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The Best Teen Movies of All Time 

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Updated March 25, 2020 687.1k votes 69.1k voters 2.4M views 294 items

List Rules Vote up and add all of your favorite movies that are geared towards and feature teenagers.

Need a new movie to watch? Here's 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, popular 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 top teen movies 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 good teen movies that aren't on here, add them at the bottom of the page.

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list ordered by
1
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Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried

Released: 2004

Directed by: Mark Waters

Mean Girls is a 2004 American teen comedy film. Mark Waters directed, and Tina Fey wrote the screenplay, which is based in part on Rosalind Wiseman's non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes, ...more
2
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Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall

Released: 1985

Directed by: John Hughes

The Breakfast Club is a 1985 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by John Hughes and starring Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, John ...more
3
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Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick, Jeffrey Jones

Released: 1986

Directed by: John Hughes

Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John Hughes. The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller, who skips school and spends the day in ...more
4
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gabrielle Union, Heath Ledger

Released: 1999

Directed by: Gil Junger

10 Things I Hate About You is a 1999 American romantic comedy film directed by Gil Junger, and a modern retelling of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. After finding out his crush ...more
5
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Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd

Released: 1995

Directed by: Amy Heckerling

Clueless is a 1995 American comedy film loosely based on Jane Austen's 1815 novel Emma. It stars Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd, and Brittany Murphy. The film is set in Beverly Hills ...more
6
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Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Aly Michalka

Released: 2010

Directed by: Will Gluck

Easy A is a 2010 American teen comedy film directed by Will Gluck. A clean-cut high school student (Emma Stone) relies on the school's rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.
7
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KirkSaw added Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson

Released: 1985

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Back to the Future is a 1985 American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into ...more
8
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John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing

Released: 1978

Directed by: Randal Kleiser

Grease is a 1978 American musical romantic comedy-drama film directed by Randal Kleiser and produced by Paramount Pictures. It is based on Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs' 1971 musical of the same ...more
9
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John Cusack, Molly Ringwald, Joan Cusack

Released: 1984

Directed by: John Hughes

Sixteen Candles is a 1984 American coming-of-age comedy film starring Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling and Anthony Michael Hall. It was written and directed by John Hughes.
10
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Anne Hathaway, Mandy Moore, Julie Andrews

Released: 2001

Directed by: Garry Marshall

The Princess Diaries is a 2001 American comedy film produced by singer and actress Whitney Houston and directed by Garry Marshall. It is based on Meg Cabot's 2000 novel of the same name. The ...more
11
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Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Jessica Lucas

Released: 2006

Directed by: Andy Fickman

She's the Man is a 2006 American romantic comedy film directed by Andy Fickman, inspired by William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night. The film stars Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Laura Ramsey, ...more
12
The Goonies is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Teen Movies of All Time
Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Sean Astin

Released: 1985

Directed by: Richard Donner

The Goonies is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Richard Donner. The screenplay was written by Chris Columbus from a story by executive producer Steven Spielberg. The film's ...more
13
Harry Potter and the Pri... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Teen Movies of All Time
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Gary Oldman

Released: 2004

Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a 2004 fantasy film directed by Alfonso Cuarón and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. ...more
14
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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
15
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Emma Stone, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill

Released: 2007

Directed by: Greg Mottola

Superbad is a 2007 American teen comedy film directed by Greg Mottola and starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera. The film was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who began working on the ...more
16
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Emma Watson, Robert Pattinson, Daniel Radcliffe

Released: 2005

Directed by: Mike Newell

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a 2005 fantasy film directed by Mike Newell and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The film, ...more
17
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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
18
21 Jump Street is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Teen Movies of All Time
DaniFenn-Wells added Johnny Depp, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube

Released: 2012

Directed by: Phil Lord, Chris Miller

21 Jump Street is a 2012 American action comedy film directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, executive produced by and starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, and scripted by Michael ...more
19
Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Teen Movies of All Time
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
20
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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
21
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seane797 added Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

Released: 2014

Directed by: Francis Lawrence

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is a 2014 American dystopian science fiction adventure film directed by Francis Lawrence. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence); having twice survived the ...more
22
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Hilary Duff, Jennifer Coolidge, Chad Michael Murray

Released: 2004

Directed by: Mark Rosman

A Cinderella Story is a 2004 American teen romantic comedy film. The film stars Hilary Duff, Chad Michael Murray, Jennifer Coolidge, and Regina King and was directed by Mark Rosman. The film's ...more
23
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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
24
Pitch Perfect is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Teen Movies of All Time
Anna Kendrick, Elizabeth Banks, Brittany Snow

Released: 2012

Directed by: Jason Moore

Pitch Perfect is a 2012 American musical comedy film directed by Jason Moore. Featuring an ensemble cast, including Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Ester ...more
25
The Perks of Being a Wal... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Teen Movies of All Time
matanamcintire added 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