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10 Movies from the '80s I Want to Watch with My Kids

I recently wrote a post about how movies I loved as teen and tween are totally different when viewed again as an adult. Example? Fast Times at Ridgemont High was the coolest thing in the history of ever when I was twelve. Now? It’s horrifying. A freshman girl sleeping around, hating herself, and getting an abortion? Gah! Not funny to me! Where are her parents?!

Sigh… I know. I’m old and should lighten up.

But in going back and revisiting these old movies, I found many that were even better than I remembered. And I can’t wait to share them with my kids when the time comes. I checked Common Sense Media to see at what age some of these movies would be appropriate. I usually agree with them, but even if I don’t, it’s always a good starting point for figuring out if a movie will be OK for my kiddos’ age range.

Here are ten movies that were better than I remembered, when viewed as adult:

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  • Stand By Me (1986) 1 of 10
    Stand By Me (1986)
    I don't think I really got how beautiful this movie is until I saw it again as an adult. It's so much more poignant and moving. But the jokes are just as funny and the acting is just amazing. And then there's River Phoenix. What might have been...
  • A Christmas Story (1983) 2 of 10
    A Christmas Story (1983)
    This movie never gets old. In fact? It may be perfect. Ralphie? Perfect. His parents? Perfect. Little brother in the snow suit? Totally new perspective on that, watching it as a mom.
  • The Princess Bride (1987) 3 of 10
    The Princess Bride (1987)
    Does anyone not like this movie? And unlike some others on this list, it's not a rediscovery. Because I've never stopped watching it.
  • Back to the Future (1985) 4 of 10
    Back to the Future (1985)
    There's a couple of scenes and curse words that might not be a good idea for young kids, but this movie is still really fun. It's also (ironically) become sort of an '80s time capsule.
  • Lucas (1986) 5 of 10
    Lucas (1986)
    Watching this teen movie again, I'm struck by how sweet it is. And how it avoids so many of the stereotypes of the genre. It's just awesome. And Charlie Sheen? You understand why all the hookers love him because he is adorable.
  • The Black Stalion (1979) 6 of 10
    The Black Stalion (1979)
    This wasn't a movie. This was a FILM. But despite the fact that it's quiet (very little dialogue in much of it), it's wonderful, and older kids will really like it.
  • Ferris Beuller’s Day Off (1986) 7 of 10
    Ferris Beuller's Day Off (1986)
    Loved it then. Love it now. Except ... I sort of understand why Cameron's dad would be pissed about the car. Teenagers shouldn't drive cars like that. Aaaannddd that's why I'm old.
  • Uncle Buck (1989) 8 of 10
    Uncle Buck (1989)
    This less-popular John Hughes movie was always one of my favorites. Watching it as an adult, I love the way teenagers are portrayed and the dynamic between the young girl and her too busy, absent mom.
  • The Goonies (1985) 9 of 10
    The Goonies (1985)
    Be warned: there's some strong language and adult humor that may (or may not) go over your kids' heads. But we had a blast watching this movie together and it was just as fun as I remembered.
  • Say Anything (1989) 10 of 10
    Say Anything (1989)
    Oh Lloyd. I never really understood you until I saw this movie as an adult. Sigh ... it's still wonderful.

 

 

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