You won't see Raider's or Back to the Future on the list, but they're undoubtedly cool. I wanted to go a little more under the radar cool with this list. Not that there are some big titles on the list, but all these films have that little extra cool 80's edge to 'em.
So without further ado here's my TOp-25 "Coolest" films from the '80s.
A quick just missed list:Henry:Portait of A Serial Killer, Videodrome, Elephant Man, Bright Light Big City, Christine, Salvador, Blue Velvet, Mad Mad:Beyond Thunderdome, and Return of the Living Dead.
25.The Lost Boys
Schumacher's film makes the list for a couple of reasons. Though it's a clear step-down from the rest of the list. The soundtrack is fantastic. Lost Boys transported Dracoola from medieval times(or at the very least the 70's) to the 80's. Some of the stars may have lost their 'coolness', but the film still has it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP_lSpeK69c
The first of 3 films that De Palma has on the list. Why not? This film is super-cool! I guess the result of casting John Travolta, the trashy-nature of De Palma's characters, and some seriously amazing cinematography. Cool similarities between the opening of this and the opening of "Body Double". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cjURzWLsks
23.A Better Tomorrow
"A Better Tomorrow" is an extremely cool little foreign film. Some of the music is a little hokey, but Mark(Chow Yun-Fat) is as cool as Dekker from Blade Runner, and "ABT" has some truly classic-cool 80's scenes. Great action, stylish, and a good story to boot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdQJWPOkNdA
You just new that Terry Gilliam was going to have a film or two on this list. Brazil is a really definitive look into Gilliam as a director. A million of these concepts/ideas have been regurgitated over the last 30+ years, but this is the original, odd, futuristic vision.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu1iND6vtcE
21.An American Werewolf in London
What a wacky trip. John Landis' film is a roller-coaster of tones and genre that is very self-aware, and extraordinarily entertaining. Landis had another film, "Into the Night" that was considered for the list.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ss0nT5DGHw
20.The Big Blue(Le Grand Blue)
The Big Blue is a vast, slow-moving, yet strikingly beautiful film from Writer/Director Luc Besson. I have my own reservations about how good a movie it is, but there is no doubt that it is cool. This could be playing on a backdrop at an art showing for all I care. A tough watch, but one that film-buffs would surely appreciate, The rest will think it's alright.. a bit long-winded at 3 hrs..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyiWr0Tj8Yg
I still try to wrap my head around the fact that this is a Tony Scott film. You can see some of the style that he would use in later films, but this one has a raw-edge to it that none of the others do. I'd imagine a lack of funds probably lent itself to a more artistic vision. Interesting film. No lack of style/coolness here.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV9RYXHytbM
18.Sex, Lies and Videotape
Read the last summary. Same thing but for Soderbergh.
Sure, this film has some of the camp that I was hoping to avoid on this list, but Gilliam has some unbelievably cool stuff in here. First, the film 'appears' to be in the future to start. Weird.. Second, the film ends with an orphan with no parents. Third, there are AWESOME scenes where the word "cool" doesn't even begin to describe it. The early wall-pushing scene, the hanging cage scene, and every scene with David Warner as "Evil" is absolutely brilliant. Very cool movie.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Cfumd0JPBw
One of the best opening credit sequences of all-time sets the mood, and then the dark humor and gore take center stage for the rest of the film. I would love to go back in time and see this with a crowd at a theater. The reactions with the crowd feading-off-of each other would have been fun. Very cool flick. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbSDxA9q21I
15.The Color of Money
From the opening credits, to the opening scene, to the music and performance from both leads. This is a cool 80's movie. Watching this film, you can almost smell the smoky hardwood of the pool halls, and cut through the dynamic of each, rich character. It also does something that NO other film has done, in seemlessly creating a sequel decades later with great references and nods to the original, starring the original character, and thrusting him into the 80's with style. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekxqsN1hpY4&t=122s
Wall Street made Wall Street cool - a concept that seemed unheard-of at the time. Awesome music, great editing, and Robert Richardson behind the camera makes for a super-cool '80s movie!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHowSkou5rc
13.Streets of Fire
Walter Hills film is original, over-stylized, and glorious. Aside from 2-cheesy 80's music video montages, the film is non-stop cool. It's a weird, yet straight forward revenge flick. The music is fantastic, Gritty, fun, cool movie..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPAj3nZY3C8
I'm pretty sure that "Running Out of Time" is the same Tangerine Dream track as "Love on a Train" from Risky Business. Tangerine Dream edges just about any film into consideration for a list like this, but throw-in an apocalyptic nightmare full of witty lines, colorful characters, rich symbolism and realtime action, and you get one of the coolest little movies from the decade.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYceGYjivjw
An extremely cool movie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e4cInKtHQU
One of the least known Scorcese films, and the 2nd Scorcese film to make the list. After Hours is a spiraling deluge of oddball characters and missing plaster of paris paperweights. The scoring is sublime. Cool, cool flick.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzKeyYk0jAQ
I'm a bit bias because I just love De Palma's movies, but what's not to love about this cool little film? Tons of Di-Opt photography, a great genre soup, and an effective horror mystery makes this one of the coolest films of the decade. Pino Dinaggio's score is incredible.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMck6dqb2Sc
I'm not sure any film is as 80's as Scarface - yet the film is polished and ultra-cool. There are a couple of side-roles where the acting and accents are a little suspect(MEM - sry for the bus). It's just an amalgamation of so much talent and color here, that's it's impossible not to have it high on this list.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CQkS1BcnmU
It really was way ahead of its' time.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7LclSGFOFg
Combine Ennio Morricone's music and the best Hitchcock-copy of the decade and you have a very cool flim. The opening, the roof scene, and the dance scene are amongst the coolest scenes of the '80s. Incredible cinematography. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY-E8RS9vo4
It never played like a sequel. This is what you get when you have an UN-American action film, something striking and original. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REAni_fAA-c
Michael Mann really put a bit more style into this one than his other films imo. Immensely cool movie. The blue lighting is both figuratively and literally cool. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkGeBpxBuPs
3.To Live and Die in LA
Friedkin had more films from the late-70's that would have made this list. Great music from Wang Chung, and such a daring ending. Razor sharp direction, great action/pacing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl9wZRoxT3A
The coolest opening and ending of the '80s. "Drive", only made decades before. James Caan adds to the cool factor. Oozes cool. Just buy this! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEvomyYkIPY&t=173s
Hard to argue against this as the coolest movie of the '80s. It's STILL NOT dated. The music by vangelis is hypnotizing, and the film breaks all the conventional rules of the time.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFJF2CRASRM
Thanks for stoppin' by.