Some movies love romance while some crave for action. But there is one type of movie that hits everyone’s nostalgia; a great teen movie.
Such movies also motivate many young audiences by showing them the true value of friendship, hard work, confidence, and much more.
Are you looking for recommendations for the best teen movies of all time?
If yes, then you’re in the right place. Here, we’ll be ranking various teen movies in different criteria. One thing is for sure, these college movies will make your heart skip a beat!
From masterpieces to the latest, we hope you enjoy it.
- 1. Microbe & Gasoline (2016)
- 2. Bring it On (2000)
- 3. 17 Again (2009)
- 4. Charlie Bartlett (2007)
- 5. High School Musical (2006)
- 6. Clueless (1995)
- 7. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
- 8. The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
- 9. Kick-Ass (2010)
- 10. The Kings of Summer (2013)
- 11. Back To The Future Part III (1985)
- 12. Spider-Man (2002)
- 13. Pretty In Pink (1986)
- 14. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (2005)
- 15. Palo Alto (2013)
- 16. The Breakfast Club (1985)
- 17. Carrie (2013)
- 18. Sing Street (2015)
- 19. Juno (2007)
- 20. American Graffiti (1973)
- 21. The Outsiders (1983)
- 22. Deep End (1970)
- 23. The Myth of the American Sleepover (2010)
- 24. The Perks of Being Wallflower (2012)
- 25. Lady Bird (2017)
- 26. Stand By Me (1986)
1. Microbe & Gasoline (2016)
In middle school, Daniel, who still looks like a girl, is mocked by his classmates, who call him “micro” (chibi). Then, one day, a new student arrives at the class with a strange personality. His name is Theo. He’s a show-off-hunter and rides a strange bicycle he’s modified himself.
The two men, who are not at all liked by those around them, hit it off and eventually become best friends. But schools and families try to frame them and manage them. To escape from their cramped lives, Daniel and Theo come up with a plan.
They build their dream car out of scraps and set off on a summer vacation.
2. Bring it On (2000)
This popular film depicts the adolescence of cheerleaders, who are an integral part of American school life. The first film was released in 2000, and there were a total of three films including all sequels.
Cheer-leading is beautiful and glamorous, but the competitions are tough and demanding. It’s refreshing to see these energetic high school girls doing their best to win the tournament. On the other side, you see their struggle with love and friendship.
Torrance, the leader of the team, was determined to win the championship. There is a lot to see along with the competition where everything seems to happen so quickly.
3. 17 Again (2009)
We all wish we could go back to the days of youth one more time as an adult, and Mike, the film’s main character, gets his wish. The movie 17 Again is a comical look at a man returning to his youthful form and getting his life back once more.
Mike is in his thirties and lives an empty life, neglected by his wife and children. But as a 17-year-old, Mike was a star basketball player who had caught the attention of students all over the school.
Mike complains every day that he wants to go back to those days, but one day he wakes up to find himself back in the same state he was when he was 17. With no time travel, only a rejuvenated form, Mike is delighted and sets out to begin his youth a second time…
4. Charlie Bartlett (2007)
Charlie Bartlett’s Men’s Bathroom Counseling Room” has a unique storyline in which the main character acts as a counselor at the high school he attends and starts earning pocket money, which makes it more appealing than previous coming-of-age films.
It is unheard of for the main character to start a business with troubled boys as a customer instead of being troubled in various ways, though his high school years are the age when he is troubled a lot.
Incidentally, Anton Yelchin plays Charlie; the rich, smart, and shrewd protagonist of the film.
5. High School Musical (2006)
The High School Musical started as a television movie on the Disney Channel. Later, it became a hit with the theatrical release of the movie.
Zac Efron shares one of his most popular performances as Troy in the “High School Musical” series. He plays as the school’s most popular and handsome kid.
The first “High School Musical” is a story that makes you want to cheer for the love and youth of Troy. He makes high school life even more fun and fulfilling. Later, he meets Gabriella, a bright and beautiful girl with similar love for music.
6. Clueless (1995)
Cher enjoys the glamorous school life in Beverly Hills. She has a brother-in-law Josh,; is an aspiring lawyer. He was the biological son of my father’s former wife, who had been through several divorces. She makes fun of him for being dorky and unattractive throughout the movie.
The teen is a flashy celebrity high school girl who loves fashion, makeup, and shopping. She tends to judge everything by its appearance. She thinks herself as the coolest person in the world. But one day, she realizes her lame life.
