The ‘80s may be best remembered for shoulder pads, leg warmers, breakdancing, and neon, but the ‘80s also gave us some amazing and influential movies. The cinema of the ’80s brought us great comedies, affecting inspirational films, gripping thrillers, and poignant social commentary. Hulu enjoys a fun selection of movies from the decade, running 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 on Hulu right now.
Even if you’ve never given a second thought to basketball, Hoosiers is a must-see. This inspirational sports flick stars Gene Hackman as Norman Dale, a disgraced basketball coach who finds himself trying to reinvigorate a high school team in the small rural town of Hickory, Indiana. While at first Dale doesn’t make a lot of friends with his unorthodox style and his habit of getting ejected from games for locking horns with the refs, soon the coach’s leadership has the boys finding strengths they never imagined they had and achieving what they thought was impossible.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Stars: Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper
Director: David Anspaugh
Runtime: 115 minutes
Under Fire stars Nick Nolte as photojournalist Russell Price, who’s sent to Nicaragua to cover the political upheaval in the country. Complicating an already dangerous situation is Price’s affair with fellow journalist Claire (Joanna Cassidy), the girlfriend of news anchor Alex Grazier (Gene Hackman). With a stellar cast, including Ed Harris as the mercenary Oates, Under Fire is an engaging, suspenseful thriller with Nolte at his best before his fall from Hollywood grace.
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Stars: Nick Nolte, Joanna Cassidy, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Runtime: 128 minutes
Before so much of his time was taken up with westerns and post-apocalyptic epics, one of Kevin Costner’s biggest successes was Bull Durham. Part rom-com and part sports flick, Bull Durham finds Costner playing veteran catcher “Crash” Davis sent to the minor league Durham Bulls to get some kind of handle on “Nuke” Laloosh’s (Tim Robbins) wild pitching. Forming the point of a love triangle is insatiable baseball groupie Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon), who can’t decide whether she likes Nuke or Crash better.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins
Director: Ron Shelton
Runtime: 108 minutes
Just like the other comedians who starred in Monty Python’s Flying Circus, John Cleese enjoys plenty of fans all over the world. Though if you asked most Cleese fans in the States what’s a great Cleese film to watch, most of their recommendations would inevitably be Monty Python movies, with one wonderful exception — the heist comedy flick A Fish Called Wanda. When George (Tom Georgeson), the boss of a jewel heist gang, gets arrested, his girlfriend, Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis), and her secret, dimwitted lover, Otto (Kevin Kline), conspire to find out where he hid the jewels and make off with them on their own. To that end, Wanda seduces George’s barrister, Archie Leach (Cleese), but of course, she ends up actually liking the guy. A Fish Called Wanda is a hilarious flick, with Kline at his comedic best with his Anglophobic, wannabe-intellectual character going on insane rants and clashing marvelously with Cleese’s arrogance.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Stars: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin
Director: Charles Crichton, John Cleese
Runtime: 108 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
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