Best Teen Movies: Films for and About Teenagers
Best Teen Movies
The teenage, high school experience is a rich one, indeed. So rich, in fact, that there are hundreds of movies produced about what its like to be a teenager, getting through the teen years, and/or surviving high school. So many movies, so little time, right?
Well, if you have a hankering to relive your glory days (or perhaps to watch the mean groupies lose in the end), we've created a list of the Best Teen Movies! Movies and series that are focused on teenagers often depict them in heroic roles and explore the unique experiences that kids of that age experience.
Rent them, buy them, stream them or check for them on demand. Get out the popcorn and perhaps a hanky or two!
Oh, and if you don't agree with the picks of best teen movies, feel free to add a few of your own suggestions in the comment section below. That's what makes teen movies so great - each of them has its own unique following!
Best clips of "Sixteen Candles"
25 (plus 1) Best Teen Movies
3. 10 Things I Hate About You
4. Mean Girls
5. The Outsiders
6. Bring It On!
7. American Pie
8. Scary Movie
10. The Breakfast Club
11. Pretty in Pink
14. The Graduate
15. Love Story
16. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
17. Sixteen Candles
19. Risky Business
21. Never Been Kissed
22. Rebel Without a Cause
23. Dirty Dancing
25. Dead Poet's Society
26. (how did I miss it?) SuperBad!!
Ending of Dead Poet's Society
What Makes a Great Teen Movie?
What qualifies these teen movies as the "best"? There are a number of factors including star power, quotable lines, memorable scenes, and the ability to evoke nostalgia and/or sympathy for the main characters. If the audience can relate on a personal level, the film will probably be a hit. Throw in some good looking actors and pretty soon, you have a classic teen movie on your hands. Either you cringe, or you root for the protagonist. Sometimes both.
Who can forget some of these lines? "Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs. Robinson?" (The Graduate); "True love and he didn't lay a hand on you? Sounds like a creep to me." (Grease); "Love means never having to say you're sorry." (Love Story); "We're gonna turn this town upside down!: (Footloose); "Searching for a boy in high school, is like searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie." (Clueless); and "Courtney, this is not a democracy, it's a cheerocracy. I'm overruling you." (Bring it On). Ah.... to be a teenager again!
The primary story line for a teen movie involves the main characters at high school, and trying to fit in. Sound familiar? Sometimes, things go very, very wrong, as in "Carrie," the poor young girl who was made fun of because of her supernatural powers and overly controlling Catholic mother. The theme of bad girls in high school is a common one, seen in "Grease," "Mean Girls," and "Pretty in Pink." It can be fun to see these bullies get put in their place! Popular soundtracks add to the marketability and staying power of teen mega-hits.
Other movies are focused in on a particular rite of passage, like first sexual experience (American Pie), death of a loved one (Love Story) or teen pregnancy (Juno). Teen rebellion is celebrated in a number of films, including "Risky Business," "Dirty Dancing," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," and "Footloose." And, its not high school without sports and clubs. For these movies, you can enjoy "Hoosiers," "Bring it On," and "Dead Poet's Society."
She's Like the Wind from Dirty Dancing
Why we enjoy Teen Movies
The "Best of Teen Movies" list is reminiscent of our years when we thought the world was: (1) pretty cool; (2) out to get us; and (3) not worth living in, all in the same day. Watching these movies again and considering how the stars in them have evolved over time is also instructive. You may wonder, where is Molly Ringwald or Ali McGraw? On the other hand, Tom Cruise, Kirstin Dunst and Reese Witherspoon all have successful careers. It just goes to show you that Hollywood popularity, much like that in high school, is fickle.
I recommend that, before you put too much thought into it, buy or rent one of these teen movies, and enjoy!
Life - like teenage years - is short!