When you’re in high school or a hyper-sensitive period, you’re always worried about how you look and what other people think of you. Perhaps we become adults when we realize that what is superficial is not a big deal, but what is important is the essence.
7. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
“Napoleon Dynamite” was released in 2004. It has become a cult favorite and a hot topic. The film comically depicts the clumsy and dull days of youth and friendship of country boys.
The protagonist, Napoleon, cannot enjoy his school life at all because of his sober, dull looks, and eccentric personality. He took the school bus to school every day, which was something that only small children in his area would use.
Napoleon’s ruined school life changes a little when Pedro, a new student, arrives. Pedro wants to be the president of the school, and Napoleon and the others come to cooperate with him.
It is very poignant to see Napoleon, who seems to have given up on his one-time youth, take an active part in the school life with Pedro’s appearance. It makes you feel more positive.
8. The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
The edge of seventeen is about for its starring role by the up-and-coming young popular actress Haley Steinfeld.
Kelly is a 17-year-old high school girl who is clumsy but has a wild imagination. My parents and teachers are disgusted with me, and I’m not getting along with my brother.
Then her brother, Darian, who she hates, falls in love with her favorite best friend Krista. Darian is the polar opposite of Kelly. He’s bright, dexterous, and good-looking. Of course, Kelly couldn’t honestly support her brother’s love, as she was more than a little jealous of Darian.
When you’re in high school or your youth, it’s easy to make it seem as if everyone else is doing well except you. It’s not uncommon for people to compare themselves to others, become depressed, and sometimes feel jealous. However, it makes me realize that the people around me have similar feelings at least a little.
9. Kick-Ass (2010)
Kick-Ass is a unique movie about a nerdy boy who has longed to be a hero since he was a child and makes his dream come true on his own.
The name “Kick-Ass” has come into its own, and so have the bad guys who are out to get rid of him. To top it all off, just like in Kick-Ass, a beautiful girl named Hit-Girl appears in a hero costume and slaughters one bad guy after another on the streets.
Realizing that his heroic aspirations are nothing more than carefree admiration, Dave decides to quit his Kick-Ass act and face his life properly.
10. The Kings of Summer (2013)
Frank, the father, and Joe, the son, have various conflicts and problems because they are a father and son family. One day, he finally decides to run away from home because he is tired of Frank interfering in his life.
Joe begins to share a life in the forest with Patrick, a boy in a similar situation to his own. For them, the forest was an irreplaceable space of their own, a place where they could escape from noisy parents and adults, a place where they could be free.
Adolescent boys sincerely want to be free, to have the world as they want it to be, but freedom sometimes comes next to loneliness. And with that comes a lot more responsibility, which is a lot harder and more troublesome than being in the company. After driving his friends out of the forest, Joe, who lives like a king on his own, comes to realize the harsh reality.
11. Back To The Future Part III (1985)
The blockbuster time-slip film Back to the Future became a famous trilogy that has remained in the film market, with the first film being released in 1985, followed by a sequel.
In the second film, he and his girlfriend go on a journey to save their future son, and in the third film, he struggles to save his best friend, Doc, who is years away from him.
Marty’s adventures strike a chord with every generation and always leave me excited.
12. Spider-Man (2002)
The first film in the new series, “Spider-Man Homecoming,” was released in 2017. This is a unique coming-of-age science fiction film in which Peter, a dull science nerd, plays a superhero in a spider suit, which has been a big hit in every film.
The first film, Spider-Man, was released in 2002. Suddenly, Peter’s ability to be a “Super Spider-Man” has taken hold of him, and he decides to act as “Spider-Man” to keep the peace in the city while struggling with love, friendship, and school life.
13. Pretty In Pink (1986)
The high school years are a time to be crazy about love, but they are also a time to be troubled by many things. His parents’ divorce left him destitute and he had always turned down offers of dates from boys.
Andy is ready to give up the prom he’s always admired because he doesn’t want to put a burden on his father. However, her son Blaine, a wealthy man, takes an interest in her and asks Andy out on a date. It is a film that gives us the courage to watch the heroine, Andy, grow strong and beautiful while struggling with a high school love affair of different statuses.
14. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (2005)
A childhood friend who has always been with him since he was a child. The usual members of the group naturally become distant and disconnected as they grow up and change their environment. The movie “Summer of Traveling Jeans and a Sixteen-Year-Old,” follows the summer adventures of four girls who are mommy-buddies and dating from the gut.
We entered the summer break with a promise to wear jeans that fit all four of us strangely, alternately, so that we could feel for each other even when we were apart.
