The 1980s was a big decade for John Cusack. During this time, he would break out as one of Hollywood’s most notable actors and comedians.
But what were the best movies starring John Cusack from the 1980s?
The Best 80s John Cusack Movies
Although there are so many great roles to choose from, we did our best to narrow it down for you.
Here are our picks for the best John Cusack movies of the 1980s:
1. One Crazy Summer (1986)
This 1986 film came out when comedic legend Bette Midler took her career in a less dramatic direction and more into comedy territory. What’s great about it is that it stars John Cusack, Demi Moore, and Bobcat Goldthwait.
This movie follows a teen who takes an impromptu summer vacation with his sister and her friend only to find that their arrival is not entirely expected. What unfolds during this trip is one wild adventure.
It starts with Cusack’s character, Tom, wanting to learn the truth about his father, but as time goes on, he finds himself posing as a student at a prestigious woman’s college run by Bette Midler, who takes the role of Janey.
It has an incredibly young Demi Moore in it, however what makes it even more entertaining is how Goldthwait plays a man who lives next door to them and develops quite a crush on Moore’s character.
2. The Sure Thing (1985)
Another one of John Cusack’s most popular films from the 1980s is “The Sure Thing.” This film is especially memorable in that it stars Cusack alongside fellow Hollywood A-lister Daphne Zuniga. What’s great about this movie is that not only does it star two actors who were starting to find their footing in the acting world, but it also features other big-name celebrities like LaTanya Richardson and Jeremy Piven.
The storyline of this movie is that after Cusack’s character, Gib, misses his chance to get with Zuniga’s character, Alison, he decides to drive across the country to win her over before another guy does. However, what happens along his journey has him questioning whether or not he should have tried so hard to get Alison at all.
What makes “The Sure Thing” truly one of the best John Cusack movies is that it captures so many relatable themes to audiences today, especially when it comes down to teenage love.
3. Better Off Dead (1985)
This movie was directed by Savage Steve Holland and started with a pretty famous scene where John Cusack’s character, Lane Myer, proposes to his girlfriend, but she turns him down in favor of another man. What follows is something out of a horror film as both men fight for her affection, and ultimately try to kill each other after she takes a drunken joy ride with one of them instead.
John Cusack’s character, Lane, gets to live in a recurring nightmare in which he dies in eight different ways. However, what makes it even more entertaining are the various ways Myer tries to commit suicide throughout this movie.
What makes “Better Off Dead” truly one of the best John Cusack movies is how it manages to take teenage love and turn it into something of an epic battle.
4. Sixteen Candles (1984)
One of the most iconic movies really of the 1980s, even though he did not have a large role in this movie, it’s worth noting that John Cusack’s role as “Bryce” is a good one in this 1980s cult classic.
This movie stars Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, and Justin Henry and is a teen romantic comedy that we can all relate to as high schoolers.
Samantha (Ringwald) has a crush on the most popular guy at school, however a big geek also has a giant crush on her. The tale of a woman coming of age is something that audiences will find endearing, and it’s definitely a must watch when it comes to great movies from the 1980s.
5. Stand By Me (1986)
In this Stephen King cult classic, John Cusack plays the role of “Denny Lachance”. Again even though it’s not a significant role, “Stand By Me” is another 1980s classic that has been critically acclaimed and a must watch, so that’s why we included it on the list.
The movie is about a group of friends that encounter a dead body of a local boy that has been reported missing, as well as the journey they take along the way, and the decisions they make that reveal their inner character. The movie stars Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, and Corey Feldman, and it is considered one of the best movies of the 1980s.
6. Say Anything (1989)
Of course how could we have any best John Cusack movie without the 1989 cult classic “Say Anything”. Cusack plays “Lloyd Dobler” who is madly in love and wants to go out with the beautiful and intelligent Diane Court played by Ione Skye.
The movie features one of the most iconic scenes in cinema where Cusack’s character is outside holding a boombox above his head professing his love, a scene that would be recreated many times in the future in other movies and culture.
So there you have it those are our picks for the best John Cusack movies of the 1980s. You can’t go wrong with any of them, so if you haven’t seen them, definitely consider getting around to it!