Dustin Hoffman Movies of the '80s

Dustin Hoffman is arguably one of the best actors Hollywood has ever produced. Whether you’re young or about the same age as Dustin Hoffman, you still know exactly who he is. After all, this incredible actor always impresses with his roles. His career may have started in the 1960s, but his films are still relevant to this day. It might be surprising that a person who is now over 80, is still involved in current projects. However, his captivating performances and pure talent never seem to disappear into the blue.

Many people consider him to be their childhood crush, others grew up watching him in his older years, but there is still a whole generation likely still discovering his talents. It really doesn't matter which category you are in. You have probably have seen at least one movie this talented actor has done. Focusing on the 1980s, here is a quick list of Dustin Hoffman movies from that decade and also some honorable mentions from his entire career. Leave a comment with your favorites or maybe one that we missed.

'80s Films

Rain Man (1988)

Rain Man is one of the first films that comes to mind when anybody mentions Dustin Hoffman. It was not his first or last project, but it is arguably one of the most successful ones. Among Hoffman's many talents is his ability to count things, including cards. It is one of the favorites among millions of online casino fans all across the globe. Therefore, it crowns our list as a favorite coming from Dustin Hoffman. In this film, Dustin Hoffman plays a rather troubled individual with mental instability. He and his brother set off on a big journey. They still get to know each other and settle family business, even through drama and dislike.

We must, however, say that this film is not only good because we see the bond developing between two brothers that didn’t know each other. This film is actually a great source of entertainment. Everyone who watched this film will probably recognize a famous casino scene. Funny enough, it was also one of the first Hollywood films to be filmed in Caesars Palace, in Las Vegas. It is said that now the majority of studios simply use green screens as they are not willing to pay for the expenses of filming in such an epic location.

But if the online world existed, we wouldn’t get this film. Overall, this film is a must, especially for people who know little about Dustin Hoffman and his career.

Tootsie (1982)

Another favorite on our list is Tootsie. Here Dustin Hoffman plays a struggling actor who barely manages to make a living. He’s very hard on himself, even though he’s definitely talented. Nothing seems to work as he’s never been hired. Therefore, he comes up with a brilliant plan to make a living.

He finally auditions for a soap opera and gets the part. However, to succeed he also invents a whole new person and becomes a woman, at least for the addition. Which told you, Dustin Hoffman can pull off anything, including being a drag queen. Just like in any other movie, this genius plan is very close to failing and being discovered. The main character notices more and more issues that continue to appear. Soon, everyone might find out that he’s actually a man who simply invented a new personality.

His career might be ruined if at least one person finds out that he only acts like a woman and uses makeup. He will not be able to perform or make a living.

We as an audience are always on our tiptoes, trying to figure out whether an actor will succeed or reveal his identity. It is by far one of the most exciting rules by Dustin Hoffman, at least from our perspective.

Ishtar (1987)

Next on our list is the movie called Ishtar. Among the elements people love in this movie are excellent filming locations and cinematography. The contrast between Morocco and New York City is evident and cannot help but lure the audience in.

Moreover, the director manages to combine the storyline of two songwriters with the Cold War. A unique combination of themes to say the least.

Dustin Hoffman as the main protagonist follows his dream as a songwriter and starts questioning how far he can go to reach it. A painfully beautiful piece that deserves a high place on our list.

Family Business (1989)

Family Business combines criminal nets with family drama and questions whether the family should be loved even when it forces you to steal and engage in criminal activities.

Vito, played by Dustin Hoffman, decides that he doesn't want the same criminal future for his son. On his way to get away from illegal dealing and make his own name, he also leaves his family. However, Vito's son turns to his family's dark side and proves to be successful in burglaries.

Is blood thicker than anything else? Can Vito reason with Adam, his son? There's only one way to know and it's to watch the movie.

