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The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars

Updated September 6, 2019 1.2k votes 158 voters 4.7k views31 items

List RulesVote up the best movies that feature sharp teenagers with witty dialogue.

Sharp teenagers may be wise beyond their years, but they still find themselves entangled in high school drama. The best precocious teen movies feature students taking their lives into their own hands, despite opposition from their parents and teachers. This is a list of the top movies about witty teens including everything from Superbad to Little Miss Sunshine to Election.

What films will you find on this list of the best movies about precocious teens? Maybe you're a fan of the slacker classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off. This 1986 comedy inspired teens across the world to make the most of their sick days, just like the title character. The snappy dialog of Juno makes it a film synonymous with smart teenagers. Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) was an incredibly ambitious student when it came to everything but his school work in Wes Anderson's film Rushmore. Other good movies found on this best smart teen films list include Heathers, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Cruel Intentions.

Which precocious teen movie do you think is the best? Vote your favorite up to number one on this list, and add any great features that are missing.

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  • 1
    The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    61
    14

    The Breakfast Club

    Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald

    Released1985

    Directed byJohn Hughes

    The Breakfast Club is a 1985 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written, produced, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    The Perks of Being a Wallflowe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    60
    21

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev

    Released2012

    Directed byStephen Chbosky

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a 2012 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film, and an... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Election is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    51
    13

    Election

    Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Broderick

    Released1999

    Directed byAlexander Payne

    Election is a 1999 American comedy film directed and written by Alexander Payne and adapted by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Easy A is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    44
    12

    Easy A

    Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes

    Released2010

    Directed byWill Gluck

    Easy A is a 2010 American teen comedy film directed by Will Gluck. A clean-cut high school... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Scream is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    29
    5

    Scream

    Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan

    Released1996

    Directed byWes Craven

    Scream is a 1996 American slasher film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Ferris Bueller's Day Off is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    35
    13

    Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick

    Released1986

    Directed byJohn Hughes

    Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Little Miss Sunshine is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    33
    14

    Little Miss Sunshine

    Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston

    Released2006

    Directed byValerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton

    Little Miss Sunshine is a 2006 American comedy-drama road film and the directorial film debut... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Heathers is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    38
    24

    Heathers

    Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty

    Released1988

    Directed byMichael Lehmann

    Heathers is a 1988 comedy, drama film written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Cruel Intentions is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    33
    20

    Cruel Intentions

    Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar

    Released1999

    Directed byRoger Kumble

    Cruel Intentions is a 1999 American drama film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe,... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Juno is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    32
    19

    Juno

    Jennifer Garner, Ellen Page

    Released2007

    Directed byJason Reitman

    Juno is a 2007 Canadian-American comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman and written by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    The Edge of Seventeen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    23
    10

    The Edge of Seventeen

    Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson

    Released2016

    Directed byKelly Fremon Craig

    The Edge of Seventeen (originally titled Besties) is a 2016 American comedy-drama film... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    Clueless is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    14
    2

    Clueless

    Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy

    Released1995

    Directed byAmy Heckerling

    Clueless is a 1995 American comedy film loosely based on Jane Austen's 1815 novel Emma. It... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Saved! is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    35
    29

    Saved!

    Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin

    Released2004

    Directed byBrian Dannelly

    Saved! is a 2004 American teen comedy-drama film involving elements of religious satire. It... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Superbad is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    18
    12

    Superbad

    Emma Stone, Seth Rogen

    Released2007

    Directed byGreg Mottola

    Superbad is a 2007 American teen comedy film directed by Greg Mottola and starring Jonah Hill... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    The Way, Way Back is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    19
    15

    The Way, Way Back

    Steve Carell, Amanda Peet

    Released2013

    Directed byJim Rash, Nat Faxon

    The Way, Way Back is a 2013 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Nat Faxon and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    Where'd You Go, Bernadette is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    5
    0

    Where'd You Go, Bernadette

    Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup

    Released2018

    Directed byRichard Linklater

    Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a 2019 American comedy-drama film directed by Richard Linklater,... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    37
    41

    Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

    Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler

    Released2015

    Directed byAlfonso Gomez-Rejon

    Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a 2015 American comedy-drama film directed by Alfonso... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Blinded by the Light is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    5
    0

    Blinded by the Light

    Viveik Kalra, Hayley Atwell

    Released2019

    Directed byGurinder Chadha

    Blinded by the Light is a 2019 British comedy-drama film directed by Gurinder Chadha, based on... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Booksmart is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    11
    9

    Booksmart

    Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein

    Released2019

    Directed byOlivia Wilde

    Booksmart is a 2019 American comedy film directed by Olivia Wilde. On the eve of their high... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    Charlie Bartlett is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    4
    1

    Charlie Bartlett

    Robert Downey Jr., Kat Dennings

    Released2007

    Directed byJon Poll

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  • 21
    Titanic is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    10
    11

    Titanic

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet

    Released1997

    Directed byJames Cameron

    Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed by James Cameron. A... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Thoroughbreds is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    2
    0

    Thoroughbreds

    Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy

    Directed byCory Finley

    Thoroughbreds is a 2018 American drama thriller film directed by Cory Finley. After years of... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Valentine is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    5
    8

    Valentine

    Katherine Heigl, Denise Richards

    Released2001

    Directed byJamie Blanks

    Valentine is a 2001 slasher film directed by Jamie Blanks, and starring David Boreanaz, Marley... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    It's Kind of a Funny Story is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    23
    38

    It's Kind of a Funny Story

    Emma Roberts, Lauren Graham

    Released2010

    Directed byRyan Fleck, Anna Boden

    It's Kind of a Funny Story is a 2010 drama film directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.
  • 25
    The Squid and the Whale is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Movies with Precocious Teen Stars
    6
    12

    The Squid and the Whale

    Anna Paquin, Alexandra Daddario

    Released2005

    Directed byNoah Baumbach

    The Squid and the Whale is a 2005 American arthouse comedy-drama film written and directed by... more on Wikipedia

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