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80s Movie Guide

80s Movies: A Guide to What's Wrong with Your Parents


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Film by film, mother-teen daughter movie critics Tara McNamara and Riley Roberts examine what makes movies from the 1980s so amazing and so, so wrong.

On-Demand Episodes

Humorously showing the emotional pain of teenagers aching for true love amid the social expectations of high school, Sixteen Candles turned a teen sex comedy into an pop cultural phenomenon that was watched by every '80s... more

St. Elmo's Fire was a response to the teen films of the 1980s, examining what happens after college. Joel Schumacher crafted an authentic and progressive story about the emotional lives and professional challenges of seven recent... more

Before John Hughes, a movie couldn't be made that was just about who was going to take a girl to prom. But with a high school divided into the haves and the have nots, Hughes was able to make a love story of Romeo and Juliet... more

Wolverines! Red Dawn is one of the few teen action films of the '80s -- and definitely the most influential. It showed that teens were responsible, skilled, and capable enough to save their town and, possibly, the United States. It's a blow... more

When you're looking to explain the 1980s, look to Risky Business. Teens were attracted to the Paul Brickman comedy by the music video featuring Tom Cruise dancing in his underpants. Running constantly on MTV, teens watched and... more

MODERN PROBLEMS is the weirdest, off the rails, PG-rated Christmas hit. Families flocked to to the theater to see scenes involving a male ballet dancer's testicles exploding and Chevy Chase snorting "demon powder." While it used to... more

Pour yourself a cup of ambition, this episode covers what's considered the most successful political movie of all time -- wonderfully executed as a broad comedy. Film authorities Tara McNamara, Gen X, and Riley Roberts, Gen Z, look back... more

In 1980, Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor's follow-up to their 1976 hit Silver Streak was highly anticipated. Despite critic's panning the film, Stir Crazy did double the business, was the 3rd highest grossing film of the year, and broke box office... more

The Outsiders (1983) is one of the most popular teen books in the 1980s, and teens couldn't wait to see the movie directed by one of the biggest names in cinema. Featuring a Who's Who of Who Was and Who Would Become Famous... more

Beverly Hills Cop was the No. 1 movie in 1984, a year that many consider one of cinema's best. As Detroit police detective Axel Foley (a role originally written for white actors Mickey Rouke and then Sylvester Stallone), Eddie Murphy made... more

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