12 Essential Brat Pack Movies & Where to Stream Them

THE BREAKFAST CLUB, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, 1985.
Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

With Brats now streaming on Hulu, the Brat Pack are once again back in the news. We’re of course referring to actors Andrew McCarthy, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald—who are often recognized as its core members. In case you’re not familiar with the backstory, here’s a brief rundown: It all started with a 1985 New York Magazine article about the spurt of teen superstars coming out of Hollywood in the ’80s. In his now infamous article, writer David Blum coined the term “Brat Pack,” a nickname he made for the group of aforementioned actors of that era. It was a label mostly resented by its core members, one that would haunt them for years to come. In his eye-opening new documentary, Brats director Andrew McCarthy reunites with most of his fellow Brat Packers and reflects on the cultural phenomenon and the negative impact it had on some of their careers. But still, to fans who grew up with their movies, “Brat Pack” is also a nostalgic term that immediately brings forth fond memories of ‘80s coming-of-age classics such as Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and The Breakfast Club.

Now that Brats is out and you’re probably curious about revisiting some of those Brat Pack movies, we decided to find out where they’re all streaming. While there is no list of official Brat Pack movies, the general rule is that it has to be a film featuring two or more of its core members listed above. So, for your streaming pleasure, here is a list of the most essential Brat Pack movies (some classics, some decent, others incredible misfires) and where you can watch them.

Class (1983)

Part drama, part romance, part screwball comedy, Class is about a naive prep-school boy who stumbles, literally, into an affair with an older woman. Unaware of her identity, he later learns that she is his friend’s mother. The film stars fellow Brat Packers Rob Lowe and Andrew McCarthy. Class received mostly mixed to negative reviews upon its original release. In his 1983 review, Roger Ebert gave the film a 2-star rating and described it as “a prep-school retread of The Graduate that knows some of its scenes are funny and some are serious, but never figures out quite how they should go together.” With so many tonal shifts and mixed messages when it came to how the film tackled its moral dilemmas, Ebert says, “The ethical questions got so muddled I gave up. In fact, the whole movie got so muddled that I lost interest.” Thankfully, Lowe and McCarthy had much better films just over the horizon. You can currently stream Class on Prime/Freevee.

The Outsiders (1983)

Francis Ford Coppola directed this film adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s best-selling novel about the lives of troubled teenagers in 1960s Oklahoma, as seen through the eyes of a boy (C. Thomas Howell) who prefers poetry and Gone With The Wind over brawling. The film features a veritable who’s-who of ’80s poster boys including Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise, and Leif Garrett. Author Hinton makes a cameo appearance as a nurse. Stream it now on YouTube TV.

Oxford Blues (1984)

Rob Lowe and Ally Sheedy star in this comedy drama that follows the misadventures of the cocky and confident Nick De Angelo (Lowe), a Las Vegas casino hustler who falls head over heels for a British princess named Lady Victoria Wingate (Amanda Pays). Since this is one of those “do anything you can to get the girl” comedies, he decides to go to England and con his way into Oxford University in hopes to meet the girl of his dreams and win her over. Things get a little more complicated when he joins the rowing team and finds out that Victoria is already smitten over a fellow Oxford rower named Colin (Julian Sands). Of course, there’s also another girl in the mix too, Rona (Sheedy), who develops her own crush on Nick. Oxford Blues tanked at the box office and is often cited as the worst of the Brat Pack movies, but if you’re curious about checking it out and got $3.59 to spare, it’s currently available for rental on Prime. Sadly, nowhere is streaming it for free.

Sixteen Candles (1984)

This 1984 John Hughes classic stars Molly Ringwald as Samantha Baker, a winsome sophomore trying to survive the twin horrors of her crush on the most popular boy in school and her family’s complete obliviousness to her all-important 16th birthday. To complicate matters, she’s also the obsession of a supremely self-confident geek (Anthony Michael Hall) and a bridesmaid in the wedding of her supremely self-absorbed sister. Stream it now on Prime or YouTubeTV.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

One of the best in the John Hughes-Brat Pack tour de force. Five students from all walks of suburban high school life — an athlete (Emilio Estevez), a burnout (Judd Nelson), a princess (Molly Ringwald), a brain (Anthony Michael Hall) and a head case (Ally Sheedy) — earn themselves a Saturday in detention and the wrath of the pompous dean of students. With nothing but each other to occupy their day, they bicker and tease and slowly lose their school-week façades in the course of discovering that each is waging his or her own battle with peer pressure and dysfunctional parenting. And while their newfound friendships are likely to disintegrate once Monday morning rolls around, for a moment they see clearly the forces that have shaped themselves and the others. Stream it now on Netflix or YouTube TV.

