These sorts of lists are nearly impossible to compile without some study (and really what could be more fun than studying movies). The problems are one part coming up with all those movie titles, one part putting them in an order that isn't embarrasing but not Roger Ebert, and the largest part is knowing what was truly an 80's film (don't let The Wedding Singer fool you). I saw none of these films in a theatre. Most of these films weren't even rentals. The bulk of all my 80's movie moments came at home dialed into some UHF station out of Dallas.
As an illustration of the previous statement and a confession of sorts, I was out of college and contently sitting in the 21st century the first time I watched The Princess Bride. That shapes the experience and contorts the list.
The following is a list of my ten favorite 80's movies (don't worry the complete list goes up to fifty, but more on that later). The list has little to do with merit in film making. These are the movies I watch to be sent back in time and removed from the world around me just as I was transported the first time I watched them (in other words because they make me happy for 2 hours).
And who wouldn't want to be a Goonie? I ask you again...who?
And what if you could be a Goonie and have an uncle like Buck? Small slice of heaven, that's what.
Return of the Jedi
It's maybe not as good as Empire Strikes Back, but it has a happier ending...and Ewoks.
Empire Strikes Back
Micheal Keaton was in the movie for only 17.5 minutes, but what wonderful minutes they were. (And you have to be impressed with that bit of trivia, don't you?)
Honestly, I hold my breath through most of the movie. The lack of oxygen may enhance the movie watching experience.
The Last Starfighter
Oh the things I would have given to build my own spaceship and meet aliens that do stand up. Seriously, there is no number of things.