Ten 80’s Movies to Binge Watch on a Friday Night

Kendall Whiteside, Staff Reporter

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Many films in recent years seem to lack the originality that movies from past decades had, which often makes them feel boring and predictable. Obvious examples include “The Notebook,” “Scream,” and “Titanic”: these movies follow boring and predictable plotlines.

However, the 80’s had movies and icons that represented different and important things; for example, girls had pop idols that showed they could be tough and independent without the push for vanity and political correctness. Women such as Madonna, Princess Diana, Sandra Day O’Connor, and many more represented this idea.

When 80’s films were made there wasn’t a need for big events or attention grabbers to keep the audience interested; instead, there was more focus on the imagery and dialogue. I love movies from the 80’s because of these reasons and because of the way they make you feel relaxed when watching them. Here’s a list of ten movies that I believe represent this theme and era well.

Pretty in Pink (1986)

Rating: 78% on Rotten Tomatoes, 6.8/10 on IMDb

My Rating: 7.5/10

When a rich and popular senior named Blane (Andrew McCarthy) asks out an outcast named Andie (Molly Ringwald) with a unique style that shows her working class roots, it shatters the stereotype that surrounds this Chicago high school. As Andie begins falling for Blane, she realizes that dating someone from a different social realm will not be easy.

I personally enjoy this movie mostly because of the uniqueness of the storyline. I believe high school students will either hate this movie or fall completely in love with it, it definitely depends on who the viewer is.

This movie is available on Amazon Prime Video ($3.99), iTunes ($3.99), Netflix (with subscription), Vudu ($3.99), and YouTube ($2.99).

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Rating: 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, 7.9/10 on IMDb

My Rating: 9/10

When an athlete (Emilio Estevez), a brain (Anthony Michael Hall), a criminal (Judd Nelson), a basket case (Ally Sheedy), and a princess (Molly Ringwald) are all given Saturday detention they each get a chance to tell their stories. By the end of the day they question whether high school will ever be the same.

This movie is one I absolutely fell in love with the first time I watched it. I personally believe that most people will love this movie as much as myself, and I think everyone should watch this movie at least once.

This movie is available on Amazon Prime Video ($3.99), iTunes ($3.99), Netflix (with subscription), Vudu ($3.99), and YouTube ($3.99).   

Sixteen Candles (1984)

Rating: 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, 7.1/10 on IMDb

My Rating: 8.8/10

With the occasion of her sixteenth birthday being overlooked due to her sister’s upcoming wedding, Samantha (Molly Ringwald) struggles to get through the day. At school she pines for an attractive senior, Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling), but the only boy who seems to be showing her any interest is a nerdy freshman named Ted (Anthony Michael Hall).

I personally love the Brat Pack movies, a collection of movies created with the same actors in the 80’s, although “Sixteen Candles” does have a slower plot. I think high school students should watch this film because it is an iconic movie with many iconic scenes.

This movie is available on Amazon Prime Video ($3.99), iTunes ($3.99), Netflix (with subscription), Vudu ($3.99), and YouTube ($3.99).

Rain Man (1988)

Rating: 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, 8/10 on IMDb

My Rating: 9.5/10

Car dealer Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) learns that his father has died, and when he returns home he discovers that he has an autistic older brother named Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) who is inheriting their father’s entire fortune. Charlie checks Raymond out of the facility he is staying at, which leads to the brothers’ cross-country trip that ends up altering both of their lives.

This movie is funny at many parts but also very heartfelt, and Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman both do an amazing job at portraying their roles. This is a very emotional movie, but it teaches you many lessons that you wouldn’t necessarily learn in the world today.

This movie is available on Amazon Prime Video ($3.99), iTunes ($3.99), Vudu ($2.99), and YouTube ($2.99).

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Rating: 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, 7.8/10 on IMDb

My Rating: 9/10

Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), who is the master of skipping school and getting away with it, embarks on an adventure on one of his “sick days.” Ferris makes a day of taking his friend Cameron (Alan Ruck), and his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) through the city of Chicago on an escapade.

