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The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time 

Ranker Film
Updated October 8, 2019 522 votes 75 voters 2.8k views 27 items

List Rules Vote up the best intelligent movies, or those that are smart, clever, etc.

In everyday life, we don't always view teenagers as the most intelligent beings—and a lot of movies follow the same lines. While there are plenty of movies with smart teens, the movies themselves aren't always these clever masterpieces. More often than not, they focus on things like teen angst, those teenage romances, high school and so on, and at most teach fellow teens not to ditch class or disobey their parents. However, plenty of intelligent teen movies do exist. That is, films with clever plots, well-thought-out dialogue, and even deep insight into the lives and minds of teenagers.

In this sense, movies like Mean Girls are prime examples of intelligent teen movies. While it's certainly a goofy comedy, it also takes a close look at the effect of cliques, bullying, and other common issues post-pubescent kids. Of course, these smart teen films don't have to focus on high school, and you'll find plenty of great teen movies below that really make the viewer think. Whether that's a great coming-of-age flick or harrowing family film, you'll find the best of them right here.

Check out the list below and vote up the best intelligent teen movies, or those you feel are most clever, insightful, etc. You can also vote down any films you don't find as smart as the next, and add your own to the list. Then, check out our list of movies about smart people.

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list ordered by
1
Easy A is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Will Gluck (2010), starring Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes & Aly Michalka

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2
10 Things I Hate About Y... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Gil Junger (1999), starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gabrielle Union & Heath Ledger

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3
Heathers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Michael Lehmann (1988), starring Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty & Christian Slater

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4
Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
5
The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
6
Mean Girls is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Mark Waters (2004), starring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams & Amanda Seyfried

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7
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Francis Ford Coppola (1983), starring Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage & Diane Lane

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8
Sixteen Candles is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by John Hughes (1984), starring John Cusack, Molly Ringwald & Joan Cusack

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9
Say Anything... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Cameron Crowe (1989), starring John Cusack, Jeremy Piven & Joan Cusack

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10
Dope is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dope Dir. by Rick Famuyiwa (2015), starring Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori & Kiersey Clemons

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11
Almost Famous is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Cameron Crowe (2000), starring Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson & Anna Paquin

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12
Can't Buy Me Love is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Steve Rash (1987), starring Paula Abdul, Patrick Dempsey & Seth Green

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13
The Edge of Seventeen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Kelly Fremon Craig (2016), starring Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson & Kyra Sedgwick

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14
Lady Bird is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Greta Gerwig (2017), starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf & Tracy Letts

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15
Saved! is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Brian Dannelly (2004), starring Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin & Mary-Louise Parker

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16
She's All That is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Robert Iscove (1999), starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anna Paquin & Lil' Kim

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17
Splendor in the Grass is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Elia Kazan (1961), starring Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty & Pat Hingle

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18
Flipped is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Rob Reiner (2010), starring Stefanie Scott, Rebecca De Mornay & Penelope Ann Miller

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19
Superbad is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Greg Mottola (2007), starring Emma Stone, Seth Rogen & Jonah Hill

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20
Juno is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Jason Reitman (2007), starring Jennifer Garner, Ellen Page & Jason Bateman

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21
Sing Street is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Sing Street Dir. by John Carney (2016), starring Aidan Gillen, Jack Reynor & Maria Doyle Kennedy

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22
Rushmore is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Wes Anderson (1998), starring Bill Murray, Alexis Bledel & Brian Cox

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23
Girlfight is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Karyn Kusama (2000), starring Michelle Rodriguez, John Sayles & Alicia Ashley
24
The Fits is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Anna Rose Holmer (2015), starring Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett & Da'Sean Minor
25
Brick is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Intelligent Teen Movies of All Time
Dir. by Rian Johnson (2006), starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Meagan Good & Emilie de Ravin

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