10 Most Underrated 80s Teen Movies

9. The Manhattan Project

the-manhattan-project-919695l-imagine Alright, so your enjoyment of this film is probably predicated on your ability to believe that a teenager can build a functioning atomic bomb in his garage, handling radioactive material without melting his face off. But once you get past that, The Manhattan Project is actually a good bit of fun. Christopher Collet is credible as Paul Stephens, a teen genius who discovers a top secret government lab messing around with uranium in his town. With the help of his aspiring journalist girlfriend played by a young Cynthia Nixon, he steals materials so that he can build his own bomb to expose them at a national science fair. So far, so plausible. You've also got John Lithgow as a somewhat shady yet oddly sympathetic scientist who's got a thing for Paul's mom. And if you watch the whole movie and don't blink too frequently, you might even catch a glimpse of Robert Sean Leonard in his film debut.
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Audrey Fox is an ex-film student, which means that she prefers to spend her days in the dark, watching movies and pondering the director's use of diegetic sound. She currently works as an entertainment writer, joyfully rambling about all things film and television related. Add her on Twitter at @audonamission and check out her film blog at 1001moviesandbeyond.com.