Readers' Poll: The 25 Greatest Movies of the 1980s - Rolling Stone
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Readers’ Poll: The 25 Greatest Movies of the 1980s

From ‘The Goonies’ to ‘The Lost Boys’ to ‘The Shining’

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Picking the greatest movies of the 1980s is no easy task. It was a decade that gave the world everything from The Shining to The Goonies to three Indiana Jones movies and no less than five Nightmare on Elm Street flicks. The final two chapters from the original Star Wars trilogy hit and “Weird Al” Yankovic made a little movie called UHF. Film purists might argue that the 1970s and 1990s were better periods for film, but how many great movies did the Corey Haim and Corey Feldman make together in those decades? We asked our readers to vote for their favorite movies of the Eighties. Click through to see the results.


9. ‘Ghostbusters’

Four men wage war against an increasingly haunted New York City. Paved the way for Ghostbusters II and more Internet articles about a possible third movie than just about any other topic in the history of mankind. 

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

8. ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’

Rolling Stone's Cameron Crowe wrote this 1982 classic about a bunch of high school seniors enduring endless humiliations in San Diego. Paved the way for a short-lived TV spinoff, the entire career of Sean Penn and millions of teenage boys rewinding the famous Phoebe Cates pool scene over and over until the tape burst into flames. 

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

7. ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’

The most popular kid in the history of the world takes a day off school with his girlfriend and his emotionally fragile best friend. Paved the way for Parker Lewis Can't Lose and a recent Honda commercial that's the closest thing to a sequel we're ever going to get.

Raiders of the Lost Arc

6. ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’

An archaeology professor travels the world in 1936 and battles Nazis as he peruse the mythical Ark of the Covenant. Paved the way for one awesome sequel, one sequel we loved as kids and another one we'd rather forget. 

Stand By Me

5. ‘Stand By Me’

Rob Reiner adapted this Stephen King novella about four friends who discover a dead body while going on a long hike. Paved the way for Shawshank Redemption and Apt Pupil, which were also adapted from King's 1982 novella collection Different Seasons

Blade Runner

4. ‘Blade Runner’

Harrison Ford hunts down human-like robots in a dystopian Los Angeles in the distant year of 2019. Paved the way for Johnny Mnemonic, The Matrix and The Terminator and endless debate about whether or not Ford himself was a robot. (Most people think he was.)

The Empire Strikes Back

3. ‘Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back’

Many fanboys consider this Star Wars sequel to be the single best movie of the franchise. Paved the way for Spaceballs and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

Back To the Future

2. ‘Back to the Future’

A teenager from 1985 travels back to 1955 and fights off aggressive advances from his mother as he tries to return to his own time without distorting the timeline. Paved the way for one great sequel, an unfairly maligned third movie, a cartoon series, a pretty sweet ride at Universal Studios and a hundred billion late-night dorm room discussions about time travel. 

The Breakfast Club

1. ‘The Breakfast Club’

A mismatched group of high schoolers are forced to deal with each other when they're locked in the school for a Saturday detention. Paved the way for Simple Minds to play shows in America to this day.

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