme song.
3. "Stripes." There couldn't be any less likely hero in the best movies of the '80s, yet somehow he ends up saving the free world. But what drew us in was his basic training. One of the most classic segments is when they're being introduced and Frances gets told to "lighten up," and we learn that Sgt. Hulka is everyone's big toe.
4. "Ghostbusters." Everyone knows the answer to this question: Who ya gonna call? This time Bill Murray found an unlikely profession. Yet, he played a similar character. Once again he makes a partner out of Harold Ramis, and they pick up Dan Aykroyd as they search for the Keymaster and Gatekeeper.
5. "Back to the Future." We learned about flux capacitors here and that it takes 1.21 jiggawatts to make it work. We also found out just how funny the culture in 1985 would seem back in 1955, with Calvin Klein underwear, life preserver jackets, and Van Halen music. But most of all, we learned that if we put our minds to it, we can accomplish anything.
6. "The Karate Kid." Four words. "Wax on. Wax off." Utter those words to anyone, and they know what you're talking about, making this certain to be included in the best movies of the '80s. Who would have known you could equate common household chores with martial arts moves? Mr. Myagi did.
7. "The Breakfast Club." Detention was never so much fun, especially served on Saturdays. We wanted to find ourselves in one of the stereotypes you find in high school. Yet, they helped us realize that we aren't just like one of them; we're like all of them. Nothing showed us their differences more than what they packed for lunch.
8. "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Thanks to this inclusion in the best movies of the '80s, never again will any kid get away with faking sick. Kids learned the important lesson that if you prop a car up on blocks and run it in reverse, it will not take miles off the speedometer. And people that live in glass garages shouldn't kick their cars. We also learned that Abe Frohman is the Sausage King of Chicago.
9. "Big." Will any of us ever look at baby corn or giant keyboards the same again? And of course, no one knows how to be a kid better than Tom Hanks, marking his appearance in the best movies of the '80s. Every guy grows up and wants to be a big guy, older, bigger, tougher. But all that responsibility isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's much more fun to be a kid.
10. "Die Hard." This became one of the best movies of the '80s when "yippy kayee" stopped being a call of cowboys and became and utterance of an action hero. There might never have been a hero so fun to cheer on as John McClane. We delighted in finding all the ways he found to take care of those bad guys. But please, someone needs to buy the guy a pair of shoes.
What Others Are Reading Right Now.
13 Things to Look Forward to in Your 30s
You’ve probably been told that your 20s will be the best years of your life. As someone in their 30s, I can tell you honestly that nothing could be further from the truth. Here are ...
Acting, comedy and strong spirits converge in Speakeasy. When host Paul F. Tompkins interviews entertainers—Key and Peele, Alison Brie, Rob Delaney, Zach Galifianakis—about all sor ...
10 Things to Talk About This Weekend
Ebola, Brad Pitt, and giant spiders.