June 19, 2024

Top 20 Teen Movies That Aren't Just For Teens

Published June 12, 2023, 12:20 p.m. by Arrik Motley

These teen movies are just as much for adults. For this list, we’ll be looking at the best films that focus on teenagers, but can also be appreciated by adults, thanks to mature themes or clever writing. Our countdown includes “Stand by Me,” “Risky Business,” “heathers,” and more! If there’s a teen movie YOU still love as an adult, tell us in the comments!

Watch more great teen movie videos here:

Top 20 Teen Movie Moments That Made Us Ugly Cry - https://youtu.be/yq8COjyOQ78

Top 20 Teen movies That Defined Our Childhood - https://youtu.be/yTSeKM51kwI

Top 20 Teen movies of All Time - https://youtu.be/wFw3Y9kExAA

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Sawyer guess what today is

ouch lunchtime Paul

switch question yeah so what's the

question Heather welcome to Ms Mojo and

today we're counting down our picks for

the top 20 teen movies that aren't just

for teens poetry


romance love

because of what we stay alive for for

this list we'll be looking at the best

films that focus on teenagers but can

also be appreciated by adults thanks to

mature themes or clever writing we won't

be including horror movies which are

usually aimed at adults anyway if

there's a teen movie you still love as

an adult tell us in the comments number

20 jawbreaker this lesser-known teen

dark comedy may not have done well upon

release so it's okay Mars we can't all

be able to


but it has formed

form following in the years since its

release during a prank gone wrong a

popular click of girls accidentally

kills one of their friends their

attempts to cover it up lead to them

inducting a new member who soon

threatens their own popularity

jawbreakers similarity to a few other

famous teen movies has been noted but

it's distinct candy-coated aesthetic and

adult humor and subject matter help make

it a jaw dropper as well as a well you

get it

um remember everything is peachy keen

number 19 The Edge of Seventeen life is

messy and the Edge of Seventeen

illustrates that perfectly Haley

steinfeld's Nadine is a teen struggling

to hold things together suffering from

depression and loneliness particularly

when her best friend starts dating her


a girl thing that like you hooked up

with him so now you're emotionally

attached no are you are you

unconsciously mad at me maybe and this

is like some kind of Revenge are you

unconsciously mad at yourself and this

is some kind of self-punishment because

if that's what it is then we can really

stop the film's portrayal of her

awkwardness and struggles with mental

health feel grounded and relatable but

there are lighter notes of Comedy too in

particular between Nadine and Woody

Harrelson's Mr Bruner say something

oh my God say something please help me

you need to watch out for run-on

sentence it's sweet romantic funny and

real The Edge of Seventeen may suggest a

film in the cusp but it's firmly in the

camp of teen movies that can be enjoyed

long after 17.

