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The Best Coming of Age Movies 

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Updated March 17, 2020 18.2k votes 1.4k voters 143.8k views 182 items

List Rules Vote for the greatest coming of age films, regardless of how popular or successful they were at the box office.

For this list, we're ranking the best coming of age movies of all time, with the help of your votes. The coming of age films list is special in the sense that everyone on the planet can relate to these movies. They tell stories of awkward teenagers transitioning from children into adults, and the journey is almost always familiar to grown men and women who have already been through it themselves. Many of the top coming of age movies were released in the '80s and '90s, including Dazed and Confused, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. A good example of a newer coming of age film is Superbad, the movie that launched the careers of Michael Cena and Jonah Hill.

Don't be afraid to add one of your favorites to this coming of age movies list if it's missing. Try not to downvote the films you haven't seen, as we want this list to be as accurate as possible.

Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas are among the directors who have worked on Coming of age movies in the past.

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26
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Haylie Duff, Jon Heder, Diedrich Bader

Released: 2004

Directed by: Jared Hess

Napoleon Dynamite is a 2004 American independent art-house comedy film written by Jared and Jerusha Hess and directed by Jared. The film stars Jon Heder in the role of the title character, for ...more
27
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Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan

Released: 1939

Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercially successful adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful ...more
28
The Lost Boys is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies
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
29
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looksharp added Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Christian Slater

Released: 1988

Directed by: Michael Lehmann

Heathers is a 1988 comedy, drama film written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael Lehmann.
30
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Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Aly Michalka

Released: 2010

Directed by: Will Gluck

Easy A is a 2010 film directed by Will Gluck. "After a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out, a clean-cut high school girl (Emma Stone) sees her life paralleling Hester ...more
31
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looksharp added 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
32
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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 teen romantic comedy-drama film. It is directed by Gil Junger and stars Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The romantic comedy ...more
33
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John Cusack, Jeremy Piven, Joan Cusack

Released: 1989

Directed by: Cameron Crowe

Say Anything... is a 1989 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe in his directorial debut. In 2002, Entertainment Weekly ranked Say Anything... as the greatest ...more
34
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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
35
The Goonies is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies
AbzoluteArtistry added 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
36
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Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly DAngelo

Released: 1998

Directed by: Tony Kaye

American History X is a 1998 American drama film directed by Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna. It stars Edward Norton and Edward Furlong, and co-stars Fairuza Balk, Stacy Keach, Elliott ...more
37
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RawnToler added 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
38
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Paula Abdul, Patrick Dempsey, Seth Green

Released: 1987

Directed by: Steve Rash

Can't Buy Me Love is a 1987 teen comedy feature film starring Patrick Dempsey and Amanda Peterson in a story about a nerd at a high school in Tucson, Arizona who gives a cheerleader $1,000 to ...more
39
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Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Released: 1977

Directed by: George Lucas

Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The first release in the Star Wars franchise, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter ...more
40
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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
41
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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
42
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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
43
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jess-murray 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
44
Slumdog Millionaire is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies
Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan

Released: 2008

Directed by: Loveleen Tandan, Danny Boyle

Slumdog Millionaire is a 2009 British drama film directed by Danny Boyle, written by Simon Beaufoy, and produced by Christian Colson. It was co-directed in India by Loveleen Tandan. It is an ...more
45
Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies
Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, Frank Oz

Released: 1986

Directed by: Jim Henson

Labyrinth is a 1986 British-American musical adventure fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, executive produced by George Lucas and based upon conceptual designs by Brian Froud. The film stars ...more
46
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looksharp added 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
47
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Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal

Released: 2001

Directed by: Richard Kelly

Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena ...more
48
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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
49
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Jennifer Garner, Ashley Benson, Mark Ruffalo

Released: 2004

Directed by: Gary Winick

13 Going on 30 is a 2004 American romantic comedy fantasy film written by Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa, and directed by Gary Winick. Starring Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, Andy ...more
50
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looksharp added Vince Vaughn, Sean Astin, Jon Favreau filmography

Released: 1993

Directed by: David Anspaugh

Rudy is a 1993 American sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of ...more