Best High School Movies Of All Time
High school movies, or more appropriately teen movies, have been a rage since the 1960s. This film genre has seen an upscale in production ever since, mostly due to the demand of young people who contribute to the majority of the running of the movie industry. They are not sophisticated or steeped in philosophical thoughts, nor they are all about finding happiness and fairness in lives. These movies are not always enjoyed by all from 8 to 80 because the actions, script, dialogues, and the happenings can sometimes seem naïve. But that is the main theme of teen movies: naive and premature.
People don’t grow up until they are 20, so teenage is when they make stupid mistakes and decisions that can shape the course of their lives. Mainly these movies are targeted at teens and young adults in which events are presented in a trivial stereotypical manner, but often highlighting crude sexual themes. The film may show characters of high school age or the story may be set in high school. Love, hate, jealousy, anger, rebellious rage all run high in the teen brains, and systemic rational thinking is a moot point here. No favorite wonder cheerleaders, social outcasts and typical nerds and geeks originate at this stage. So enter a confusing but enjoyable part of life, relive it to the fullest and feel like a teen again with no care whatsoever should happen!
Best High School Movies You Will Watch Over and Over
The 25 movies about which this article is, portray the greatest, peppiest and touching teen adult movies glorifying in first love, anxiety, alienation within the family, rebellion and the most favorite coming of age phenomenon. All these stages happen in any person’s life who has gone to a high school. It’s a package deal with life and age, unavoidable under any circumstances. Maybe that is why almost everyone can relate to these films, and when they see it, their hearts and minds are transported to those years where making mistakes were not terminal of their fates and decisions.
Some movies show a thrilling or horrifying event in a high school background, but they are not exceptional, because, in that part of real life, some aspect was always horrific. So bask in the fun and frolic of your high school years as you watch these excellent movies, and you will surely realize that teen years were the best, no doubt!
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Director: John Hughes
Writer: John Hughes
Stars: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald
John, Claire, Allison, Brian, and Andrew are five students from different walks of life and personalities. When they are put together under detention by the Principal, they tell each other stories from their lives that portray them a little differently than the others expected. At the end of they day, they wonder whether everything will be the same in high school ever again.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Director: Richard Linklater
Writer: Richard Linklater
Stars: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich
The rowdy teenage batch in Austin, Texas celebrating the last day of High School in 1976 join a keg party at a famous pool hall. The freshmen year are trying to avoid being bullied by a sadistic senior, everything is thrown into mayhem and in the midst of all this, star football player Randall Floyd had decided to abstain from this celebration and focus entirely on the upcoming championship game. “Dazed and Confused” has become one of the cultest movies.
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Director: Nicholas Ray
Writers: Stewart Stern (screen play), Irving Shulman (adaptation)
Stars: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo
Jim Stark is a troublemaker, but the new town where he has shifted doesn’t know this. But being a new kid is not always easy. After forming the friendship with a disturbed classmate Plato and falling head over heels for a popular girl named Judy, Jim is challenged to a drag race by Judy’s tough boyfriend Buzz and now must face the train of troubles brought upon him.
Easy A (2010)
Director: Will Gluck
Writer: Bert V. Royal
Stars: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley
Olive is a perfect teen with no flaw in her life. But for fun she decides to add color to her story by lying to her best friend that she lost her virginity over the weekend. When the high school gossip overhears this false story, she spreads it across the campus, and now Olive has to face its seemingly dire consequences.
Director: Michael Lehmann
Writer: Daniel Waters
Stars: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty
Veronica and her new boyfriend J.D. confronts the clique leader at the high school, Heather Chandler, on account of the clique girls’ mean behavior towards other students. Accidentally they poison her and make it look like a suicide. After that traumatic event, J.D. goes on a killing spree on those whom he intensely dislikes. Veronica tries to stop him while also being confronted by clique’s new leader Heather Duke.
