The 25 Best ’80s Movies on Netflix Right Now, from ‘Footloose’ to ‘Parenthood’

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80s movies on netflix footloose
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Neon spandex. Acid-wash jeans. Glossy Jheri curls. They all practically defined the ’80s (and I’ve seen quite a few of them make a comeback), but these bold fashion trends aren’t the only thing I love about the decade.

Allow me to reintroduce some of the most iconic films from the ’80s, from Footloose to Conan the Destroyer. Since I'm feeling nostalgic, I'm taking a trip back in time, with 25 of the best '80s movies to stream on Netflix right now, including action-adventure, romantic comedies, biographical dramas and more.

30 of the Best '90s Movies on Netflix for *All* the Nostalgia

1. Parenthood (1989)

  • Cast: Steve Martin, Tom Hulce, Rick Moranis, Martha Plimpton, Keanu Reeves
  • Rating: PG-13

Raising children is no easy feat, and this thoughtful, Oscar-nominated comedy illustrates just that. The movie follows Gilbert Buckman and his siblings as they navigate the ups and downs of parenthood, from unplanned teen pregnancies to mental health troubles.

2. Footloose (1984)

  • Cast: Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, Dianne Wiest, John Lithgow
  • Rating: PG

The timeless classic follows Ren McCormack, a Chicago teen who tries to overturn a ban on dancing and rock music after moving to a small town. Watch for the epic soundtrack and Kevin Bacon's impressive footwork.

3. She's Gotta Have It (1986)

  • Cast: Tracy Camilla Johns, Redmond Hicks, John Canada Terrell, Spike Lee, Raye Dowell
  • Rating: R

It's a refreshing, unfiltered look at Black womanhood and female sexuality, proving that Lee was way ahead of his time. It follows Nola Darling, a skilled Brooklyn-based artist who’s content with juggling three men without committing to any of them. But the tables turn when her partners meet up for the first time...

4. Annie (1982)

  • Cast: Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters
  • Rating: PG

John Huston's musical comedy follows Annie, a young orphan who gets taken in by a billionaire named Oliver during the Great Depression. Although she enjoys living in his mansion, she's curious to find her parents, which prompts Oliver to launch a city-wide search. (When you're finished, do yourself a favor and watch the equally brilliant 2014 remake.)

5. Places in the Heart (1984)

  • Cast: Sally Field, Lindsay Crouse, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan
  • Rating: PG

Set in Texas during the Great Depression, Edna Spaulding, a widowed mother of two, struggles to survive and manage her farm after her husband passes away. Fortunately, she receives a bit of help from an unlikely group, including a thief and a blind boarder.

6. Starman (1984)

  • Cast: Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith, Richard Jaeckel
  • Rating: PG

Chaos ensues when an alien named Starman travels to Earth and takes the form of a woman's deceased husband. The alien only has a few days to be rescued before he dies, and the woman agrees to help him. But can he escape before the government finds him?

7. Firestarter (1984)

  • Cast: David Keith, Drew Barrymore, Martin Sheen
  • Rating: R

After meeting through a mysterious college experiment that involved psychic abilities, Andrew and Vicky fell in love, got married and welcomed a little girl named Charlie. Now, at just nine years old, it turns out that Charlie can start fires at will, and a secret government agency is eager to study her. But her parents aren't giving her up without a fight.

8. Falling in Love (1984)

  • Cast: Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Dianne Wiest, David Clennon
  • Rating: PG-13

Two married strangers have a chance encounter during the holidays, then bump into each other again a few months later. After a series of follow-up encounters, they have long conversations and bond as friends. But it's only matter of time before their feelings turn romantic.

9. Conan the Destroyer (1984)

  • Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Grace Jones, Wilt Chamberlain, Mako
  • Rating: PG

In exchange for a reward, Conan and his pal, Malak, embark on a dangerous mission to escort Princess Jehnna to a mystical island fortress. After facing off against wizards and dealing with ancient traps, they must find a magical crystal that can help them awaken the dream god.

10. Birdy (1984)

  • Cast: Matthew Modin, Nicolas Cage, John Harkins
  • Rating: R

Directed by Alan Parker, this poignant drama tells the story of Birdy, a young boy who develops a friendship with his neighbor, Al Columbato. Both boys grow up and serve in the Vietnam War, but when they return, their friendship isn't the same. While Al gets seriously injured, Birdy becomes mentally unstable.

11. Amadeus (1984)

  • Cast: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Simon Callow
  • Rating: PG

An elderly Antonio Salieri, who claims to have murdered Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, recounts his early life and rivalry with the famous composer during the 1700s. The biographical drama scored eight Academy Awards, including the Oscar for Best Picture.

12. Repo Man (1984)

  • Cast: Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez, Tracey Walter, Olivia Barash, Sy Richardson
  • Rating: R

After losing his job and his girlfriend, a punk rocker named Otto gets hired to repossess a Chevrolet Malibu for a car repo agency—and rumor has it that the trunk has aliens. The cult classic spawned two sequels: Waldo's Hawaiian Holiday and Repo Chick.

