Last Updated: March 20th
The big hair, the leg warmers, the wild outfits. The ’80s truly were one of the greatest decades, and the films on this list prove it.
From Madonna-led rom-coms to iconic action flicks, space-opera parodies, and angst-filled teen thrillers, Hulu is offering something for every kind of ’80s fan. No matter the genre, these movies best represent the decade, and they all stand the test of time. Here are the best ’80s movies on Hulu right now.
Run Time: 103 min | IMDb: 7.3/10
One for the outsiders, Heathers is the darkest of the ’80s teen comedies. While your “teen-angst bulls*t” may not have had a body count, everyone can relate to the constant pressure to be popular that plagues high school hallways. Winona Ryder proves herself to be the ultimate cool girl as Veronica, who takes matters into her own hands in order to destroy a toxic clique. Cynical and more than a little cruel, Heathers changed the game for teen films forever. While Mean Girls may be its spiritual successor, Heathers remains the one Queen Bee to rule them all.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
Chevy Chase returns for more disaster comedy, this time focused around everyone’s favorite holiday. Clark and the Griswolds host their extended family for the holiday, and they struggle to enjoy the perfect Christmas despite power outages and dry turkeys and sh*tty bosses. It’s everything you’d expect from a movie in this comedy franchise, but it’s also one of the best holiday flicks of all time.
Spaceballs (1987) (requires Starz)
Run Time: 96 min | IMDb: 7.1/10
Mel Brooks’ hilarious space odyssey has become something of a cult classic over the decades. It’s a parody of George Lucas’ Star Wars trilogy, so it follows the same plot: a rogue pilot and his sidekick must rescue a princess and save the galaxy, but instead of Startroopers, the bad guys are known as Space Balls, and everyone is hopelessly out of their depth playing hero (and villain).
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Run Time: 95 min | IMDb: 7.6/10
You can’t talk about ’80s flicks without praising the O.G. friends-to-lovers romp that is this rom-com classic. Billy Crystal and America’s then-sweetheart, Meg Ryan, star as two New York City besties (going to batting cages and eating at delis) who worry that adding sex to the mix will ruin their friendship. The film poses the age-old question: can men and women really be just friends? But it does it in a way that still feels fresh, decades later.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) (requires Starz)
Run Time: 110 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Michael Caine and Steve Martin star in this ’80s comedy about two con men duking it out for territorial rights in the French Riviera. Caine plays a sophisticated British criminal named Lawrence Jameison while Martin plays his dim-witted American rival Freddy Benson. The two place a bet: whoever can con $50,000 out of a rich American heiress can rule the French market, but their wager goes sideways as they constantly try to one-up each other.
National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
Run Time: 98 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is arguably the best installment in this comedy franchise, but the original is a worthwhile watch too, if simply for the fact that it marks the first time audiences are introduced to Chevy Chase’s iconic bumbling idiot. The Griswolds go on a cross-country road trip to an amusement park, and if you’re familiar with the format of any of these films, you already know it doesn’t go well.
Fatal Attraction (1987) (requires Showtime)
Run Time: 119 min | IMDb: 6.9/10
Glenn Close and Michael Douglas star in this thriller about an affair gone wrong that feels terrifyingly possible, if a bit outdated. Douglas plays Dan, a family man who strays when he meets the beautiful Alex Forrest (Close) but their one-night stand evolves into something more sinister when Alex’s obsession becomes dangerous for Dan and those he cares about.
Say Anything… (1983)
Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 7.4/10
Yes, this is the film that gave us that iconic image of John Cusack earnestly thrusting a boombox in the air outside a girl’s window, one that’s been recreated in modern rom-coms and music videos throughout the decade. But there’s more to this flick than a Peter Gabriel ballad. The film made Cusack a bona fide heartthrob, painting him as a lovesick underachiever who falls for a high school valedictorian on her way to college. It’s the stuff cheesy that ’80s romance dreams are made of.
Hoosiers (1986) (requires Starz)
Run Time: 114 min | IMDb: 7.5/10
Gene Hackman stars in this classic sports drama as Normal Dale, a coach with a murky past who partners with a local drunk to lead a high school basketball to victory. Coach Dale comes to the small-town after having trouble on other teams and enacts major changes, sending players off the court and restructuring the team, which draws the ire of the townspeople. His assistant coach, the town drunk, struggles to stay sober long enough to teach the boys any skills, but things come together in time for the team to head to the state championship game.