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Added by mojack on 19 Nov 2012 03:44
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The 30 Best Teen Movies of the Past 30 Years

Sort by: Showing 30 items
Decade: Rating: List Type:
People who added this item 1006 Average listal rating (624 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.2



Hey bud! Cameron Crowe's first film endures to this day for its sharp humor and wealth of nudity, but mostly for its groundbreaking ensemble cast. It was a career-maker for stars like Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason-Leigh, and Phoebe Cates.

1982 runner up: E.T.
People who added this item 885 Average listal rating (559 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.8


Sex, cars, Wayfarers, and Steuben crystal eggs, Risky Business had it all. Tom Cruise's career would never be the same after this one as it made him an international star and sex symbol.

1983 runner-up: Valley Girl
People who added this item 1264 Average listal rating (774 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1


Sixteen Candles was the first in a string of John Hughes teen comedies that would come to define a generation. Molly Ringwald became a teen idol for her role as Samantha, an ordinary high school sophomore who's in love with a senior, Jake Ryan.

1984 runner-up: Footloose
People who added this item 3494 Average listal rating (2305 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.9


1985 was the year for teen movies so it's only right the quintessential example was released then. Hughes' signature film included all his favorite touches: pop songs, montages, and freeze-framing the final shot.

1985 runners-up: Back to the Future, Weird Science, Teen Wolf, The Goonies
People who added this item 3085 Average listal rating (2131 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8
Another Hughes classic and the director's ode to Chicago, Ferris is the ultimate teen hero. What makes it so great? In a word: rewatchability. The film is so jam-packed with different characters and places, there's something new to discover every time.

1986 runner-up: Stand by Me
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 2649 Average listal rating (1689 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7
Dirty Dancing (1987)
Released by a new studio with unknown actors in the lead roles, Dirty Dancing was the surprise hit of '87 and became the first film to sell a million copies on home video. Perhaps even more popular was the soundtrack, which everyone bought after the movie came out.

1987 runner-up: Some Kind of Wonderful
People who added this item 1140 Average listal rating (703 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.2
Heathers (1989)
Heathers was the precursor for films like The Craft, Mean Girls, and Jawbreaker for its depiction of a high school clique of evil girls. Although it was a box office failure, the dark comedy has become a cult classic.

1988 runner-up: Young Guns
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 936 Average listal rating (532 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3
A romantic comedy and underdog story rolled into one, Say Anything... is Sixteen Candles in reverse, as the school loser, Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), pursues the girl of his dreams in school valedictorian Diane (Ione Skye). The film's interest in love and music is classic Cameron Crowe.

1989 runner-up: Dead Poets Society
People who added this item 8510 Average listal rating (6079 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.9
Tim Burton's magical pairing of the macabre and the mundane, Edward Scissorhands is the director's greatest invention. Frightening on the outside, but kind-hearted, Edward was a reflection of the director himself. Teen audiences identified, and rushed to see real-life couple Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder.

1990 runner-up: Pump Up the Volume
People who added this item 843 Average listal rating (556 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.8
in 1991, there had never been a movie like Boyz n the Hood, John Singleton's authentic look at life in South Central L.A. Dismissed by many adults like the rap movement sweeping the nation, the film found an audience among teens, who both identified with, and feared, what they saw onscreen.

1991 runner-up: Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 1937 Average listal rating (1302 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7
Wayne's World (1992)
The most highly-anticipated Saturday Night Live-inspired movie of all-time, Wayne's World was everything for teenage boys across America in 1992. With its own hilarious lexicon and insane goofiness, the characters made stars of Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, as parents everywhere groaned.

1992 runner-up: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
People who added this item 1466 Average listal rating (858 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6
Hugely influential, Dazed single-handedly brought back freshman hazing at some schools, and gave proud pot smokers new heroes to emulate while skipping school. Richard Linklater's Texas-based film boasts one of the best soundtracks ever and seriously memorable characters.

1993 runner-up: The Crush
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 2258 Average listal rating (1462 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
Clerks (1994)
Not exactly a teen movie, but they really identified with Kevin Smith's toilet humor and methodical pop culture references where older audiences didn't. The ultimate Gen-X film this side of Slacker, Clerks gave us Jay and Silent Bob, the film's greatest gift.

1994 runners-up: Dumb & Dumber, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 2514 Average listal rating (1619 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
Clueless (1995)
Hilariously self-aware and satirical, Clueless was the favorite film of every high school girl of the '90s. Cher was the role Alicia Silverstone was born to play, as her spoiled sweetness and style made its way into schools across the country.

1995 runner-up: Mallrats
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 1480 Average listal rating (966 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.4
The Craft (1996)
For girls who weren't down with Clueless, 1996 brought The Craft, the story of a high school coven who use their powers for good and evil. It was the most popular supernatural teen flick before Twilight and still maintains an edge the Bella and Edward Saga couldn't duplicate.