13. Iceman (1984)

  • Cast: Timothy Hutton, Lindsay Crouse, John Lone
  • Rating: PG

When Stanley, an anthropologist, discovers the frozen body of a prehistoric Neanderthal man, a team of scientists bring him back to life and intend to experiment on him. However, Stanley tries to protect the caveman and defends his right to live as a normal human.

14. Firstborn (1984)

  • Cast: Teri Garr, Peter Weller, Corey Haim, Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Rating: PG-13

When his mother starts dating an abusive, alcoholic boyfriend, 16-year-old Jake must step up to protect his family. The entire cast delivers unforgettable performances, and the film tackles important topics like loneliness, alcoholism and domestic abuse.

15. Hard Lessons (1986)

  • Cast: Denzel Washington, Lynn Whitfield, Earl Billings, Ray Buktenica
  • Rating: TV-14

Before he rose to superstardom, Washington starred as Principal George McKenna in this biographical TV film, which chronicles McKenna’s efforts to transform a failing high school into a successful institution.

16. Born on the Fourth of July (1982)

  • Cast: Tom Cruise, Kyra Sedgwick, Raymond J. Barry, Jerry Levine
  • Rating: R

This insightful biographical drama depicts the true story of Ron Kovic, a U.S. Marine Corps sergeant who served during the Vietnam War and became paralyzed. The film details his childhood, his experiences in the military and how he became an anti-war activist.

17. Against All Odds (1984)

  • Cast: Rachel Ward, Jeff Bridges, James Woods, Jane Greer
  • Rating: R

When Terry, an aging pro football player, gets released by his team, he is hired by a shady gambler to find his girlfriend. When Terry finally locates her, however, they fall in love, and this puts them in a dangerous love triangle.

18. Strange Voices (1987)

  • Cast: Nancy McKeon, Valerie Harper, Stephen Macht
  • Rating: PG

Nicole's comfortable life is turned upside down when, out of nowhere, she starts to hear voices in her head. When they drive her to think paranoid thoughts and act violently, her parents seek help and learn that their daughter is suffering from schizophrenia.

19. Quiet Victory (1988)

  • Cast: Pam Dawber, Michael Nouri, Peter Berg, James Handy
  • Rating: PG

Based on the inspiring true story of Charlie Wedemeyer, the film follows a high school teacher and football coach who gets diagnosed with ALS at 32 years old. When he learns that he has very little time left to live, he refuses to let the illness take over his life and continues to lead his talented team. (You might want to grab the tissues for this one.)

20. The Joy of Sex (1984)

  • Cast: Cameron Dye, Michelle Meyrink, Colleen Camp
  • Rating: R

After visiting her doctor, Leslie believes that she only has six weeks left to live. She sets out to lose her virginity before time runs out—and fortunately for her, Alan is also eager to do the deed. However, Leslie's father happens to be the school's physical education coach, which makes it hard for both of them to accomplish their mission.

21. Twins (1988)

  • Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, Kelly Preston
  • Rating: PG

Fraternal twin brothers Julius and Vincent are completely unaware of each other's existence because they were separated at birth. However, when Julius finally learns the truth on his 35th birthday, he embarks on a mission to find his long-lost brother—except it's not the kind of reunion he expects.

22. A Passage to India (1984)

  • Cast: Peggy Ashcroft, Judy Davis, James Fox, Alec Guinness
  • Rating: PG

Based on E. M. Forster's 1924 novel of the same name, the historical drama tells the story of Adela, a young British woman who travels to India and accuses a local doctor of sexual assault. The incident leads to rising tensions between the British elite and lower-class natives.

23. Micki & Maude (1984)

  • Cast: Dudley Moore, Amy Irving, Ann Reinking, Richard Mulligan
  • Rating: PG-13

Directed by Blake Edwards, this rom-com follows a young, married reporter who falls in love with Maude, one of his interviewees. When he learns that Maude is expecting his child, he marries her and plans to divorce his first wife, Micki. The only problem? Micki is also having his baby.

24. Moscow on the Hudson (1984)

  • Cast: Robin Williams, María Conchita Alonso, Cleavant Derricks
  • Rating: R

When Vladimir, a Russian saxophonist, visits New York with the Moscow circus, he separates from the USSR in the middle of a department store and decides to pursue the American Dream. Although he meets and falls in love with an Italian immigrant, he finds it challenging to adjust to his new life.

25. A Stoning In Fulham County (1988)

  • Cast: Ron Perlman, Ken Olin, Jill Eikenberry, Gregg Henry
  • Rating: TV-14

This heartbreaking film depicts the real-life murder of an Amish child in Indiana in 1979. Set in North Carolina, an Amish couple’s baby is instantly killed when a group of reckless teens throw rocks at the family. Jim Sandler, a prosecutor, is determined to bring the guilty parties to justice, but there’s just one problem—the couple refuses to press charges.

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...