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.
  • 104 ReRanks
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  1. 8
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    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gabrielle Union, Heath Ledger

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  2. 37
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    Down 397

    Jennifer Garner, Ashley Benson, Mark Ruffalo

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  3. 32
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    Michelle Trachtenberg, Zac Efron, Matthew Perry

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  4. 25
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    Down 442

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

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  5. 182
    Up 13
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    added by chrisnait18 Rose Byrne, Idris Elba, Jeremy Renner

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  6. 142
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    Down 32

    Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Ben Foster

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  7. 38
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    Hilary Duff, Jennifer Coolidge, Chad Michael Murray

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  8. 130
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    added by RubenVrielynck Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison

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  9. 50
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    Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Lin Shaye

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  10. 70
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    ranked low on reranks Mandy Moore, Marisa Miller, Daryl Hannah

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  11. 53
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    ranked low on reranks & added by KirkSaw Salma Hayek, Evan Rachel Wood, Bono

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  12. 87
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    ranked low on reranks Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wiig

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  13. 71
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    Elisabeth Shue, Vincent D'Onofrio, Penelope Ann Miller

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  14. 63
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    Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter

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  15. 119
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Tom Cruise, Lea Thompson, Craig T. Nelson

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  16. 46
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    often listed & added by KirkSaw Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson, Anna Paquin

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  17. 74
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    Kevin Spacey, Mena Suvari, Annette Bening

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  18. 52
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Harrison Ford, Ron Howard, Suzanne Somers

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  19. 9
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    Alyson Hannigan, Shannon Elizabeth, Tara Reid

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  20. 111
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    Alyson Hannigan, Shannon Elizabeth, Tara Reid

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  21. 193
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    Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgård

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  22. 158
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    added by Matt Blackwood Kathy Bates, George C. Scott, James Van Der Beek

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  23. 185
    Up 14
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    Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Gurinder Chadha, Kimberley Nixon

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  24. 140
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    Thomas F. Wilson, Deborah Foreman, Leah Pinsent

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  25. 149
    Up 28
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    Emma Roberts, JoJo, Sara Paxton

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  26. 173
    Up 20
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    Ice Cube, Nia Long, Tracy Morgan

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  27. 5
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    added by KirkSaw Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Jason Hervey

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  28. 43
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    Clint Eastwood, Michael J. Fox, Elisabeth Shue

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  29. 200
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    new! Michael J. Fox, Elisabeth Shue, Lea Thompson

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  30. 204
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    Johnny Depp, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy

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  31. 93
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    John Cusack, David Ogden Stiers, Curtis Armstrong

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  32. 132
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    Miley Cyrus, Ewan McGregor, Marion Cotillard

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  33. 164
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    Kat Dennings, Chloë Grace Moretz, Martin Lawrence

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  34. 97
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    Keanu Reeves, George Carlin, Pam Grier

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  35. 34
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Keanu Reeves, George Carlin, Jane Wiedlin

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  36. 165
    Up 18
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    added by JenAnistonFriends Denise Richards, Christopher Atkins, Indiana Evans

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  37. 131
    Up 31
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    often listed & added by KirkSaw Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Meagan Good, Emilie de Ravin

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  38. 16
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    Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Gabrielle Union

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  39. 86
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    Ben Affleck, Hilary Swank, Donald Sutherland

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  40. 188
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    Demi Lovato, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas

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

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  42. 67
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    Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jaime Pressly, Melissa Joan Hart

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  43. 73
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    John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie

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  44. 184
    Up 12
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    Salma Hayek, Willem Dafoe, Josh Hutcherson

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  45. 12
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    Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd

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  46. 65
    Up 828
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    added by crazyforLiLo Lindsay Lohan, Megan Fox, Adam Sandler 2004

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  47. 198
    Up 41
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    Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Tara Reid

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  48. 127
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    Emily Osment, Meaghan Rath, Kay Panabaker

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  49. 15
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    Milla Jovovich, Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey

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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. 207 +

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