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Best Movies of the 1980s: ‘Breakfast Club,’ ‘Ghostbusters’ and More!

The Breakfast Club
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Tom Cruise’s aviators in Top Gun, Phoebe Cates’ red bikini in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s leather jacket in The Terminator. Movies from the 1980s shaped not only our fashion, but also the future. Us Weekly is going back in time to the 1980s and rounding up our top 10 personal favorite movies from the decade of big hair, mix tapes and some of the most iconic movies of all time.

From coming-of-age dramas to sci-fi fantasies, check out Us’ full list of recommendations – and rewatch their trailers! – below:

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981):


Indiana Jones pioneered the decade with Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981. Imagine a world without Indi! This all-American adventure movie went on to be nominated for nine Academy awards that year, and took four of them home.

Breakfast Club (1985):



Revisit teen angst and rebellion in John Hughes’ Breakfast Club, where detention never looked so good as it did with Brat Pack members Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall and, of course, 1980s sweetheart Molly Ringwald.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986):


Thanks to Matthew Broderick, we all remember that “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” His role as the title character won him the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Back to the Future (1985):


“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!” And they sure didn’t. Marty McFly and Doc Brown introduced Us to hover boards, flying cars and time travel in this classic. The first film in the trilogy, Back to the Future was the highest grossing film of the year, raking in more than $381 million worldwide.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982):


This coming-of-age comedy brought the word “dude” to mainstream thanks to Sean Penn’s surfer character, Jeff Spicoli. Between working at the mall food court, facing off with a strict teacher, and fooling around in their parents’ pool house, this film epitomizes the essence of everything ‘80s.

The Terminator (1984):


Who would have thought that a film about a cyborg assassin would help launch the careers of director James Cameron and the star of the movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger? “I’ll be back!” and he was right. The film went on to have not one, not two, but four sequels!

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982):


It took Steven Spielberg just four months to shoot this science-fiction fantasy, but it ended up being the highest grossing film of the 1980s, even surpassing his own Raiders of the Lost Ark by more than $200 million to earn $435 million worldwide.

Ghostbusters (1984):

In the mood for a comedy … about ghosts? Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis will have you laughing in this supernatural flick that raked in $295 million at the box office worldwide.

Top Gun (1986):


Tom Cruise took our breath away when he made jumpsuits and Ray-Bans look oh so good in his portrayal of Navy Aviator Lt. Pete “Maverick”Mitchell.

Stand by Me (1986):


This coming-of-age drama defined growing up, a loss of innocence and friendship as four young boys tackle some of the most memorable moments of their adolescence.

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