Boyz N The Hood (1991)
Director: John Singleton
Writer: John Singleton
Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Hudhail Al-Amir
Tre is a teenage boy who is sent to live with his strict, disciplined father and his girlfriend who believes in faith. However, Tre is not affected by their teachings as he is drawn into the gang culture of the neighborhood and gets involved in drug dealings along with his two friends. The result is tragically catastrophic.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Director: John Hughes
Writer: John Hughes
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara
Ferris Bueller is a charming high school student who always gets away with bunking classes, never once getting caught. Before graduation, Ferris decided to do one last move and travels through the streets of Chicago in a Ferrari, which he doesn’t own. Following him in a car is the high school Principal Rooney, who is all set to catch him red-handed and punish him for flouting the rules.
Mean Girls (2004)
Director: Mark Waters
Writers: Rosalind Wiseman (book), Tina Fey (screenplay)
Stars: Lindsay Lohan, Jonathan Bennett, Rachel McAdams
Cary Heron is new to the whole public school experience in the suburban Illinois, being homeschooled by her parents in Africa until before. She quickly comes across the many cliques that divide the high school students regarding cool and popularity. She makes some cool albeit shallow-minded new friends known as “the Plastics”, but soon realizes there is a story hidden behind this name.
Director: Brian De Palma
Writers: Stephen King (novel), Lawrence D. Cohen (screenplay)
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving
Carrie White has unwittingly gained supernatural powers and manages to keep them hidden from her teasing classmates and abusive mother. When she is invited to the prom by Tommy Ross, she finally tries to be herself, but the resultant events are gruesome, devastating and truly horrifying.
Director: Alexander Payne
Writers: Tom Perrotta (novel), Alexander Payne (screenplay)
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein
Tracy Flick is a popular and successful high school girl whose methods are not always honest and morally ethical. When she runs for school president, government teacher, Jim McAllister persuades Paul, a school athlete to compete against her, because he feels that unethical Tracy might be an improper influence on the students. Tracy eventually comes to know about Jim’s involvement and a feud ensues between the three of them.
American Graffiti (1973)
Director: George Lucas
Writers: George Lucas, Gloria Katz
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat
Curt, Steve, Terry, and John are all set to enjoy the last day of their 1962 summer vacations before they head out into the real world. They cruise the streets of small-town California and are brimming with excitement and exhilaration along with several other variety of people, which is more than they can handle.
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Writers: Larry McMurtry, Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd
Set in an old town in Texas, Sonny and Duane are two teens who are striving to escape the shackles of their dying town after graduation. Sonny starts a local business and Duane contemplates to join the army. In the slow footsteps towards the future, the best friends are quickly attracted by the world outside the small town and struggle to make progress for themselves.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
Director: Peter Weir
Writer: Tom Schulman
Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke
John Keating showcases his unorthodox teaching methods in an all-boys preparatory school renowned for its ancient traditional high standards. Gradually the students rediscover themselves under the guidance of Keating and take a leap to seize the moment, resisting the consistent pressure of the school and highly expecting parents.
Director: Randal Kleiser
Writers: Jim Jacobs (original musical), Warren Casey (original musical)
Stars: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing
The most famous high school musical movies of all time, Grease brings about the 1950s summer romance and adventures of Danny, a popular guy in school and an exchange student, which threatens to break the boundaries of their respective cliques once and for all.
Director: David Anspaugh
Writer: Angelo Pizzo
Stars: Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper
Norman Dale is a previously failed college basketball coach who is hired by a high school in Indiana to direct a basketball program. He makes Shooter, an alcoholic, his assistant and faces constant criticism for his short temper while he tries to build up an excellent team even when the star player is apparently only concentrating on his studies and no longer playing.
Back To The Future (1985)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writers: Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
Being at the receiving end of an experiment of Doc Brown gone awfully wrong, high school teen Marty McFly is transported to the 50s in a modified DeLorean car. There he comes across the younger versions of his parents whom Marty must unite to assure his existence. On top of that he must return to his time and save Doc Brown in the face of impossible circumstances.
