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The Best Coming of Age Drama Films 

Ranker Film
Updated August 1, 2019 617 votes 80 voters 2.1k views 47 items

The best coming of age drama movies are capable of truly touching your heart. These films capture the complicated, emotional moments that define growing up. Some of the top examples, like Almost Famous and The Last Picture Show, have earned widespread acclaim for their insight on the subject. Serious coming of age movies have the power to stay with audience members for years, as well as to inspire repeat viewings. Fans form an intense personal connection to them.

Here's your chance to vote for the greatest coming of age drama movies, or to find some good examples that you might have missed. If you don't see a personal favorite on this list of coming of age drama films, please add it so that other users can weigh in. 

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1
Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, John Cusack

Released: 1986

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell. Based on the novella ...more

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2
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane

Released: 1983

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

The Outsiders is a 1983 American drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton. The film was released on March 25, 1983. Jo Ellen ...more

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#320 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #63 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #91 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

3
The Lost Boys is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

Released: 1987

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

The Lost Boys is a 1987 American teen horror film starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander, ...more

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#103 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #44 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #125 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies

4
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck, William Windom

Released: 1962

Directed by: Robert Mulligan

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote was based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee. ...more

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#100 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Quotes That'll Change How You Thinklisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita

Released: 1984

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Robert Mark Kamen, starring Ralph Macchio, who was 22 years old during principal ...more

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#104 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #33 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #7 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

6
Dirty Dancing is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach

Released: 1987

Directed by: Emile Ardolino

Dirty Dancing is a 1987 American romantic drama film. Written by Eleanor Bergstein and directed by Emile Ardolino, the film stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the lead roles, as well as ...more

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7
Footloose is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Bacon, John Lithgow

Released: 1984

Directed by: Herbert Ross

Footloose is a 1984 American musical-drama directed by Herbert Ross. It tells the story of Ren McCormack, an upbeat Chicago teen who moves to a small town in which, as a result of the efforts of ...more

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8
Dead Poets Society is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Lara Flynn Boyle

Released: 1989

Directed by: Peter Weir

Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter Weir and starring Robin Williams. Set at the conservative and aristocratic Welton Academy in the ...more

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#112 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #65 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
The Graduate is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Richard Dreyfuss

Released: 1967

Directed by: Mike Nichols

The Graduate is a 1967 American comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols. It is based on the 1963 novel The Graduate by Charles Webb, who wrote it shortly after graduating from Williams ...more

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#469 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #10 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
Call Me by Your Name is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Armie Hammer, Timothee Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg

Directed by: Luca Guadagnino

Call Me by Your Name is a 2017 Italian-American romantic coming-of-age drama film directed by Luca Guadagnino, based on Andre Aciman's novel of the same name. In 1980s Italy, a romantic ...more

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11
My Girl is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Jamie Lee Curtis, Macaulay Culkin, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 1991

Directed by: Howard Zieff

My Girl is a 1991 American comedy-drama film directed by Howard Zieff and written by Laurice Elehwany. The film, starring Macaulay Culkin and Anna Chlumsky in her feature film debut, depicts the ...more

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12
Now and Then is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Demi Moore, Christina Ricci, Rosie O'Donnell

Released: 1995

Directed by: Lesli Linka Glatter

Now and Then is a 1995 American coming-of-age film directed by Lesli Linka Glatter and starring Christina Ricci, Rosie O'Donnell, Thora Birch, Melanie Griffith, Gaby Hoffmann, Demi Moore, ...more

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#214 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #183 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

13
Rebel Without a Cause is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Natalie Wood, James Dean, Dennis Hopper

Released: 1955

Directed by: Nicholas Ray

Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 American drama film about emotionally confused suburban, middle-class teenagers. The film stars James Dean, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood. Directed by Nicholas Ray, ...more

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14
Almost Famous is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson, Anna Paquin

Released: 2000

Directed by: Cameron Crowe

Almost Famous is a 2000 comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe and starring Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit. It tells the fictional story of a teenage journalist ...more

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#89 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #22 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
The Perks of Being a Wal... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd

Released: 2012

Directed by: Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a 2012 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film, and an adaptation of the 1999 epistolary novel of the same name; it was written and directed by the novel's ...more

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16
Pan's Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Sergi López, Maribel Verdú, Ivana Baquero

Released: 2006

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Pan's Labyrinth is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro. It was produced and distributed by Esperanto Films. In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young ...more

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17
Scent of a Woman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Al Pacino, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Gabrielle Anwar

Released: 1992

Directed by: Martin Brest

Scent of a Woman is a 1992 American drama directed and produced by Martin Brest that tells the story of a preparatory school student who takes a job as an assistant to an irascible, blind, ...more

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#363 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #37 of 103 The Greatest Movie Remakes of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

18
The Last Picture Show is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Cloris Leachman

Released: 1971

Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich

The Last Picture Show is a 1971 American drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich, adapted from a semi-autobiographical 1966 novel of the same name by Larry McMurtry. Set in a small town in ...more

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19
A Bronx Tale is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Chazz Palminteri

Released: 1993

Directed by: Robert De Niro

A Bronx Tale is a 1993 American drama film set in the Bronx during the turbulent era of the 1960s. It was the directorial debut of Robert De Niro that follows a young Italian-American teenager ...more

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#219 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #7 of 113 The Best Mafia Films

20
Rumble Fish is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Nicolas Cage, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane

Released: 1983

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

Rumble Fish is an American 1983 drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It is based on the novel Rumble Fish by S. E. Hinton, who also co-wrote the screenplay. The film centers on the ...more

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21
St. Elmo's Fire is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson

Released: 1985

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

St. Elmo's Fire is a 1985 American coming-of-age film directed by Joel Schumacher. The film, starring Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and Mare ...more

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22
Y Tu Mamá Tambi&e... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Maribel Verdú

Released: 2001

Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón

Y Tu Mamá También is a 2001 Mexican drama film directed by Alfonso Cuarón and co-written by Cuarón and his brother Carlos. The film tells a coming-of-age story about ...more

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23
Them That Follow is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever, Alice Englert

Released: 2019

Directed by: Britt Poulton, Dan Madison Savage

Them That Follow is a 2019 American thriller film directed by Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage. Inside a snake-handling church deep in Appalachia, a forbidden relationship forces a pastor’s ...more
24
Boyz n the Hood is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Ice Cube, Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding Jr.

Released: 1991

Directed by: John Singleton

Boyz n the Hood is a 1991 American hood drama written and directed by John Singleton in his directorial debut, and starring Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Nia ...more

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#199 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #140 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

25
Share is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
Rhianne Barreto, Charlie Plummer, Poorna Jagannathan

Released: 2019

Directed by: Pippa Bianco

Share is a 2019 drama film, written and directed by Pippa Bianco, based upon Bianco's short film of the same name. After discovering a disturbing video from a night she doesn't remember, ...more