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The best ’80s movies on Hulu right now (November 2022)

Was the 1980s the all-time best decade for movies. Brilliant minds could disagree. What’s not debatable, however, is that Hulu is a great source of movies from the ’80s — it even has a hub dedicated to the decade. The streaming service recently revamped its library lineup from the ’80s, so many of the films that were the best a month ago are now gone. The good news is that most of them have been replaced by films that are even better. These are the best ’80s movies on Hulu right now.

We’ve also curated a guide to the best action movies on Amazon Prime and the best action movies on Netflix if you’re looking for additional recommendations.

Big (1988)

Fantasy, Drama, Comedy, Romance, Family
Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia
Directed by
Penny Marshall
Watch on Hulu
Josh Baskin just wants to be “big” — but he wasn’t expecting to be transformed into a full-grown adult overnight. Tom Hanks stars as the grown version of Josh in one of the actor’s most beloved roles. The fantasy comedy-drama provided a plethora of memorable moments, none greater than Josh and his boss (Robert Loggia) playing Heart and Soul on a walking piano, a scene frequently imitated and revived by later shows and movies. The moral of the story is of little surprise, but the movie remains surprisingly sweet when compared to most of the heavier films of the current era.

Gandhi (1982)

Drama, History
Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox
Directed by
Richard Attenborough
Watch on Hulu
This biographical film about Mahatma Gandhi is one of the best in the history of the genre. Ben Kingsley stars in the title role, and his performance would earn him an Academy Award; the film also won Best Picture at the Oscars. Since its release four decades ago, the movie has become a slight lighting rod as some have criticized how accurate the portrayal is of the Indian independence movement leader, who preached nonviolence before meeting a violent ending of his own. Buckle in for Gandhi, as Richard Attenborough’s film clears three hours.

Say Anything... (1989)

Say Anything...
Romance, Comedy, Drama
John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney
Directed by
Cameron Crowe
Watch on Hulu
You know that movie scene where a man holds the boombox outside of the window of a woman to get her attention? That’s from this film! John Cusack plays Lloyd Dobler, an average student who is lovestruck by Diane Court (Ione Skye), the class valedictorian. How could the two lovers with such different social backgrounds ever find love? The film is very heartfelt, even if it dives into melodramatic minutiae not tied too directly to the film’s foregrounded romance. Fun fact: Say Anything… marked the directorial debut of Cameron Crowe, who went on to direct Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, and Vanilla Sky.

The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)

The Muppets Take Manhattan
Romance, Comedy, Family
Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz
Directed by
Frank Oz
Watch on Hulu

Here’s one for the kids. The Muppets Take Manhattan is the third theatrical filmsin the franchise and the solo directorial debut of Frank Oz, a puppeteer best known for his work as Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. The G-rated film sees the titular Muppets make the move to, where else, Manhattan, in an attempt to take their show to Broadway. Hilarity ensues.

The plot of the movie is largely secondary to the songs and the performances of the puppets, which feel genuine and emotional, despite being bound by felt. The film also continues the tradition of putting Muppets and real-life actors side by side; Muppets Take Manhattan features cameos from Brooke Shields, Liza Minnelli, and Joan Rivers. The movie also marks the debut of the Muppet Babies.

Akira (1988)

Animation, Science Fiction, Action
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
Directed by
Katsuhiro Otomo
Watch on Hulu
Akira isn’t widely known, but the 1988 Japanese anime film has had a big influence on the science-fiction genre. The film is set in a dystopian 2019 and follows the leader of a biker gang whose friend develops telekinetic abilities. From there, the story expands greatly as a military complex comes under threat and rebellion is fomented. The movie has been cited as an influence on The Matrix, Kill Bill, and even Stranger Things. The “Akira slide” scene, meanwhile, remains one of the most iconic anime scenes of all-time, heavily duplicated but never matched.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Blair Marnell

Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek Monthly, SYFY Wire, Superhero Hype, Collider, DC Universe, and the official sites for Star Trek and Marvel. He also lends his pop culture expertise to Digital Trends on a variety of TV, movie, and streaming features.

Michileen Martin

Michileen Martin has written about pop culture in general and comics in particular for two decades. His work has appeared in numerous sites including Looper, PopMatters, Popdose, and He probably knows more about the Incredible Hulk than you.

Holden Walter-Warner

Holden is a writer with a focus on streaming service guides. He has also written content for Screen Rant and FanSided and is eagerly anticipating every Star Wars series set to debut in the coming years.

Christine Persaud

Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about tech, she now writes about everything from tech to entertainment, business, lifestyle, and more. An admitted TV junkie (feel free to reach out for recommendations on what to watch!), if she's not working or hanging out with friends and family, she's probably relaxing with a crisp glass of wine while binging her latest TV series obsession. Follow her on Twitter @christinetechCA.





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