We love the ‘80s. Some of us even lived through them. And even though it’s now four decades in the past, the ‘80s were a seminal time for movies. Several of the beloved franchises from that era are still persisting to this day with sequels and remakes. More importantly, the films from the ‘80s defined blockbuster cinema as we know it. Encompassing action, horror, comedies, and more, our lives simply wouldn’t be the same without that special decade. Luckily, Hulu has some of the top flicks to emerge from that time — if you can find them. You don’t have to form a search party since we’ve already rounded up the best ‘80s movies on Hulu that you can stream right now.
The Dead Zone (1983)
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
Die Hard (1988)
Die Hard is an action flick, a Christmas movie, and the film that turned Bruce Willis into a leading man on the big screen. Is there anything it can’t do? This is such a well-made production that it still puts its sequels and spiritual descendants to shame. Willis’ everyman hero, John McClane, is very endearing. He’s a New York cop visiting Los Angeles to win back his estranged wife, Holly Gennero-McClane (Bonnie Bedelia), just when terrorists attack and take over the office building where she works. That leaves John as the only man who can stand in their way — even if he’s not wearing shoes. The late Alan Rickman is also absolutely delightful as terrorist leader Hans Gruber. This movie is often imitated but never surpassed.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, Bonnie Bedelia
Director: John McTiernan
Runtime: 132 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
The Princess Bride (1987)
Legendary screenwriter William Goldman wrote The Princess Bride as a novel almost 15 years before he had a chance to adapt it as a movie. The result was something truly special. The story follows the unlikely romance between a former farmhand, Westley (Cary Elwes), and Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright). Their love is nearly extinguished by dire circumstances and by the machinations of the evil Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). Fortunately, Westley has some very loyal friends to help him even the odds: The swordsman Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and Fezzik (Andre the Giant). This is a lovely fantasy that we never tire of revisiting.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, André the Giant
Director: Rob Reiner
Runtime: 98 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
Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
The late John Hughes had quite a way with teenage comedies. Some Kind of Wonderful continued Hughes’ streak of great movies with its charming teen romance. Eric Stoltz stars as Keith Nelson, a high school student who dreams of being an artist. He also has eyes for a newly single Amanda Jones (Lea Thompson), a rich girl who may be the most popular student in school. However, Keith can’t bring himself to realize that it’s his best friend, Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson), who loves him for who he is, even as he leverages his future to pursue Amanda.
Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Stars: Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, Craig Sheffer, Lea Thompson
Director: Howard Deutch
Runtime: 95 minutes
- The 50 best movies on Netflix right now
- The best movies on Disney+ right now
- The 52 best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now
- The best shows on Disney+ right now
- The 53 best shows on Hulu right now