20 Older Movies Younger People Need To See

If you're the kind of person who tries to make a list of movies they need to see, you probably already know that it's easy for such a list to get out of hand.

New movies are constantly coming out and the Marvel universe alone can occupy dozens of hours of your time.

If you're in the mood for something a little more vintage, this list of must-see older movies should give you a decent place to start off from.

*The Karate Kid* (1984)

For '80s kids, this was the movie that made martial arts cool. A surprise hit, the plot features the incomparable Mr. Miyagi, played by Pat Morita, teaching a teenager to defend himself. It's kind of like a teen version of Rocky.

*Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi* (1983)

The third, and final, film of the original trilogy, Episode VI takes place a yer after the events of Episode V. Most notably, this was the last Star Wars film to be released until the coolly-received prequel films at the turn of the millenium.

*The Terminator* (1984)

This is the movie that truly made Arnold Schwarzenegger an icon. The action star teams up with director James Cameron to portray a cyborg assassin who represents humanity's only hope in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic future where artificial intelligence has run amok.

*Jaws* (1975)

Jaws was made in the days before CGI, but thanks to clever editing, you'd hardly know it. The entire movie does a masterful job of building up the suspense, barely showing the deadly shark until the climactic scene at the end.

*Die Hard* (1988)

Die Hard was released on July 15, 1988. But despite the summer release date, this iconic action movie has become somewhat of a Christmas classic thanks to its holiday setting. Bruce Willis as the heroic cop John McClane and Alan Rickman as the villainous Hans Gruber play off each other really well here.

*Home Alone* (1990)

It's easy to forget now that Macauley Culkin was an absolute megastar in the early '90s. His big star turn came in Home Alone, in which he plays a plucky kid who's, well, home alone over the holidays and has to fend off a pair of idiotic burglars.

*Beetlejuice* (1988)

One of director Tim Burton's earliest successes, the unconventional Beetlejuice starred Michael Keaton as an annoying poltergeist who's out to frighten the new inhabitants of a house. Despite the unconventional plot, the film went on to make $73.7 million off a budget of just $15 million.

*E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial* (1982)

Steven Spielberg directed this masterpiece, in which a kid befriends an alien who's been stranded on Earth. From the iconic flying bike scene to E.T.'s eventual rescue (spoiler alert, I guess), this movie was one of the biggest hits of the decade.

*The Goonies* (1985)

Spielberg was once again involved with another '80s megahit, although he was served as executive producer here. It's a classic story of adventurous kids getting in over their heads when their search for a legendary treasure gives them more than they bargained for.

*Ferris Bueller's Day Off* (1986)

Matthew Broderick's big star turn came in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a fun romp through Chicago that was written and directed by Chicagoan John Hughes. Shot on a low budget of $5 million, the movie wound up grossing $70 million.

*The Breakfast Club* (1985)

Another John Hughes film, The Breakfast Club is a story of high schoolers from different cliques finding common ground as they spend a weekend in detention. It's been selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

*Ghostbusters* (1984)

This film launched a franchise that went on to span additional movies, spinoffs, cartoons and a toy lineup. It's still going strong today. It features comedians Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Rick Moranis doing battle with a range of spirits.

*Jurassic Park* (1993)

One of the biggest blockbusters of all time, Jurassic Park used mainly practical effects during an era when many movies were switching to CGI. Based on Michael Crichton's best-selling book, the plot revolves around a futuristic theme park gone wrong.

*The Shawshank Redemption* (1994)

Based on a fairly short Stephen King novella, The Shawshank Redemption's plot spans several decades. The pairing of Tim Robbins as an intellectual prison inmate plotting his escape and Morgan Freeman in a typical wise Morgan Freeman role is absolutely perfect.

*Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark* (1981)

Following his role as Han Solo in Star Wars, Harrison Ford lent his leading man charisma to this 1981 blockbuster. A throwback of sorts, he plays Indiana Jones, an archaeologist who travels the world to preserve artifacts from evildoers.

*Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope* (1977)

Also known as, well, Star Wars, the original film in the series singlehandedly revolutionized the science fiction genre. George Lucas' universe felt real, weighty, and fully realized — a far cry from the campy fare that had typically dominated the genre.

*The Wizard of Oz* (1939)

The oldest film on this list, The Wizard of Oz was a game-changer for the film industry. Behind the scenes, the set was a complete mess. But the finished product, complete with its jaw-dropping transition to color, is not one to be missed.

*Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back* (1980)

The second film of the original trilogy, Empire picks up a few years after the events of the original. In it, the heroic Empire seeks to destroy what's left of the Rebel Alliance. Once again, it features all of the main characters from the first film.

*Back to the Future* (1985)

Michael J. Fox is cast perfectly here as teenager Marty McFly, a student who teams up with an old, weird scientist played by Christopher Lloyd to go back in time to the '50s. It grossed nearly $400 million at the box office.

*Forrest Gump* (1994)

Director Robert Zemeckis directed Back to the Future, one of the best films of the '80s, and followed it up with Forrest Gump, one of the best films of the '90s. This movie has just about everything as it follows Forrest through the decades.