25 Best Movies For Teens

25 Best Movies For Teens

Teenage and high school is hard, yet enamored with a lot of optimism and excitement about what’s going to come.

Adolescence brings you once-in-a-lifetime experiences, almost all of which are documented in books and several entertaining movies for teens. From romance, thrill to adventure and crazy action, we find everything in a teenage movie.

In this article, MomJunction brings you the list of best movies for teenagers. You can pick one for your teen to binge watch it with you or their friends. Either way, these movies guarantee a fantastic time.

1. Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade

CREDIT: A24

Kayla is a shy, socially anxious girl trying to get by the last few weeks of middle school. She earns the “most quiet” girl title in school, but at home, she posts online self-help and motivational videos that not many people watch. Kayla is raised by her single father Mark, who tries to disconnect Kayla from the social media.

The movie portrays typical middle school life of a not so popular kid: an awkward encounter with her crush, a forced invitation to a queen bee’s pool party for the would-be ninth graders and so on. One day, Kayla and her father find and watch an old time capsule (a video) Kayla made in the sixth grade. As they watch it, her father tells her how she fills him with pride. She makes a new time-capsule for her later life, and together, they bury it in their backyard.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 8.8/10

Age: 14+

Director: Bo Burnham

Actors: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson.

2. The Diary of a Teenage Girl

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

CREDIT: Caviar, Caviar Films, Cold Iron Pictures

The Diary of a Teenage Girl is a coming of age movie about sexual awakening and maturity in a teen girl. Set in the 1970s San Francisco, this movie is best for older teens because of the frequently adult and sexually explicit content. The film is about a 15-year old girl Minnie, who is passionate about being a cartoonist and curious about sexuality.

Minnie loses her virginity to an older man, who is also dating her mother. The film tries to navigate about sexual awakening in a teen who learns how to be her own woman.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 7.9/10

Age: 16+

Director: Marielle Heller

Actors: Bel Powley, Kristen Wiig, Abby Wait, Alexander Skarsgard.

3. Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

The dysfunctional Hoover family sets out on a trip to Southern California after their idealistic little girl Olive wins herself a spot in the Little Miss Sunshine local beauty pageant. The movie revolves around Olive a starry-eyed girl, and her anxious mother, her aspiring motivational speaker father Mr. Richard, a feisty grandfather, a cynical teen brother and a gay suicidal uncle named Frank, traveling in their old yellow Volkswagen bus.

A lot of bickering, trouble with the bus, and unexpected death are experienced en route. In the end, Olive makes it to the pageant, and the Hoovers stand in support of their baby girl in a way no one but them understands.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 7.7/10

Age: 14+

Director: Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris

Actors: Abigail Breslin, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear.

4. The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club

Credit: Universal Pictures

The Breakfast Club begins with five students at the Shermer High School, Claire, a princess, John who is a criminal, Andrew the athlete, Brian the brainy nerd and Allison, a miserable person, who are forced to spend 9 hours in detention on a Saturday.

In spite of their differences, they find that their social problems are more similar than they think. Brain’s parents force him to be an A-grader, Andy wants to please his dad, Allison tries to seek attention from her father through aberrant behavior, while John fights against domestic violence at home.

Through the characters, the film attempts to portray teens and their difficulties in a realistic setting. The film tries to encourage breaking social boundaries for positive self-identification in the world.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 7.7/10

Age: 14+

Director: John Hughes

Actors: Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall

5. Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society

Credit: TOUCHSTONE PICTURES

Shy Todd Anderson has been going to a prestigious preparatory school where education is pragmatic and rather dull. But no boy imagined what their new English teacher would be. Mr. Keating introduces these boys, all set to become doctors and lawyers, to poetry, free-thinking, and the liberating philosophies.

Each of his students deals with several issues. Neil wants to become an actor but faces objection from his dad; Todd, a writer; Knox, a romantic. He encourages them to form the Dead Poets Society where they sneak out at night to read and write poetry.