Traveling alone, falling in love, getting a part-time job, making new friends, and being honest in front of your dad. As each summer adventure brings the four of them into adulthood, a pair of jeans watches over them and strengthens their bond.
15. Palo Alto (2013)
Gia Coppola, the granddaughter of the famous director Francis Coppola, makes her debut with this film. The fresh and delicate images of a young, female director are filled with the sadness and frustration of youth.
Teddy can’t help but be concerned about April, who becomes friends with the soccer team’s coach after a small incident. April makes him think of her, but she also seduces an unconcerned male friend in an attempt to piss off Teddy, who is showing off his skins to the other girls.
It’s a unique teenage love situation that seems to be a mixture of anxiety and impatience about love and a genuine interest in sexuality. Palo Alto Story is a slightly bittersweet coming-of-age film about the love and everyday life of these teenagers.
16. The Breakfast Club (1985)
The five students were forced to go to holiday school to write an essay as a punishment. They were each a completely different type of student. At first, the five of them just carry out their punishment with disapproval, but they gradually become good friends and begin to enjoy their time alone in the library on holidays.
Having a place and time “just for us” makes the moments of our youth more fulfilling. It’s a film that makes you excited for their own special time, which flows at a light tempo.
17. Carrie (2013)
The sad and harsh reality of school life is that it’s not all fun and good memories, and 2013’s “Carrie” is a shocking horror film about a bully, Carrie, who has magical powers. The film is also a remake of the 1976 film Carrie, based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name.
When Carrie is bullied by the girls, she realizes that she has magical powers. Her classmates think she’s an eccentric person, and the bullying only gets worse. Unable to attend prom because the school found out about his bullying of Carrie, Chris plans to embarrass Carrie at the prom with a backhanded grudge.
18. Sing Street (2015)
Set in an Irish public high school, “Sing Street. Songs for the Future,” a comically refreshing portrayal of a dull boy’s awakening to love and music, was released in Japan in 2017.
Connor, the protagonist, tells a big lie that he is in a band because he wants to attract the attention of a cute and fashionable girl he falls in love with at first sight. To get closer to her aspiring model, Connor asks her to perform in a music video for a fictional band.
It’s a cute and lovely work that will take you back to the days when you could do unreasonable things just because you wanted to get close to the person you love and be liked.
19. Juno (2007)
Juno” was released in 2007 and won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and was a big hit in Japan.
Juno has sex with her boyfriend, Paulie, out of curiosity. She never thought that she would get pregnant in that only time.
It seemed like every school had the same problems with untimely sexual experiences and schoolgirl pregnancies, but Juno was determined to deliver her belly alone. However, instead of becoming a single mother, she decided to leave her unborn child to a couple who were not blessed with childbirth.
Knowing she is pregnant, Juno knows for the first time how her family and friends feel about her. And his true feelings for Polly, whom he had thought he had no romantic feelings for before…
20. American Graffiti (1973)
American Graffiti, which is said to have been modeled after the high school days of George Lucas, the director who took the megaphone, was released in 1974. The film became a huge hit in Japan and spread Lucas’s name around the world.
The film, which tells the story of four young people’s overnight adventures as they graduate from high school and begin their paths, also vividly depicts the culture and fashion of the youth of the 1960s. It is a masterpiece that can be immersed in both the thoughts of the youthful era that has never changed and the atmosphere that is unique to this era.
21. The Outsiders (1983)
Francis Coppola’s 1983 film, The Outsiders, tells the story of the coming-of-age lives of two rival groups of young people.
A group of delinquent boys was at odds in a city where people were living in poverty. These boys had nowhere to go in their lives, but deep inside they had a passionate feeling, a belief, and a streak of hope in their hearts.
The words “Stay gold” that Johnny gives off in the play are too famous. This line and the song of the same title are sung by Stevie Wonder, who is responsible for the theme song.
22. Deep End (1970)
The legendary and phantom masterpiece “Early Spring” was released in Japan in 1972 and gained a cult following and buzz.
A wistful and bold portrayal of a boy’s mad love for an older woman, this film not only conveys the emotions of the youth of that time in the present but also deeply shakes the hearts of boys living in the present.
It was released in theaters again in January 2018 as a digitally remastered version.
The protagonist gets a part-time job at a swimming pool and falls madly in love with an older woman he works with. It seemed that she had a passionate lover and they had already exchanged promises for the future. However, the protagonist can close the distance between her and the cheerful and easy-going girl right away.