I have an absolute appreciation for this movie, because it is so relatable to every person. This movie shows a situation that we all have encountered, which is taking a sick day when we don’t really need one. This movie turns an experience we all have had into a comedy.  

This movie is available on Amazon Prime Video ($3.99), iTunes ($3.99), Vudu ($3.99), and YouTube ($2.99).

The Goonies (1985)

Rating: 70% on Rotten Tomatoes, 7.8/10 on IMDb

My Rating: 6.8/10

When a group of kids find an old pirate map, they set out on an adventure which leads them to an underground tavern in search of treasure. This adventure takes the kids through a journey full of obstacles and dangers.

This movie was one of the first 80’s movies I ever watched and I enjoyed it right away. It offers many elements of danger, risk, and adventure, while also including some hilarious moments. I also personally enjoyed that the last scene was filmed at Cannon Beach in Oregon.

This movie is available on iTunes ($3.99), Vudu ($3.99), and YouTube ($3.99).

Back To The Future (1985)

Rating: 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, 8.5/10 on IMDb

My Rating: 8.5/10

In a small California town, young teen Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is sent back in time to the 1950’s by an experiment conducted by his scientist friend, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd). When he encounters his parents on his expedition, he is put with the task to make sure they fall in love, in order for his life to continue the way it was.

I think this movie has a lot of surprising factors. It is a bit hard to follow at times, but as a whole it is a good movie. I loved the thrill and adventure that is wrapped up in this movie.

This movie is available on Amazon Prime Video ($3.99), Vudu ($3.99), and YouTube ($3.99).

Dirty Dancing (1987)

Rating: 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, 6.9/10 IMDb

My Rating: 10/10

When Baby (Jennifer Gray) goes away for the summer to a country club, she expects a boring summer spent with her family. Instead, she ends up starting a forbidden romance with the club’s dance instructor, Johnny (Patrick Swayze). When Johnny asks Baby to be a replacement for his dance partner, they quickly fall in love.

Personally, “Dirty Dancing” is one of my favorite movies of any decade. It is a movie that can be a bit corny at times, but overall has a very good plot. There are many parts in this movie that turn out surprising to the audience, making this movie unique.

This movie is available on Amazon Prime Video ($2.99), iTunes ($3.99), Vudu ($3.99), and YouTube ($2.99).

Footloose (1984)

Rating: 51% on Rotten Tomatoes, 6.5/10 on IMDb

My Rating: 8.5/10

Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon) just moved from Chicago to a small town in the midwest, where dancing and rock music is illegal due to a past accident involving a car crash. With the help of his friends Willard Hewitt (Christopher Penn) and Ariel Moore (Lori Singer) Ren tries to loosen up this conservative town.

“Footloose” is a movie that can get you on your feet, and make you start dancing at any point. I love the songs that are incorporated with the movie: “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins, “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” by Deniece Williams, and “Holding out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler.

You can watch this movie on Amazon Prime Video ($3.99), iTunes ($3.99), Vudu ($3.99), and YouTube ($2.99).

The Karate Kid (1984)

Rating: 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, 7.2/10 on IMDb

My Rating: 9/10

When young teen Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) moves from New Jersey to California with his mother, he realizes his Jersey accent doesn’t fit in with blonde surfer crowd. When he gets into trouble with a group of guys that belong to a local karate school, he seeks help in the elderly gardener, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita). Daniel begins training with Mr. Miyagi who seems to be more interested in Daniel waxing cars and painting fences than teaching him karate.

This movie is a classic and can be rewatched many times. This story is a good tale for the underdogs or the people who don’t have the upper hand. “The Karate Kid” is also really inspirational and gives many lessons in determination and hard work.

This movie is available on Amazon Prime ($3.99), iTunes (3.99), Vudu ($2.99), and YouTube ($3.99).