The Best 80s Movies on Netflix (2023)

Grab yourself a New Coke, throw on your brightest leg warmers, and travel back to the future with a home entertainment system that, like, beams in movies from, like, outer space or something. It’s called “Netflix,” and it’s, like, a video store in the cloud. Far out, right?

If you’re finding yourself scrolling through Netflix in need of a retro fix — or if you’re a big Stranger Things stan and want to see some of its influences — we’ve got you covered on some of the greatest movies available to stream from the decade. Strap yourself in and enjoy the best 80s movies on Netflix.

For more recommendations, check out our list of the best 90s and 2000s movies on the platform.

Editor's note: This article was updated November 2022 to include Road House, The Color Purple, Risky Business, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Labyrinth.

RELATED: The Top 10 Most Popular Movies on Netflix Right Now


She's Gotta Have It (1986)

The Best 80s Movies on Netflix (1)

Run Time: 1 hr 24 min | Genre: Black-and-White Comedy Drama | Director: Spike Lee

Cast: Tracy Camilla Johns, Redmond Hicks, John Canada Terrell, Spike Lee, Raye Dowell

She’s Gotta Have It is the fascinating debut of Spike Lee’s singular filmmaking voice. A black-and-white dissection of sexual identity, the patriarchy, slut-shaming, and the undue pressures put on black women. It features a terrific lead performance from Tracy Camilla Johns, a stunning deconstruction of male-crafted “Hollywood endings,” and a worldview so ahead of its time in 1986 that it was readapted for a two-season Netflix show in 2017. It also -- and here I will give a content warning for sexual assault -- features the worst scene Lee has ever committed to celluloid: and those are his words, not mine. At one point in the narrative, one of the three male suitors desperate to lock Nola (Johns) down into a form of oppressive monogamy, the most performatively “nice” of the three, rapes her.

Lee, speaking to Deadline, had this to say about this scene: “If I was able to have any do-overs, that would be it. It was just totally…stupid. I was immature. It made light of rape, and that’s the one thing I would take back. I was immature and I hate that I did not view rape as the vile act that it is. I can promise you, there will be nothing like that in She’s Gotta Have It, the TV show, that’s for sure.” If you’re willing to contextualize this depiction as an artifact of the shortcomings of historical perspectives, or even read it as being in dialogue with the rest of the film’s chaotic renderings of progressive ideals (i.e. monogamy can never work under our patriarchy because of horrible senses of entitlement and trauma like this), She’s Gotta Have It remains an alive arrival of a lively filmmaker. — Gregory Lawrence

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When Harry Met Sally (1989)

The Best 80s Movies on Netflix (2)

Run Time: 1 hr 36 min | Genre: Romantic Comedy | Director: Rob Reiner

(Video) The Best '80s Movies You Can Watch On Netflix Right Now

Cast: Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby

When Harry Met Sallyis an iconic ‘80s rom-com for a reason. Set over 12 years, this movie follows the relationship of Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) and Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) as they meet, reconnect, become friends, and eventually fall in love. They start loathing each other as they drive from Chicago to New York City together after their college graduation, hoping to never see the other person again once they arrive at their destination. Harry is dating Sally’s best friend, and they soon realize that they have nothing more in common. But as the universe continues to bring them together in unexpected ways over the years, they develop a deep friendship and understanding of each other that leads to something more. The chemistry between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal helps their enemies-to-friends-to-lovers journey feel real and keeps you invested in their relationship from beginning to end. Even though the fashion is clearly from the ‘80s, Harry and Sally’s story feels timeless. - Brynna Arens

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Labyrinth (1986)The Best 80s Movies on Netflix (3)Run Time: 1 hr 41 min | Genre: Musical Fantasy | Director: Jim Henson

Cast: Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, Brian Henson, Frank Oz

There aren't many movies in any genre more bursting with imagination than Labyrinth, Jim Henson's high fantasy puppetry extravaganza. Sixteen-year-old Sarah Williams (Jennifer Connelly) is frustrated with watching her baby brother...until the child is carried off by a pack of goblins, led by the Goblin King (David Bowie, just astonishingly iconic in this role). Sarah descends into a jaw-droppingly vibrant maze of monsters and mayhem to find her brother, encountering everything from a helpful dward named Hoggle (Brian Henson) to the Bog of Eternal Stench. Labyrinth is so dang impressive on a technical level that it's a must-watch for pretty much any age, but it's especially an irreplaceable gem as something to show a generation raised on CGI. This movie proves you can actually create magic with your hands. --Vinnie Mancuso