But it turns ugly when the school is informed about these activities, leading to a full inquiry. Headmaster Nolan fires Keating while his students leap to defend him.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 3.8/5

Age: 13+

Director: Peter Weir

Actors: Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard.

6. Almost Famous

Almost Famous

Credit: Columbia Pictures

William Miller is a 15-year old aspiring rock journalist, much against his single strict mother’s wish. He gets a job eventually to write for the Rolling Stone magazine. His first assignment is a tour with the Stillwater band and to write about his experience.

Despite several warnings from his mother, he goes on a road trip and befriends the singer and guitarist and becomes enamored by a woman called Penny. Miller gets to see what happens behind-the-scenes, the victorious and falling-apart moments of a music band. For Miller, it is about new experiences, learning and finding himself.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 7.9/10

Age: 14+

Director: Cameron Crowe

Actors: Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, Frances McDormand, Zoe Deschanel

7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Credit: Summit Entertainment

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is adapted from a novel of the same name, written by Stephen Chbosky.

It is a moving tale about a young boy called Charlie who’s about to start high school. Charlie is recovering from a breakdown after his best friend kills himself a few months earlier. Charlie becomes friends with a boy called Patric, a friendly senior who is gay.

Patrick is hurt because his boyfriend is not willing to acknowledge their gay relationship in the open, while Charlie falls in love with Patrick’s step-sister, Sam. She is a cheerful girl but has an unfair reputation. This story is about them navigating the treacherous waters of high school life.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 7.5/10

Age: 13+

Director: Stephen Chbosky

Actors: Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Logan Lerman

8. Easy A

Easy A

CREDIT: Screen Gems, Olive Bridge Entertainment

‘Easy A’ explores what would have happened if Hester Prynne from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter was a present-day high school girl?

‘Easy A’ starts with a white lie that Olive Penderghast tells about her weekend. She lies about going on a date with a college boy and losing her virginity. Soon, this becomes a rumor, and everyone is abuzz about Olive being an unabashed girl.

Instead of falling apart or defending herself, she uses it as a tool to become more popular. She thinks of herself as Hester, but a Hester who manipulates her reputation for her good. But the situation snowballs and her lies threaten a teacher’s marriage, her friendship, career, and her possible love life, and she realizes it’s high time she comes clean about everything.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 7.1/10

Age: 14+

Director: Will Gluck

Actors: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley.

9. The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

CREDIT: Lionsgate, Color Force

The Hunger Games is one of the most popular teen movies of all time. Based on a book by Suzanne Collins, the story is set in the evil Capitol of a country called Panem, which was once the ruins of North America. Every year, young boys and girls from the 12 districts of Panem fight in the Hunger Games, a televised competition in which the contestants compete against death and one another until one survivor remains.

These fighters or participants are called “Tributes.” While most of the Tributes are highly trained and have prepared half of their lives for the Game, Katniss Everdeen voluntarily chooses to take the place of her sister, who is too young to survive in the competition. The story is about how she goes through the competition and grow to become a leader.

There Hunger Games is a series has four movies.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 7.3/10

Age: 13+

Director: Gary Ross

Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, John Hutcherson.

10. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

CREDIT: Paramount Pictures

Ferris Bueller’s Day off is one of the most fun teen movies ever. The story is about Ferris, who decides to bunk his class by calling in sick. His parents allow him to stay at home to recover. But just as they leave, Ferris and his friends, Cameron and Sloane, hit the roads of Chicago in Cameron’s dad’s treasured convertible Ferrari.

Watching Ferris very closely is the high-school principal Mr. Rooney who wants to catch him red-handed, for skipping school. Ferris’ little sister resents how her older brother gets away with his antics every time, and tries to inform on him. Despite many close shaves, Ferris wins and has a fantastic day off.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 7.7/10

Age: 12+

Director: John Hughes

Actors: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara.

