Paste Magazine's 80 Best Movies of the 1980s

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Created by chriscapitolo.

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Welcome to Paste’s 80 Best Movies of the 1980s. This list takes into account what the critics and audiences of the time could not—the lasting ripple effects of iconic performances, influential direction and pop-culture sweet spots, as well as some simply overlooked gems. That said, a great performance or popular endearment isn’t necessarily enough. The films on this list must be good, solid examples of their respective genre (and in some cases, the template for said genre).

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  1. 1 new

    Raging Bull

    1980, in 34 top lists Check
  2. 2 new

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    1982, in 30 top lists Check
  3. 3 new

    Do the Right Thing

    1989, in 25 top lists Check
  4. 4 new

    The Princess Bride

    1987, in 19 top lists Check
  5. 5 new

    The Thin Blue Line

    1988, in 12 top lists Check
  6. 6 new

    Raiders of the Lost Ark

    1981 — a.k.a. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, in 29 top lists Check
  7. 7 new

    Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

    1980, in 25 top lists Check
  8. 8 new

    Ordinary People

    1980, in 9 top lists Check
  9. 9 new

    The Right Stuff

    1983, in 13 top lists Check
  10. 10 new

    Raising Arizona

    1987, in 9 top lists Check
  11. 11 new

    Brazil

    1985, in 23 top lists Check
  12. 12 new

    Blade Runner

    1982, in 36 top lists Check
  13. 13 new

    The Mission

    1986, in 6 top lists Check
  14. 14 new

    Die Hard

    1988, in 21 top lists Check
  15. 15 new

    Amadeus

    1984, in 23 top lists Check
  16. 16 new

    The Killing Fields

    1984, in 12 top lists Check
  17. 17 new

    Dangerous Liaisons

    1988, in 8 top lists Check
  18. 18 new

    Ran

    1985, in 25 top lists Check
  19. 19 new

    Chariots of Fire

    1981, in 14 top lists Check
  20. 20 new

    A Fish Called Wanda

    1988, in 8 top lists Check
  21. 21 new

    The Big Chill

    1983, in 7 top lists Check
  22. 22 new

    Das Boot

    1981 — a.k.a. The Boat, in 15 top lists Check
  23. 23 new

    Blue Velvet

    1986, in 27 top lists Check
  24. 24 new

    Sophie's Choice

    1982, in 3 top lists Check
  25. 25 new

    Aliens

    1986, in 24 top lists Check
  26. 26 new

    The Untouchables

    1987, in 9 top lists Check
  27. 27 new

    Field of Dreams

    1989, in 10 top lists Check
  28. 28 new

    Fanny och Alexander

    1982 — a.k.a. Fanny and Alexander, in 25 top lists Check
  29. 29 new

    Sex, Lies, and Videotape

    1989, in 11 top lists Check
  30. 30 new

    Shoah

    1985, in 18 top lists Check
  31. 31 new

    Nuovo Cinema Paradiso

    1988 — a.k.a. Cinema Paradiso, in 20 top lists Check
  32. 32 new

    The King of Comedy

    1982, in 15 top lists Check
  33. 33 new

    Full Metal Jacket

    1987, in 18 top lists Check
  34. 34 new

    The Shining

    1980, in 28 top lists Check
  35. 35 new

    Der Himmel über Berlin

    1987 — a.k.a. Wings of Desire, in 21 top lists Check
  36. 36 new

    Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    1986, in 11 top lists Check
  37. 37 new

    Gates of Heaven

    1978, in 4 top lists Check
  38. 38 new

    Crimes and Misdemeanors

    1989, in 12 top lists Check
  39. 39 new

    When Harry Met Sally...

    1989, in 16 top lists Check
  40. 40 new

    House of Games

    1987, in 7 top lists Check
  41. 41 new

    Broadcast News

    1987, in 10 top lists Check
  42. 42 new

    Hannah and Her Sisters

    1986, in 9 top lists Check
  43. 43 new

    Kagemusha

    1980, in 10 top lists Check
  44. 44 new

    Coal Miner's Daughter

    1980, in 7 top lists Check
  45. 45 new

    My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown

    1989 — a.k.a. My Left Foot, in 7 top lists Check
  46. 46 new

    Mitt liv som hund

    1985 — a.k.a. My Life as a Dog, in 7 top lists Check
  47. 47 new

    Platoon

    1986, in 21 top lists Check
  48. 48 new

    Tender Mercies

    1983, in 4 top lists Check
  49. 49 new

    Nostalghia

    1983 — a.k.a. Nostalgia, in 9 top lists Check
  50. 50 new

    Babettes gæstebud

    1987 — a.k.a. Babette's Feast, in 11 top lists Check
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Last updated on Aug 14, 2013; source