'70s Honorable Mentions

Lenny (1974)

Lenny is a very entertaining and less horrific film compared to our previous choices. Dustin Hoffman plays a rather famous comedian who was active during the '50s. Lenny, the main protagonist, was bored with telling censored jokes that were fully controlled by the government.

Monday he finally decided to break free and get away from the social standard imposed on humor. We will not review any more spoilers, but changing his routine made him a very successful comedian. Nevertheless, with fame and popularity came other issues. Now he was telling edgier material… but at what cost?

In this film, Dustin Hoffman proved once more that he can play practically anyone. He never failed to deliver jokes or punchlines. He also managed to play a real person which is one of the hardest challenges for any actor. Lenny himself would have loved his performance.

Overall, we consider this film to be both light and deep. It combines entertaining material as it tells a story about stand-up comedians with rather deep social themes. It is a must-watch for anyone who likes Dustin Hoffman.

All the President's Men (1976)

All the king's horses and all the king's men… just kidding. This film has nothing to do with this quotation or proverb. Instead, it does follow an investigation of several successful reporters. If you’re a fan of journalism or thrilling investigations, you will definitely like this film. Besides, Dustin Hoffman does play a major role as the main protagonist.

First and foremost, this movie becomes very good as soon as the audience realizes that both main protagonists, the reporters, are actually rivals. They are all trying to make the best story connected with a burglary. Another thrilling moment comes when they both realize that the story can become even more tricky. The person who stole the money might be connected to the White House. As the plot unravels, both protagonists become closer and chase the stories as far as they possibly can.

It is an epic showdown of not on the journalist skills. The movie also tells the story of corruption and how everyone should be judged equally, whether they work for the government or not. Needless to say, Dustin Hoffman obviously succeeds in his role, once more proving that he can play any character.

'90s Honorable Mentions

American Buffalo (1996)

Gambling might be a theme connected with Dustin Hoffman, as American Buffalo is yet another film connected with gambling. The premise of the movie is rather simple. One of the main protagonists actually realizes that the coin he simply gave away almost for nothing actually costs a lot of money. So he tries his best to return a coin and a salad later for thousands of dollars. In his quest, he also has another protagonist helping him. While the two are trying to get the coin back, we also meet the character of Dustin Hoffman.

Here the actor does play a slightly anxious and socially awkward person. However, it does show that he has a wide range as a popular Hollywood actor.

Because the three main characters are pretty bad and what they’re doing, they encounter a lot of funny situations while trying to rob the shop that has the queen that we have already mentioned

We could not help but think that the film was set at different times as there was no online gambling or digital casinos available. We do wish all the gamblers would know that they will be able to play from their couches. But how would Dustin Hoffman‘s character from this movie and the Rain Man react?

Outbreak (1995)

Outbreak is one of the most epic and creepiest ones on the list. The COVID-19 pandemic can be likened to the film's scenario which rather similar to what we already experienced in real life. It is also interesting that this movie has become even more popular since the start of the pandemic. Although it is not as close to real-life as other similar films, it still has some truth in it.

The movie starts by explaining that people captured a monkey from the jungle who was later sold in a pet store in the United States. The same monkey was infected by the deadly virus. So a group of military men has to quarantine a small California town in order to contaminate the virus and not let it spread.

Dustin Hoffman here plays one of the military men with rather high morals. He does his best to find patient zero, an animal, and help others to survive. The movie might look old considering that it was filmed in 1995. However, it has a lot of action, plot twists, and thrilling effects. With that being said, it might be one of the favorites on our list.

More Modern Honorable Mentions

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

Have we said that the previous movie was one of our favorites? We might take that back once we talk more about this film.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is already a classic. However, many might consider the story to be a psychological horror film because it is truly creepy. Nevertheless, the plot follows a young man who tries his hand at making perfumes. Sounds innocent, right? You are totally wrong here. Spoilers ahead!

As the plot develops, a young man discovers the unique sound that women have. Thus, he decides to create an ideal perfume collecting sounds of all the women he deems fit.