11. 21 Jump Street

21 Jump Street

CREDIT: Columbia Pictures Corporation

21 Jump Street is an action-comedy about two friends Schmidt and Jenko, who join the police force and a secret unit called Jump Street. Schmidt is sensible, smart but not sporty, while Jenko is the exact opposite. Because of the boys’ youthful appearance, they go undercover to bust a drug racket in a local high school.

The job requires them to pretend like high school students again, and Schmidt worries that he’ll be the uncool kid again. Turns out that the sociological makeup of schools- who’s popular, who’s not- has changed over the years. But to solve the case, the boys need to confront all the anxiety and discomfort of being a teenager again.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 7.2/10

Age: 15+

Director: Christopher Miller, Phil Lord

Actors: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson.

12. 10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You

CREDIT: Touchstone Pictures

10 Things I Hate About You is adapted from Shakespeare’s play “The Taming of the Shrew.” It starts off with Cameron, a new student liking a girl called Bianca, a beautiful sophomore. He also learns that she isn’t allowed to date until her older sister, Katarina, a non-conformist and feminist, finds herself a suitor.

To win Bianca, Cameron desperately tries to find someone to date Kat, and he sets up a guy called Patrick Verona. What unfolds in this enticing journey of love is both satiric and romantic.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 3.3/5

Age: 14+

Director: Gil Junger

Actors: Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon, Julia Stiles.

13.The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada

CREDIT: Fox 2000 Pictures

Andrea Sachs is a journalism graduate who starts to work in New York as the second assistant to a very powerful Runway fashion magazine executive named Miranda Priestly. Andrea is a naive and frank fresher who dreams of becoming a journalist but soon faces the challenges of the profession. The first assistant to Miranda is Emily, who warns her about the erratic and rude behavior of their boss.

Andrea has to change her behavior and attitude, which affects her relationship with her boyfriend Nate, her family and friends. By the end of the film, Andrea learns to make choices that make her happy, even if they aren’t the most convenient ones.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 6.7/10

Age: 13+

Director: David Frankel

Actors: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt

14. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

CREDIT: Alcon Entertainment

The movie is about four girlfriends aged 16. When they have to move away from each other for the first time, they vow to keep in touch through a magical pair of jeans which fits them all perfectly, even though their body structures are very different.

They mail the jeans along with letters to one after the other, to catch up with what’s going on in their lives. During this vacation, each girl learns a valuable lesson about their lives, families, and relationships.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 3.4/5

Age: 12+

Director: Ken Kwapis

Actors: Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn.

15. The DUFF

The DUFF

CREDIT: CBS Films, Vast Entertainment

Bianca is at the end of her high school and content by herself until she learns that she’s been labeled ‘The Duff’ (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by her prettier friends, Jess and Casey. Despite several cautions given by her favorite teacher, she approaches Wesley, a charming jock to help her reinvent herself, while she tries to distract herself from her crush Toby.

To save her senior year from being a disaster, Bianca needs to gather up confidence and overthrow the school’s labeling system, and remind everybody that no matter how anyone acts or looks like, everyone is someone’s DUFF.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 3.7/5

Age: 14+

Director: Ari Sandel

Actors: Bella Thorne, Robbie Amell, Mae Whitman

16. 17 Again

17 Again

Credit: New Line Cinema, Offspring Entertainment

Mike is 40 and facing a mid-life crisis. He was a popular teenager and basketball champion with plenty of opportunities. But at 17, Mike marries his girlfriend in high school when she accidentally gets pregnant. After the marriage, Mike only whines about the life he missed out because of the early marriage.

And now, everything is falling apart. Mike loses his job, and the only haven he can think of is his high school. He goes there and looks at his high school photos in the display case when the janitor asks him if he wishes to be 17 again. And, he says yes.

