Filmspotting Madness 2021 Shortlist: Best Films of the 1980s

Not-so-shortlist of movies likely to contend for the 64 spots in Filmspotting Madness (starting March 2021). Titles may – will, almost certainly – be added and current exclusion does not mean that a film doesn't have a shot at the final list.

View our previous Best of the '90s, 2000s and 2010 tournaments.

Update: "Mystery Train" added for anticipated Jarmusch play-in; "Being There" removed (1979).

Update: Host personal favorites added – "The World According to Garp" (Adam); "Beetlejuice" (Josh).

  • Aliens
  • After Hours
  • Amadeus
  • Back to the Future
  • Batman
  • Beetlejuice
  • Born on the Fourth of July
  • Big
  • The Big Chill
  • Blade Runner
  • Blood Simple
  • Blow Out
  • Blue Velvet
  • Body Heat
  • Brazil
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Bull Durham
  • Broadcast News
  • Cinema Paradiso
  • Come and See
  • Crimes and Misdemeanors
  • Dead Poets Society
  • Die Hard
  • Diner
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Down by Law
  • Drugstore Cowboy
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  • The Elephant Man
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • The Evil Dead
  • Evil Dead II
  • Fanny and Alexander
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  • Field of Dreams
  • A Fish Called Wanda
  • Fitzcarraldo
  • The Fly
  • Full Metal Jacket
  • Gates of Heaven
  • Ghostbusters
  • Grave of the Fireflies
  • Gremlins
  • Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Henry V
  • House of Games
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • The Killer
  • The King of Comedy
  • L'Argent
  • Lost in America
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Manhunter
  • Midnight Run
  • The Meaning of Life
  • Moonstruck
  • My Dinner with Andre
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • Mystery Train
  • The Natural
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Once Upon a Time in America
  • Ordinary People
  • Paris, Texas
  • Platoon
  • Poltergeist
  • Possession
  • The Princess Bride
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Rain Man
  • Raising Arizona
  • Raging Bull
  • Ran
  • Reds
  • Return of the Jedi
  • The Right Stuff
  • Risky Business
  • RoboCop
  • Roger & Me
  • The Sacrifice
  • Say Anything...
  • sex, lies, and videotape
  • The Shining
  • Something Wild
  • Sophie's Choice
  • Stand by Me
  • Stop Making Sense
  • Stranger Than Paradise
  • The Terminator
  • Terms of Endearment
  • Thief
  • The Thin Blue Line
  • The Thing
  • This Is Spinal Tap
  • Top Gun
  • The Untouchables
  • Vagabond
  • Videodrome
  • Wall Street
  • When Harry Met Sally...