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Steel Magnolias (1989)

The Best 80s Movies on Netflix (4)

Run Time: 1 hr 58 min | Genre: Comedy Drama | Director: Herbert Ross

Cast: Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Julia Roberts, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis

Steel Magnolias is a staple of the chick flick genre – and for good reason. A beautician (Daryl Hannah) moves to a small town in Louisiana, where she befriends a group of women. Over the years, these six women see each other through the highs and lows of life. The ensemble of powerhouse women rounding out this tight-knit of friends includes Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, and Julia Roberts; this film actually helped launch Roberts’ career. Steel Magnolias celebrates the power of female friendship through the melodrama of small-town life, making it a great pick for a movie night with friends. - Meredith Loftus

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(Video) 10 Totally Awesome 80s Movies on Netflix | Flick Connection

Police Academy (1984)

The Best 80s Movies on Netflix (5)

Run Time: 1 hr 36 min | Genre: Comedy | Director: Hugh Wilson

Cast: Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall, Bubba Smith, George Gaynes

A film so successful that it spawned six sequels, Police Academy explores what happens when there’s a shortage of police officers and the department is required to take on any recruit – no matter what their skill level. The police chief (George R. Robertson) is so outraged that he vows to make the program as difficult and painful as possible to weed people out. Among this group is Carey (Steve Guttenberg), a criminal who has the option to either go through the program or end up in prison, and Karen (Kim Cattrall), another cadet he eventually falls in love with. If you’re in the mood for some crude, slapstick humor, look no further. – Taylor Gates

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Hard Lessons (1986)

The Best 80s Movies on Netflix (6)

Run Time: 1 hr 33 min | Genre: Biography Drama | Director: Eric Laneuville

Cast: Denzel Washington, Lynn Whitfield

Also known as The George McKenna Story, Hard Lessons is another inspiring teacher flick. Denzel Washington stars as the principal of George Washington Preparatory High in South Los Angeles, who attempts to rid the school of gangs, drugs, and violence. Despite its low budget, Hard Lessons is a beautiful movie about a determined principal. Denzel Washington’s grounded and powerful performance sets it apart from other made-for-TV movies of the time. – Taylor Gates

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(Video) The Best '80S Movies On Netflix, Ranked 💯

Road House (1989)

The Best 80s Movies on Netflix (7)

Run Time: 1 hr 54 min | Genre: Action Thriller | Director: Rowdy Herrington

Cast: Patrick Swayze, Kelly Lynch, Sam Elliott

Patrick Swayze(Dirty Dancing) dominates in Road House, a late 80s action thriller about toxic masculinity and unfettered violence. Swayze plays the tough and unencumbered Dalton, a man with expert martial arts training who is summoned to Missouri in hopes of cleaning up The Double Deuce, a sleazy bar preferred by troublemakers. Director Rowdy Herrington lives up to his name in Road House – a film crowded with fist-fights, explosions, and brawls. Although the attempt to include romance and thrills is dramatically overshadowed by the exciting action, Road House attempts to make room for story, along with highlighting Swayze’s undeniable magnetism. – Yael Tygiel

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The Color Purple (1985)

The Best 80s Movies on Netflix (8)

Run Time: 2 hrs 34 min | Genre: Drama | Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery

The Color Purple, directed by Steven Spielberg, is a coming-of-age period drama written by Menno Meyjes, based on Alice Walker’s raw and profound book. Starring Whoopi Goldbergand Oprah Winfrey, The Color Purple garnered critical acclaim and 11 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Goldberg. Speilberg’s approach to The Color Purple is with a delicate touch, especially when handling subject matters such as abuse and sexuality. Although it didn’t win any Academy Awards, The Color Purple is still considered a tremendously groundbreaking film from the last century, even with a modern eye that easily recognizes its flaws. – Yael Tygiel

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Risky Business (1983)

The Best 80s Movies on Netflix (9)

Run Time: 1 hr 39 min | Genre: Comedy Crime Romance | Director: Paul Brickman


Cast: Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, Joe Pantoliano, Curtis Armstrong, Bronson Pinchot

