Take me back to the 80s | Third Space

Take me back to the 80s

Reel Dialogue's best films of 80s
Fri 15 May 2020

For those who were born after the 1980s, their only perception of that decade are leg-warmers, big hair and fluorescent colours. Even though these things did play a role in that era, there was more to it than Reagan-omics, the Brat Pack and Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

The movies of any decade can only provide a glimpse into the past, but they do become a definition themselves. Films of the 80s are no different and the filmmaking of that time period have become iconic. The team at Reel Dialogue thought we would go through and make our list of the best films that defined the 1980s.

The music of the 80s

  • Flashdance
  • Footloose
  • Purple Rain
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Little Shop of Horrors

John Hughes films

  • Weird Science
  • Pretty in Pink
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Planes Trains and Automobiles
  • Sixteen Candles


  • Ladyhawke
  • Highlander
  • Willow
  • Tron

How we defined space travel

  • The Last Starfighter
  • Empire Strikes Back
  • Return of the Jedi
  • Aliens

What made us laugh

  • Coming to America
  • Spaceballs
  • Caddyshack
  • Beetlejuice
  • Beverly Hills Cop
  • Stripes
  • Tootsie
  • A Fish Called Wanda
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  • Vacation
  • Trading Places
  • The Blues Brothers
  • Raising Arizona (The Coen Brothers enter the world)
  • Ghostbusters

When Rob Riener was at his best

  • This is Spinal Tap
  • When Harry Met Sally…
  • The Princess Bride
  • Stand By Me

What kids were watching

  • Little Mermaid
  • The Land Before Time
  • Transformers The Movie (Before Michael Bay)
  • Big
  • A Christmas Story
  • The Never Ending Story (The film that warped a generation)
  • The Fox and the Hound

Young adult angst

  • St Elmo’s Fire
  • Mystic Pizza
  • Better Off Dead
  • Risky Business

Teen Adventures

  • Adventures in Babysitting
  • Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
  • Valley Girl
  • The Lost Boys
  • The Karate Kid
  • War Games
  • Heathers
  • Say Anything
  • Back to the Future
  • The Outsiders

How the adults lived

  • Wall Street
  • Working Girl
  • Field of Dreams
  • Moonstruck
  • Body Heat
  • Blue Velvet

Steven Spielberg defines an era

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (and the Last Crusade)
  • The Color Purple
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
  • The Goonies
  • E.T.

Action of the 80s

  • Top Gun
  • To Live and Die in LA
  • Escape from New York
  • Lethal Weapon
  • Big Trouble in Little China
  • Scarface
  • The Road Warrior (Mad Max 2)
  • Batman
  • Robocop
  • Predator
  • Blade Runner
  • The Terminator
  • Die Hard (It is a Christmas Movie)
  • First Blood & Rambo

How history was defined in the 80s

  • The Untouchables
  • Dead Poet’s Society
  • Amadeus
  • Platoon
  • Full Metal Jacket
  • Chariots of Fire
  • Gandhi

Oh the drama

  • Terms of Endearment
  • Hannah and Her Sisters
  • My Left Foot
  • Broadcast News
  • Stand By Me
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Raging Bull
  • Out of Africa
  • Rain Man

What scared everyone

  • Poltergeist
  • Gremlins
  • The Thing
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • An American Werewolf in London

While you sit in isolation and are looking for some new ideas for films. Netflix and Amazon have nothing to offer, well, here is a way to travel back in time. Enjoy some great films that defined an era.

Send us your favourites and suggestions