Do you remember the ‘80s? Even if you aren’t old enough to have lived through the decade of excess, almost every movie fan has seen a film from that era. That’s because the ‘80s gave us some of the most iconic cinematic franchises, many of which are continuing to get sequels to this day. These are also the movies that shaped a generation and heavily influenced the filmmakers that came after. Hulu doesn’t have quite as many iconic ‘80s flicks as it used to, but it does have a fun selection that runs the gamut from comedy and action to horror and drama. If you’re ready to revisit that bygone era, check out our list of the best ‘80s movies that you can stream on Hulu right now.
There’s never been a sequel to Beetlejuice, and that’s a good thing. No remake or sequel could hope to recapture the manic energy of Michael Keaton’s title character. Beetlejuice introduces himself to a recently deceased couple, Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis), as a specialist who can rid their home of the Deetz family. However, Adam and Barbara are openly skeptical of Beetlejuice’s motives, especially after they befriend the family’s teenage daughter, Lydia Deetz (Winona Ryder). But when Lydia’s parents inadvertently place Adam and Barbara’s afterlives in danger, Beetlejuice is the only one who Lydia can turn to.
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Stars: Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O’Hara
Director: Tim Burton
Runtime: 92 minutes
The original RoboCop works equally well as both a sci-fi action flick and a biting satire that is truly hilarious at times. In the near future, Peter Weller plays Detroit police officer Alex Murphy, an honest cop in a dishonest city. After Alex is brutally murdered by Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith), the OCP corporation uses Alex’s body to create RoboCop. As a law enforcement cyborg, RoboCop is nearly unstoppable. However, Alex’s memories linger, and he’s got some unfinished business with the corporate criminals within OCP itself.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Stars: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Daniel O’Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Runtime: 102 minutes
Stephen King’s The Body was masterfully adapted by director Rob Reiner as Stand By Me. It’s the summer of 1959, and young Gordon “Gordie” Lachance (Wil Wheaton) inadvertently learns where a kid named Ray Brower (Kent Luttrell) died. Gordie and his friends — Chris Chambers (River Phoenix), Teddy Duchamp (Corey Feldman), and Vern Tessio (Jerry O’Connell) — go on a life-changing quest to see Ray’s body for themselves and to claim credit for finding him. Along the way, the group is threatened by John “Ace” Merrill (Kiefer Sutherland) and his gang, while Gordie also comes to terms with his grief for his troubled family life.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Stars: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland
Director: Rob Reiner
Runtime: 89 minutes
This much-loved ’80s coming-of-age story follows the lives of Kat and Daisy Araújo (Annabeth Gish and Julia Roberts), a pair of sisters working at a Connecticut pizza parlor with their friend Josefina “Jojo” Barbosa (Lili Taylor). All three girls go through trials and tribulations while struggling with their life goals and their romantic entanglements. Thankfully, their bond with each other helps give them the strength to go on to bigger and better things.
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Stars: Annabeth Gish, Julia Roberts, Lili Taylor, Vincent D’Onofrio, William R. Moses
Director: Donald Petrie
Runtime: 104 minutes
The late Harold Ramis made his directorial debut with Caddyshack, which is one of the funniest sports movies of all time. Young caddy Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) finds himself in the middle of a conflict between arrogant and crooked country club owner Judge Elihu Smails (Ted Knight) and Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield), a wealthy developer who wants to turn the club into condos. The personality clash between the golfers leads to a high-stakes team match between Al and the talented Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) versus Smails and his regular partner, Dr. Beeper (Dan Resin). The outcome of the match could adversely affect Danny’s scholarship. Meanwhile, groundskeeper Carl Spackler (Bill Murray) takes increasingly dangerous measures to rid the golf course of a seemingly invulnerable gopher. Somehow, it all works.
Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Stars: Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Michael O’Keefe, Bill Murray
Director: Harold Ramis
Runtime: 98 minutes
No matter what decade it is, director David Cronenberg and Stephen King will always be a dream team. It’s not a surprise that The Dead Zone is still one of King’s best adaptations to date. Christopher Walken stars as Johnny Smith, a man whose life is upended by a serious accident that robs him of years of his life. Upon awakening from a coma, Johnny discovers that he now has the ability to see psychic visions from anyone he touches. With proper warning, Johnny can even change the future. But when Johnny meets Senate candidate Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen), he sees an apocalyptic vision so disturbing that it forces him to take action.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Stars: Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lom, Anthony Zerbe, Martin Sheen
Director: David Cronenberg
Runtime: 103 minutes
In the early ‘80s, Footloose was a sensation and a star-making vehicle for Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, and Sarah Jessica Parker. Bacon stars as Ren McCormack, a city kid who moves to a small town that has banned dancing, rock music, and parties. Ren also falls for the preacher’s daughter, Ariel Moore (Singer), and helps teach his friend, Willard Hewitt (Chris Penn), how to dance while openly challenging the town’s strict rules. Footloose is the kind of movie that should never be remade. Of course, it was, and the remake is also on Hulu if you’re so inclined. But for our money, nothing beats the original.
Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, Dianne Wiest, John Lithgow
Director: Herbert Ross
Runtime: 110 minutes
Heathers was kind of the Mean Girls of its day if the titular mean girls actually killed each other in darkly humorous ways. In that regard, Heathers is in a class all of its own. Winona Ryder stars as Veronica Sawyer, a high school student who has fallen in with a clique called the Heathers. The trio of Heathers (as played by Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk, and Kim Walker) soon turns on Veronica. But Veronica’s new boyfriend, Jason “J.D.” Dean (Christian Slater), has very elaborate revenge plans, much to Veronica’s eventual horror.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Stars: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk, Kim Walker
Director: Michael Lehmann
Runtime: 103 minutes
Out-Scrooging Ebenezer Scrooge is quite a feat, but it’s one that was successfully pulled off by Bill Murray in Scrooged. As Frank Cross, Murray hilariously embraces his character’s contemptible personality. Frank is a network executive so heartless that he forces his staff to work on Christmas Eve on a live performance of A Christmas Carol. But soon enough, Frank finds himself in a Carol-esque story of his own as ghosts visit him in an attempt to make him change his wicked ways. The Ghost of Christmas Present (Carol Kane) is particularly brutal with Frank. Trust us, he had it coming.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Stars: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe. Bobcat Goldthwait. Carol Kane
Director: Richard Donner
Runtime: 100 minutes
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