If you want to know the best movies which won an Academy Award (Oscar) you should definitely watch our ranking for the best picture winning movies of the 1980s.


10. Chariots of Fire (1981)

Top 10 Oscar Winner Movies of the 1980s | Best Picture 2Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama sports film directed by Hugh Hudson and stars Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nigel Havers and Cheryl Campbell. Based on true events, the story revolves around the story of two seemingly very different athletes competing in the 1924 Olympics, drawn together by their drive to win. One is a devout Christian seeking to prove his devotion to God by winning. The other is a determined Jew, fighting to prove that his religious beliefs do not make him inferior to others.

Drama, Sports | Director: Hugh Hudson

Buy Chariots of Fire on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3bqsCwn


9. Out of Africa (1985)

Top 10 Oscar Winner Movies of the 1980s | Best Picture 3Out of Africa is a 1985 epic romantic drama film directed and produced by Sydney Pollack and stars Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. Set in colonial Kenya of the 19th century, the film recounts the story of a baroness falling into a passionate love affair with a free-spirited hunter. Caught between a marriage of convenience to an unfaithful, careless husband, troubles at the plantation, war infused natives and a lover that values his freedom above the true love, Karen must fight for her personal growth.

Romance, Drama | Director: Sydney Pollack

Buy Out of Africa on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2SitoUN


8. Terms of Endearment (1983)

Top 10 Oscar Winner Movies of the 1980s | Best Picture 4Terms of Endearment is a 1983 comedy-drama film directed, written, and produced by James L. Brooks and stars Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito. Following the lives and relationships of a mother and daughter duo, the story uncovers 30 years of life. From Aurora’s overly protective instincts seeking to shield her  daughter, Emma, from the realities of growing up, to her apprehensiveness to accept Emma’s marriage. The film takes us through a journey heavily punctuated with laughs and cries, as the two women care for each other through everything.

Comedy, Drama | Director: James L. Brooks

Buy Terms of Endearment on Amazon: https://amzn.to/37jgAkV


7. Ordinary People (1980)

Top 10 Oscar Winner Movies of the 1980s | Best Picture 5Ordinary People is a 1980 drama film directed by Robert Redford and stars Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch and Timothy Hutton. An affluent family is torn apart by the accidental death of the older son trying to save the younger from committing suicide. Haunted by the terrible past, the family lives in limbo while seeming completely ordinary and perfect from the outside. But even the most ordinary things can hide terrible misfortunes inside.

Drama | Director: Robert Redford

Buy Ordinary People on Amazon: https://amzn.to/38fXfmb


6. The Last Emperor (1987)

Top 10 Oscar Winner Movies of the 1980s | Best Picture 6The Last Emperor is a 1987 epic biographical drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and stars John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O’Toole and Ruocheng Ying. Born into a world trapped in the past of ancient traditions, nothing could have prepared the young boy for the world of change. The historical film captures the life of the last emperor of the Chinese dynasty, as he grows up shielded from the changing world with responsibilities sprung on him since infancy. Trained since birth as the absolute monarch, the boy couldn’t have been more unprepared.

Drama, Biography | Director: Bernardo Bertolucci

Buy The Last Emperor on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3bpBmmk


5. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

Top 10 Oscar Winner Movies of the 1980s | Best Picture 7Kramer vs. Kramer is a 1979 legal drama film written and directed by Robert Benton and stars Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander and Justin Henry. Spiteful Joanna Kramer decides to walk out from her insensitive husband Michael Kramer and their 5 year old son Billy. The film focuses on the story of a failed marriage, its impact on an oblivious child, and the tragedy of custody battles. The movie won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress and Best Actor for Dustin Hoffman.

Drama | Director: Robert Benton

Buy Kramer vs. Kramer on Amazon: https://amzn.to/38rGfcw


4. Gandhi (1982)

Top 10 Oscar Winner Movies of the 1980s | Best Picture 8Gandhi is a 1982 epic historical drama film directed by Richard Attenborough and stars Ben Kingsley in the title role. Based on the life of Mohandas Gandhi, the man who led a nonviolent revolution in India, and the historical events that unfolded during the movement against British rule in India. Portrayed as a thoroughly non-violent man, the film recounts his patience and drive along with Jinnah’s stubbornness to be the driving force to achieve independence from the British rule.

Drama | Director: Richard Attenborough

Buy Gandhi on Amazon: https://amzn.to/31HgNNK


3. Rain Man (1988)

Top 10 Oscar Winner Movies of the 1980s | Best Picture 9Rain Man is a 1988 comedy-drama film directed by Barry Levinson and stars Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise and Valeria Golino. A self-centered and abrasive young man, Charlie Babbitt, discovers that his long-estranged father has passed away, leaving everything to his autistic son, whose existence he wasn’t even aware of. With only his father’s rosebushes and beloved vintage car, Charlie must make a journey across the country to discover a bond of understanding and fellowship that may end up changing both their lives for good.

Drama, Comedy | Director: Barry Levinson

Buy Rain Man on Amazon: https://amzn.to/378ichy


2. Platoon (1986)

Top 10 Oscar Winner Movies of the 1980s | Best Picture 10Platoon is a 1986 war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and stars Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. Based on Oliver Stone’s experiences fighting in the Vietnam War, the film follows the journey of a neophyte soldier caught between two sergeants fighting for control over the platoon. Torn by the horrors of war and the causalities it inflicts in the forms of life and innocence, discover the duality in the nature of men and the moral dilemmas that arise in the face of survival.

War | Director: Oliver Stone

Buy Platoon on Amazon: https://amzn.to/31IvErt


1. Amadeus (1984)

Top 10 Oscar Winner Movies of the 1980s | Best Picture 11Amadeus is a 1984 epic period biographical drama film directed by Miloš Forman and stars F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge and Roy Dotrice. This fictionalized biography of legendary composer Mozart focuses on his rivalry as a young man with Italian composer Antonio Salieri. Retold from Salieri’s point of view, the story recounts the tale of Mozart’s life, successes, and troubles as well as Salieri’s insane jealousy of the musician’s talents. Seeking revenge from God and Mozart for his own musical mediocrity, the contemporaneous composer claimed to murder him.

Biography, Drama | Director: Miloš Forman

Buy Amadeus on Amazon: https://amzn.to/37gNToV


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