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Top 10 1980’s Films of all time

Travis Prine, Contributor

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Knowing that Ready Player One is coming out soon, I decided I would compile a list of 1980s movies for people who want to be drawn into the culture behind this film.

1. WarGames

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High school student David Lightman unwittingly hacks into a military supercomputer while searching for new video games. After starting a game of Global Thermonuclear War, Lightman leads the supercomputer to activate the nation’s nuclear arsenal in response to his simulated threat as the Soviet Union. Once the clueless hacker comes to his senses, Lightman, with help from his girlfriend, must find a way to alert the authorities to stop the onset of World War III.

2. Robocop.

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In a violent, near-apocalyptic Detroit, evil corporation Omni Consumer Products wins a contract from the city government to privatize the police force. To test their crime-eradicating cyborgs, the company leads street cop Alex Murphy into an armed confrontation with crime lord Boddicker so they can use his body to support their untested RoboCop prototype. But when RoboCop learns of the company’s nefarious plans, he turns on his masters.

3. The Iron Giant.

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In this animated adaptation of Ted Hughes’ Cold War fable, a giant alien robot crash-lands near the small town of Rockwell, Maine, in 1957. Exploring the area, a local 9-year-old boy, Hogarth, discovers the robot, and soon forms an unlikely friendship with him. When a paranoid government agent, Kent Mansley, becomes determined to destroy the robot, Hogarth and beatnik Dean McCoppin must do what they can to save the misunderstood machine.


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After the members of a team of scientists lose their cushy positions at a university in New York City, they decide to become “Ghostbusters” to wage a high-tech battle with the supernatural for money. They stumble upon a gateway to another dimension, a doorway that will release evil upon the city. The Ghostbusters must now save New York from complete destruction.

5Return of the Jedi.

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Luke Skywalker battles horrible Jabba the Hut and cruel Darth Vader to save his comrades in the Rebel Alliance and triumph over the Galactic Empire. Han Solo and Princess Leia reaffirm their love and team with Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, the Ewoks and the androids C-3PO and R2-D2 to aid in the disruption of the Dark Side and the defeat of the evil emperor.

6. Batman


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Having witnessed his parents’ brutal murder as a child, millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne fights crime in Gotham City disguised as Batman, a costumed hero who strikes fear into the hearts of villains. But when a deformed madman who calls himself “The Joker” seizes control of Gotham’s criminal underworld, Batman must face his most ruthless nemesis ever while protecting both his identity and his love interest, reporter Vicki Vale.

7. Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn.

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The second of three films in the Evil Dead series is part horror, part comedy, with Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) once again battling horrifying demons at a secluded cabin in the woods. After discovering an audiotape left by a college professor that contains voices reading from the Book of the Dead, Ash’s girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler) becomes possessed by evil spirits that are awakened by the voices on the tape. Ash soon discovers there is no escaping the woods.

8. The Lost Boys

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Teenage brothers Michael and Sam move with their mother to a small town in northern California. While the younger Sam meets a pair of kindred spirits in geeky comic-book nerds Edward and Alan, the angst-ridden Michael soon falls for Star — who turns out to be in thrall to David, leader of a local gang of vampires. Sam and his new friends must save Michael and Star from the undead.

9. Top Gun

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The Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School is where the best of the best train to refine their elite flying skills. When hotshot fighter pilot Maverick is sent to the school, his reckless attitude and cocky demeanor put him at odds with the other pilots, especially the cool and collected Iceman. But Maverick isn’t only competing to be the top fighter pilot, he’s also fighting for the attention of his beautiful flight instructor, Charlotte Blackwood.

10. Back To The Future.

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In this 1980s sci-fi classic, small-town California teen Marty McFly is thrown back into the ’50s when an experiment by his eccentric scientist friend Doc Brown goes awry. Traveling through time in a modified DeLorean car, Marty encounters young versions of his parents and must make sure that they fall in love or he’ll cease to exist. Even more dauntingly, Marty has to return to his own time and save the life of Doc Brown.

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Top 10 1980’s Films of all time