We all grew up watching them, so it's only natural everyone has their favorite teen movie. Whether it was released back in the '60s or in recent history, teen films tend to appeal to young adults via relatable storylines, light humor, and - of course - plenty of angst. These films have made us all laugh, cry, and fall in love with pretty much whoever was on the screen. If you want to relive your adolescence, there are some teen movies everyone should watch to recall what it was like to be that age. But which teen movies are truly essential?
If you feel unfamiliar with the genre - hey, not everyone was into mainstream cinema in high school! - this list can help familiarize you with the world of teen films. These are basically teen films for beginners. There are hundreds of must-see teen movies, but this list compiles the most influential films of the genre. From the groundbreaking Breakfast Club to the more recent Mean Girls, these famous films pushed the boundaries of adolescent entertainment.
Get an intro to teen movies below by checking out some of these must-see films. Then, vote up your favorites.
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, which describes female high school social cliques and the damaging effects they can have on girls. Lindsay Lohan stars. The supporting cast features Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey, Lacey Chabert, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Franzese, Jonathan Bennett and Amanda Seyfried. Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels produced the film. Screenwriter and co-star of the film, Tina Fey, was a long-term cast member and writer for SNL. Also featuring appearances from SNL cast members Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, and Amy ...more
Actors: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, + more
Initial Release: 2004
Directed by: Mark Waters
#15 on The Best Movies for Tweens
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 name about two lovers in a 1950s high school. The film stars John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, and Jeff Conaway. It was successful both critically and at the box office. Its soundtrack album ended 1978 as the second-best selling album of the year in the United States, behind the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever, another film starring Travolta. A sequel, Grease 2, was released in 1982, starring Maxwell Caulfield and Michelle Pfeiffer. Only a few of the original cast members ...more
Actors: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Sid Caesar, Joan Blondell, + more
Initial Release: 1978
Directed by: Randal Kleiser
#40 on The Most Rewatchable Movies
#31 on The Best '70s Movies
Bring It On is a 2000 American teen comedy film that was directed by Peyton Reed and written by Jessica Bendinger. It was followed by four direct-to-video sequels, none of which contain any of the original cast members: Bring It On Again, which shared producers with the original, Bring It On: All or Nothing, Bring It On: In It to Win It, and Bring It On: Fight to the Finish. The plot of the film centers on Torrance Shipman, who inherits the position of captain on her high school's cheerleading squad and attempts to lead her team to a sixth national title. However, Torrance is informed by the newest team member, Missy Pantone, that she is in possession of a stolen routine. When the ...more
Actors: Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Gabrielle Union, Bianca Kajlich, Tsianina Joelson, + more
Initial Release: 2000
Directed by: Peyton Reed
#31 on The Best Teen Romance Movies
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 screenplay was written by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith. The film, a modernization of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, is titled after a poem written by the film's female lead to describe her bittersweet romance with the male lead. The film was released March 31, 1999, and it was a breakout success for stars Stiles, Ledger and Gordon-Levitt. ...more
Actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gabrielle Union, Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Allison Janney, + more
Initial Release: 1999
Directed by: Gil Junger
#48 on The Funniest '90s Movies