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The Best Coming of Age Drama Films

Updated August 1, 2019 868 votes 82 voters 2.3k views47 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
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    6

    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1986

    Directed byRob Reiner

    Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    The Lost Boys is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    23
    4

    The Lost Boys

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1987

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

    The Lost Boys is a 1987 American teen horror film starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    23
    5

    The Outsiders

    Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage

    Released1983

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    The Outsiders is a 1983 American drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    The Last Picture Show is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    21
    5

    The Last Picture Show

    Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd

    Released1971

    Directed byPeter Bogdanovich

    The Last Picture Show is a 1971 American drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich, adapted... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    22
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    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck

    Released1962

    Directed byRobert Mulligan

    To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    22
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    The Karate Kid

    Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio

    Released1984

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

    The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G.... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Dead Poets Society is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    23
    12

    Dead Poets Society

    Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke

    Released1989

    Directed byPeter Weir

    Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Footloose is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    21
    9

    Footloose

    Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Bacon

    Released1984

    Directed byHerbert Ross

    Footloose is a 1984 American musical-drama directed by Herbert Ross. It tells the story of Ren... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Now and Then is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    17
    5

    Now and Then

    Demi Moore, Christina Ricci

    Released1995

    Directed byLesli Linka Glatter

    Now and Then is a 1995 American coming-of-age film directed by Lesli Linka Glatter and... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    My Girl is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    21
    10

    My Girl

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Macaulay Culkin

    Released1991

    Directed byHoward Zieff

    My Girl is a 1991 American comedy-drama film directed by Howard Zieff and written by Laurice... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Rebel Without a Cause is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    18
    8

    Rebel Without a Cause

    Natalie Wood, James Dean

    Released1955

    Directed byNicholas Ray

    Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 American drama film about emotionally confused suburban,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    The Graduate is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    22
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    The Graduate

    Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft

    Released1967

    Directed byMike Nichols

    The Graduate is a 1967 American comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols. It is based on the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Dirty Dancing is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    19
    10

    Dirty Dancing

    Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey

    Released1987

    Directed byEmile Ardolino

    Dirty Dancing is a 1987 American romantic drama film. Written by Eleanor Bergstein and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Y Tu Mamá También is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    13
    4

    Y Tu Mamá También

    Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna

    Released2001

    Directed byAlfonso Cuarón

    Y Tu Mamá También is a 2001 Mexican drama film directed by Alfonso Cuarón and co-written by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Call Me by Your Name is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    20
    13

    Call Me by Your Name

    Armie Hammer, Timothee Chalamet

    Directed byLuca Guadagnino

    Call Me by Your Name is a 2017 Italian-American romantic coming-of-age drama film directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    Almost Famous is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    14
    6

    Almost Famous

    Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson

    Released2000

    Directed byCameron Crowe

    Almost Famous is a 2000 comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe and starring... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Scent of a Woman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    12
    5

    Scent of a Woman

    Al Pacino, Philip Seymour Hoffman

    Released1992

    Directed byMartin Brest

    Scent of a Woman is a 1992 American drama directed and produced by Martin Brest that tells the... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Rumble Fish is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    11
    6

    Rumble Fish

    Nicolas Cage, Mickey Rourke

    Released1983

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    Rumble Fish is an American 1983 drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It is based on... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    St. Elmo's Fire is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    10
    5

    St. Elmo's Fire

    Demi Moore, Rob Lowe

    Released1985

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

    St. Elmo's Fire is a 1985 American coming-of-age film directed by Joel Schumacher. The film,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    The Man in the Moon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    9
    4

    The Man in the Moon

    Reese Witherspoon, Sam Waterston

    Released1991

    Directed byRobert Mulligan

    The Man in the Moon is a 1991 American coming of age drama film and was the final film of... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    A Bronx Tale is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    9
    4

    A Bronx Tale

    Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci

    Released1993

    Directed byRobert De Niro

    A Bronx Tale is a 1993 American drama film set in the Bronx during the turbulent era of the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    The Perks of Being a Wallflowe is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    15
    13

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev

    Released2012

    Directed byStephen Chbosky

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a 2012 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film, and an... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Them That Follow is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    2
    2

    Them That Follow

    Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever

    Released2019

    Directed byBritt Poulton, Dan Madison Savage

    Them That Follow is a 2019 American thriller film directed by Britt Poulton and Dan Madison... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    The Squid and the Whale is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    10
    6

    The Squid and the Whale

    Anna Paquin, Alexandra Daddario

    Released2005

    Directed byNoah Baumbach

    The Squid and the Whale is a 2005 American arthouse comedy-drama film written and directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Pan's Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Coming of Age Drama Films
    11
    8

    Pan's Labyrinth

    Sergi López, Maribel Verdú

    Released2006

    Directed byGuillermo del Toro

    Pan's Labyrinth is a 2006 Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro. It... more on Wikipedia

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