1996 runner-up: Fear
While Titanic ruled the box office, Romy and Michele was 1997's under-the-radar teen favorite. Starring odd couple Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino, the film delivers big laughs as the two attend their high school reunion and lie about their lives.

1997 runner-up: I Know What You Did Last Summer
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 1500 Average listal rating (973 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
Rushmore (1998)
Rushmore marked the arrival of director Wes Anderson and earned him a loyal following of young fans everywhere. Grounded in New Wave filmmaking and expertly written, Rushmore transcends the teen genre and lives on its own as a pure exploration of young love and misguided ambition.

1998 runner-up: Can't Hardly Wait
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 5009 Average listal rating (3407 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 7
American Pie (1999)
1999 was another banner year for teen films, but American Pie has to be the choice for its huge popularity. While not nearly as original as other teen comedies on the list, the film supplied big laughs and took major risks in the name of comedy.

1999 runners-up: 10 Things I Hate About You, Jawbreaker, Election, She's All That, Cruel Intentions, Never Been Kissed
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 2917 Average listal rating (1852 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.9
Almost Famous (2000)
The third Cameron Crowe film on the list, Almost Famous is loosely based on the writer/director's own life story. The film is a funny, heartfelt coming of age story about a 15-year-old caught up in the frantic world of a touring rock band.

2000 runner-up: Bring it On
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 1809 Average listal rating (1123 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3
Ghost World (2002)
There's real teen angst going on in director Terry Zwigoff's sardonic look at life after high school for two small town best friends. The film helped launch Scarlett Johansson's career, but she plays second fiddle to Thora Birch's hipster outsider, Enid, who falls for a curmudgeon, played by Steve Buscemi. Haven't we all?

2001 runner-up: Donnie Darko, American Pie 2
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 1676 Average listal rating (1060 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.6
Culture and athletics clash when a young Orthodox Sikh (Parminder Nagra) defies her parents' wishes and joins the local soccer team with the encouragement of her best friend (Keira Knightley). It's rare a British teen film makes a splash in the States, but the movie's dry humor and teen rebellion won it many fans.
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 1837 Average listal rating (1082 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.8
Thirteen (2003)
Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke's hard-edged look at a teenage girl's loss of innocence was written by actress Nikki Reed who also co-stars with Evan Rachel Wood. Controversial for its decision to show minors engaging in sex, drug use, and crime, the film is tough, but brave.

2003 runner-up: The School of Rock
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 3841 Average listal rating (2579 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7
Mean Girls (2004)
Looking back now, it's insane Mean Girls wasn't even more popular in 2004. It's even more insane Lindsay Lohan's career now pales in comparison to co-stars Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried. Tina Fey's sharp writing led the way in this girl comedy that was ahead of its time.

2004 runner-up: Napoleon Dynamite, Saved!
mojack's rating:
The forth movie in Harry Potter franchises bound to attract huge audiences. It was the highest grossing film of the year .

2005 runner-up: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 1295 Average listal rating (780 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.5
Step Up (2006)
Using the Dirty Dancing formula of "bad boy meets good girl and DANCE," Step Up was a surprise hit in 2006 thanks to a faithful teen following. It also sprung a real-life romance between its two stars, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, and spawned THREE sequels!

2006 runner-up: Take the Lead, Eragon, It's a Boy Girl Thing, She's the Man, John Tucker Must Die
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 4822 Average listal rating (3289 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4
Juno (2007)
Paced by Diablo Cody's Oscar-winning script, a glorious soundtrack, and Ellen Page's lovable performance as a quick-witted virgin who manages to get pregnant, Juno won over audiences everywhere in 2007.

2007 runner-up: Charlie Bartlett, Superbad , Sydney White
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 4114 Average listal rating (2851 ratings) 5.1 IMDB Rating 5.2
Twilight (2008)
Based on Stephenie Meyers' hugely popular 2005 novel about a young girl who moves to small town Washington and falls in love with a vampire, Twilight was destined to be a hit with teens. Fueled by a real-life romance between stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, it now has the most loyal following of any teen film series ever made.

2008 runner-up: The Wackness
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 1451 Average listal rating (917 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6.3
17 Again (2009)


2008 runner-up: Adventureland, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 2139 Average listal rating (1416 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.1
Easy A (2010)

2010 runner-up: It's Kind of a Funny Story
mojack's rating:
People who added this item 2964 Average listal rating (2025 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.2
The old ushers in the new in 2012. With Breaking Dawn Part 2 finishing the The Twilight Saga, this year saw the end of one epic series and the beginning of a new one with The Hunger Games.So, what the future will bringe to teen-themed moviemaking ?
mojack's rating:

Looking at teen movies of the past 30 years, there are the essentials, like The Breakfast Club, the socially-conscious, like Boyz n the Hood, and the supernatural, like Twilight. Our list is made up of films with target audiences of teens and/or films with teen-based casts. See how the genre has evolved from the warm John Hughes comedies of the '80s to today's blockbusters like Harry Potter.

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