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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

Top Gun (1986) is an '80s blockbuster, an action classic, and a beloved film. More relevant, it was aspirational to '80s boys who took away that being "dangerous" and "aggressive" was the path to being No. 1 in their careers and with... more

Airplane! (1980) created the modern day parody film, inspired several future franchises, and is one of AFI's Top 10 Funniest Movies. In this episode, 19-year-old Riley Roberts explains why Gen Z isn't on board with the... more

Police Academy (1984) was both a product and ahead of its time. Film authorities Tara McNamara, Gen X, and Riley Roberts, Gen Z, examine the ensemble comedy through the modern lens to identify how it unexpectedly defies... more

Based on the popular Parker Brothers game for kid 8 and up, Clue (1985) is a shocker of a family film: nearly all of its characters are defined by their sexual transgressions. In this episode, film authorities Tara McNamara, Gen X, and... more

Weird Science (1985) marks the halfway point in John Hughes' domination of the teen film in the '80s. The film seems to be trying to put a stop to films where women were only seen as sex objects, but he misses the mark. In this teen sex... more

For a story that seems to be trying to say, "yes, women ARE capable, strong and self-sufficent," Flashdance sure sends some messed up messages. Hosts Tara McNamara, Gen X, and Riley Roberts, Gen Z, look at how a movie written,... more

Back to the Future (1985) is the ultimate '80s movie: so '80s, so timeless, so universally beloved. It's also so '80s in its reckless treatment of women, mainly how men feel that Lorraine's (Lea Thompson) sexuality is theirs for the taking --... more

The '70s and early '80s saw a decrease in police-involved deaths, but starting in 1988, use of lethal force was on the rise. What happened? Lethal Weapon. Hosts Tara McNamara, Gen X, and Riley Roberts, Gen Z, look back at how one... more

Urban Cowboy took America from disco to country within weeks, its popularity buoying a desire for all things "country-western" from Wranglers and boots to riding pretend animals.Film authorities Tara McNamara and Riley Roberts look... more

FLETCH (1985) is Chevy Chase's favorite character - and the favorite of most of Gen X. Film authorities Tara McNamara, Gen X, and Riley Roberts, Gen Z, look at the PG-rated film through a modern lens. While it doesn't carry shockers... more