in the room wins every single time it

doesn't matter if it's real it doesn't

matter if their phone is straight out of

their ass people are dumb they don't

know the difference number 18 Juno

little pink plus sign is so Unholy

that ain't no answer sketch

this is one doodle that can't be undid

homes gillet figuring out love and life

can be hard enough as a teen but the

eponymous Juno also has to deal with a

very adult problem on top of everything

else pregnancy deciding to give the

child up for adoption Juno gets to know

the prospective kids new parents while

figuring things out with the baby daddy

still have your underwear I still have

your virginity

would you shut up what are you ashamed

that we did it no because at least you

don't have to have the evidence under

your sweater Juno tackles its

coming-of-age story with a unique Flair

balancing realistic Stakes stylized whip

smart dialogue and an incredible

soundtrack it's a trendsetter that set

the bar high for the teen films that

followed it then our cats are gone

number 17 love Simon lgbtq plus

representation in film has often been

lacking but love Simon not only helps

change that it does so in a fantastic

movie to boot in case the message got

lost somewhere I just

I just want you to know that I love you

and I'm really proud of you

I wouldn't change anything about you

Simon is a closeted gay teen who has to

contend with being blackmailed about his

sexuality and discovering who his

mysterious online crush is Simon's

coming out is handled with tenderness

and realism with his parents being

particularly supportive you get to

Exhale now Simon

you get to be more you than you have

been in

in a very long time it's a sweet

entertaining and heartfelt teen rom-com

that can be enjoyed no matter your age

or orientation love Simon is a win for

love and for teen movies yeah all right

it's too beautiful a day so I think I'm

gonna actually take us on a little

Adventure number 16 Dead Poets Society

captain my captain sit down Mr Anderson

you hear me

hear me down set at an all boys boarding

school Dead Poets Society follows the

students of John Keating an

unconventional English teacher portrayed

by Robin Williams keating's lessons are

less focused on the content they're

learning and more about the ways it can

help them approach life and the way they

see the world and the boys take those

lessons and run with them charting new

courses in their lives for better and

For Worse

indeed you have the gift for the

performance you left even me speechless

you have to stay in the car cheating you

stay away from my son while the

struggles the boys go through are

relatable for teens you're never too old

to be reminded to walk your own path or

to seize the day the powerful play goes

on and you may contribute a verse

what will your verse be number 15 The

Perks of Being a Wallflower based on the

1999 novel of the same name The Perks of

Being a Wallflower has all the Hallmarks

of classic coming-of-age stories welcome

to the Island of Misfit Toys Charlie is

a shy High School freshman who's taken

under the wings of Sam and Patrick

seniors who are going through their own

struggles and realizations however the

movie also tackles a lot of mature

subject matter that can be a lot to

handle at any age how do you stop seeing

it seeing what Charlie

there is


much pain

and I

I don't know how to not notice it

Charlie suffers from severe depression

and has repressed traumatic memories

learning to deal with the highs and lows

of life is important for everyone to

figure out and in this moment I swear

we are infinite number 14 Lady Bird yes

that's my date

you aren't going to get in the car with

a guy who honks are you

I think yes I am Greta gerwig's solo

directorial debut follows a high school

senior Christine dealing with several

troubled relationships as she prepares

to head off to college while Christine

struggles with finding love and dealing

with friendship drama like in most teen

movies it's her relationship with her

mother that sets the film apart what do

you like me

I want you to be the very best version

of yourself that you can be

what if this is the best version as much

as teens will relate to Christine as a

high school student adults can also see

themselves in the relationship between

Christine and her mother Marion from

either side growing up is tough but so

too is watching a Child leave the nest

particularly when they're mad at you

with your work ethic just go to City

College and then to jail and then back

to City College and then maybe you'd

learn to blow yourself up and not expect

everybody to do everything number 13.

