Highway to the danger zone – taking off with the best movies of 1986.
There was something in the water in 1986, giving way to a new era of sci-fi horrors, cocksure characters and cult classics that have stood the test of time.
It was clearly a golden era in filmmaking, with so many of these blockbusters enjoying their time in the spotlight again in recent years, thanks to their cult status.
Let’s get stuck straight into the best movies 1986, with a film so ahead of its time, it continues to influence popular film to this day…
Even way back when, James Cameron was teasing us with videoconferencing, laptops and drones, that make Aliens feel fresh, even in 2021.
In this thrilling sci-fi classic, Lt. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) has been floating in space for 57 years, when her shuttle is discovered by a nearby vessel. The team aboard are not impressed with her relentless pleas about alien predators until they inevitably come face-to-face with them. Only this time there are hundreds… It rightfully earns its place as one of the best movies 1986.
IMDB rating 8.3/10
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn and more
How to stream Aliens
Oozing machismo, boys of the 80s would talk about this all the time in school because obviously, there were lots of guns and big weapons.
But behind the bravado, this multi-award-winning Oliver Stone classic is a brutal tale of war and conflict, that continues to resonate to this day. Raking in $138.5 million in box office sales, it was also one of 1986 movies’ top-grossing hits.
Cast: Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen and more
How to stream Platoon
Stand By Me
Standby for a total tear-jerker with this coming-of-age drama that celebrates the nuisances of friendship amongst young boys.
With a career-defining performance from River Phoenix as Chambers and Corey Feldman as Teddy, think of it as a rite of passage.
Cast: River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman and more
How to stream Stand By Me
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Ferris Bueller is 1986’s version of ‘Yes Day’, but slightly more grown-up.
With Matthew Broderick in the leading role, Ferris decides to ‘borrow’ a Ferrari and let loose in the run-up to graduating high school. If it sounds like a recipe for disaster, that’s probably because it is.
Cast: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara and more
How to stream Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Quite simply, Jeff Goldblum’s finest hour.
When a science experiment goes horribly wrong, Seth (Goldblum) starts to transition into a giant fly. What makes this film quite so watchable, is the slow and painful metamorphism of man to fly. In today’s world of quick gratification, it’s something we could do with more of. With Geena Davis playing his love interest, it’s one of the best horror movies 1986 spawned, so to speak…
Cast: Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg, Geena Davis and more
How to stream The Fly
If you can complete the line ‘You remind me of the babe…’ CONGRATULATIONS, you’re a bonafide child of the eighties!
If not, then it’s time to enjoy this throwback, that’s everything you didn’t know you needed. Where to start with this masterpiece that gave us David Bowie (the actual Goblin King himself) in tight trousers, an incredible soundtrack and some of the best puppetry from Jim Henson?
Like any good labyrinth – the beginning: Sarah wishes her baby brother Toby would go away, and just like that, the goblins snatch him. Sarah has just 13 hours to unpick the riddles and get him back.
Cast: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud and more
How to stream Labyrinth
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
One for all the ‘Trekkies’, the crew on the USS Enterprise steals a starship following an alarm call from Earth. It’s up to Captain Kirk, Spock and crew to travel back in time and undo the series of events that lead us to this moment before it’s too late.
Cast: Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, Catherine Hicks and more
How to stream Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
What was the number one move in 1986? According to box office records ($179.8 million), it was Top Gun.
This cult classic gave us so many great one-liners, fancy-dress ideas, a sizzling soundtrack, and a thousand pick-up lines and karaoke songs that we will forever be grateful for.
If you don’t know the plot by now (duh), Tom Cruise is Maverick, a hotshot fighter with a mind of his own. When he enrolls in the elite US Navy’s fighter weapons school, his cocky attitude doesn’t bode well with the other pilots.
With his ego in full force, he tries to woo love interest ‘Charlie’ (Kelly McGillis) while jostling for position as a top fighter pilot. Give this a watch before the sequel comes out very soon.
Cast: Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Kelly McGillis and more
How to stream Top Gun
Feeling old now?
Swashbuckling Aussie ‘Crocodile Dundee’ (Paul Hogan) is invited to New York by an American reporter. But when the crocodile poacher from the outback is introduced to the ‘real world’, a comedic culture clash ensues.
Cast: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, John Meillon and more
How to stream Crocodile Dundee
The Karate Kid Part II
Hot of the success of the first film, no time was wasted in this highly-anticipated follow-up, that didn’t quite live up to the hype.
Nonetheless, die-hard Daniel Larruso fans will be thrilled to know that he returns on the screen with Mr. Miyagi, in the tried and tested ‘good guys always win’ storyline.
Cast: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, William Zabka and more