Best Movies of 1984

1.

Once Upon a Time in America

6.8

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.

Starring: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Joe Pesci, Burt Young
Directed by: Sergio Leone
Release date: 1984-05-23
2.

Amadeus

6.7

The incredible story of genius musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told in flashback by his peer and secret rival, Antonio Salieri—now confined to an insane asylum.

Starring: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice, Simon Callow
Directed by: Miloš Forman
Release date: 1984-10-26
3.

The Terminator

6.3

In the post-apocalyptic future, reigning tyrannical supercomputers teleport a cyborg assassin known as the "Terminator" back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, whose unborn son is destined to lead insurgents against 21st century mechanical hegemony. Meanwhile, the human-resistance movement dispatches a lone warrior to safeguard Sarah. Can he stop the virtually indestructible killing machine?

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen
Directed by: James Cameron
Release date: 1984-10-26
4.

Ghostbusters

6.3

After losing their academic posts at a prestigious university, a team of parapsychologists goes into business as proton-pack-toting "ghostbusters" who exterminate ghouls, hobgoblins and supernatural pests of all stripes. An ad campaign pays off when a knockout cellist hires the squad to purge her swanky digs of demons that appear to be living in her refrigerator.

Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis
Directed by: Ivan Reitman
Release date: 1984-06-07
5.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

6.1

After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees – and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.

Starring: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Release date: 1984-05-23
6.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

6.0

Teenagers in a small town are dropping like flies, apparently in the grip of mass hysteria causing their suicides. A cop's daughter, Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) traces the cause to child molester Fred Krueger (Robert Englund), who was burned alive by angry parents many years before. Krueger has now come back in the dreams of his killers' children, claiming their lives as his revenge. Nancy and her boyfriend, Glen (Johnny Depp), must devise a plan to lure the monster out of the realm of nightmares and into the real world...

Starring: John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Jsu Garcia
Directed by: Wes Craven
Release date: 1984-11-14
7.

The NeverEnding Story

5.9

While hiding from bullies in his school's attic, a young boy discovers the extraordinary land of Fantasia, through a magical book called The Neverending Story. The book tells the tale of Atreyu, a young warrior who, with the help of a luck dragon named Falkor, must save Fantasia from the destruction of The Nothing.

Starring: Barret Oliver, Gerald McRaney, Noah Hathaway, Chris Eastman, Darryl Cooksey
Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen
Release date: 1984-04-05
8.

Beverly Hills Cop

5.9

Tough-talking Detroit cop Axel Foley heads to the rarified world of Beverly Hills in his beat-up Chevy Nova to investigate a friend's murder. But soon, he realizes he's stumbled onto something much more complicated. Bungling rookie detective Billy Rosewood joins the fish-out-of-water Axel and shows him the West Los Angeles ropes.

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Ronny Cox, Paul Reiser
Directed by: Martin Brest
Release date: 1984-11-29
9.

Paris, Texas

5.8

A man wanders out of the desert not knowing who he is. His brother finds him, and helps to pull his memory back of the life he led before he walked out on his family and disappeared four years earlier.

Starring: Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell, Hunter Carson, Aurore Clément
Directed by: Wim Wenders
Release date: 1984-05-19
10.

The Karate Kid

5.8

Hassled by the school bullies, Daniel LaRusso has his share of adolescent woes. Luckily, his apartment building houses a resident martial arts master: Kesuke Miyagi, who agrees to train Daniel ... and ends up teaching him much more than self-defense. Armed with newfound confidence, skill and wisdom, Daniel ultimately faces off against his tormentors in this hugely popular classic underdog tale.

Starring: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue, Martin Kove, Randee Heller
Directed by: John G. Avildsen
Release date: 1984-06-22
11.

Gremlins

5.8

When Billy Peltzer is given a strange but adorable pet named Gizmo for Christmas, he inadvertently breaks the three important rules of caring for a Mogwai, and unleashes a horde of mischievous gremlins on a small town.

