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There’s no denying that everyone loves a good teen movie- magnifying the relatable hopes, dreams, fears, and futures of all too awkward adults to be, what’s not to love? These movies serve as a time capsule for all ages to reflect and reminisce in the past about the best- or not so great- years of their lives. From prom queens to outsiders, there’s a teen movie out there for everyone to relate to, as they capture the essence of what it is like to live in the pain and glory of the in-between phase of life. Check out my top 10 favorite teen movies of all time!

  • Perks of Being a Wallflower

What It’s About: Socially awkward and depressed teen Charlie is a wallflower and always participated in life as a bystander- until he meets Sam and Patrick, two super cool seniors that help him navigate high school through the joys of friendship, love, parties, music and more.

What I Love About It: It gives the quiet kid a voice and shows how brutal being a teen can be in a captivating way.

  • The Breakfast Club

What It’s About: Members of several different social groups join together for a day in Saturday detention under the rule of a power-hungry principal.

What I Love About It: As one of my all-time favorite films, it teaches you how to own up to your insecurities… Everyone has them, everyone hates them, but they make us who we are- unique and wonderful in our own ways.

  • Blinded by the Light

What It’s About: Pakastani-British teen Javed finds himself being even more of an outsider than he already was before due to the fact that he likes American rock music (specifically Springsteen) in a new age pop world.

What I Love About It: The ENTIRE soundtrack- it might only be Bruce Springsteen, but who’s better than The Boss himself to highlight the pain and glory of being a teen? The main character also has amazing development- this truly is a can’t miss.

  • Juno

What It’s About: Juno becomes unexpectedly pregnant and chooses a failed rock star and his wife to adopt her unborn child. Mark, the baby’s future adoptive father develops feelings for Juno, which complicates his marriage and the adoption process. As if this weren’t enough, the baby’s biological father is in love with Juno as well. Basically, this is a wild ride of emotions and teen angst but also stays lighthearted at times.

What I Love About It: Juno is just a really cool character… I’ve never seen a teenage girl that is so sure of herself yet also confused about life.

  • The Hate U Give

What It’s About: Starr is constantly switching between the world of the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. She witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, and her worlds are flipped upside down.

What I Love About It: This film doesn’t shy away from being raw and real. Teens deal with such real issues and most of the time their emotions are pushed to the side. Starr beats down the status quo and makes a name for herself and fights for what she truly believes in- she’s a true inspiration.

  • Easy A

What It’s About: Main character, Olive, decides to tell a lie that she lost her virginity. This gets spread around the whole school and she basically learns how to own it.

What I Love About It: I got a pocket, got a pocketful of sunshine… That’s all I’ll say.

  • Love, Simon

What It’s About: Simon hasn’t told anyone he’s gay, and he doesn't know the identity of the anonymous classmate that he's fallen for online.

What I Love About It: It’s a feel-good, funny film that anyone can relate to. First love and questioning one’s identity are big themes that I resonate with and I believe that anyone can, young or old. Also, it’s one of the first teen films where there’s an identifying member of the LGBTQ+ community as the main character!! So important.

  • The Craft

What It’s About: This cult classic about a group of teenage witches but still focuses on various hidden messages throughout (like doing unto others and realizing the grass isn’t always greener on the other side).

What I Love About It: This movie always ends up on my lists… I can’t get enough of the DRAMA and SPOOKINESS. Ugh, I love it.

  • Booksmart

What It’s About: Amy and Molly have spent their entire high school careers hyper-focused on getting good grades and getting into the top colleges… But now, it’s over. They realize they missed out on so much in high school and try to live it up their last night before graduation.

What I Love About It: The friendship in this movie is literal goals, I love it. And there’s LGBTQ+ inclusion which I adore!

  • Dazed and Confused

What It’s About: This film focuses on a group of teens in Texas celebrating their last day of high school in 1976.

What I Love About It: This is more of a lighthearted film- there’s really not a plot and it’s so silly and so 70s that it will guarantee a laugh every time I watch it.

There you have it, folks!! You truly don’t want to miss any of these teen classics. Whether you’re a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, or a criminal, there's something here for you. (Perks if you know where that line is from ;) )

Maranda is a Senior Writing Arts and Emergency Management dual major at Rowan University. She hopes to become a published poetry author and eventually go to law school or work for Homeland Security. In her free time she enjoys listening to all genres of music, reading, creating art, writing poetry, and watching 80s movies.
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