The Brat Pack Movies, Ranked | Features

8. “St. Elmo’s Fire” (1985)

Brat Pack cast members: Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Judd Nelson, Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy 

Or, “The Brat Pack’s Big Adult Drama.” Telling the story of a group of friends trying to figure out life as grownups, “St. Elmo’s Fire” was where the young stars tried to prove their acting chops. As someone who came of age at the time, believe me when I say that, even back then, we knew this movie was pretty overwrought. David Denby’s scathing review in New York nails it, declaring, “‘St. Elmo’s Fire’ is a teen dream of adult life, in which you work through every glamorous problem with six friends.” Before “emo” was a thing, Joel Schumacher’s film, his follow-up to the irreverent comedy “D.C. Cab,” was all up in its feelings, becoming a try-hard landmark populated by stilted, unconvincing performances. Some of the Brat Pack would eventually grow into accomplished dramatic actors. But not here.  

7. “Betsy’s Wedding” (1990)

Brat Pack cast members: Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy 

The Razzies, an annoying collection of people who like to draw attention to themselves by making cheap shots at easy Hollywood targets with their annual “awards,” nominated Ringwald and Sheedy for, respectively, Worst Actress and Worst Supporting Actress for this limp wedding comedy. Those nods are obnoxious—more an indication of the public’s general exhaustion with the Brat Pack by the dawn of the 1990s—but even so, “Betsy’s Wedding” is a fairly forgettable film about the upcoming nuptials of Betty (Ringwald) and Jake (Dylan Walsh), which are endangered by her dad’s (writer-director Alan Alda) desire to thrown a lavish spectacle in order to impress Jake’s rich family. With Sheedy as Betsy’s sister, a cop who falls for a criminal (Anthony LaPaglia), the film suffers from chronic sitcom-itis, which is hardly the Brat Pack stars’ fault. 

6. “Wisdom” (1986)

Brat Pack cast members: Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore

Estevez didn’t just star in this crime drama but also wrote and directed it. It was his first time making his own film, and around “Wisdom’s” release, he was candid about its flaws. “I’m going to take a beating on this one,” he said. “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.” And, indeed, the reviews were brutal, with critics finding the story—about a one-time felon who decides to embrace a life of crime, alongside his girlfriend (Moore)—uncompelling and forced. In real life, Estevez and Moore were engaged, but their relationship soon collapsed, leaving “Wisdom” as an odd curio from their time together. But the film’s commercial and critical drubbing didn’t keep Estevez from getting back into the director’s chair: Since then, he’s made comedies (“Men at Work”) and historical dramas (“Bobby”).