The 10 Best Movies of 1987: Rave Rentals from the Year of the Robocop

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The year is 1987. Iran-Contra is dominating the headlines; Margaret

Thatcher wins a third term as Prime Minister; and the Supreme Court

tells the Rotary Club that they have to admit women. In other more

tragic news, the space shuttle, Ranger 3, the last of NASA's

deep space probes, would be lost along with its pilot, Captain Buck

Rogers. Some theorized that maybe he would be found some 500 years

later when humans had the technology to unfreeze him. But that's just

crazy talk. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century? Ridiculous.

But the box office was a different story. Science fiction and

fantasy once again are big draws, but Vietnam would prove to be the

piece de resistance. Topping the box office would be a film directed by

none other than Leonard "I am/I am not Spock" Nimoy titled Three

Men and a Baby. But as successful as it was, it was not one of

the ten best of the year. So what were the top ten films of 1987?

10.)

target="_blank">Evil Dead II

Director: Sam Raimi

Stars: Bruce Campbell

Why a fave? While it didn't exactly make a huge splash when it was

released, Evil Dead II has become a huge cult phenomenon,

becoming the example of how to perfectly mesh comedy with horror. Both

scary and hilarious, this film cemented the genius of Sam Raimi, not to

mention made Bruce Campbell an underground cult celebrity. Anchor Bay

has released about three million functionally different versions of

this on DVD. I was recently told that there's another planned, titled

the No really, we have new bonus features this time edition.

9.) The

Untouchables

Director: Brian De Palma

Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery

Why a fave? When this came out, this film was the bee's freaking knees.

It dominated at the box office and got a number of Oscar nods and even

won one. And, yeah, it was pretty awesome. So why does it place so low?

It didn't hold up. Really, watch it. It's not as great as you remember

it. Better yet, don't. It will live on better in your memory.

8.)

target="_blank">Near Dark

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton

Why a fave? Easily the single greatest modern vampire film, a film so

raw, original and daring that it never, ever, even once uses the word vampire.

"What are we?" "We don't know." This movie redefined the vampire

lifestyle in fiction and influenced a large amount of vampire

literature and film over the following two decades.

7.)

target="_blank">Predator

Director: John McTiernan

Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Shane Black

Why a fave? "If it bleeds, we can kill it." Hell yeah. One of the great

science fiction horror films, often imitated, but never properly

duplicated, not even by its own sequel. Loud, proud and explosion

heavy, this is how films like this are supposed to be done.

6.) Robocop

Director: Paul Verhoeven

Stars: Peter Weller, the dad from That 70's Show

Why a fave? This was a tough one. While I love Predator and

the two share a very important place in sci-fi/action history, it was

Robocop's wit and open satire that put it a cut above. This is one of

those films that works as both as a serious film within the genre as

well as an intelligent deconstruction of it.

5.) Broadcast

News

Director: James L. Brooks

Stars: Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter, William Hurt

Why a fave? Man, who would have thought the evening news could be

cutthroat, frenetic and exciting? This film singlehandedly made it cool

to be in the news profession. The bitter, hilarious story behind the

plastic smiles and man on the street news coverage.

4.) Lethal

Weapon

Director: Richard Donner

Stars: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover

Why a fave? Mel Gibson. Danny Glover. Before they got too old for this

$#*%. Seriously though, this is the real prototype for the buddy cop

movie. Every single movie involving two cops thrown together wants so

badly to be this that it hurts. And none of them have been.

3.) Good

Morning, Vietnam

Director: Barry Levinson

Stars: Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker

Why a fave? Not since M.A.S.H. has someone been able to

capture both ridiculously funny comedy and the deep tragedy of war and

shift seamlessly between them. This is how you're supposed to use Robin

Williams. You wind him up and turn him loose for the funny, then let

his dramatic sense lead the story. Easily one of the funniest films

Williams has ever been a part of.

2.) The

Princess Bride

Director: Rob Reiner

Stars: Carey Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright Penn, Andre the Giant,

Christopher Guest, Peter Falk, Chris Sarandon, Wallace Shawn.

Why a fave? If I have to tell you then you have no idea what you're in

for.

target="_blank">I'm sure there's someone around here who wrote a book

about it or something. You might want to ask them

why this is one of the funniest films ever made.

1.) Full

Metal Jacket

Director: Stanley Freaking Kubrick

Stars: Matthew Modine, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Baldwin, R. Lee "Gunny"

Ermey

Why a fave? There's a saying that goes "Well, he's no Kubrick." That

goes for pretty much everyone but this guy. Stanley Kubrick. He's the

guy. And this is a film so good that not only is it the seminal works

on the Vietnam war, but is also one of the greatest anti-war films ever

made. Oh, yeah. And it gave us the glory that is R. Lee Ermey. And for

some odd reason, if you go to any video store near a college campus,

they have like four copies of this. Still a huge rental.

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See the Top 10 of 1986

C. Robert Cargill - - - Email

Me

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Austin-based Cargill, who not

only loves but owns The Cutting Edge, writes on movies

and DVD five times a week.