And just like that, he’s back to being a 17-year-old. He decides to hold on to this favorable chance and win the life he always wanted. But then, fate has a different plan, where time will teach Mark a lot about the past and the future.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 3.6/5

Age: 13+

Director: Burr Steers

Actors: Zac Efron, Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon

17. Clueless

Clueless

CREDIT: Paramount Pictures

Clueless is a 1995 teen movie with all its charm, fashion, dialogues and music in an ostentatious Beverly Hills School setup. The film is partially based on Jane Austen’s Emma. Cher is a good-looking upper-class girl who cares about wearing the right clothes more than getting good grades. She strives to become famous, is persistent, but she can’t keep herself out of other people’s lives.

After one successful attempt at matchmaking, she thinks it is her job to do a makeover on the not-so-popular new girl in school and ends with up disastrous results. She has a sensitive side too and wants to find the ideal partner for herself while fixing other people’s lives. Eventually, she realizes that she can find what she really wants when she starts being honest with herself and is ready to be humble.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 3.1/5

Age: 14+

Director: Mark Waters

Actors: Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, Stacey Dash.

18. The First Time

The First Time

CREDIT: Samuel Goldwyn Films

The First Time is a high-school romantic teenage movie about a freshman Dave, who pines for a pretty school senior, Jane Harmon. At a friend’s house party, Dave meets a cool girl named Aubrey. They talk about Dave’s feelings for Jane. The new friends now hang out often and discuss their love and sex life.

Dave realizes he is falling for Aubrey. Aubrey also has a boyfriend, but can’t deny her feelings for Dave. But Dave is soon leaving to another city for college, and Aubrey has one more year in high-school. Will they try and have a long-distance relationship? Is it a fling or love? Watch the movie to find out.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 3.1/5

Age: 14+

Director: Jonathan Kasdan

Actors: Britt Robertson, Dylan O’Brien, Craig Roberts, Joshua Malina.

19. Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect

CREDIT: BrownstoneCREDIT: BrownstoneCREDIT: BrownstoneCREDIT: Brownstone Productions (II),Gold Circle Films

Beca is a freshman at Barden University, who wishes she could be in LA to be a musician instead. She prefers listening to music on her headphones, instead of making her own music and does not get along with any group. But somehow, she is muscled into singing in an acoustic singing group called ‘The Bellas.’

Beca takes ‘The Bellas’ out of their traditional setup and injects the much-needed energy into their repertoire. The Bellas successfully give their male rivals in the campus a fierce competition as they climb their way up in the music world.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 4.1/5

Age: 13+

Director: Jason Moore

Actors: Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Ben Platt, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson.

20. Mean girls

Mean girls

CREDIT: Paramount pictures

Mean Girls is based on Queen Bees and Wannabes, a non-fiction book written by a professional youth counselor, Rosalind Wiseman. Cady Heron is a 15-year-old girl who lived in Africa and was home-schooled by her zoologist parents. Cady moves to the US with her family to start high school.

When she’s confused about what clique to choose to hang out with, she is embraced by some famous and rich girls known as “the Plastics,” with Regina, Gretchen, and Karen. Very soon, Cady realizes how manipulative they are when she breaks an unwritten law – Cady goes out on a date with a charming boy called Aaron who’s Regina’s ex. Cady suffers a series of vengeful, pungent behavior which her years in Africa had never prepared her for.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 6.9/10

Age: 14+

Director: Mark Waters

Actors: Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Rachel McAdams.

21. Paper Towns

Paper Towns

CREDIT: Fox 2000 Pictures

Paper Towns is an adaptation of John Green’s coming-of-age novel. It is about a high school boy Quentin, who plays by the rules. He has a massive crush on his charismatic and popular neighbor, Margo Roth. Margo shows up in Quentin’s room one day in the middle of the night and asks him to accompany her on a revenge mission against her lying friends and a cheating boyfriend. Quentin agrees but is caught up in her persona.

