Last Updated: January 11th
Films from the 1980s often get a bad reputation, culturally dominated as they were by family-friendly films (E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, Short Circuit), the rise of blockbuster franchises (Back to the Future, Star Wars, Indiana Jones) and lots of Reagan-era excess: Big hair, terrible fashion, and synthesizer music that’s done more to date good ’80s movies than telephone technology. It obviously wasn’t all bad, of course, or the 1980s wouldn’t be such a rich resource for remakes and reboots.
Below are 15 of the best ’80s movies on Netflix streaming to watch tonight. Some highlight the excesses of the decade. Others flaunt formula and subvert topes made famous by other 1980s films. Still others are singular achievements that would stand out in any decade.
Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Run Time: 115 min | IMDb: 8.5/10
The Indiana Jones franchise has been housed on Amazon Prime for a while now but it’s finally making its way to Netflix with the streaming platform hosting all four feature films. Of course, nothing beats the original, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and as far as travel and adventure go, this movie has everything you could possibly want. A hero with a love for archeology and whips? Check. An adventure to recover a stolen artifact with destructive powers? Check check. Harrison Ford beating up Nazis while uttering sarcastic one-liners and with a twinkle in his eye? Did movies even exist before this?
Turner & Hooch (1989)
Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 6.1/10
Not all that well received by critics upon its release, Turner & Hooch has nevertheless gained a cult-like status as an amiable buddy-dog film. The plot is a mess, and the jokes are mostly juvenile, but the combination of the always delightful early Tom Hanks, a slobbering dog prove, and a lot of heart prove to be irresistible.