The 50 Greatest Teen Movies

According to Empire (LINK):

  1. Clueless (Heckerling, 1995)
  2. The Breakfast Club (Hughes, 1985)
  3. Back to the Future (Zemeckis, 1985)
  4. 10 Things I Hate About You (Junger, 1999)
  5. Mean Girls (Waters, 2004)
  6. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Hughes, 1986)
  7. Dazed and Confused (Linklater, 1993)
  8. Carrie (De Palma, 1976)
  9. The Lost Boys (Schumacher, 1987)
  10. Booksmart (Wilde, 2019)
  11. Lady Bird (Gerwig, 2017)
  12. American Pie (Weitz/Weitz, 1999)
  13. Grease (Kleiser, 1978)
  14. American Graffiti (Lucas, 1973)
  15. Eighth Grade (Burnham, 2018)
  16. Rebel Without a Cause (Ray, 1955)
  17. Scream (Craven, 1996)
  18. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Heckerling, 1982)
  19. Election (Payne, 1999)
  20. Say Anything (Crowe, 1989)
  21. Love, Simon (Berlanti, 2018)
  22. Heathers (Lehmann, 1988)
  23. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Craven, 1984)
  24. Spider-Man: Homecoming (Watts, 2017)
  25. Easy A (Gluck, 2010)
  26. Blockers (Cannon, 2018)
  27. Donnie Darko (Kelly, 2001)
  28. Rushmore (Anderson, 1998)
  29. The Craft (Fleming, 1996)
  30. The Hate U Give (Tillman, Jr., 2018)
  31. Juno (Reitman, 2007)
  32. Pretty in Pink (Deutch, 1986)
  33. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Johnson, 2018)
  34. Brick (Johnson, 2005)
  35. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (Herek, 1989)
  36. Dirty Dancing (Ardolino, 1987)
  37. Dope (Famuyiwa, 2015)
  38. Cruel Intentions (Kumble, 1999)
  39. Superbad (Mottola, 2007)
  40. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Persichetti/Ramsey/Rothman, 2018)
  41. Jennifer’s Body (Kusama, 2009)
  42. Napoleon Dynamite (Hess, 2004)
  43. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Chbosky, 2012)
  44. The Edge of Seventeen (Craig, 2016)
  45. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Yates, 2007)
  46. Adventures in Babysitting (Columbus, 1987)
  47. The Inbetweeners Movie (Morris/Beesley, 2011)
  48. Twilight (Hardwicke, 2008)
  49. Kidulthood (Huda, 2006)
  50. Blinded by the Light (Chadha, 2018)

I haven’t seen many of the teen girl-centric pics there but, looking at those I have seen, that’s a pretty decent list. Gregory’s Girl (Forsyth, 1981), Weird Science (Hughes, 1985), Akira (Ôtomo, 1988), Your Name. (Shinkai, 2016) and Boyz n the Hood (Singleton, 1991) are glaring omissions for me but I can’t immediately think of any more. Porky’s (Clark, 1981), maybe. That one was notorious when I was a wee’un but is it any good, really? I haven’t seen it in maybe 35 years.

Nothing like an expert in this genre either but would definitely agree about Gregory’s Girl and Weird Science. Would also suggest three films from 1979. Breaking Away (Yates, 1979), Quadrophenia (Roddam, 1979) and Scum (Clarke, 1979).

Also, if Nightmare on Elm St is included surely all the other teen slasher franchises should get a look in?

Yup, all excellent suggestions. Surprised none of those are there, they all really should be.

Well, Scream is there, also by Wes Craven. So that’s two prominent teen slasher franchises represented. There are dozens of others of course, but would too many more be “50 Greatest” material? Halloween, I suppose. I’m quite partial to the Final Destination movies but I’m not sure if those characters are mostly teens or mostly twentysomethings and, in any event, those movies are really just film versions of Mouse Trap (the board game, not the theatrical murder mystery). The Friday the 13th pictures feature a lot of teenagers but, again, are any of those films good enough to make the cut (and I say that as a fan)?

Thinking on it a little, I’d also have been very happy to see Beat Street (Lathan, 1984) in that list. A few of those old sci-fi b-pictures from the fifties wouldn’t have gone amiss either. You know: I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (Strick, 1957), I Was a Teenage Werewolf (Fowler, Jr., 1957), Teenagers From Outer Space (Graeff, 1959) etc etc. They’re not everyone’s cup of tea which I suppose explains their exclusion here but I love them.