Movies: Popular Movies of 1988

Movies in chronological context: 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII)was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1988th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 988th year of the 2nd millennium, the 88th year of the 20th century, and the 9th year of the 1980s decade. In the 20th century, the year 1988 has the most Roman numeral digits (11). 1988 was a crucial year in the early history of the Internet—it was the year of the first well-known computer virus, the 1988 Internet worm. The first permanent intercontinental Internet link was made between the United States (NSFNET) and Europe (Nordunet) as well as the first Internet-based chat protocol, Internet Relay Chat. The concept of the World Wide Web was first discussed at CERN in 1988. The Soviet Union began its major restructuring towards a mixed economy at the beginning of 1988 and began its gradual collapse. The Iron Curtain began to disintegrate in 1988 as Hungary began allowing freer travel to the West. The first extrasolar planet, Gamma Cephei Ab (confirmed in 2002) was detected this year and the World Health Organization began its mission to eradicate polio. ()

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Die Hard(1988)

| 2h 11min | Action, Thriller
3.8/5 (with 2,627 votes)

NYPD cop, John McClane's plan to reconcile with his estranged wife is thrown for a serious loop when minutes after he arrives at her office, the entire building is overtaken by a group of terrorists. With little help from the LAPD, wisecracking McClane sets out to single-handedly rescue the hostages and bring the bad guys down.

Directed by John McTiernan - With Bruce Willis, Alexander Godunov, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, William Atherton, Paul Gleason, ...

My Neighbor Totoro(1988)

4.1/5 (with 1,327 votes)

Two sisters move to the country with their father in order to be closer to their hospitalized mother, and discover the surrounding trees are inhabited by Totoros, magical spirits of the forest. When the youngest runs away from home, the older sister seeks help from the spirits to find her.

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Rain Man(1988)

| 2h 13min | Drama
3.9/5 (with 1,310 votes)

Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.

Directed by Barry Levinson - With Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino, Gerald R. Molen, Jack Murdock, Michael D. Roberts, ...


| 1h 32min | Fantasy, Comedy
3.7/5 (with 1,188 votes)

Thanks to an untimely demise via drowning, a young couple end up as poltergeists in their New England farmhouse, where they fail to meet the challenge of scaring away the insufferable new owners, who want to make drastic changes. In desperation, the undead newlyweds turn to an expert frightmeister, but he's got a diabolical agenda of his own.

Directed by Tim Burton - With Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O'Hara, Winona Ryder, ...

Who Framed Roger Rabbit(1988)

3.7/5 (with 1,160 votes)

'Toon star Roger is worried that his wife Jessica is playing pattycake with someone else, so the studio hires detective Eddie Valiant to snoop on her. But the stakes are quickly raised when Marvin Acme is found dead and Roger is the prime suspect.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis - With Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Stubby Kaye, Joanna Cassidy, Alan Tilvern, Richard LeParmentier, ...

Grave of the Fireflies(1988)

1h 29min | Animation, Drama, War
4.2/5 (with 802 votes)

In the final months of World War II, 14-year-old Seita and his sister Setsuko are orphaned when their mother is killed during an air raid in Kobe, Japan. After a falling out with their aunt, they move into an abandoned bomb shelter. With no surviving relatives and their emergency rations depleted, Seita and Setsuko struggle to survive.

Directed by Isao Takahata


3.5/5 (with 742 votes)

A young boy, Josh Baskin makes a wish at a carnival machine to be big. He wakes up the following morning to find that it has been granted and his body has grown older overnight. But he is still the same 13-year-old boy inside. Now he must learn how to cope with the unfamiliar world of grown-ups including getting a job and having his first romantic encounter with a woman. What will he find out about this strange world?

Directed by Penny Marshall - With Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard, David Moscow, Jared Rushton, ...

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!(1988)

| 1h 25min | Comedy, Crime
3.6/5 (with 735 votes)

When the incompetent Officer Frank Drebin seeks the ruthless killer of his partner, he stumbles upon an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth.

Directed by David Zucker - With Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy, Ricardo Montalbán, O. J. Simpson, Nancy Marchand, ...

Coming to America(1988)

| 1h 56min | Comedy, Romance / Love
3.3/5 (with 718 votes)

Prince Akeem, heir to the throne of Zamunda, leaves the tropical paradise kingdom in search of his queen. What better place than Queens, New York, to find his bride? Joined by his loyal servant and friend, Semmi, Akeem attempts to blend in as an ordinary American and begin his search.

Directed by John Landis - With Eddie Murphy, James Earl Jones, Madge Sinclair, John Amos, Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley, ...

Cinema Paradiso(1988)

| 2h 4min | Drama, Romance / Love
4.2/5 (with 666 votes)

A filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village's theater and formed a deep friendship with the theater's projectionist.

Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore - With Jacques Perrin, Marco Leonardi, Salvatore Cascio, Philippe Noiret, Agnese Nano, Brigitte Fossey, ...


| 2h 4min | Science Fiction, Animation
4.0/5 (with 637 votes)

Childhood friends Tetsuo and Kaneda are pulled into the post-apocalyptic underworld of Neo-Tokyo and forced to fight for their very survival. Kaneda is a bike gang leader, and Tetsuo is a member of a tough motorcycle crew who becomes involved in a covert government project called Akira. But a bloody battle ensues when Kaneda sets out to save his friend.

Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo

The Land Before Time(1988)

3.5/5 (with 530 votes)

An orphaned brontosaurus named Littlefoot sets off in search of the legendary Great Valley. A land of lush vegetation where the dinosaurs can thrive and live in peace. Along the way he meets four other young dinosaurs, each one a different species, and they encounter several obstacles as they learn to work together in order to survive.

Directed by Don Bluth

Rambo III(1988)

| 1h 42min | Action, Adventure, Thriller, War
2.9/5 (with 520 votes)

Combat has taken its toll on Rambo, but he's finally begun to find inner peace in a monastery. When Rambo's friend and mentor Col. Trautman asks for his help on a top secret mission to Afghanistan, Rambo declines but must reconsider when Trautman is captured.

Directed by Peter MacDonald - With Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Marc de Jonge, Sasson Gabai, Kurtwood Smith, Spiros Focás, ...

Child's Play(1988)

| 1h 27min | Horror, Thriller
3.2/5 (with 473 votes)

A single mother gives her son a beloved doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed by the soul of a serial killer.

Directed by Tom Holland - With Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Brad Dourif, Dinah Manoff, Alex Vincent, Alex Vincent, ...

They Live(1988)

3.6/5 (with 434 votes)

Nada, a wanderer without meaning in his life, discovers a pair of sunglasses capable of showing the world the way it truly is. As he walks the streets of Los Angeles, Nada notices that both the media and the government are comprised of subliminal messages meant to keep the population subdued, and that most of the social elite are skull-faced aliens bent on world domination. With this shocking discovery, Nada fights to free humanity from the mind-controlling aliens.

Directed by John Carpenter - With Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, Raymond St. Jacques, George Buck Flower, Sy Richardson, ...


1h 47min | Comedy
2.9/5 (with 411 votes)

Julius and Vincent Benedict are the results of an experiment that would allow for the perfect child. Julius was planned and grows to athletic proportions. Vincent is an accident and is somewhat smaller in stature. Vincent is placed in an orphanage while Julius is taken to a south seas island and raised by philosophers. Vincent becomes the ultimate low life and is about to be killed by loan sharks.

Directed by Ivan Reitman - With Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, Kelly Preston, Chloe Webb, Bonnie Bartlett, Tony Jay, ...

A Fish Called Wanda(1988)

| 1h 48min | Comedy, Crime
3.7/5 (with 408 votes)

A diamond advocate is attempting to steal a collection of diamonds, yet troubles arise when he realizes that he is not the only one after the diamonds.

Directed by Charles Crichton, John Cleese - With Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Maria Aitken, Patricia Hayes, ...


| 2h 6min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
3.5/5 (with 346 votes)

Fearful of a prophecy stating that a girl child will be born to bring about her downfall, the evil Queen Bavmorda imprisons all pregnant women within the formidable stronghold of Nockmaar. A child, Elora Danan, is born in the Nockmaar dungeons and identified as the prophesied child by a birthmark on her arm. However, before the black sorceress arrives to claim the child, Elora's mother convinces her reluctant midwife to escape with the baby. Willow, a timid farmer and aspiring sorcerer, is entrusted with delivering the royal infant from evil.

Directed by Ron Howard - With Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Billy Barty, Patricia Hayes, ...

Oliver & Company(1988)

| 1h 14min | Animation, Comedy, Kids & Family
3.4/5 (with 303 votes)

This animated take on Oliver Twist re-imagines Oliver as an adorable orphaned kitten who struggles to survive in New York City and falls in with a band of canine criminals led by an evil human. First, Oliver meets Dodger, a carefree mutt with street savoir faire. But when Oliver meets wealthy Jenny on one of the gang's thieving missions, his life changes forever.

Directed by George Scribner

The Big Blue(1988)

| 2h 48min | Adventure, Drama, Romance / Love
3.8/5 (with 286 votes)

Two men answer the call of the ocean in this romantic fantasy-adventure. Jacques and Enzo are a pair of friends who have been close since childhood, and who share a passion for the dangerous sport of free diving. Professional diver Jacques opted to follow in the footsteps of his father, who died at sea when Jacques was a boy; to the bewilderment of scientists, Jacques harbors a remarkable ability to adjust his heart rate and breathing pattern in the water, so that his vital signs more closely resemble that of dolphins than men (he even considers a school of dolphins as his extended family). As Enzo persuades a reluctant Jacques to compete against him in a free diving contest -- determining who can dive deeper and longer without scuba gear -- Jacques meets Johana, a beautiful insurance investigator from America, and he finds that he must choose between his love for her and his love of the sea.

