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The Best Coming of Age Movies 

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Updated March 17, 2020 18.1k votes 1.4k voters 143.5k 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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1
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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
2
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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
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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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
5
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Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Matthew McConaughey

Released: 1993

Directed by: Richard Linklater

Dazed and Confused is a 1993 coming of age comedy film written and directed by Richard Linklater. The film features a large ensemble cast of actors who would later become stars, including ...more
6
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Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Lara Flynn Boyle

Released: 1989

Directed by: Peter Weir

Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter Weir and starring Robin Williams. Set at the conservative and aristocratic Welton Academy in the ...more
7
Good Will Hunting is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies
Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Matt Damon

Released: 1997

Directed by: Gus Van Sant

Good Will Hunting is a 1997 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgård. Written by Affleck and ...more
8
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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.
9
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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
10
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Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Released: 1982

Directed by: Amy Heckerling

Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a 1982 American coming-of-age teen comedy film written by Cameron Crowe, adapted from his 1981 book of the same name. As a freelance writer for Rolling Stone ...more
11
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Jamie Lee Curtis, Macaulay Culkin, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 1991

Directed by: Howard Zieff

My Girl is a 1991 American comedy-drama film directed by Howard Zieff and written by Laurice Elehwany. The film, starring Macaulay Culkin and Anna Chlumsky in her feature film debut, depicts the ...more
12
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Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz, Elizabeth Perkins

Released: 1988

Directed by: Penny Marshall

Big is a 1988 American fantasy comedy film directed by Penny Marshall, and stars Tom Hanks as Josh Baskin, a young boy who makes a wish "to be big" and is then aged to adulthood ...more
13
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Jennifer Garner, Ellen Page, Jason Bateman

Released: 2007

Directed by: Jason Reitman

Juno is a 2007 Canadian-American comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody. Ellen Page stars as the title character, an independent-minded teenager confronting an ...more
14
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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
15
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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
16
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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
17
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Harrison Ford, Ron Howard, Suzanne Somers

Released: 1973

Directed by: George Lucas

American Graffiti is a 1973 American coming of age comedy-drama film directed and co-written by George Lucas starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Harrison Ford, Charles Martin ...more
18
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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
19
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James Spader, Gina Gershon, Molly Ringwald

Released: 1986

Directed by: Howard Deutch

Pretty in Pink is a 1986 American romantic comedy-drama film about love and social cliques in 1980s American high schools. It is one of John Hughes' films starring Molly Ringwald, and is ...more
20
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Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson, Anna Paquin

Released: 2000

Directed by: Cameron Crowe

Almost Famous is a 2000 comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe and starring Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit. It tells the fictional story of a teenage journalist ...more
21
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Alyson Hannigan, Tara Reid, Shannon Elizabeth

Released: 1999

Directed by: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz

American Pie is a 1999 teen comedy film written by Adam Herz and directed by brothers Paul and Chris Weitz, in their directorial film debut. It is the first film in the American Pie theatrical ...more
22
The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies
Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Matthew Broderick

Released: 1994

Directed by: Rob Minkoff, Roger Allers

The Lion King is a 1994 American animated musical epic film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd animated feature in the Walt Disney ...more
23
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Natalie Wood, James Dean, Dennis Hopper

Released: 1955

Directed by: Nicholas Ray

Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 American drama film about emotionally confused suburban, middle-class teenagers. The film stars James Dean, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood. Directed by Nicholas Ray, ...more
24
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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
25
Dirty Dancing is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Coming of Age Movies
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