The 1980s were a glorious time to be a movie fan. So many classics were released that they still stand more than thirty years later. That includes groundbreaking sci-fi movies, iconic horror movies, quotable comedies, and award-winning dramas. Amazon Prime offers some greats of the decade.
When you’re trying to pick the best 80s movies to watch on the streaming service, Rotten Tomatoes is a good place to look. To narrow things down, only movies with 35 reviews or more were considered to get a real idea of how good they are. Also, movies that appeared on similar lists for other streaming services are not included.
10 Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (79%)
From 1982 Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan It is often considered the best film in the legendary franchise. It made the list of the best ’80s movies on Hulu and it’s also available on Amazon Prime, but it won’t be on this list. Fortunately, Prime also has Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
Released in 1984, this was a direct follow-up to the beloved previous entry. With the spirit of Spock on Leonard McCoy’s mind after his death, Captain Kirk must lead the USS Enterprise on a quest to find his friend. The special effects were a mixed bag, but the performances and characters continued to shine.
9 Star Trek IV: The Journey Home (81%)
Keeping up with the two-year gaps between films, 1986 saw the arrival of Star Trek IV: The Journey Home. Although it was the fourth installment in the franchise, this entry actually marked the end of a three-film arc that began with Khan’s wrath.
The actions of the USS Enterprise in the previous movie get them in trouble and they head home in this iteration only to find that their planet is in grave danger. Star trek iv it was a box office success, received praise as an enjoyable film, and was nominated for four Oscars.
8 Major League Baseball (83%)
This 1989 film is a beloved classic among sports fans. Major League It is considered one of the best baseball movies ever made. It tells the story of a fictional version of the Cleveland Indians, whose owner intentionally hires poor players so the team can fight and be flown to Miami.
Of course, the players don’t like this and they rebel against their owner, managing to win games in a tremendous underdog story. The cast helps drive this with talents like Wesley Snipes, Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, and Rene Russo. Plus, Bob Uecker steals the show as an announcer.
7 Dead rings (83%)
If a movie has Jeremy Irons in a leading role, chances are good that it’s great. That was certainly the case in 1988 Dead rings, who doubled down on that concept by having Irons portray identical twins in a double role.
Often praised as one of the greatest Canadian films of all time, Dead rings he was greeted with widespread praise. The plot centers on the twins, one of whom is a womanizer who passes on his ladies to his more docile brother when he gets bored with them. Director David Cronenberg and Irons’ haunting work were praised.
6 Back to school (86%)
One of the most prominent comedians of all time is Rodney Dangerfield. He was loved in everything from Caddyshack to Ladybugs. However, his best lead role probably came in 1986. Back to school, which has a really silly but fun premise.
The story sees a rich man (Dangerfield) return to college along with his son (Keith Gordon) to get an education. He unexpectedly fits in with his fellow students in a hilarious way. An early performance by Robert Downey Jr. is also worth checking out.
5 The dead zone (89%)
Previously, a David Cronenberg movie made the list in Dead rings. However, a previous movie of hers scored even higher and is also on Amazon Prime. That would be The death zone, which hit theaters in 1983 and was a moderate as well as critical box office success.
The death zone It is based on a 1979 novel of the same name written by Stephen King. It focuses on a teacher who awakens from a coma to discover that he has psychic powers. Once again, Cronenberg’s work behind the camera was a highlight, as was the performance of the lead actor, Christopher Walken.
4 Ordinary people (89%)
Released in September 1980, Ordinary people It is the oldest movie on this list. This family drama is based on a Judith Guest novel of the same name. The cast stands out immediately with Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, and Timothy Hutton.
It should be noted that this marked the directorial debut of Robert Redford. The story sees a wealthy family deal with the death of one son and the suicide attempt of another. Ordinary people it dominated the awards season, winning Best Picture at both the Oscars and Golden Globes among the nine nominations it garnered on those shows.
3 RoboCop (90%)
It would be hard to find many more iconic movies from the decade than 1987. RoboCop. The character itself is memorable and instantly recognizable. Directed by Golden Globe-winning director Paul Verhoeven, RoboCop follows an officer who is killed in Detroit and revived by a corporation as a cyborg police officer.
He was praised for being smarter than expected, over the top, and for delivering great action. The popularity of the movie helped spawn a franchise that included a handful of sequels, an animated series, and a 2014 reboot, though they didn’t meet as much positivity as the 1987 movie.
two Hannah and her sisters (91%)
Much of Woody Allen’s work during the 1980s was consistently among the most critically acclaimed things in entertainment. One of his best and sometimes most forgotten projects was Hannah and her sisters, which arrived in 1986.
The dramatic comedy centers on the intertwined tales of a family between two Thanksgiving celebrations. It was a hit at the box office and had a loaded cast of Carrie Fisher, Michael Caine, Mia Farrow, Dianne West and Barbara Hershey, just to name a few.
1 The Elephant Man (92%)
Another one of the oldest movies listed here, The elephant Man was released in October 1980. The story is the stuff of legend these days as it centers on a man in 19th century London who has a deformed face and is fighting for life because of it.
Besides being a commercial success, The elephant Man it racked up eight Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture. John Hurt ran for Best Actor, while the iconic David Lynch earned a Best Director nod in what was his second feature film.
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