The Best Teen Movies of All Time Films
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The Best Teen Movies of All Time

List Criteria: Films about teenagers or set in high school

A list of the best teen movies and films about teenagers, adolescence, and high school. What are the best teen movies of all time? Teenagers and young people have long been an ideal target market for film producers. They have more free time than adults, but can get themselves around and choose their own entertainment more easily than children. As well, they have disposable income, and typically spend more of their money on entertainment than their adult counterparts. What's the best teen movie ever? As this has steadily been true for several decades, it has led to a glut of films designed with teenagers in mind during that time.

Though there is no set definition on what makes a film a "teen movie," other than featuring teenagers (or at the very least, teenaged character) in significant roles, the genre has developed some defining features and common motifs over the years. Often, teen movies will explore high school as an environment, and specifically the high school community and the social cliques that form therein is a constant source of interest and observation. Much of the time, this is done with a snarky or cynical worldview, attempting to reflect the way that jaded teens often see the world of adults. Overwhelmingly popular recent entries in the high school movie sub-genre include Easy A and Mean Girls, while cult films such as Donnie Darko and Pump Up the Volume explore the same issues with an even darker or more subversive outlook.

Teens are also frequently cast as the leads in horror films, particularly the sub-genre known as "slasher films." In these films, attractive young people are typically placed in precarious situations with serial murderers, and audiences can then delight in seeing them ripped apart.

The teen films on this list span all of these sub-genres and more, including genre mash-ups combining several different storytelling modes into one film (such as the horror-comedy Scream franchise.) It's an Open list, so after you're done voting, if you see any great teen films that aren't on here, add them at the bottom of the page.
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  1. 1
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    the people's #1 & most listed Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald

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  2. 2
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    Charlie Sheen, Jeffrey Jones, Matthew Broderick

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  3. 3
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    Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Rachel McAdams

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  4. 4
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    John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Sid Caesar

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  5. 5
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    added by KirkSaw Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Jason Hervey

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  6. 6
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    John Cusack, Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald

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  7. 7
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    Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Sean Astin

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  8. 8
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    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gabrielle Union, Heath Ledger

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  9. 9
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    Alyson Hannigan, Shannon Elizabeth, Tara Reid

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  10. 10
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    Jennifer Garner, Ellen Page, Jason Bateman

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  11. 11
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    ranked low on reranks Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Aly Michalka

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  12. 12
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    Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd

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    Emma Stone, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Forest Whitaker

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  15. 15
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    Milla Jovovich, Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey

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    Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Gabrielle Union

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    Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach

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  18. 18
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    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, John Cusack

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  19. 19
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    Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Bacon, John Lithgow

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  20. 20
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    often listed & added by KirkSaw Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Lara Flynn Boyle

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  21. 21
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    ranked low on reranks Anne Hathaway, Mandy Moore, Julie Andrews

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  22. 22
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    Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Jessica Lucas

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  23. 23
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    Haylie Duff, Jon Heder, Diedrich Bader

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  24. 24
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    Gina Gershon, Molly Ringwald, James Spader

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  25. 25
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    added by DaniFenn-Wells Johnny Depp, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube

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  26. 26
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    added by seane797 Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz

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  27. 27
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    Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane

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  28. 28
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    Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Gary Oldman

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  29. 29
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    Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita

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  30. 30
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

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  31. 31
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    added by matanamcintire Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd

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  32. 32
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    Michelle Trachtenberg, Zac Efron, Matthew Perry

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    ranked low on reranks Emma Watson, Robert Pattinson, Daniel Radcliffe

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Keanu Reeves, George Carlin, Jane Wiedlin

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  35. 35
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    added by KirkSaw Kirsten Dunst, Elizabeth Banks, James Franco

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  36. 36
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    often listed Robert Downey Jr., Kelly LeBrock, Anthony Michael Hall

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  37. 37
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    Jennifer Garner, Ashley Benson, Mark Ruffalo

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  38. 38
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    Hilary Duff, Jennifer Coolidge, Chad Michael Murray

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    Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal

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    ranked low on reranks & added by rankergrl Jenny McCarthy, Sophia Bush, Brittany Snow

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  41. 41
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks John Cusack, Jeremy Piven, Joan Cusack

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  42. 42
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    Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins, Tim McGraw

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  43. 43
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    Clint Eastwood, Michael J. Fox, Elisabeth Shue

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  44. 44
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    often listed & added by KirkSaw Tom Cruise, Megan Mullally, Rebecca De Mornay

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  45. 45
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    Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, John Astin

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    often listed & added by KirkSaw Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson, Anna Paquin

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  47. 47
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    ranked low on reranks Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Ralph Fiennes

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    often listed & added by KirkSaw Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Christian Slater

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  49. 49
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    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

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  50. 50
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    Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Lin Shaye

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