Teen movies have always been popular and relatable, touching on the awkwardness, vulnerability, and pressure of adolescence. While classics such as The Breakfast Club and Clueless and newer films like Lady Bird and The Perks of Being a Wallflower are top-rated, there are many underrated teen movies worth watching. Here are ten teen movies that deserve more recognition.
The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
The Edge of Seventeen explores the struggles of Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) during her difficult high school years when her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating her older brother Darius (Blake Jenner). Steinfeld delivers an authentic and witty performance, depicting the challenges of growing up.
Eighth Grade (2018)
Eighth grade, directed by Bo Burnham, is a painfully realistic film about Kayla (Elsie Fisher), a teenage girl with self-confidence issues who is desperate to fit in. Kayla’s struggles with anxiety and self-consciousness are portrayed masterfully, making the film universally relatable.
The Fallout (2021)
The Fallout features Jenna Ortega as Vada, a teenager dealing with the aftermath of a school shooting. The film highlights how people cope with trauma and the irreversible effects of gun violence.
The Kings of Summer (2013)
The Kings of Summer is an adventure movie about three teenage boys who run away from their families to live in the woods for the summer. It showcases themes of friendship and the importance of family, with a talented cast including Nick Robinson and Nick Offerman.
The Hate U Give (2018)
The Hate U Give based on the novel by Angie Thomas, is a powerful movie about African-American teen Starr (Amandla Stenberg) who witnesses the shooting of her childhood friend by the police. The film highlights the devastating effects of police brutality and encourages young people to stand up against hate and prejudice.
Mid90s written and directed by Jonah Hill, tells the story of 13-year-old Stevie (Sunny Suljic) who finds refuge with an eccentric group of skaters. With a 1990s Los Angeles setting and some great performances, Mid90s offers a nostalgic and cathartic slice-of-life story.
Booksmart is Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, following best friends Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) who decide to party on their last night of high school. The witty script, colorful characters, and hilarious performances make Booksmart a must-watch.
Sing Street (2016)
Sing Street directed by John Carney, tells the story of Conor (Ferida Walsh-Peelo) who starts a band to impress a girl. The film showcases the transformative power of music and the joys of young love.
The Spectacular Now (2013)
The Spectacular Now features Miles Teller as Sutter, a charismatic and reckless high school senior who falls for shy and introverted Aimee (Shailene Woodley). The film is a poignant coming-of-age story that explores the complexities of young love.
Easy A (2010)
Easy A is a modern retelling of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Emma Stone delivers a fantastic performance as Olive, a high school student who lies about losing her virginity and soon becomes the subject of rumors and gossip. The film is a witty and satirical take on the high school experience.