To collect the necessary materials, all the women must die. After killing them, he puts them into containers with ethanol and finally takes out their scent. The movie ends when the young man succeeds in creating a perfect perfume ride before his death.

It is a masterpiece in all senses of the word. Even though Dustin Hoffman plays a secondary role in the film, his performance is not easy to forget. We do want to warn you that this film is not easy to watch. So be prepared for an interesting plot with horrific scenes.

Meet the Fockers (2010)

We wanted to balance out tragic films with comedy. Meet the Fockers doesn't offer much when it comes to social themes, but it does deliver on comedy. We cannot say that this film is one of the best by Dustin Hoffman, yet it is simply fun and does a great job, considering that it is one of his more recent projects.

Even though the name of the film is a classic American wordplay. We cannot help but laugh out loud, especially when watching the first movie of the series.

If you have been living under a rock and you haven’t watched this movie, we will give you a couple of words about it. We meet two families who are opposites of one another. One is serious, and another is not only comedic but has the funniest last name in the world.

Both families must meet one another as Greg and Pam, the two main protagonists, are to get married. As he would imagine, things go wrong as soon as both families meet each other.

Dustin Hoffman may not play the main protagonist, but he is still excellent in this movie. He is fun, interesting, and simply a pleasure to watch. Not to mention that the whole movie features top-rated Hollywood actors including Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, and even Barbra Streisand. The cast alone is one of the reasons to watch this brilliant comedy or rewatch it if you haven't seen it in awhile.

Chef (2014)

Chef follows a story of a talented chef who is searching for inspiration that he once lost. While searching for new recipes and talents, he moves from Los Angeles to Miami after having enough of his boss. Of course, there are a lot of milestones he needs to overcome before he embraces his love for cooking and finds other people just as obsessed with flavors as he is.

Can you guess which character is played by Dustin Hoffman? If you said that inspiring chef, you would not be correct. He actual plays the annoying and overbearing boss that forced the main character to move from a fancy restaurant in California to a simple truck in Miami.

Hoffman can play anyone as we've seen him as a comedian, autistic brother, gambler, and socially awkward individual. However, he can also pull off annoying bosses or even an antihero.

This movie is also good because we see the amazing acting skills of Jon Favreau. If you are a huge fan of the Marvel cinematic universe, this film will also be a definite must-watch for you. But it is a simple interesting fact not connected with Dustin Hoffman or his amazing acting skills.

What Else You Need to Know about Dustin Hoffman

While we don’t think it is necessary to talk more about Dustin Hoffman. His name is well known in Hollywood after receiving numerous awards, including the Oscar. However, what we truly love about him, is his immaculate ability to play absolutely anyone.

If you have seen at least one of his movies, you will know that he manages to play antiheroes, vulnerable characters, and even women. Each film seems to bring a new side from not only recognizable characters but an actor himself. He never fails or delivers a bad performance.

You might know him from some of his newer films like Chef (2014). Nevertheless, this actor has stolen the hearts of many because of his performance in Rain Man. This film still remains a never-dying classic that we also include in our list.

Dustin Hoffman: Man of Many Roles

Now is a perfect time to finally wrap things up. We have taken you through several successful movies by Dustin Hoffman. We do not claim that they are the best ones of his career. However, we do like them because they are either entertaining, thrilling, or simply horrific.

Some of them were also chosen to showcase that this actor can play practically any role. He can play autistic brothers, socially awkward gamblers, drag queens, annoying bosses, and comedians. There is hardly any role that fails to capture our attention as an audience. We also recommend you watch them in chronological order. This way you see how Dustin Hoffman has aged and grown as an actor.

The list of his best movies should probably be even longer. So you can definitely discover much more from Dustin Hoffman, his projects from the '80s and even his more recent movies.

Overall, we cannot help but wonder how he manages to combine so many talents. You should definitely have a movie night dedicated to Dustin Hoffman’s best movies selected above.

Photos courtesy Depositphotos
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