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Kevin Williamson
Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette
Woodsboro is no longer safe as there is a psychopath murderer in everyone’s midst. The killer stalks and taunts with queries, and then finally tears apart his victims with horrific bloodshed. Apparently watching too many scary movies has turned on this killer mode, and no one in this sleepy town knows who that person is.
From Up On Poppy Hill (2011)
Director: Goro Miyakazi
Writers: Tetsuro Sayama (original story), Hayao Miyazaki (screenplay)
Stars: Sarah Bolger, Chris Noth, Anton Yelchin
In the city of Yokohama in the 60s, a high school girl Umi meets schoolmate Shun in the unlikeliest of events. Together they take up the pledge to renovate the school clubhouse Quartier Latin to prevent its supposed demolition. However, the closer they get, sparks fly. But fate puts them in an awkward situation that they must overcome to realize and accept their strong feelings for each other. Though it is an animated movie, it is still a good high school movie.
My Bodyguard (1980)
Director: Tony Bill
Writer: Alan Ormsby
Stars: Chris Makepeace, Adam Baldwin, Matt Dillon
Sensitive teen Clifford recruits Linderman as his tough bodyguard after he is continually picked on and bullied by Melvin Moody at the high school. Clifford forms an unlikely bond with Linderman, but that does not postpone them facing their worst fears in the end: Clifford confronting Moody, and Linderman his disturbed past.
Splendor in the Grass (1961)
Director: Elia Kazan
Writer: William Inge
Stars: Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Pat Hingle
Parents’ expectations can weigh upon life and also romantic relationships, as shown in this movie. Bud and Deanie are two high school students whose parents think they should not engage sexually with each other as it might destroy their future, and this threatens to end their relationship in an awry premature way.
High School Musical (2006)
Director: Kenny Ortega
Writer: Peter Barsocchini
Stars: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale
Troy Bolton is a popular cool kid and the Captain of the Basketball team in school. One day everything in his life changes when he comes across Gabriella Montez, a transfer student excelling in science and mathematics. Being on rival teams in school, they try out for the lead parts in their High School Musical, and everyone on their teams along with Sharpay and her brother Ryan strives to sabotage their efforts.
Just One of the Guys (1985)
Director: Lisa Gottlieb
Writers: Dennis Feldman, Jeff Franklin
Stars: Joyce Hyser, Clayton Rohner, Billy Jayne
Terry Griffith is convinced that she lost the high school writing competition because she is a girl. To prove her point she enters as a boy at a new high school, aided by her brother, and ultimately befriends a group of guys. Rick becomes her new best friend, but everything takes a turn for worse when she starts falling in love with him.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Director: Amy Heckerling
Writers: Cameron Crowe (screenplay), Cameron Crowe (book)
Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold
Stacy and Jeff both are in serious trouble. Stacy being usually of an inhibited nature tries her luck at dating and gets stuck in a love triangle where she can’t choose between the two guys. Meanwhile, Jeff, a surfer faces against a very strict teacher Mr. Hand, who has zero tolerance for Jeff’s antics.
Director: John Duigan
Writer: John Duigan
Stars: Noah Taylor, Thandie Newton, Nicole Kidman
Danny Embling attends an all-male boarding school and falls in love with Ugandan freethinking girl Thandiwe Adjewa from the nearby all-girls prep school during a range of combined social activities. However, Danny feels awkward in these uncharted waters, and their budding romance is further threatened by racial prejudices already plaguing the minds of the students.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Director: Mike Newell
Writers: Steve Kloves (screenplay), J.K. Rowling (novel)
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
The boy wizard Harry Potter is only 14, and looking forward to witnessing the greatest wizarding event of the century, the Triwizard Tournament. However, despite being underage, Harry finds himself enlisted as a Champion from Hogwarts and the plot slowly unravels to unmask who is actually behind it.