But that doesn’t mean she likes me as a man or that we have a romantic relationship. Adults may think it’s just a temporary fever, but for the protagonist who lives through his youth, it’s a love that may or may not happen once in a lifetime, to the point where he may even die.
23. The Myth of the American Sleepover (2010)
It’s a must-see for mini theater-type movie lovers! If you’re looking for a coming-of-age movie that’s sweet, wistful, and loving, this is American Sleepover.
When it comes to American teens’ annual end-of-summer treats, sleepover. It’s a so-called sleepover, where friends get together at someone’s house to hang out, camp, or travel. It’s a fun event that can only be experienced in the youthful era, where each person enjoys a summer night in his or her way.
In “American Sleepover,” which depicts such moments, the characters confide in each other about their tepid crushes and talk about their worries and dreams for the future.
Although no special incidents take place, the characters’ expressions and feelings come across realistically in this film, and it’s a rare opportunity to simulate a “sleepover” experience not found in Japan.
The film also reminds us that when we were in high school or junior high school, everything that happened every day was a precious frame of our youth, even if nothing special happened.
24. The Perks of Being Wallflower (2012)
In “Wallflower,” a sober and uninspired protagonist who can’t fit in at high school and suffers from past traumas takes a step forward, makes friends, and begins to enjoy school life in his way. The film delicately and beautifully portrays the real-life relationships and emotional movements of the characters in an American high school.
With a lot of heartbreak, including childhood abuse and his best friend’s suicide, Charlie doesn’t feel at home in high school and spends his days avoiding the public eye as he runs away from his classmates. Deep down, however, she wants to have a friend with whom she can talk about everything, and one day she gets up the courage to talk to a boy named Patrick.
I quickly hit it off with the cheery Patrick, and even got along with his sister Sarah.
Patrick is gay, and he and Sarah are not related by blood, so it’s a complicated family situation, with each of them dealing with their scars and traumas, and slowly approaching adulthood as they work through them and enjoy their adolescence.
It is a wonderful work that delicately depicts all the complex emotions of the adolescent years, such as the conflicts and anguish of boys and girls living through their youth, the loneliness of not being accepted by others, and the elation and fulfillment they feel when they are with their friends.
25. Lady Bird (2017)
When you look back on your high school and youthful days as an adult, don’t you feel more embarrassment and regret than nostalgia?
The film Lady Bird carefully and carefully portrays the impulsive, depressing and embarrassing “feeling” that is unique to adolescent boys and girls.
The main character, Christine, who lives in the countryside, calls herself Lady Bird for some reason, and even her classmates call her that. Christine’s mother was divorced and had raised her children by the hand. Perhaps because of this, I come out to say this and that about the future and the course of my career with the single-mindedness of not wanting to let her go.
Christine has her own goals and dreams for the future, but there is a temperature difference between her and reality.
It’s hard to come to terms with who you are and the harshness of reality in your youth. As a result, conflicts lead to increased impatience and irritation, and people around you often perceive you as a troubling presence.
In this work, the embarrassing and troublesome part of youth, which everyone wants to hide, is revealed without pretense and at the same time tenderly and lovingly depicted.
26. Stand By Me (1986)
Stand By Me, an enduring masterpiece in film history, is arguably the number one coming-of-age film of all time.
There’s a sense of wonder that a not-so-boyish summer story about a group of buddies starting a journey to find a dead body is still capturing the hearts and minds of many more than 30 years after its release.
The boys are excited with the simple hope that finding an intact corpse along the railroad tracks will attract attention and make them famous. They are still at the tender age of 12 years old. I’m out of my childhood, but I’m still only standing at the entrance to the books of my youth.
The beauty of Stand By Me is that it vividly and lushly depicts the first time a young boy comes to terms with life and death outside of himself and his family through a summer of adventure.
The body of a boy no different in age from their own was left out in the open near the railroad tracks, and the friends they had always been with had their worries, thoughts, and hopes that they hadn’t talked about before.
This is the best coming-of-age film of all time, as it brilliantly locks in the moments when the boys’ world expands.
These were some of the best teen movies of all time. We’ve tried to add recent movies along with the popular classic masterpieces.
All these movies have something different; from high school romance to stories of kids who once were alone but later become confident. But all these movies have on thing in common; the beautiful life of teenagers.
If you think we missed a great movie, please let us know. We’ll make sure to include it in our next issue. We hope to have encourage you to sit back and enjoy your teenage memories with this list.