From underground comedies and uplifting family films to groundbreaking action franchises and beyond, this list includes some of our favorite flicks from the ’80s. Kids are sure to fall for these timeless classics, and you’ll no doubt enjoy reminiscing about (or reveling in!) the pre-cell phone era, so try one of these fab flicks for your next family movie night. It’ll be like, totally tubular!

In this film version of the Broadway musical about the parentless Depression-era moppet, spunky red-haired Annie suffers indignities from tough orphanage supervisor Miss Hannigan. Ever-hopeful, she dreams of the day her parents arrive to retrieve her, singing songs and dancing to the delight of the other orphan girls. By the time Annie sings "Tomorrow" to President Roosevelt, you'll be singing it along with her.
Recommended for ages 6 and older
Directed by John Huston
(Columbia Tristar, 1982)


E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
E.T. is an outstanding family movie -- one of the all-time best. Its themes of loyalty, trust, and caring are both affecting and easy to understand, and Elliott and E.T.'s extraordinary friendship is one of cinema's most enduring. After more than 25 years, E.T. continues to tug at heartstrings and prove Spielberg is a master storyteller.
Recommended for ages 7 and older
Directed by Steven Spielberg
(Universal Pictures, 1982)

A Christmas Story
Part of the appeal of this must-see holiday classic, based on the memoirs of humorist Jean Shepard (who narrates), is the authenticity of the 1940s period detail, much of which will seem bizarre to kids today. But what is really engaging is his feel for the timeless details of childhood. 
Recommended for ages 8 and older
Directed by Bob Clark
(Warner Bros., 1983)

The NeverEnding Story
Both children and adults will enjoy this film for its special effects, beautiful scenery, and colorful characters. Most of all, The NeverEnding Story's message of daring to dream and soaring to new heights through books is a powerful one that kids of any age can relate to.
Recommended for ages 8 and older
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen
(Warner Bros., 1984)

The Princess Bride
Simply put, The Princess Bride is stuffed full of every thrilling element of a classic romantic adventure -- princes, villains and evil geniuses, giants and giant creatures, sword fights, revenge, kidnapping, and a rescue on white horses -- and it coats them all in delicious humor.
Recommended for ages 8 and older
Directed by Rob Reiner
(MGM/UA, 1987)

For today's Harry Potter generation, a viewing of Willow will surely be of interest. The adventure is easy to follow and full of school-age humor, and two forest fairies provide comedy with their slapstick, strange voices, and snappy one-liners. Lucas' fantasy has interesting-looking characters and villages, gothic castles, and, most of all, magic. Willow is an excellent choice to give young kids a taste of fantasy.
Recommended for ages 8 and older
Directed by Ron Howard
(Twentieth Century Fox, 1988)

Back to the Future
Brimming with lighthearted energy, Back to the Future mixes science fiction with romantic comedy for a classic 1980s blockbuster. It should come as little surprise that Steven Spielberg executive-produced it. Like so many of his films, it manages to blend heady science fiction, humor, adventure, and romance while retaining an exuberance and a sense of wonder familiar to anyone under the age of 12.
Recommended for ages 10 and older
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
(Universal Pictures, 1985)

Flight of the Navigator
In Flight of the Navigator
, a 12-year-old Miami boy is abducted by an alien in 1978 and ends up eight years into the future. It's all very well done, with clever shots that make everyday objects look like they just might be from a spacecraft, and very affecting scenes between David and his new, older family. This is a charming film, with enough drama and humor to please almost any viewer.
Recommended for ages 10 and older
Directed by Randal Kleiser
(Walt Disney Pictures, 1986)

The Goonies
The Goonies is a rambunctious, noisy, pirate-themed treasure-hunt action-fantasy -- all the ingredients that kids – and parents! – will love.
Recommended for ages 10 and older
Directed by Richard Donner
(Warner Bros., 1985)

Chariots of Fire
This film is wonderfully evocative of the time and place, with superb performances. Chariots of Fire shows us the source of two runners' determination: for one, a need to prove his worth to himself and the society that discriminates against him; for the other, a way of connecting to God. The film deservedly won the Oscars for best picture, screenplay, costume design, and music.
Recommended for ages 11 and older
Directed by Hugh Hudson
(Warner Bros., 1981)


Check out the entire list of radical ’80s movies for kids and teens of all ages at Common Sense Media.