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The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys 

Ranker Film
Updated July 10, 2020 1.1k votes 218 voters 16.6k views 52 items

The future is bright for the young leading men of classic coming of age films. The best boys coming of age movies feature boys becoming men as they deal with tough situations and strained friendships. This is a list of the best coming of age movies about boys, including everything from The Lost Boys to Goonies to The Outsiders.

What films will you find on this list of the top boys coming of age movies? You won't be surprised to see Stand by Me here. Based on Stephen King's novella The Body, this timeless tale follows a group of four friends on what will be their last great boyhood adventure. The Sandlot is another great film about friends learning lessons that they will carry throughout their lives. Richard Linklater took coming of age films to the next level with his movie Boyhood, which was filmed from 2002-2013. Other good films featured here include It, Empire of the Sun, and This Boy's Life.

It's up to you to decide which coming of age movie deserves the top spot on this list. Give your favorites a thumbs up and please add any good films that are missing.

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1
Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
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 Goonies is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
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

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3
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
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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4
The Sandlot is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
James Earl Jones, Denis Leary, Karen Allen

Released: 1993

Directed by: David M. Evans

The Sandlot, also known as The Sandlot Kids, is a 1993 American coming-of-age film Comedy directed by David M. Evans, which tells the story of a group of young baseball players during the summer ...more

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5
The Lost Boys is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
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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6
Holes is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Shia LaBeouf, Sigourney Weaver, Patricia Arquette

Released: 2003

Directed by: Andrew Davis

Holes is a 2003 American comedy-drama adventure film based on the 1998 novel of the same title by Louis Sachar, with Shia LaBeouf as the lead role of Stanley Yelnats IV and also starring Khleo ...more

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7
Mid90s is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Sunny Suljic, Lucas Hedges, Katherine Waterston

Released: 2018

Directed by: Jonah Hill

Mid90s is a 2018 American comedy drama film directed by Jonah Hill. A thirteen-year-old (Sunny Suljic) in 90s-era LA spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of ...more
8
Boyhood is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane

Released: 2014

Directed by: Richard Linklater

Boyhood is a 2014 American independent coming-of-age drama film, written and directed by Richard Linklater, and starring Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, and Ethan Hawke. ...more

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9
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Nicholas Hammond, James Aubrey, Kent Fletcher

Released: 1963

Directed by: Peter Brook

Lord of the Flies is a 1963 British film adaptation of William Golding's novel of the same name. It was directed by Peter Brook and produced by Lewis M. Allen. The film was in production for ...more

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10
Empire of the Sun is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Christian Bale, Ben Stiller, John Malkovich

Released: 1987

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Empire of the Sun is a 1987 American coming of age film based on J. G. Ballard's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. Steven Spielberg directed the film, which stars Christian Bale, ...more

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11
This Boy's Life is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Eliza Dushku

Released: 1993

Directed by: Michael Caton-Jones

This Boy's Life is a 1993 film adaptation of the memoir of the same name by American author Tobias Wolff. It is directed by Michael Caton-Jones and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Tobias Wolff, ...more

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12
It is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Tim Curry, Seth Green, John Ritter

Released: 1990

Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace

It is a 1990 psychological horror/drama miniseries based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. The story revolves around an inter-dimensional predatory life-form, which has the ability to ...more

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13
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Annabella Sciorra, Brad Renfro, Diana Scarwid

Released: 1995

Directed by: Peter Horton

The Cure is a 1995 comedy-drama film starring Brad Renfro and Joseph Mazzello about two boys searching for the cure of AIDS, from which one of them is suffering. It was produced by Eric Eisner ...more

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14
Hugo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Jude Law, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee

Released: 2011

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Hugo is a 2011 American 3D historical adventure drama film directed and co-produced by Martin Scorsese and adapted for the screen by John Logan. Based on Brian Selznick's novel The Invention of ...more

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15
Hook is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Robin Williams

Released: 1991

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Hook is a 1991 American fantasy adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie. When Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) kidnaps his children, an adult Peter Pan ...more

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16
The Kings of Summer is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
daltonthescott added Alison Brie, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman

Released: 2013

Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

The Kings of Summer is a 2013 comedy film written by Chris Galletta and directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

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17
The Maze Runner is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Kaya Scodelario, Dylan O'Brien, Patricia Clarkson

Released: 2014

Directed by: Wes Ball

The Maze Runner is a 2014 American science fiction dystopian action thriller film directed by Wes Ball, based on James Dashner's 2009 novel of the same name. The film is the first installment in ...more

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18
Mud is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Paulson

Released: 2012

Directed by: Jeff Nichols

Mud is a 2012 American drama film directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, and Reese Witherspoon. The film competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film
19
The Spiderwick Chronicle... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Nick Nolte, Seth Rogen, Mary-Louise Parker

Released: 2008

Directed by: Mark Waters

The Spiderwick Chronicles is a 2008 American fantasy adventure film. It is the film adaptation of Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi's bestselling series of the same name. Set in the Spiderwick ...more

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20
Flight of the Navigator ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Sarah Jessica Parker, Paul Reubens, Veronica Cartwright

Released: 1986

Directed by: Randal Kleiser

Flight of the Navigator is a 1986 comic science fiction film directed by Randal Kleiser and written by Mark H. Baker and Michael Burton, about David Freeman, a 12-year-old boy who is taken by an ...more

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21
Miss Peregrine's Home fo... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson
22
Beautiful Thing is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
T Russell Morris added Meera Syal, Ben Daniels, Linda Henry

Released: 1995

Directed by: Hettie MacDonald

Beautiful Thing is a 1996 British film directed by Hettie MacDonald and released by Channel 4 Films. The screenplay was written by Jonathan Harvey based on his own original play of the same ...more
23
North Sea Texas is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
T Russell Morris added Eva van der Gucht, Thomas Coumans, Jelle Floorizoone

Released: 2011

Directed by: Bavo Defurne

North Sea Texas is a 2011 drama film written by André Sollie, Bavo Defurne and Yves Verbraeken and directed by Bavo Defurne.
24
Billy Elliot is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
T Russell Morris added Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Zoe Bell

Released: 2000

Directed by: Stephen Daldry

Billy Elliot is a 2000 British dance drama film written by Lee Hall and directed by Stephen Daldry. Set in north-eastern England during the 1984-85 coal miners' strike, it stars Jamie Bell as ...more

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25
The Kite Runner is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies About Boys
Shaun Toub, Saïd Taghmaoui, Khaled Hosseini

Released: 2007

Directed by: Marc Forster

The Kite Runner is a 2007 American drama film directed by Marc Forster, based on the 2003 novel by Khaled Hosseini. After spending years in California, Amir returns to his homeland in ...more