Starring: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, Frances Lee McCain, Corey Feldman
Directed by: Joe Dante
Release date: 1984-06-07
12.

This Is Spinal Tap

5.7

"This Is Spinal Tap" shines a light on the self-contained universe of a metal band struggling to get back on the charts, including everything from its complicated history of ups and downs, gold albums, name changes and undersold concert dates, along with the full host of requisite groupies, promoters, hangers-on and historians, sessions, release events and those special behind-the-scenes moments that keep it all real.

Starring: Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, June Chadwick
Directed by: Rob Reiner
Release date: 1984-05-04
13.

The Killing Fields

5.6

The Killing Fields tells the real-life story of a friendship between two journalists, an American and a Cambodian, during the bloody Khmer Rouge takeover of Cambodia in 1975, which led to the death of 2-3 million Cambodians during the next four years, until Pol Pot's regime was toppled by the intervening Vietnamese in 1979.

Starring: Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor, Craig T. Nelson, John Malkovich, Athol Fugard
Directed by: Roland Joffé
Release date: 1984-11-02
14.

Blood Simple

5.5

The owner of a seedy small-town Texas bar discovers that one of his employees is having an affair with his wife. A chaotic chain of misunderstandings, lies and mischief ensues after he devises a plot to have them murdered.

Starring: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, M. Emmet Walsh, Samm-Art Williams
Directed by: Joel Coen
Release date: 1984-09-07
15.

Stop Making Sense

5.4

A concert film documenting Talking Heads at the height of their popularity, on tour for their 1983 album "Speaking in Tongues." The band takes the stage one by one and is joined by a cadre of guest musicians for a career-spanning and cinematic performance that features creative choreography and visuals.

Starring: David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison, Steven Scales
Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Release date: 1984-11-16
16.

Broadway Danny Rose

5.4

A hapless talent manager named Danny Rose, by helping a client, gets dragged into a love triangle involving the mob. His story is told in flashback, an anecdote shared amongst a group of comedians over lunch at New York's Carnegie Deli. Rose's one-man talent agency represents countless incompetent entertainers, including a one-legged tap dancer, and one slightly talented one: washed-up lounge singer Lou Canova (Nick Apollo Forte), whose career is on the rebound.

Starring: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Nick Apollo Forte, Craig Vandenburgh, Herb Reynolds
Directed by: Woody Allen
Release date: 1984-01-27
17.

The Natural

5.3

An unknown middle-aged batter named Roy Hobbs with a mysterious past appears out of nowhere to take a losing 1930s baseball team to the top of the league.

Starring: Robert Redford, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Wilford Brimley, Robert Duvall
Directed by: Barry Levinson
Release date: 1984-05-11
18.

Stranger Than Paradise

5.3

Rootless Hungarian émigré Willie, his pal Eddie, and visiting sixteen-year-old cousin Eva always manage to make the least of any situation, whether aimlessly traversing the drab interiors and environs of New York City, Cleveland, or an anonymous Florida suburb.

Starring: John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson, Cecillia Stark, Danny Rosen
Directed by: Jim Jarmusch
Release date: 1984-10-01
19.

Birdy

5.3

Two young men are seriously affected by the Vietnam war. One of them has always been obsessed with birds - but now believes he really is a bird, and has been sent to a mental hospital. Can his friend help him pull through?

Starring: Matthew Modine, Nicolas Cage, John Harkins, Sandy Baron, Karen Young
Directed by: Alan Parker
Release date: 1984-12-14
20.

A Passage to India

5.2

The film is set during the period of growing influence of the Indian independence movement in the British Raj. It begins with the arrival in India of a British woman, Miss Adela Quested (Judy Davis), who is joining her fiancé, a city magistrate named Ronny Heaslop (Nigel Havers). She and Ronny's mother, Mrs. Moore (Peggy Ashcroft), befriend an Indian doctor, Aziz H. Ahmed (Victor Banerjee).

Starring: Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft, James Fox, Alec Guinness
Directed by: David Lean
Release date: 1984-12-14

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