Raunchy comedy Risky Business allowed writer/director Paul Brickman to bring to fruition a handful of pre-teen male fantasies with a story about a mischievous teenager in Chicago left without parental supervision for the weekend. Starring a young Tom Cruise as the responsible and trustworthy Joel and 80s icon Curtis Armstrong (Revenge of the Nerds) as his best friend Miles, Risky Business unfolds as Joel’s joyride in his father’s Porsche leads him on a wish-fulfillment adventure featuring hot, street-smart young women. With Brickman at the helm, Risky Business invites audiences on an 80s-style coming-of-age romp. – Yael Tygiel

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National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

The Best 80s Movies on Netflix (10)

Run Time: 1 hr 38 min | Genre: Road Trip Comedy | Director: Harold Ramis

Cast: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca, Randy Quaid

Coming from a couple of legends, National Lampoon’s Vacation is brought to life with a script by John Hughes and directed by comedy great Harold Ramis. Starring Chevy Chase (Community) as the Griswold patriarch, National Lampoon’s Vacation is the original film in the series and a quintessential road trip film that would go on to influence generations of comedies. Establishing the Griswold family, including matriarch Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), National Lampoon’s Vacation is overflowing with comedy so successful it would produce a handful of sequels, including National Lampoon's European Vacation and the holiday favorite National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. – Yael Tygiel

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Quiet Victory (1988)

The Best 80s Movies on Netflix (11)

Run Time: 1 hr 40 min | Genre: Biography Drama | Director: Roy Campanella II

Cast: Pam Dawber, Michael Nouri

Another superior made-for-TV movie affair is Quiet Victory: The Charlie Wedemeyer Story, which follows a high school teacher and football coach who refuses to give up after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. Though he’s only given a year to live, Charlie (Michael Nouri) continues coaching the team, as he’s determined to help them win their first championship. Quiet Victory is definitely a tear-jerker and a great addition to the sports movie genre. – Taylor Gates

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(Video) Best 80s Movies on Netflix in 2020 (Old Classic Compilation)


What is considered the best movie of the 80s? ›

Best '80s movies
  1. Blue Velvet (1986) ...
  2. Blade Runner (1982) ...
  3. E.T. ...
  4. The Shining (1980) ...
  5. Ghostbusters (1984) ...
  6. Aliens (1986) ...
  7. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) ...
  8. Raging Bull (1980)
Oct 31, 2022

What is the #1 movie listed on Netflix currently? ›

Watched for 21.27 million hours this week. Watched for 19.48 million hours this week. Watched for 18.88 million hours this week.
Global Top 10.
Films (English)The Pale Blue Eye
Weeks in Top 102
Hours viewed39,860,000
9 more columns

What is the most viewed Netflix movie? ›

"Red Notice" is Netflix's biggest original movie ever, with 364 million hours watched in its first month. "Glass Onion" is the most recent addition to the list, bumping "The Gray Man" to number five.

What was the #1 movie in 1980? ›

1980: "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back"

Does Netflix have old classic movies? ›

Classic Movies
  • Top Gun.
  • Grease.
  • Forrest Gump.
  • Rocky.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian.
  • The Sting.
  • Five Came Back: The Reference Films.

What are 5 most watched Netflix? ›

Killer Sally | Official Trailer | Netflix
  • Stranger Things Season 4. Netflix. ...
  • Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Netflix. ...
  • Wednesday. VLAD CIOPLEANetflix. ...
  • Bridgerton Season 2. LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX. ...
  • Bridgerton Season 1. LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX. ...
  • Stranger Things Season 3. Netflix. ...
  • Lucifer Season 5. JOHN P. ...
  • The Witcher Season 1.
Dec 27, 2022

What is most watched on Netflix right now? ›

The 10 most popular TV shows on Netflix right now
  • Love Island USA season 2 (2019) ...
  • Kaleidoscope (2023) ...
  • Wednesday season 1 (2022) ...
  • Vikings: Valhalla season 2 (2022) 70 % ...
  • The Walking Dead season 11 (2010) 79 % ...
  • New Amsterdam season 1 (2018) 63 % ...
  • Ginny & Georgia season 1 (2021) 64 % ...
  • Ginny & Georgia season 2 (2021) 64 %
1 day ago

What's top 10 on Netflix? ›

Top 10 By Country
  • White Noise. #3 this week. Watch now. ...
  • Trolls. #4 this week. Watch now. ...
  • Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical. #5 this week. Watch now. ...
  • No Escape. #6 this week. Watch now. ...
  • Life. #7 this week. Watch now. ...
  • King Kong. #8 this week. Watch now. ...
  • Sing 2. #9 this week. Watch now. ...
  • The Longest Yard. #10 this week. Watch now.

