41 '80s Movies You Didn't Know Were On Netflix, From ‘E.T.’ To ‘Footloose’

I've said it before and I'll say it again: The 1980s were the best decade for movies. Sure, you won't find many critically-lauded "classics" in the traditional sense from the Reagan era, and some film buffs will probably tell you that the '80s were actually the worst decade for cinema. But I don't care. When it comes to pure fun in movies, the '80s dominated. The best comedies. The best action films. The best kids movies. The decade's movies knew how to have a good time without taking themselves too seriously, and right now there are so many '80s movies on Netflix that show exactly what I'm talking about.

Some of these titles are a little obscure, but a vast majority of them are all-time classics in my book. There are movies here that I grew up watching and adoring, and others that I discovered later in life that now hold a special place in my heart. And to please the highly-particular film buffs out there, there are even a few critical darlings as well (imagine that). So take a look at this list of 41 awesome '80s movies you didn't know were on Netflix, and then let the ultimate '80s binge begin.

1. E.T.

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One of the most-beloved, highest-grossing, and critically-revered movies ever made. A classic in every sense of the word.

2. Turner & Hooch

Tom Hanks' last '80s comedy before he completely changed his identity as an actor in the '90s.

3. Big Trouble In Little China

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The ultimate cult movie.

4. Spies Like Us

Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd in a John Landis film. Now that's an '80s comedy dream team.

5. Top Gun

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This movie is basically the entire '80s distilled into 110 minutes.

6. The Burbs

One of the better comedies from Tom Hanks' '80s run.

7. Adventures In Babysitting

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Who knew babysitting could be such an adventure?

8. Lethal Weapon

The ultimate buddy cop movie, Netflix also has parts two through four.

9. Back To The Future

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Parts two and three are also on Netflix, so you're gonna want to watch the whole saga.

10. Major League

The literal definition of a screwball comedy.

11. Beverly Hills Cop

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This Eddie Murphy laugher was the top-grossing R-rated movie of all-time for two decades.

12. Always

This Steven Spielberg film is kinda like Ghost, but it actually came out a year before Ghost.

13. The Land Before Time

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Before the Disney Renaissance, there was a brief period where Don Bluth put out the best animated films in the world. This was his crowning achievement.

14. Harry And The Hendersons

Good old '80s family entertainment.

15. Modern Romance

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This Albert Brooks film is considered one of the best romantic comedies ever made. 

16. Lost In America

Another classic from Albert Brooks.

17. Sixteen Candles

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From John Hughes, the master of the '80s teen movie.

18. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

You'll never look at the song "Tequila" the same way again.

19. On Golden Pond

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Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda at the end of their careers in a movie about getting older. How poignant.

20. Hairspray

The original version. Before Broadway, before John Travolta, this is the real Hairspray.

21. Working Girl

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Meg Ryan refuses to give up on her dreams in this inspirational flick.

22. Can't Buy Me Love

The ol' nerd pays a cheerleader to be his girlfriend routine; except in the '80s that storyline was actually original.

23. Footloose

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For when you gotta cut loose.

24. Batteries Not Included

Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment strikes again with this magical tale about helpful aliens.

25. Fatal Attraction

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The erotic thriller that spawned countless imitations.

26. Amadeus

One of the most well-regarded films of the decade, Amadeus won eight Oscars, including Best Picture.

27. Girls Just Want To Have Fun

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A movie based on a Cyndi Lauper song. It doesn't get anymore '80s than that.

28. Explorers

This movie is what would happen if the Stranger Things kids built a spaceship.

29. Heathers

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If you like dark comedy, you'll find plenty to love here.

30. Hellraiser

A spine-chilling horror classic.

31. The Last Unicorn

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This under-the-radar animated gem will warm your heart. 

32. Flowers In The Attic

Not your typical horror movie, but still plenty scary.

33. Scrooged

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It may be seasonal, but it's funny year round.

34. The Verdict

This Paul Newman vehicle is considered one of the best courtroom dramas ever.

35. The Running Man

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Like The Hunger Games, but way before The Hunger Games. Fun fact: This movie takes place next year.

36. Over The Top

This tale about truck driver/semi-pro arm wrestler Sylvester Stallone getting to know his son is dumb with a capital "D," but in the funnest way possible.

37. Coming To America

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Another great Eddie Murphy comedy. 

38. Three Fugitives

Nick Nolte and Martin Short star in this comedy caper.

39. Urban Cowboy

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For the country music fans out there.

40. A Room With A View

This British romance has plenty of familiar faces, like Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Helena Bonham Carter, and Daniel Day-Lewis.

41. The Princess Bride

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One of the funniest movies not just of the '80s, but of all time.

I stand by my earlier assertion that the '80s were the best movie decade ever, and after seeing this list of 41 films, how could anyone possibly disagree?

Images: Universal Pictures

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