Top 8 Best High School Movies


  • Hello Everybody!
  • Well with school starting up around-ish this time nationwide (including for myself this coming Friday), I thought it would be fun to do another Top _ List.
  • I LOVE coming of age movies, and I love high school movies.
  • There’s so much fun to be had in high school, and it’s a great setting to have an entertaining movie set in.
  • Just for clarification, on this list a ‘high school movie’ is a movie where the characters are in high school, high school age (sorry 21 Jump Street), and it has realistic and everyday teenage conflicts (sorry Back to the Future and Scream).
  • So I found 8 that I love, and here they are!

8 – The Spectacular Now

  • The Spectacular Now is one of my Top 30 favorite Movies ever.
  • That’s higher on that list than most of the movies on this list, but in terms of a high school movie, it clocks in number 8. Which still isn’t nothing!
  • The Spectacular Now is one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve ever seen on film. It has elements of 500 Days of Summer with the two characters, but it ultimately delves a lot deeper than that.
  • The Spectacular Now has these winning performances from Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, neither of whom I had heard of before this movie, but are now two of my favorite actors.
  • The Spectacular Now takes this deep and mature look at what it’s like to be in the final stretch of high school, and the depression that a lot of kids can face before going off into the bigger world.
  • It has this really great contrast between large and small.
  • It’s a movie that I love everything about, and it’s a movie that’s criminally underrated.
  • Director James Ponsoldt did a phenomenal job with this film and I can’t wait to see everything else he does. (I’m angry that I still haven’t seen The End of the Tour……)

7 – Dazed and Confused

  • My reasoning for putting this movie on this list will be a little weird.
  • I’m not one of those HUGE Dazed and Confused fans, but I think this film represents what high school is really about.
  • Not the content of the movie, because it’s a little far-fetched, but rather how the movie’s structured.
  • The movie has this fleeting feel to it, like you look forward to the next part of it, you’re sad when that part’s over, but then you just try to find the next part to look forward to.
  • Kind of like actual high school, which is something really incredible that Richard Linklater was able to accomplish.
  • In terms of structure and shot composition, this is one of the most well put-together high school movies that’s out there, and definitely on this list.

6 – Fast Times at Ridgemont High

  • This is probably the most recent movie I’ve seen on the list, cuz I saw Fast Times for the first time earlier this year.
  • It’s a movie that has another one of these contrasting feelings, with very immature humor that contrasts well with the extremely adults challenges that some of these characters need to face.
  • I really liked all of the characters in this movie, I loved that everything was kinda unrealistic but to a fun degree.
  • This movie also has a very ‘classic’ high school movie feel.
  • Like it came out in 1982, and I would believe it if you told me that the other high school movies of the era borrowed from Fast Times a bit.
  • Because it had that feel of fun.
  • Is it a little hard to keep track of some of the characters sometimes? Sure. Is the pacing a bit off? Sure.
  • But this movie was one of the ones that launched the high school genre, and despite its flaws, I’m glad it was the one to set the stage for the rest of the genre.

5 – Mean Girls

  • Mean Girls is a movie I’ve actually done an entire review on (feel free to check that out, shameless self-promotion…).
  • The writing is whip-smart, the actors are all hilarious.
  • This is a movie that could have failed and come off as annoying, but was ultimately so much smarter and so much more entertaining than I personally could have thought.

4 – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

  • Yeah, yeah, yeah, this movie doesn’t spend a lot of time in high school.
  • But c’mon. It’s a high school movie.
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one of the most fun movies I’ve ever seen, and it has jokes that are endlessly re-watchable.
  • Ferris is so despicably awesome, and I loved seeing his bad influence on the equally hilarious Cameron.
  • That whole ‘George Peterson’ sequence is one of the funniest scenes I’ve ever seen in any movie, and John Hughes wrote it so perfectly.
  • This movie has that ‘fleeting’ feeling that Dazed and Confused had, but it had that element of fun, and all the characters that you could relate to.
  • But these were also characters that you pictured yourself as, which added an extra dimension to them too.
  • There was a small cast, which made every balanced, and the movie never felt dull, I was always looking forward to what was going to happen next.

3 – American Pie

  • Keeping with our theme of ‘fun,’ here’s a movie that I probably watch AT LEAST twice a year. Sometimes more…
  • American Pie is a movie that’s so goofy and just uses stupid humor to its best end.
  • Like Fast Times, you don’t follow EVERY character the first time around, but by the second time, you definitely know who everyone is and you almost appreciate the movie more.
  • Now I’ll say this: guys will probably like this movie more than girls. But for the guys out there: you can relate everyone in Jim’s group to one of your friends. Believe me, I can.
  • The movie’s gimmick is kinda based on gross-out humor, but the gross-out humor is never TOO raunchy and is all cemented in the reality of senior year in high school.
  • And I like that this movie kinda plays on other high school movies, like there’s a scene where kids are booing ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ at the prom.
  • Ultimately, American Pie has an awesome cast, it has hilarious gags, it’s just a fun time to watch with your friends, and it’s a movie that I love to watch whenever I want to put a smile on my face.
    • I may love American Pie 2 even more, but that might just be a guilty pleasure movie…
    • American Reunion is pretty decent too. But we won’t talk about American Wedding…

2 – The Breakfast Club

  • Now of course it’s gonna be cliché to have The Breakfast Club on this list, but it actually isn’t my Number 1.
  • I’m a fan of The Breakfast Club, and I love what it established in breaking down the class differences in high school.
  • All the actors in the movie were really powerful for the small roles that they had, and it had this very isolated feel that made it feel so unique.
  • Everything I could say about Breakfast Club has probably already been said, and it’s most likely the one that you’ve all seen already.
  • So the one you’ve all been waiting for…

1 – The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • A recent movie!
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower is in my Top 20 Favorite Movies Ever.
  • The Breakfast Club had this smaller scale, but I loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower because it covered the span of an entire freshman year, and covered even more moral and thematic territory than The Breakfast Club.
  • Maybe it’s just that I can personally relate to this movie, but I thought Logan Lerman was an absolute knockout performance in this movie.
  • Emma Watson was great, Ezra Miller stole every scene he was in.
  • The movie has this classic feel to it, but it’s everything that’s current in high school today.
  • And like I said, it just has this moving message to it about being yourself and coming into who you are. If I were to broaden the category to best coming-of-age movie, Perks would also win.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower has this realistic feel to it, like you could actually meet everyone in it, because you have.
  • The first crush, the best friend, the teacher you relate to most, and everything beyond that.
  • This is a movie that every freshman in high school should watch before the end of their freshman year, and you will be surprised how much you’ll love it.
  • At least, I hope so!


So guys, those are my Top 8 Favorite High School Movies! What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.


One thought on “Top 8 Best High School Movies

  1. You actually missed a few. Rock ‘N Roll High School, Better Off Dead, and Sixteen Candles. Of your 8 picks, Breakfast Club was my favorite.

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