The best Netflix 80s movies for the ultimate nostalgia marathon

This way for all the Netflix 80s movies you need to binge-watch STAT

80s Movies: Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in a still from When Harry Met Sally / in a pink and orange retro background
(Image credit: Alamy/ COLUMBIA PICTURES /AA Film Archive/Allstar Picture Library Ltd )

If you're looking to quench your obsession with nostalgia then head right on over to the Netflix 80s movies section. There you'll find everything from cult-favorite action movies to swoon-worthing rom-coms, ideal for a lazy duvet day when all you want to do is eat chocolate and feel cozy. 

Any movie buff will tell you that the 1980s were an iconic era for Hollywood. From futuristic sci-fi flicks to dance-filled romantic gems like Dirty Dancing. There truly was something for everyone. It was also the decade that brought us some of our fave nostalgic teen movies and saw the start of many Hollywood legend's careers like  Meg Ryan and Julia Roberts.

Thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix, we can often revisit their early works, many of which have inspired plenty of today's movies and TV shows, not to mention a number of style trends like 'coastal grandmother'—Meg Ryan's 80s outfits are even trending on TikTok! So, why not catch some of the best 80s flicks (and best 90s movies for that matter), while they're still on Netflix...

Netflix 80s movies to add to your watch list

'Dirty Dancing'

Release Date: 1987 | Genre: Romance| Region: UK

It would be a crime to not start this list with Dirty Dancing because like how no one puts Baby in a corner—no one puts this movie anywhere but the top spot on a list of best 80s movies. Plus, we all need our regular dose of Patrick Swayze and Dirty Dancing shows the actor at his best. 

In case you've been living under a rock your entire life, this classic movie follows Baby—a young woman (played by Jennifer Grey) who meets and falls in love with her new dance instructor, Johnny (played by Swayze) while on holiday with her family at a resort called 'Kellermans'. Her father forbids the two from seeing each other but of course, nothing can stand in the way of true love and the hottest, steamiest dance moves. 

'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'

Release Date: 1986 | Genre: Comedy/Teen| Region: US and UK

A coming-of-age classic! Ferris Bueller's Day Off sees Ferris (Mathew Broderick) fake sickness and cut school for a day of total freedom with his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) and girlfriend Sloan (Mia Sara). However, his high school's Dean is intent on catching Ferris cutting school and attempts to spy on the trio.

This film is widely renowned as one of the most iconic movies maybe ever and definitely deserves a spot in your nostalgic movie roster.

'When Harry Met Sally'

Release Date: 1989 | Genre: Rom-Com| Region: US

Meg Ryan in her absolute style PRIME! When Harry Met Sally is a classic rom-com set in New York City where two graduates Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) strike up a short-term friendship. As fate happens though, their paths do cross again five years later where they must finally confront how they really feel about each other. 

If you've never heard of this movie, we'll wager that you will have definitely heard of its iconic orgasm/diner scene...


Release Date: 1986 | Genre: Fantasy/Musical| Region: UK

Labyrinth is a true, cult-classic starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. It's a fantasy story that sees Sarah (Connelly) embark on an adventure through a maze, ruled by the Goblin King (Bowie) in order to save her baby brother.

It's filled with fantastical monsters and creatures, some musical numbers and will no doubt bring back a lot of childhood memories!

'Steel Magnolias'

Release Date: 1989 | Genre: Drama/Comedy| Region: UK

Steel Magnolias earned itself a number of Oscar nominations and Golden Globes wins and stars the likes of Sally Fields, Julia Roberts and Shirly MacLaine.

This film sees a young beautician (Roberts) move to a small town where she is embraced by a group of women who all share a very close bond. She's welcomed into the fold as they all enjoy the ups and downs in life. 

'The Karate Kid'

Release Date: 1984| Genre: Drama/Action| Region: UK

A true childhood classic, The Karate Kid is the first of three movies in The Karate Kid franchise, plus a remake and has now been turned into a spin-off series called Cobra Kai (which is one of the most watched TV shows on Netflix!). 

The story follows teen Daniel LaRusso as he's trained by Mr Miyagi in karate in order to defend himself from bully Johnny Lawrence.  It's a film about courage, resilience and learning when to stand up to yourself - and basically inspired a whole generation of kids to want to learn martial arts.

Sagal is a journalist, specialising in lifestyle, pop culture, fashion and beauty.  She has written for a number of publications including Vogue, Glamour, Stylist, Evening Standard, Bustle, You Magazine, Dazed and Wonderland to name a few. 

With contributions from