Idiots Guide: Best Buddy Movies of the 1980’s

There is nothing better than a great buddy movie. Add in some comedy and you are looking at a perfect home remedy for some of life’s down days. The 1980’s were a really good decade for this genre of film, with so many comedy greats making their rounds around theatres nationwide. In the decades that have followed, these films have only increased in popularity and overall appreciation. We hope you enjoy our list. #Comedy.


#10. Brewster’s Millions (1985) 

brewsters millions

Richard Pryor and John Candy provided memorable and hilarious performances in this mid-eighties comedy directed by Walter Hill. Both Pryor and Candy have both since passed on but their classic films endure and continue to entertain through the ages.

#9. Tango & Cash (1989) 

tango and cash

Slyvester Stallone and Kurt Russell play highly decorated Los Angeles cops who have earned the ire of a vicious mega-criminal. This is a late 1980’s classic police buddy film. Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, Albert Magnoli this movie has all of the prerequisite car chases and explosions that we’ve come to expect from 1980’s action films.

#8. Coming to America (1988) 


You can’t spell comedy in the The 1980’s without Eddie Murphy. He made what seemed like dozens of movies in the decade (some on this list) including this classic ‘Coming to America’ with side-kick Arsenio Hall, who also made his comedic bones in that era. This John Landis directed film saw Murphy and Hall play numerous characters, each memorable in their own way.

#7. Trading Places (1983) 


In keeping with Eddie Murphy‘s wave of success, his paring with Dan Ackroyd in this comedy classic was phenomenal. The story of a homeless man who is brought into the trappings of wealth on a bet, is a funny premise on it’s own, however, the performances sealed it’s greatness as a film. One of the funniest movies of the 1980’s, hands down.

#6. The Blues Brothers (1980) 

blues brothers

You can’t watch ‘The Blues Brothers‘ and not miss the heck out of John Belushi, can you? Believe it or not, there are millennials who have not seen this picture. They really need to. Dan Aykroyd was everywhere in the 1980’s including this John Landis directed cult classic from 1980. They were on a ‘mission from God’, and there was no shortage of comic high jinx’s throughout this film. It’s just really funny.

#5. Lethal Weapon (1987) 


The summer of 1987 was white hot in theatre’s all over America as viewers came out in droves to see this block-buster action film directed by Richard Donner. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover were a perfectly matched pair of mis-matched characters. There were chills, spills, and a plethora of classic one-liners throughout this picture. One of the best.

#4. Midnight Run (1988) 

Midnight Run

Midnight Run‘ was a moderately received film in the late 1980’s that has grown into a serious cult classic comedy ever since. It is very difficult to change the channel whenever I come across this movie playing on cable. Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin executed amazing performances in this movie about a bounty hunting caper gone bananas. Directed by Martin Brest, this film is just flat out funny, with a pretty good character study deftly woven into it’s fabric.

#3. 48 HRS. (1988) 


Did we forget to mention that Eddie Murphy was a 1980’s mega-star? No, we didn’t. Once again, Murphy delivers, this time with Nick Nolte in this comedy filled with raunchy language, violence, and wise cracks galore. Directed by Walter Hill (The Warriors) this movie perfectly encapsulates the ‘buddy film’ genre. Definitely rated ‘R’.

#2. Running Scared (1986) 


In my opinion, ‘Running Scared‘ is the best all-around buddy film comedy on this list. It’s placement at #2 is due only to the popular gravitas of the next picture. The Chicago Police Department had two very funny, wise-cracking detectives brilliantly played by the late great Gregory Hines and comedy legend Billy Crystal. This is a flat out hilarious film directed by Peter Hyams. It also featured a great performance by a young Jimmy Smits.

#1. The Cannonball Run (1981) 





The Cannonball Run‘ featured a ‘who’s, who’ of brilliant comedy stars including the incomparable Burt Reynolds playing alongside comedy legend Dom DeLuis. In between a cross country race, and a boat load of laughs, you might notice a young Jackie Chan along with show business legends Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin. This film is perhaps the best assemble comedy in movie history, and it’s popularity has only grown over the years. It’s the perfect home remedy for the ‘blues’ on any day that you might need a good laugh.




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