The Outsiders a safe and stable home

life isn't part of every teenager's

reality and The Outsiders is a classic

illustration the film follows a conflict

between two rival gangs of different

economic backgrounds with particular

emphasis on the life of Ponyboy Curtis I

don't think I could ever tell Steve or


or even Dairy but the clouds and sunset

June soda pop

maybe Cherry Valance


Outsiders features serious topics like

dysfunctional families gang violence and

income inequality while also featuring

teens just being teens and figuring out

how to live their lives Nothing Gold Can

Stay but this film holds up no matter

what age you watch it at when you're a

kid everything's new


like the way you dig sunsets pony that's


keep it that way it's a good way to be

number 12 boys in the hood when

opportunities are denied to you

sometimes crime seems like the only

option oh we got a problem here

boys in the hood follows Trey as he and

his friends grow up in South Central LA

they all experience and some participate

in gang violence while Trey hopes to get

into college it's highly intelligent

he's his enormous vocabulary

it's just that

yes go on as Justin he has a very bad

temper tragedy strikes repeatedly for

the young protagonists while the violent

moments can be a lot to take in for

younger teens adults are more likely to

handle it better while also appreciating

the themes about urban life and the

challenges involved either they don't


don't show

I don't care about what's going on in

the hood number 11 Stand By Me the

characters in this film are on the verge

of teenagerdom but we still think this

counts as a teen film yeah hitting me on

TV sure we'll be heroes yeah I don't

know Stand By Me follows a group of boys

who set out to find the body of the

missing kid on their Journey they do a

lot of growing up experiencing dangers

and learning more about themselves just

think I'm weird definitely no man


am I weird

yeah but so what everybody's weird the

protagonists may be kids but they

struggle with adult problems including

violence from their peers figuring out

their passions and grief over lost loved

ones Stand By Me feels Timeless and its

appeal will last until you're old and

gray number 10 super bad which is gonna

be at the party and she's gonna be drunk

and she likes me at least a little

enough to get with me a coming-of-age

comedy film super bad follows two close

friends who begin to drift apart as high

school comes to an end but whose

last-ditch effort to be popular sees

them in for one wild embarrassing

life-changing night although the same

director nearly turned our heads with

Adventureland superbad's death to

balance of laugh out loud juvenile

behavior and Adolescent angst about

life's Relentless changes won us over

that's green beer

for your information you know what I'm

actually good right now thank you the

film can be enjoyed by teens and those

who remember being teenagers in equal

measure plus who who doesn't love

McLovin McLovin

what kind of a stupid name is that Fogo

what are you trying to be an Irish R B

singer number nine Romeo and Juliet


this reimagining of the Shakespeare play

updates the classic tale of star-crossed

lovers from feuding families to take

place in the modern day although as

teens many of us watched it for budding

heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio or because

it was our first exposure to Shakespeare

in an English or theater class Romeo and

Juliet can be enjoyed by and as adults

too for its stylish aesthetic and fun

take on The Bard's work

it may not have been the first or last

movie to update a Shakespearean play but

it helped popularize the practice and

for good reason Romeo

oh Romeo where for out thou Romeo number

eight risky business I mean this thing


it's gotten way out of control an early

Tom Cruise hit Risky Business sees an

overachieving high school student

when left alone by his parents and

more than he bargained for about running

a business what if I said I'd be your

girlfriend next couple of days as teens

the elements of intimacy and danger will

no doubt appeal while adults can

probably appreciate the Thematic

examination of the transition between

childhood and adulthood as well as its

commentary on capitalism

Well we'd be lying if we said we hadn't

thought about imitating imitating that


replace to ourselves

number seven Rebel Without a Cause

you're tearing me apart

what you you say one thing he says

another and everybody changes back again

arguably a landmark of Hollywood Cinema

Rebel Without a Cause follows teenage

Rebels Jim Judy and Plato all struggling

with parental issues as well as peer

pressure that ultimately ends in tragedy

for them the difficulties we face in

relating and understanding the previous

generation is a very universal one that

everyone can understand and the acting

Direction and writing are all top-notch

Mom I just once I want to do something

right whether you're an aging Rebel

hoping to enjoy a nostalgic film or a

teenage Rebel still finding your voice

this film is one cause that can unite

Generations In Praise I know one thing

I'm not going back in that Zoo number

six Mean Girls why don't I know you I'm

new I just moved here from Africa a

famed high school movie Mean Girls

follows a new girl at school who joins a

superficial Clique at the behest of her

new friends in order to break them up

from within only to become the meanest

of them all you know I couldn't invite

you I had to pretend to be plastic okay

buddy you're not pretending anymore

you're plastic cold shiny hard plastic

Mean Girls capture as many of the

intricacies and idiosyncrasies of high

school teens perfectly and people of any

age can enjoy its humor characters and

countless quotable lines she doesn't

even go here

but why do you think the movie's plastic

or totally fetch it's definitely a must

watch for any age Gretchen stop trying

to make fetch happen it's not going to

happen number five Heathers dear diary

Heather told me she teaches people real

life this movie is so much more than a

darker older version of Mean Girls

Heathers follows Veronica whose popular

click is composed of three girls with

the same eponymous name a prank gone too

far in the influence of the new bad boy

at school leads Veronica to take some

violent revenge on her former friends

you Heather

no I'm a Veronica

it's black humor makes Heathers a very

unique entry on our list and one that

should be seen by anyone whose sense of

humor skews towards the shocking or Grim

whether you attend school or it's a

distant memory are we going to prom or

to Hell Number Four The Breakfast Club

eat my

shorts a seminal teen film The Breakfast

Club follows a group of high school

students from disparate backgrounds who

will learn more about each other and

themselves when they all have detention

together we're all pretty bizarre

some of us are just better at hiding it

that's all although certain parts

certainly haven't aged well The

Breakfast Club remains relevant for its

naturalistic dialogue relatable

characters great music and an excellent

look into the difficulties in meeting

our family's expectations of us all of

this helps ensure that The Breakfast

Club is a teen film we won't forget

about until we're old and gray when you

grow up

your heart dies who cares

Care number three The Virgin Suicides


what we have here is a dreamer someone

completely out of touch with reality

this film follows a group of boys who

take an interest in Five Sisters whose

sheltered lives become a topic of much

speculation for them although primarily

a drama the young cast helps make it a

teen movie in our books the dialogue and

situations are very relatable for kids

of a similar age but adults can still

appreciate them you're not even old

enough to know how bad life gets

obviously doctor you've never been a 13

year old girl the movie's plot can make

it a tough one to watch at any age and

the ambiguity surrounding the motivation

for the deaths that unfold gives them a

heartbreakingly true to life feeling


she's laughing

he made her laugh number two 13.

13 may be in the title but this is not

an easy watch for those of that age the

film follows a young girl of that age as

she falls in with a crowd that

encourages more adult and illegal

behaviors including substance use and

stealing you can go and get tattoos

water piercings The Fallout from these

actions on each other and their families

is quite sobering and while 13 can be a

good lesson to teens who find such

behaviors glamorous the movie is

definitely geared more towards adults

who may also find a lesson on how to

better reach or spend time with their


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number one Cruel Intentions she'll be my

greatest victory in yet another modern

reimagining of a piece of classic

literature Cruel Intentions is based on

Dangerous Liaisons and updates the story

to follow wealthy New York teens instead

of French aristocrats the tangled web of

blackmail secrets and seduction is very

entertaining even if it is in a guilty

pleasure kind of way since several of

the main leads are just terrible people

everybody loves me and I intend to keep

it that way whether you enjoy it for the

attractive young leads or the double

dealing and manipulation Cruel

Intentions they may be but the result

can still be rewarding now tell me yeah

are you in or are you out

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