St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)

If you graduated from college in the ’80s, this film and its soundtrack are probably still deeply meaningful to you. The Brat Pack tosses off their caps and gowns and ventures into the real world — with mixed results — in this 1985 Joel Schumacher offering starring Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez and Mare Winningham. Stream it now Hulu or Pluto TV.

About Last Night (1986)

Based on David Mamet’s 1974 off-Broadway play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” Rob Lowe and James Belushi star as Dan and Bernie, a couple of single guys who are enjoying their bachelor life. When Dan meets Debbie (Demi Moore), the two have a one-night stand that evolves into a sexually charged courtship that threatens to become something more. Could it be true love? If it is, best friends should understand … shouldn’t they? Apparently not, because tensions soon flare between their circle of disapproving friends. About Last Night received generally favorable reviews upon its release, in fact, in his glowing 1986 review, Roger Ebert even gave it a 4-star rating and summed up the movie as “a warmhearted and intelligent love story, and one of the year’s best movies.” Stream it now on Hulu.

Pretty in Pink (1986)

Written by John Hughes and named after a Psychedelic Furs song of the same name, Pretty in Pink introduced us to Andie (Molly Ringwald), an artsy, not-so-popular high school girl who works at a record store to help her underemployed dad keep bread on the table. One day, she upsets the social balance — and her hopelessly devoted best friend, Duckie (Jon Cryer) — when she falls for Blane (Andrew McCarthy), a rich kid from the cool clique. When they start to date, their friends try to pull them apart, but fate ultimately draws them together on the night of their senior prom. Sporting a killer ’80s soundtrack, Pretty in Pink is not only one of the quintessential teen movies of that decade, it’s also quintessential Hughes, right up there with Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. In fact, this would be Ringwald’s third and final time working on a project with Hughes attached, something she actually regrets. Stream it now on Hulu or Paramount+.

Wisdom (1986)

Emilio Estevez wrote, directed, and starred in this crime drama about a boyfriend and girlfriend (Demi Moore) who decide to embrace a life of crime and go on a cross-country banking-robbing spree and donate the money to struggling farmers — basically, it was the Bonnie and Clyde meets Robin Hood of the 1980s. Critics weren’t every kind to Estevez’s directorial debut, in fact, even he was very candid about the film’s shortcomings, saying, “I’m going to take a beating on this one. I can see myself getting my feet wet as a director, and there’s a choppiness, an awkwardness to it. It’s not totally relaxed.” Wisdom is currently not available to stream anywhere in the U.S., but if you’re hell-bent on watching every single Brat Pack movie, you can buy the DVD on Prime.

Blue City (1986)

Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy reunited for this action drama about a drifter who returns home to learn that his father, who’s also mayor of their hometown, was murdered by a local mob boss. Frustrated by the lack of support from the local police, he decides to go vigilante and take matters into his own hands. Blue City is another one of those disastrous misfires featuring two of your favorite Brat Pack stars. In fact, it currently sports a dismal 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but if you’re morbidly curious, you can stream it on Hulu.

Fresh Horses (1988)

In this romantic drama directed by Richard Anspaugh (Hoosiers), Andrew McCarthy plays a college student who breaks off an engagement with his wealthy fiance after falling in love with a deceptive 20-year-old (Molly Ringwald). And we say deceptive because it turns out she’s really 16 and already married! Fresh Horses was an attempt for its two leads to steer into more serious drama territory and it backfired. In his memoir Brat: An ‘80s Story, McCarthy makes it clear that he basically did this film for the paycheck, calling the project “a bad idea from the start.” Indeed it was, and it currently sports the dreaded 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Want to judge it for yourself? Head on over to Hulu.

Betsy’s Wedding (1990)

Betsy and Jake just want a small, simple wedding. But once Betsy’s family gets involved in the planning, “small” and “simple” are no longer part of the equation. In an effort to impress their rich new in-laws, they decide to plan a lavish, over-the-top wedding. Coming in at the tail end if the Brat Pack era, Betsy’s Wedding reunited Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy for what’s considered to be the last of the Brat Pack movies — and it wasn’t exactly well received. While Betsy’s Wedding is a decent but mostly forgettable wedding comedy, the Razzies felt otherwise. While some will argue that it was harsh and unnecessary, the film earned Ringwald and Sheedy Razzie nominations for Worst Actress and Worst Supporting Actress. The film also features a cast of familiar faces including Alan Alda, Madeline Kahn, Anthony LaPaglia, Joe Pesci, Catherine O’Hara, and Dylan Walsh. Stream it now on Hulu.


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