Top 10 Best Coming-of-Age Movies

Coming-of-age movies are films that deal with the challenges of growing up and leaving one part of your life to join another. These films can involve children losing their innocence and discovering the real world, or young people learning what it means to be an adult. Many of the greatest films of all time deal with this subject. Due to the melancholy subject manner of growing up, many of these movies are comedy-dramas. Here are some of the greatest films that detail the struggles of growing older.
The Top Ten
1 The Breakfast Club The Breakfast Club Product Image

I don't know if this applies to other schools, but I've come across many people in my former high school that declared that they outright HATED The Breakfast Club. And I immediately thought to myself, "What? " I didn't think it was possible to downright hate this movie. It's a great film that makes the great statement that it even though you may come from different backgrounds and social cliques, everybody has their own personal issues and problems underneath their surface. It's a funny and yet compelling movie with relatable people that anyone who went to high school can identify with, and gives the great commentary that being a teenager and growing up is easy for NOBODY.

2 Inside Out Inside Out Product Image

I might as well call this "List Where Phillysports Praises Inside Out #20". But in all seriousness, Inside Out masterfully tells a story of what is going on in a young girl's head when her family leaves her childhood home in order to start a new life in a big city. Its genius script details what it's like to be in a situation where you're unsure of yourself at a young age. It shows several aspects of growing up such as imaginary friends and how it's okay to let go of them in order to advance as a person. It's a movie that kids can relate with because they're the ones that are going through the process of growing up, and adults can relate with it because they knew what that whole process was like. I'm just gushing all over this movie again. It's my all time favorite for a reason.

3 Stand By Me Stand By Me Product Image

Out of all the movies that portray kids and childhood friends, I always think to Stand By Me as the most accurate depiction. Everything about this movie is 100% genuine. I hate how some movies portray kids as clean, innocent little angels. In this movie, kids swear, smoke, and get into trouble and it doesn't portray that as a bad thing. It's just giving an accurate portrayal of how childhood pals act. They all have flaws, they all have their issues, and the movie gloriously tells a story about these four friends going on a journey that welcomes them into their adolescence. It's a fantastic film that's funny, dramatic, and intense at the same time, and features some of the greatest child acting ever captured on film.

4 The Graduate The Graduate Product Image

As someone who's going to be entering their first year of college, I have a sinking suspicion that I'm going to be going through the same exact crisis that Ben went through by the time I'm through with the whole university experience. Now, I'll guarantee you that I won't be having an affair with one of my neighbors, but Ben reflects all the uncertainty and aimlessness of someone who has no idea what to do with their life once they become an adult. Dustin Hoffman masterfully portrays the nervous and rattled demeanor of someone who is longing for some sort of purpose in their life. The beauty of the film is truly defined in the ending scene where Ben and Elaine stare blankly ahead at their future, not sure if they made the best or worst decision of their lives. And that perfectly sums up the uncertainty of life as a whole.

5 Rebel Without a Cause Rebel Without a Cause Product Image

There's a reason why James Dean is considered a legend despite having a film career of only five years. He encapsulated exactly what it felt to be a teenager in the 1950s, and even now to an extent. It touches upon many subjects like teenage angst and differences between generations. It was a classic then, and will continue to be a classic in the future.

If it wasn't for this movie, I don't think that teen movies would be a thing!

6 The Perks of Being a Wallflower The Perks of Being a Wallflower Product Image
7 Ferris Bueller's Day Off Ferris Bueller's Day Off Product Image
8 Big Big Product Image

Before Big hit theatres, Tom Hanks was mostly known as a pure comedic actor. This was the film that launched Hanks career into more dramatic territory and gave him his first Oscar nomination. And for good reason. This is a movie that takes full advantage of its creative premise and takes a comedic and dramatic route with it. This could have just been an easy wacky 80s comedy, but the people behind the film were smart enough to realize that they could make a broad statement about childhood and growing up.

9 A Bronx Tale A Bronx Tale Product Image

Similarly to Stand By Me, I really appreciate A Bronx Tale for portraying children and young adults in such a realistic manner. This was the first of two films that Robert De Niro directed in his career, and it really is a poignant story that delves into many subject manners such as childhood, race relations, the crime world, and first love. It's a gripping story about a young Italian-American boy growing up under two fathers figures: one being his biological father and the other being a powerful crime boss. One of the most important parts of the process of growing up is learning morality, and this film encapsulates that perfectly.

10 Boyhood Boyhood Product Image
The Contenders
11 Fast Times at Ridgemont High Fast Times at Ridgemont High Product Image

Fast Times tells many different stories about high schoolers and nails it with great accuracy. In high school movies, the small details are always important in order to create authenticity, and this film is able to do that throughout its whole running-time. Sean Penn's Spicoli is the slacker that should be nobody's role model, and yet he does all the things that we wish he could do. He's like a teenage version of The Dude. Overall, Fast Times is another great movie that came out during the best era of high school films.

12 American History X American History X Product Image
13 Dazed and Confused Dazed and Confused Product Image

Quentin Tarantino has said that Richard Linklater's 1991 comedy as one of his favorite movies of all time. To quote him, "The greatest hang-out movie ever made. One of the things about Dazed and Confused that is so terrific is that every time you watch it if you watch it every three years or four years, the characters are like your friends. It's like you're hanging out with them again, it's like your old friends." Can't argue with that.

14 The Outsiders The Outsiders Product Image
15 Superbad Superbad Product Image

Superbad is a movie that modernizes and updates the style of youth comedy that was prevalent in films of the 1970s and 1980s. You can tell that films like Animal House and Fast Times had a large impact on this movie. Superbad is one of the funniest movies to come out during the 2000s, and helped to launch the film careers of both Jonah Hill and Michael Cera. It's a great movie with relatable characters that will leave you laughing throughout the whole running time.

16 17 Again 17 Again Product Image

Not a big fan of Zac Efron but this film is acceptable. This movie was so inspirational that it makes me want to go back to the day I was born and have another chance at life. A great movie.

17 Love, Simon Love, Simon Product Image
18 Spider-Man: Homecoming Spider-Man: Homecoming Product Image
19 The Sandlot The Sandlot Product Image

This was (and still is) one of my favorites. I still enjoy it for an occasional watch

20 Donnie Darko Donnie Darko Product Image
21 Straight Outta Compton Straight Outta Compton Product Image
22 Spirited Away Spirited Away Product Image
23 Bambi Bambi Product Image
24 Good Will Hunting Good Will Hunting Product Image
25 Call Me by Your Name Call Me by Your Name Product Image
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