However, from the next day, Margo becomes a mystery- she is not in school, not at home, nowhere. One day Quentin discovers a clue left by Margo that leads him to another clue to finding her. In his quest to find Margo, Quentin goes on a road trip to Paper Town in New York, but before that, he has to discover something more than love.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 3.2/5

Age: 14+

Director: Jake Schreier

Actors: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Justice Smith, Austin Abrams

22. The Karate Kid

The Karate Kid

CREDIT: Columbia pictures corporation

The Karate Kid is a great movie for teens fighting their own battles. 12-year-old Dre Parker has moved to China with his single mom and feels like a fish out of water in his new suburban school. The popular guys in school are wealthy and martial arts experts who bully Dre. Dre befriends Mei Ying, a girl he likes and makes another boy called Cheng his rival.

One day, the janitor of Dre’s building, Mr. Han rescues Dre from an attack by Cheng and his friends. Mr. Han, a master of kung fu, agrees to teach Dre the martial art form. Mr. Han starts with some offbeat training like car waxing, fence painting, etc. and teaches Dre that kung fu is about self-defense and peace, and not violence. Next, Dre is preparing for the kung fu championship for a face-off with his bully.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 3.5/5

Age: 10+

Director: Harald Zwart

Actors: Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, Wenwen Han.

23. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

CREDIT: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a teen adventure movie about two slacker teenagers, Bill and Ted. They are more keen on forming their own rock-n-roll band ‘Wyld Stallions’ than passing their history paper. If the boys didn’t score incredibly well, they’d flunk out of school, and Ted’s father will send him off to a military school.

Help comes from Rufus, an “Emissary from the Future,” who takes them to the past and lets them experience history firsthand. Both Ted and Bill decide to get all the historical figures to class. The plan works but results in a mall altercation, arrest, and other fun stuff. In the end, the boys hope whatever they are doing will help them pass and stay together.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 6.5/10

Age: 10+

Director: Stephen Herek

Actors: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin.

24. 13 going on 30

13 going on 30

CREDIT: Revolution Studios

Jenny suffers humiliation at her 13th birthday and wishes she could be 30. Next morning, she wakes up as a 30-year-old pretty woman in Manhattan. There’s also a man in the shower, who seems to know her intimately. Jenny can’t trace her parents and learns from a neighbor that she’s an editor of a popular magazine with powerful friends.

Jenna eventually realizes this is what she had wanted, but not at the time. She finds out her childhood best friend, Matt, who’s now a photographer. When Matt tells Jenny that he has not seen her since high school, Jenny realizes that to get what she wished for, she had to lose things that mattered to her the most.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 3.5/5

Age: 12+

Director: Gary Winick

Actors: Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer.

25. A Walk to Remember

A Walk to Remember

CREDIT: Warner Bros

A Walk to Remember is an adaptation of Nicholas Spark’s best-selling teen love story. It revolves around a popular, cocky high school boy Landon Carter who’s sentenced to the school’s drama club for community service and membership after a hazing incident in school injures a fellow student.

Landon seeks the help of Jamie Sullivan, who’s also the daughter of the town’s Baptist minister. Jamie is conservative, simple and pious. When they start to fall in love, Landon faces a drop in his popularity because of Jamie and Jamie is forced to deal with her strict father and a secret that she’s hiding from everybody. The secret changes everything.

Rating by Rotten Tomatoes: 3.3/5

Age: 11+

Director: Adam Shankman

Actors: Mandy Moore, Shane West, Peter Coyote.

While these are among the best teen movies there are, not all teen movies have to be about teenagers. But do try one or more of these movies when your teenager is bored on a Holiday or for a movie night with them and tells us which you liked the best and why.

Do you have any more movie suggestions for teenagers? Do share them in the comments section below.

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MA English Pursuing Child Nutrition and Cooking from Stanford UniversitySudipta is an English Major from the University of Hyderabad. Has considerable medical research writing experience, but also enjoys creative writing and the arts. Her writings aim to make highly scientific/ health material easy to understand for a common reader.She is also a National Novel Writing Month awardee. Sudipta loves to hit the roads to find stories and motivation to fill up her canvases and the pages of her diary.
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