We all get a little nostalgic when it comes to the ‘80s. The decade of crimped hair, leg warmers and neon leotards also happened to produce some memorable and amazing movies.
But some ‘80s movies didn’t age very well. Watching those movies can be a real downer. If you’re hosting an ‘80s movie marathon and want to avoid the duds, then check out this list of timeless ‘80s movies that have aged gracefully.
1. The Goonies (1985)
Most movies with a kid-filled cast don’t age well (we’re looking at you, The Wizard). Kids aren’t always the best actors. But with Goonies? Yeah, that’s casting gold. Watching this now still makes us want to go on a pirate-ship-finding adventure in the underground caverns of the the Oregon Coast. Why isn’t this real life?!
2. Back to the Future (1985)
Heck, this goes for the entire Back to the Future trilogy, even if we don’t have all of the advancements found in the future of the second one. Michael J. Fox is the man when it comes to relatability and comedic timing. Watch this one when you want some time-traveling fun that doesn’t hurt your head in the process.
3. The Lost Boys (1987)
The mullets are strong with this one. Although the fashion is so ‘80s it hurts, this vampire movie is tops. Watch it for the still-innocent Coreys or if you feel like you need a story where the vampires are bad, and not sexual fantasies. Bonus points for the hilarious saxophone scene. You’ll thank me later.
4. Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
This one may not be as famous as the other entries on this list, but it’s still a must-see. In it, Kathleen Turner attends her high school reunion, but collapses. When she wakes up, she’s back in high school, ‘50s poodle skirts and all. It has everything: time travel, beatnik romance and a surprisingly high-voiced Nic Cage.
5. Die Hard (1988)
Whether or not you’re in the “Die Hard is a Christmas movie” camp, we can all agree that this ‘80s action movie is still one of the best in its genre to date. You get to see a retro glimpse of Bruce Willis’ actual hair as he climbs through the air ducts of a downtown high-rise. Also, the main villain is played by Alan Rickman—Professor Snape himself! In fact, it was his very first feature film.
6. The Breakfast Club (1985)
Most teen movies in the ‘80s were ridiculous and unrealistic. They featured gratuitous boob shots and okay-if-you’re-a-kid potty humor. But The Breakfast Club was different. It moved to break high school stereotypes and even had some rough, dramatic moments. If you always wanted to have a life-defining moment during Saturday detention, watch this one.
7. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
In the ‘80s, everyone wanted to be one of three people: Ferris Bueller, his best friend Cameron, or his girlfriend Sloane. After all, if you’re a part of that trio, you can have one of the most epic days of your life. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one of those movies that motivates you to just get out there and have fun. No fear!
8. Ghostbusters (1984)
Nothing beats the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man stomping down city streets. This comedy has all of the best things, including ghosts, scary librarians and Bill Murray. Also, if you’ve ever wondered why people think Sigourney Weaver is sexy, this’ll answer your question. And, if you want to prepare for the 2016 all-female remake, this movie is a must.
9. The Princess Bride (1987)
It’s a rarity that guys love a romantic movie just as much as girls, yet that’s the case when it comes to The Princess Bride. In fact, guys seem to be the adventure romance’s biggest fans. This movie has to be one of the most quoted films of all time. And there’s always Carey Elwes if you’re looking for a hot dude. As you wish.
10. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Here’s a little trivia for you: A Nightmare on Elm Street was Johnny Depp’s very first movie. The first of the series is a bit scarier and much less silly than the numerous sequels, making it easier to watch over three decades later. Even if you’re not much into horror movies, you could always watch it for Depp’s super-’80s midriff-baring cutoff sweatshirt.
11. Sixteen Candles (1984)
Though it doesn’t have the drama and seriousness of The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles still doesn’t disappoint. Watch it for Long Duk Dong or a nearly mute, baby-faced John Cusack. Even now, all of us are waiting patiently for our own Jake Ryan to kiss us over our birthday cakes.
12. Beetlejuice (1988)
Look at how skinny and hot Alec Baldwin was in the ‘80s! And how much of a little kid Winona Ryder used to be! Beetlejuice is a must if you like supernatural comedies. Watch it with Ghostbusters and you’ve got a tubular ‘80s movie night.
13. Gremlins (1984)
You can’t get much cuter than the fuzzy little ball we all lovingly know as Gizmo. Just don’t get him wet or feed him after midnight! Plus, if you think Die Hard is a Christmas movie, then you’ve gotta put Gremlins on that list as well.
14. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Even though it came out over 25 years ago, Christmas Vacation is still one of the best Christmas movies of all time. The squirrel chase, the Christmas lights, the cat food Jell-o mold—it’s all timeless. And if you’re a Big Bang Theory fan, you can see Dr. Leonard Hofstadter as little Rusty Griswold.
15. Poltergeist (1982)
More movie trivia! At the time that Poltergeist came out, there was no PG-13 rating. So how did they rate this classic haunted house story? PG! That’s right, you can supposedly let your little ones watch this timeless nightmare. You’re welcome.