Make no mistake the 1980’s were a great decade for movies, and many of the best have quite rightly gone down in movie folklore as classics. The genre that particularly stands out for the 80’s is what we might call the ‘Blockbuster Thriller’, as this really was the golden era of heroic characters defying the often impossible odds being thrown at them. You’ll notice a few of them on this top five list, so in no particular order:
Arguably the movie that really established crowd favorite Bill Murray as a bonafide superstar, this sci-fi thriller pitted four quirky guys against rogue – and often very comical – ghosts that were being set to destroy the world. Although intended for a teenage market the movie was universally popular thanks to it’s humor, escapism and action packed story line. Ghostbusters truly defined the advent of the modern family blockbuster, a movie that all members of the family would enjoy when watching it together.
E.T. The Extraterrestrial (1982)
Sticking with the sci-fi theme but this time with our leading character hailing from space rather than beyond the grave, E.T was proof that modern kids films could touch the heart of any accompanying adult too. Featuring a lost alien being hidden by a friendly young boy from the pursuing authorities, this heartwarming and deceptively comic movie is still a firm family favorite even to this day.
Back To The Future (1985)
If ever a movie can be called ‘future proof’ (ignore the pun!) then it’s this. Curiously for many 1980’s movies, even thirty years this time travelling yarn seems fresh and relevant, with action, comedy, and hands down some of the most iconic moments in celluloid history. In a decade that produced so many teen movies, this is without doubt the leading example of how to do it right.
Expected to flop in comparison to it’s critically acclaimed parent ‘Alien’, and shot on a comparatively low budget this science fiction epic often rolls into the top ten action movies ever made. Essentially reprising the theme of the Alamo but with acid blooded aliens rather than a tribe of attacking Indians, this movie is a timeless example of how much can be made from a great script, intelligent effects and masterful direction from a young James Cameron.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
There’s dozens of candidates for the fifth and final place on this list, but it’s best to give it to two wayward youth drop outs who indeed set out on an epic adventure, for it marks the dusk of the decade and implies the fresh hip style of movie making that was to come throughout the 1990’s. A comedy classic that contains some of the most repeatably quotable lines from any movie ever made.