1987 Movies

In 1987, cinema witnessed numerous releases that left a lasting mark on film history. We've meticulously compiled a Plex database showcasing each notable movie from that year. Our compilation stands as an essential tool for enthusiasts, researchers, and everyone in between. Each link offers not just a title but also a peek into the richness of that year's cinematic offerings.
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The Best Movies of 1987

1987 served as a landmark year in the annals of film history, offering a buffet of cinematic gems that still resonate today. From ground-breaking action franchises to cult classics, let's explore these extraordinary works that captured the hearts of many.

Full Metal Jacket

Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece "Full Metal Jacket" is set during the Vietnam War, it follows the tale of young recruits under the stern command of Sgt. Hartman (R. Lee Ermey). Notable for its intense boot camp sequences and the sterling performances by Ermey and Vincent D'Onofrio, it is seen as one of Kubrick's finest works and an indelible classic of the war genre.

Raising Arizona

Another stand-out feature from 1987 is the classic comedy "Raising Arizona," starring Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter. The film's plot focuses on the strange pair: recently released convict Hi (Cage) and police officer Ed (Hunter), who resort to child abduction due to their inability to conceive. Recognized for its unforgettable characters and memorable moments, this film showcases the acclaimed Coen brothers' comedy talents.

Empire of the Sun

"Empire of the Sun" is another shining gem from 1987. Directed by Steven Spielberg, this underrated film tells the story of Jamie (Christian Bale), a British schoolboy separated from his parents in Japan during World War II. The narrative offers a poignant exploration of a child losing his innocence amidst the horrors of war, with a remarkable performance from a young Bale.

The Princess Bride

"The Princess Bride," a delightful mix of fantasy and comedy, stole hearts in 1987. This narrative is read as a storybook to a sick child by his grandfather, featuring the romantic tale of Buttercup (Robin Wright) and Westley (Cary Elwes). Even after decades, this film continues to enchant audiences with its timeless appeal.

The Untouchables

The genre of mobster movies was well represented in 1987 with "The Untouchables." It offers a thrilling narrative about Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), who assembles a team to bring down notorious gangster Al Capone (Robert De Niro). With an all-star cast, this movie remains a riveting journey of bravery against the odds.


Also in 1987, "Predator" emerged as a successful crossover of the science-fiction and action genres. It revolves around a team of soldiers, led by Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger), battling a lethal alien hunter in the South American jungle. Famous for its memorable quotes, it is regarded as one of the best films of the era and a highlight of Schwarzenegger's career.


"RoboCop" is yet another 1987 film that captured the attention of movie-goers. Set in a crime-ridden Detroit, it tells the story of police officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) who, after being critically injured, is turned into a law-enforcing cyborg. The film effectively blends graphic violence with thoughtful social commentary.

Lethal Weapon

"Lethal Weapon," one of the most celebrated action films of the 80s, was also released in this year. The story of reckless Detective Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) partnering with veteran Detective Roger Murtagh (Danny Glover) offers a compelling blend of action and comedy. The chemistry between Gibson and Glover was a key factor in the film's success.

Fatal Attraction

The erotic psychological thriller "Fatal Attraction" was another highlight of 1987. Featuring a memorable performance from Glenn Close, the film centers on the consequences of a married lawyer's (Michael Douglas) affair with Alex Forrest (Close). The film popularized the trope of the jilted lover and received multiple Oscar nominations.

Evil Dead II

1987 was also a great year for horror fans, with "Evil Dead II" being a standout. This sequel and retelling of its predecessor focuses on the return of franchise hero Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) to the infamous cabin in the woods. This horror-comedy film is well-regarded for its slapstick humor and enduring practical effects.

1987 Movies & Industry Highlights

Several films released in 1987 left a substantial mark on North American box office gross. Three Men and a Baby, a film distributed by Buena Vista, achieved the highest box office gross, raking in $167.7M. Paramount's Fatal Attraction followed closely, generating $156.6M. Beverly Hills Cop II also made an impressive impact with its $153.6M gross.

Other films that performed notably include Good Morning, Vietnam by Buena Vista, with a gross of $123.9M. Moonstruck by MGM managed to gather $80.6M. The Untouchables, another Paramount feature, made $76.2M. The Secret of My Success from Universal, Stakeout from Buena Vista, Lethal Weapon by Warner Bros., and The Witches of Eastwick all amassed considerable revenue, contributing to a successful year in cinema.

Noteworthy Events of 1987

The year wasn't just about box office hits. There were unique occurrences that added more depth to the year. One such event took place on January 31. The Cure for Insomnia premiered at The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Illinois, breaking records to become the longest film according to Guinness World Records.

May 23 saw an event in Los Angeles, California, that went by the name of Starlog Salutes Star Wars. This was the first officially sponsored Star Wars convention commemorating the franchise's 10th anniversary. It served as a testament to the impact the series had made in the years since its inception.

June 29 marked another milestone for a well-known franchise. The James Bond series celebrated its 25th anniversary with its 15th film, The Living Daylights, making its debut. Walt Disney also made waves with its re-release of the classic masterpiece Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs worldwide for its 50th anniversary on July 17.

Paramount Pictures had its share of milestones in 1987. Apart from releasing some of the highest-grossing films of the year, the company also celebrated its 75th anniversary. This celebration saw the launch of a new on-screen logo used until 1989, after which its standard variant was used from 1989 to 2002.