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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Score
  1. 66
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    Natalie Wood, James Dean, Dennis Hopper

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  2. 133
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    Steve McQueen, Lee Payton, Aneta Corsaut

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  3. 45
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    Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, John Astin

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  4. 130
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    added by RubenVrielynck Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison

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  5. 105
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    often listed & added by KirkSaw Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Cloris Leachman

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  6. 52
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Harrison Ford, Ron Howard, Suzanne Somers

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  7. 73
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    John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie

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  8. 4
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    John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Sid Caesar

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  9. 102
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    Bill Murray, Kristine DeBell, Matt Craven

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  10. 84
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    Isaac Mizrahi, Richard Belzer, Anne Meara

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  11. 115
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    added by 16drprend Carrie Fisher, Aretha Franklin, Steven Spielberg

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  12. 14
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Forest Whitaker

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  13. 76
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    added by Pallknowing1 Kim Cattrall, Alex Karras, Art Hindle

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  14. 118
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    Tom Cruise, Lea Thompson, Craig T. Nelson

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  15. 44
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    often listed & added by KirkSaw Tom Cruise, Megan Mullally, Rebecca De Mornay

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  16. 27
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    Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane

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  17. 78
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    Matthew Broderick, William H. Macy, Ally Sheedy

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  18. 50
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    Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Lin Shaye

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

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  20. 49
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    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

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  21. 90
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    Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson

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  22. 60
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    John Goodman, James Cromwell, Anthony Edwards

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  23. 6
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    John Cusack, Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald

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  24. 29
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita

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  25. 5
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    added by KirkSaw Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Jason Hervey

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  26. 93
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    John Cusack, David Ogden Stiers, Curtis Armstrong

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  27. 168
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    Kelly Preston, Corey Haim, Lori Loughlin

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  28. 61
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    Michael J. Fox, James Hampton, Scott Paulin

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  29. 1
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    the people's #1 & most listed Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald

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  30. 7
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    Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Sean Astin

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  31. 120
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Tim Robbins, John Cusack, Nicollette Sheridan

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  32. 38
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    often listed Robert Downey Jr., Kelly LeBrock, Anthony Michael Hall

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  33. 139
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    Thomas F. Wilson, Deborah Foreman, Leah Pinsent

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  34. 2
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    Charlie Sheen, Jeffrey Jones, Matthew Broderick

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  35. 104
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    often listed & added by KirkSaw Charlie Sheen, Winona Ryder, Corey Haim

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  36. 106
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Demi Moore, John Cusack, Jeremy Piven

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  37. 23
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    Gina Gershon, Molly Ringwald, James Spader

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  38. 125
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Crispin Glover

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  39. 18
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    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, John Cusack

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  40. 71
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    Elisabeth Shue, Vincent D'Onofrio, Penelope Ann Miller

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  41. 69
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    added by KirkSaw Paula Abdul, Patrick Dempsey, Seth Green

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  42. 17
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    Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach

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  43. 170
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    Helen Hunt, Matthew Broderick, Jean Smart

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  44. 83
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    often listed & added by KirkSaw Lea Thompson, Candace Cameron-Bure, Eric Stoltz

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  45. 30
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

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  46. 48
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    often listed & added by KirkSaw Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Christian Slater

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  47. 114
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    added by PeteBoyle Andy García, Lou Diamond Phillips, Edward James Olmos

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  48. 43
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    Clint Eastwood, Michael J. Fox, Elisabeth Shue

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  49. 34
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Keanu Reeves, George Carlin, Jane Wiedlin

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  50. 20
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    often listed & added by KirkSaw Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Lara Flynn Boyle

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  51. 206 +

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