Directed by Luc Besson - With Jean Reno, Rosanna Arquette, Sergio Castellitto, Marc Duret, Jean Bouise, Jean-Marc Barr, ...


| 1h 32min | Action
3.4/5 (with 269 votes)

Frank Dux has entered the "kumite", an illegal underground martial-arts competition where serious injury and even death are not unknown. Chong Li, a particularly ruthless and vicious fighter is the favorite, but then again Dux has not fought him yet.

Directed by Newt Arnold - With Jean-Claude Van Damme, Roy Chiao, Donald Gibb, Leah Ayres, Bolo Yeung, Forest Whitaker, ...


| 1h 41min | Fantasy, Comedy, Drama
3.4/5 (with 265 votes)

In this modern take on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," Frank Cross (Bill Murray) is a wildly successful television executive whose cold ambition and curmudgeonly nature has driven away the love of his life, Claire Phillips (Karen Allen). But after firing a staff member, Eliot Loudermilk (Bobcat Goldthwait), on Christmas Eve, Frank is visited by a series of ghosts who give him a chance to re-evaluate his actions and right the wrongs of his past.

Directed by Richard Donner - With Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, John Glover, Bobcat Goldthwait, David Johansen, ...

Mississippi Burning(1988)

| 2h 8min | Thriller, Crime, Drama
3.8/5 (with 259 votes)

Two FBI agents investigating the murder of civil rights workers during the 60s seek to breach the conspiracy of silence in a small Southern town where segregation divides black and white. The younger agent trained in FBI school runs up against the small town ways of his, former Sheriff, partner.

Directed by Alan Parker - With Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, R. Lee Ermey, Michael Rooker, Frances McDormand, Brad Dourif, ...

Red Heat(1988)

| 1h 44min | Action, Crime
3.0/5 (with 255 votes)

A tough Russian policeman is forced to partner up with a cocky Chicago police detective when he is sent to Chicago to apprehend a Georgian drug lord who killed his partner and fled the country.

Directed by Walter Hill - With Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Belushi, Peter Boyle, Ed O'Ross, Laurence Fishburne, Gina Gershon, ...


| 1h 44min | Drama, Romance / Love, Comedy
3.0/5 (with 248 votes)

After being discharged from the Army, Brian Flanagan moves back to Queens and takes a job in a bar run by Doug Coughlin, who teaches Brian the fine art of bar-tending. Brian quickly becomes a patron favorite with his flashy drink-mixing style. Brian adopts his mentor's cynical philosophy on life and goes for the money. He leaves his artist girlfriend Jordan Mooney for Bonnie, a wealthy, high-powered executive. Brian soon must chose between the two, as he evaluates his options.

Directed by Roger Donaldson - With Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown, Elisabeth Shue, Gina Gershon, Kelly Lynch, Lisa Banes, ...

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master(1988)

| 1h 39min | Horror, Thriller
2.9/5 (with 218 votes)

Dream demon Freddy Krueger is resurrected from his apparent demise, and rapidly tracks down and kills the remainder of the Elm Street kids. However, Kristen, who can draw others into her dreams, wills her special ability to her friend Alice. Alice soon realizes that Freddy is taking advantage of that unknown power to pull a new group of children into his foul domain.

Directed by Renny Harlin - With Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox, Andras Jones, Tuesday Knight, Ken Sagoes, Rodney Eastman, ...

Crocodile Dundee II(1988)

| 1h 50min | Adventure, Comedy
2.8/5 (with 217 votes)

Australian outback expert protects his New York love from gangsters who've followed her down under.

Directed by John Cornell - With Linda Kozlowski, John Meillon, Paul Hogan, Charles S. Dutton, Kenneth Welsh, Dennis Boutsikaris, ...

Dangerous Liaisons(1988)

| 1h 59min | Drama, Romance / Love
3.6/5 (with 210 votes)

Dangerous Liaisons is the film based on the novel of the same name by Choderlos de Laclos set in 18th century France. Marquise de Merteuil’s asks her ex-lover Vicomte de Valmont to seduce the future wife of another ex-lover of hers in return for one last night with her. Yet things don’t go as planned in this love triangle drama.

Directed by Stephen Frears - With Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman, Keanu Reeves, Swoosie Kurtz, ...

Working Girl(1988)

| 1h 54min | Comedy, Drama, Romance / Love
3.3/5 (with 176 votes)

Witty, romantic look at life in the corporate jungle. Tess McGill is an ambitious secretary with a unique approach for climbing the ladder to success. When her classy, but villainous boss breaks a leg skiing, Tess takes over her office, her apartment and even her wardrobe. She creates a deal with a handsome investment banker that will either take her to the top, or finish her off for good.

Directed by Mike Nichols - With Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin, Joan Cusack, Philip Bosco, ...


3.4/5 (with 176 votes)

An American doctor visits Paris with his wife but then she suddenly vanishes. To find her, he navigates a puzzling web of language, locale, laissez-faire cops, triplicate-form filling bureaucrats and a defiant, mysterious waif who knows more than she tells.

Directed by Roman Polanski - With Harrison Ford, Betty Buckley, John Mahoney, Emmanuelle Seigner, Yorgo Voyagis, David Huddleston, ...
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