10 Best 80′s Adventure Movies

Thursday, February 3 by Tom Gordon

The 10 best 80's adventure movies offer up a wide range of heroes, from a whip-wielding archeologist to a futuristic cyborg to a barefoot cop and little green Jedi master. But all these heroes took us along on some wild, action-filled rides. Just take a look at this list of the ten best 80s adventure movies and remember the thrills.

  1. "Raiders of the Lost Ark." A Indiana Jones, in this first awesome installment in the series, Harrison Ford truly became a movie star. "Raiders" had everything from narrow escapes, swashbuckling action, humor, a feisty but good-looking broad, and Indy kicking Nazi ass. What more could you want from a great adventure movie?
  2. "The Empire Strikes Back." The coolest movie in the "Star Wars" series was this movie that took us from an epic battle on an ice planet, to a jungle planet where we learn the nature of the Force, through an asteroid field and an asteroid itself, to a city in the clouds where Luke and Vader have their first showdown. Great stuff.
  3. "The Terminator." Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes a superstar by playing a relentless cyborg programmed to go back in time and kill the mother of the man who would one day lead a rebellion against the machines. The suspense, the action and the interesting storyline made this easily one of the best 80s adventure movies.
  4. "Aliens." Director James Cameron followed up "The Terminator" in 1984 with "Aliens" in 1986. Not bad. This sequel to 1979's creepy and suspense-driven "Alien" turns up the action as Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is sent back to the alien world she still has nightmares about and winds up fighting off a slew of alien monsters while protecting a little girl. The final showdown with the alien queen also produced one of the great 80s adventure movie lines when Ripley gets in between the girl and the alien and says, "Get away from her, you bitch!"
  5. "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn." Another space epic makes the list of great 80s adventure movies. This slam-bang sequel to the boring original, showcases Ricardo Matalban, reprising a role he played in the original TV series in a non-stop contest of courage and cleverness with Captain Kirk. The movie also packs some emotional punch as Kirk contends with growing older and the loss of his best friend, Spock.
  6. "Romancing the Stone." A lighthearted, but very entertaining adventure movie featuring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner (when she was still young and gorgeous) and Danny DeVito, "Romancing the Stone" became one of the big box office hits in the summer of 1984.
  7. "Die Hard." This 1988 blockbuster made Bruce Willis an action star, gave us some of the great movie lines of the decade and featured one of the best villains of any 80s adventure movie: Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). It's also one of the greatest "guy movies" ever made.
  8. "Escape from New York." Manhattan has been turned into a maximum security prison and the President has bailed out of his hijacked plane and landed right in the middle of the mess. Who better to call for a rescue than an eye-patch wearing guy named Snake Plissken. It's silly, but so much fun. And Kurt Russell looks like he's having a great time as the grumpy Plissken.
  9. "The Road Warrior." Mel Gibson triumphs over a gang of car-crazy freaks in post-apocalyptic Australia. Non-stop action, not much dialogue, but undoubtedly one of the best 80s adventure movies.
  10. "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." This awesome 1989 installment had one of the greatest movie poster tag lines ever: "The man with the hat is back, and this time he's bringing his dad." Like "Aliens" and "Road Warrior,"  "Last Crusade" is one of those rare sequels that may really be better than the originals, which were also pretty damn good.