Top 10 Movies Turning 30

Script written by Telly Vlachakis Amid the neon pants and the hair metal, critics gathered to celebrate yet another great year in cinema history. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we will be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies Turning 30. For this list, we're taking a look at the absolute best movies 1986 had to offer. Special thanks to our users ksarkodie31 for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Telly Vlachakis

Top 10 Movies From 1986 Turning 30


Amid the neon pants and the hair metal, critics gathered to celebrate yet another great year in cinema history. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we will be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies Turning 30.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the absolute best movies 1986 had to offer. We’re basing our choices on a mix of their popularity, quality and influence, as well as their critical and audience reception.

#10: “Pretty In Pink” (1986)

John Hughes’ “Brat Pack” films took over the world in the early ‘80s, and redefined the teen movie. And in the process, Molly Ringwald became a teen idol, so this film was destined for success the moment it was conceived. Ringwald plays Andie, a high school senior caught up in your usual high school drama. As Andie falls for the wealthy, preppy boy Blane, her best friend Duckie falls for her and her father falls on hard times, while through it all, she’s got an upcoming prom to worry about. With memorable performances, a pure ‘80s aesthetic, and a brilliant soundtrack, few films define an era so well.

#9: “Blue Velvet” (1986)

After the critical failure of “Dune,” David Lynch realized he wasn’t a big-budget Hollywood director, and never would be. Thankfully, this decision spawned some of the greatest indie surrealist masterpieces of all time, including this classic of disturbing Americana. Although not initially successful, this deconstruction of the American image became a cult phenomenon. When young Jeffrey discovers a severed ear in his quiet hometown and decides to play detective, all hell breaks loose. Hiding behind the white picket fences are sadistic killers, sex crimes, and kidnappings. Re-launching the career of the great Dennis Hopper, “Blue Velvet” introduced the world to pure insanity and symbolism never before seen on the silver screen.

#8: “The Color of Money” (1986)

A sequel to 1961’s “The Hustler,” “The Color of Money” follows a much older Fast Eddie, played again by Paul Newman. A pool hustler extraordinaire turned liquor salesman, Eddie had hung up his pool cue, until he discovered a young Tom Cruise who seemed to be an equally gifted player. Deciding to take him under his wing, Eddie convinces Vincent and his girlfriend to go on the road with him so he can teach him the hustling ropes. Although not Martin Scorsese’s biggest critical success, the film was a hit with audiences and won Newman a long overdue Oscar.

#7: “Top Gun” (1986)

#7: “Top Gun” (1986)
Since we couldn’t get enough Tom Cruise in 1986, here he is again in another blockbuster. Cruise plays Maverick, a rowdy and reckless Lieutenant who gets a chance to train as a Navy fighter pilot, but is challenged by Val Kilmer’s Iceman. This often quoted and parodied story of feuding fighter pilots ended up becoming an 80s classic and the highest grossing film of the year, with the Library of Congress choosing it for the National Film Registry as a film that is “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.” One thing’s for sure: they gave the world the need for speed.


#6: “The Fly” (1986)

By the mid-80s, the world knew David Cronenberg pretty well, following a string of moderate successes in the sci-fi horror genre, but he exploded to mega stardom with “The Fly.” His most accessible movie to date, “The Fly” brought gruesome body-horror to the masses, as audiences marveled at Jeff Goldblum’s slow transformation into a human-fly. Thanks to a teleportation experiment gone wrong, we experience the painful consequences of Seth Brundle’s scientific arrogance. This horror remake was a cut above the rest, in a decade that was saturated with below-grade gory sequels to never-ending slasher franchises.

#5: “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986)

Bookended by Thanksgiving dinners, the narrative of the Oscar-winning “Hannah and Her Sisters” is pure Woody Allen. Over a two-year period, we are voyeurs in the intertwining lives of three sisters: Hannah, Lee and Holly, and their experiences with their husbands, lovers, failed careers, drug addiction, affairs, alcoholism, and suicide attempts. If you think this sounds like a cheesy soap-opera melodrama, you don’t know Woody. One of the biggest comedic successes in his over-40 film career, and certainly his finest work of the decade, this film marked a turning point for Allen, echoing his fantastic dramatic work to come.

#4: “Stand By Me” (1986)

By 1986, Stephen King was already known as the king of horror. So, since it was released just a few weeks after his directorial disaster “Maximum Overdrive,” most people did not know what to expect from “Stand by Me.” Based on his novella “The Body,” this movie shocked the world with its innocent, heart-warming story, and its serious lack of demon children and killer cars. As we follow four boys on a journey to find a supposed dead body, they encounter gangs, leeches, and barreling trains, and become the greatest of friends with one of those unbreakable bonds. Even Stephen King loved it, and he usually hates his adaptations.


#3: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986)

As we’ve already mentioned, teen movies were huge in the '80s, and they were successfully reinventing themselves. And “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” somehow stands apart from the pack. Instead of focusing on teenage life, and all the relationships, school trouble, proms, dates, and pimples that come with it, the film focuses on one particular character; the coolest kid you will ever meet. Ferris is the guy you always wanted to be, and the friend you always wish you had. Whether the theory that Ferris is a figment of best friend Cameron’s imagination is true or not, we still end up with a sophisticated, philosophizing, and influential culture-bomb that fans will never stop quoting.

#2: “Platoon” (1986)

Since “Apocalypse Now” staked its claim as the definitive war film in 1979, the '80s mostly ignored the genre. Then comes “Platoon,” the first in Oliver Stone’s trilogy of Vietnam War films. Charlie Sheen stars as Private Taylor and gives the MTV generation a front-row look at the horrors in Vietnam, a war still fresh in many people’s minds. The war flick was no longer your dad’s genre, as “Platoon” starred one of the generation’s biggest young stars in a devastating depiction of relentless warfare. It also paved the way for the likes to “Full Metal Jacket”, “Glory” and “Saving Private Ryan,” and won Oliver Stone the highest honor at that year’s Oscars.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“A Room with A View” (1986)

“Big Trouble in Little China” (1986)

“Labyrinth” (1986)

“Sid and Nancy” (1986)

“Hoosiers” (1986)

#1: “Aliens” (1986)

You wouldn’t expect a sci-fi horror sequel to rank among the greatest movies of any year. When James Cameron is helming the project, though, they sky’s the limit. Influenced by the horrors of Vietnam, Cameron gave “Aliens” an action-film twist, and thrust Ellen Ripley back into combat with the vicious Xenomorphs, this time with the aid of a bunch of space marines. Witty, thrilling, and the definition of a blockbuster, “Aliens” was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won two. To this day, it can still take an audience’s breath away.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite movie turning 30? For more entertaining top 10s published daily, don’t forget to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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