What is the biggest hit on Netflix? ›

Netflix's most watched TV series, ranked
  • Squid Game (season 1), a Korean survival thriller -- 1.65 billion hours.
  • Stranger Things (season 4), a retro sci-fi series -- 1.35 billion hours.
  • Wednesday, a coming-of-age supernatural dark comedy -- 1.24 billion hours.
Jan 10, 2023

What is most liked on Netflix? ›

Most Popular on Netflix: A Look at Today's Top 10
  • The Recruit. Year: 2022. Creator: Alexi Hawley. ...
  • Wednesday. Year: 2022. ...
  • Harry & Meghan. Year: 2022. ...
  • Sonic Prime. Year: 2022. ...
  • Too Hot to Handle. Year: 2022. ...
  • The Volcano: Rescue from Whakaari. Year: 2022. ...
  • Prisoners. Year: 2013. ...
  • I Believe in Santa. Year: 2022.
Dec 19, 2022

What is the most rewatched movie? ›

So without further ado, we present to you the most rewatchable movies ever made.
  • The Matrix (1999) ...
  • Groundhog Day (1993) ...
  • The Big Lebowski (1998) ...
  • Pulp Fiction (1994) ...
  • The Princess Bride (1987) ...
  • Snatch (2000) ...
  • Harry Potter (Franchise) Image via Warner Bros. ...
  • Lord of the Rings (Franchise) Image via New Line Cinema.
Nov 26, 2022

What was the number 1 movie in 1985? ›

Back to the Future

What was the #1 movie in 1982? ›

Top Grossing Movies of 1982
RankMovieRelease Date
1ET: The Extra-TerrestrialJun 11, 1982
2Rocky 3May 28, 1982
3On Golden PondDec 4, 1981
4An Officer and a GentlemanJul 28, 1982
56 more rows

What was the number 1 movie in 1987? ›

Beverly Hills Cop II

What are some old but good movies? ›

Each one of these films delivers a heady dose of nostalgia, is genuinely entertaining, and will make you sound more interesting at cocktail parties.
  • Gone With The Wind (1939) ...
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939) ...
  • Casablanca (1942) ...
  • Breakfast At Tiffany's (1961) ...
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962) ...
  • West Side Story (1961) ...
  • Citizen Kane (1941)
Aug 29, 2022

What is the top 10 best movie? ›

Best movies of all time
  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Film. Science fiction. ...
  2. The Godfather (1972) Film. Thrillers. ...
  3. Citizen Kane (1941) Film. ...
  4. Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) Film. ...
  5. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Film. ...
  6. La Dolce Vita (1960) Film. ...
  7. Seven Samurai (1954) Film. ...
  8. In the Mood for Love (2000) Film.
Dec 6, 2022

Which streaming service has 80s movies? ›

Watch '80s Binge on Hulu.

Where can I watch 80s films? ›

It's hard to make a list of the best '80s movies because, honestly, the decade was a pretty glorious time when it comes to film (and shoulder pads). And thanks to the age of streaming, it's easier than ever to revisit your favorites on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. Tubular.

Which streaming service has the best 80s movies? ›

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.

How do you find hidden movies on Netflix? ›

To explore these collections — ordering off the secret menu, if you will — all you need to do is fire up your web browser, type in “” and then add your ID code of choice to the end of the URL.

Does Netflix have 83 movies? ›

Amid doubt and derision, indomitable captain Kapil Dev leads India's struggling cricket team to make history at the 1983 World Cup. Based on true events. Watch all you want.

Where can I watch all old movies? ›

Subjects include Independent Cinema, World Cinema, and Classic Cinema to just name a few.
  • Turner Classic Movies. ...
  • The Criterion Channel. ...
  • Netflix. ...
  • Fandor. ...
  • Hulu. ...
  • The Film Detective. ...
  • Amazon Prime. ...
  • MUBI.
Mar 20, 2019

What TV channel has old movies? ›

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is an American movie-oriented pay-TV network owned by Warner Bros. Discovery. Launched in 1994, Turner Classic Movies is headquartered at Turner's Techwood broadcasting campus in the Midtown business district of Atlanta, Georgia.


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