10 Great Movies That Came Out The Same Year As The Original Top Gun

The highly anticipated Top Gun: Maverick is breaking box office records, with fans flocking to movie theaters to get the action-packed fix they’ve been missing since the release of the original Top Gun in 1986.

The movie’s latest release has prompted fans to return to the original in a bid to refresh their minds, but for some, rewatching the original Top Gun led to them discovering other great movies released within the same year. From low-budget rom-coms to childhood fantasy movies that have traumatized generations, there were some incredible movies released in the same year as the original Top Gun.

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The Karate Kid Part II

Stream On AMC +


Exterior shot in Karate Kid 2

The release of The Karate Kid in 1984 left viewers highly anticipating The Karate Kid Part 2, and it’s safe to say that fans were not disappointed. The franchise was partly responsible for a resurgence in karate which has been revisited in recent years by popular shows like Cobra Kai.

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The movie continued to entertain fans from the offset by combining action-packed scenes with a meaningful and intricate storyline. Many fans felt as though part two wouldn’t live up to the success of the first movie, but instead, fans it worked as a strong follow-up that has played a role in Cobra Kai.


Big Trouble In Little China

Stream On Starz


Jack Burton looking on in Big Trouble in Little China.

Big Trouble In Little China is one of the best ’80s fantasy films, with the movie winning fans over through its unique charm, obscure plot, and wacky characters. The movie continues to be highly talked about now, resulting in several fans advocating that it isn’t too late for a Big Trouble In Little China 2.

The 1986 action flick has stood the test of time despite many of its jokes now being seen as offensive, but many fans still state that this fantasy film left a lasting mark. John Carpenter received a lot of praise for his outlandish film that gave viewers the thrill they had been seeking, and through intense scenes of action alongside many hilarious moments, the movie continues to be one of the most obscure fantasy flicks to date.


She’s Gotta Have It

Stream On Netflix


She's Gotta Have It

Spike Lee has become well known for his unique directing style that helped to reinvent cinema and the films viewers were so used to seeing. His 1986 rom-com She’s Gotta Have It was so popular that in recent years Spike Lee created a TV series under the same name. The movie perfectly captures the ’80s through fashion, New York City, and captivating dialogue.

The comedic flick garnered a lot of attention due to its quick filming turnaround and low budget, with many fans shocked regarding the movie’s little money and time. She’s Gotta Have It offers a somewhat feminist tale that challenges stereotypes whilst simultaneously making fans laugh out loud and remaining an interesting piece of cinema for movie buffs.


Pretty In Pink

Stream On Starz


Pretty in Pink James Spader

Pretty In Pink is one of John Hughes’s best ’80s movies and contains Matthew Broderick and Molly Ringwald who often find themselves wound up in John Hughes’s iconic 80s flicks. The movie creates a great love triangle that left fans torn and even stirs up debates about who Andie should have actually ended up dating, with many fans having strong opinions as to why.

The movie is a light-hearted rom-com that toys with class, stereotypes, and even fashion, in a bid to challenge the norm but remains subtle yet powerful in its message that love can conquer all. Pretty In Pink is a refreshing coming-of-age movie that challenges social issues, highlights the importance of friendship, and captures those teenage years without turning to rebellion.


Crocodile Dundee

Stream On AMC +


Crocodile Dundee that's not a knife this is a knife!

Crocodile Dundee is considered a classic. The adventure-packed comedy changed the way viewers saw the gap between America and Australia by pairing the two most unlikely characters together, resulting in a comedic yet sweet ending.

RELATED: 5 ’80s Adventure Movies That Didn’t Age Well (& 5 That Are Timeless)

The movie is somewhat controversial today due to its comedic value being discriminatory towards certain groups, despite being a commercial success in 1986. Crocodile Dundee is littered with one-liners that have worked their way into modern conversation and is arguably Paul Hogan’s funniest but most laidback role, which is just one reason the movie remains a staple of the decade.

Little Shop Of Horrors

Stream On HBO Max


The reboot of Little Shop Of Horrors is highly anticipated by fans of the 1986 version that terrified, entertained, and treated fans to incredible musical numbers. The movie’s use of puppetry resulted in it being an impressive watch for fans of both horror and musicals, which ultimately led to its overall success.

Little Shop Of Horrors is still a highly talked about movie and allowed for darker musicals like Sweeney Todd to be released many decades later. The movie’s ability to combine horror, comedy, romance, and music into one tale alongside its unique storyline led to it being a popular film that catered to a wide range of viewers, resulting in the movie occupying a place within the cinematic hall of fame.

Children Of A Lesser God

Rent On Vudu


Marlee Matlin in Children of a Lesser God

Children Of A Lesser God wasn’t just a great movie released the same year as Top Gun, but it was also a movie that had a huge cultural impact on deaf awareness and representation. The release of CODA last year proved to be a hit with the deaf characters being played by actual deaf characters, seeing a huge move forward in deaf representation, intensified by the movie’s incredible story.

Children Of A Lesser God paved the way for movies like CODA and starred a very young Marlee Matlin. The movie attempted to bridge the gap between those that hear and those that are deaf through mutual understanding, communication, and love. It continues to be a revolutionary flick with its attempt to normalize deafness whilst also highlighting the ignorance of the deaf community face continuously, making it a prominent movie of 1986.


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Stream On Paramount +


The cast in Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off remains a fan favorite even today, with many fans being tempted to have their own day to run riot and enjoy living. The movie puts an infectious spin on the old ‘sick’ day idea and through Matthew Broderick’s charm, creates an onscreen adventure that invites fans to live vicariously through the characters.

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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a timeless movie that continues to be rewatched even today and sustains the test of time, with many of its quick-witted jokes continuing to prompt a laugh for many viewers. The movie has all the trademarks of John Hughes’s directing skills and situates itself within other ’80s favorites like The Breakfast Club through its offbeat humor and inventive plot.

Stand By Me

Stream On Netflix


Stand by Me Cast

Stand By Me is often labeled as one of the best coming-of-age movies of the ’80s due to its focus on friendship, adventure, and childhood nostalgia. The movie follows four boys as they seek to find the body of a boy. It tunes into a time before phones and social media where entertainment was the outdoors and imagination.

This timeless classic explores childhood friendship in great depth by showcasing everything from teasing to play fighting whilst also shining a light on those more touching acts of appreciation shared between a group of friends that appreciate one another. Stand By Me is considered iconic, and the joy it sparks in both adults and children proves exactly why.

Labyrinth

Stream On Showtime


Labyrinth - David Bowie in maze

Whether it was David Bowie’s controversial tights or the terrifying goblins, Labyrinth is one movie that is responsible for traumatizing every child that grew up in the ’80s and every parent that watched it alongside. Labyrinth is considered a masterpiece by many, with some even suggesting that the movie was ahead of its time.

This musical fantasy flick transported fans to another world that stirred up a lot of conversation due to its haunting story and chilling characters. The movie gave many fans chills with their fear of the goblin king growing with every re-watch, but the 1986 sensation certainly earned its place in cinematic history and made several fans keep a close eye on their siblings.


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