Films directed at teens are many, so it is no wonder that it was hard finding the 10 best teen coming of age films ever. Coming of age films generally detail a teenager or a group of teenagers that endure something and come out all the wiser. When the hard times are over, they are more mature, more grown-up and come out of it knowing that before they were only kids.
- “The Goonies” - This film is unutterably unique. Fulfilling every child’s fantasy, a group of teens go on a treasure hunt. A “real” treasure hunt. Pirate ships, shooting, gold, jewels, dead pirate captains and lagoons are all involved in this epic film. The story brings together nerds, beauties, jocks and outcasts for a touching finish.
- “13 going on 30” – A young girl has a traumatizing 13th birthday and wishes she was a beautiful and care-free 30 year old she has read about in magazines. So, poof! She becomes Jennifer Garner, a beautiful working adult who is still 13 on the inside and learns about the mistakes teenagers can make just to be popular.
- “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” – It all began with a Rolling Stones freelancer who went under cover at a California high-school. He wrote about his experiences and from his time there and created the colorful characters in this film itself. We meet surfers and seniors who try to grow up, or are forced to grow up, and make for an entertaining movie all the while.
- “Dazed and Confused” - Drugs, sex, rock and roll and beer, of course, where what made the sixties and seventies so great. This high-school dramatic comedy about the days of summer is moving, shocking and highly entertaining. Many teens are forced to grow up, others…not so much.
- “The Breakfast Club” - Who doesn’t like “The Breakfast Club?” Molly Ringwald, the quintessential teen icon of the 80’s, takes part in a class of misfits sent to detention. It is amazing how much can happen during one detention and how much a group of teens can grow.
- “Stand by Me” - A deeply emotional film about a group of kids forced to grow up and stand by one another. A group of teens runaway, encounter a murder, and deal with many teen and pre-teen issues while on their journey in this coming of age drama.
- “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” – There isn’t a whole lot that needs to be said about this film. We have all seen it and we all love it. Teenager Ferris skips school for a day and grows up when he has to man up to the consequences of his actions.
- “Rebel Without a Cause” - The late James Dean was a rebel through and through. In this epic and unforgettable film, we see a new kid in town befriend a boy and strike up a questionable friendship. Completely scandalous at the time, and yet completely epic.
- “Grease” – Fans of young John Travolta and Australian beauty Olivia Newton just want to scream "ahh” when they hear the word “Grease.” Ultimately the movie shows that your friends don't always know what's best for you when it comes to love, and to win it all in the end you should follow your own heart. This coming of age musical is fun, dramatic, and a joy to watch.
- “Sixteen Candles” - Teen love; it is tough, heartbreaking, heart-melting and unerringly unavoidable. Once again, Molly Ringwald takes the eading role of a girl who has a crush on the most popular guy in school, while her friend “the nerd” has a crush on her. Poor Molly is embarrassed by friends and family time and time again, as all teens are, and yet comes out with the man of her dreams.
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