Top 10 Teen Movies For Adults



Top 10 Teen Movies For Adults

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
These films aren't relegated to the teenage wasteland. For this list, we'll be going over the teen films that feature more adult subject matter or that have themes and content that can be enjoyed at any age. We'll be excluding teen horror films, like “Carrie,” since those are usually geared more towards adults and older teens anyway. Our list includes “Superbad,” “Mean Girls,” “Cruel Intentions,” “The Breakfast Club,” “Heathers,” and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Teen Movies That Aren't Just for Teens.

Top 10 Teen Movies That Aren’t Just for Teens

These films aren’t relegated to the teenage wasteland. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Teen Movies That Aren’t Just for Teens.

For this list, we’ll be going over the teen films that feature more adult subject matter or that have themes and content that can be enjoyed at any age. We’ll be excluding teen horror films, like “Carrie,” since those are usually geared more towards adults and older teens anyway.

#10: “Superbad” (2007)

A coming-of-age comedy film, “Superbad” follows two close friends who begin to drift apart as high school comes to an end, but whose last-ditch attempt to be popular sees them in for one wild, embarrassing, life-changing night. (xref) Although the same director nearly turned our heads with “Adventureland,” “Superbad”’s deft balance of laugh out loud, juvenile humor and adolescent angst about life’s relentless changes won us over. The film can be enjoyed by teens and those who remember being teenagers in equal measure. Plus, who doesn’t love McLovin?

#9: “Romeo + Juliet” (1996)

This reimagining of the Shakespeare play updates the classic tale of star-crossed lovers from feuding families to take place in modern day. Although as teens many of us watched it for budding heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio, or because it was our first exposure to Shakespeare in an English or Theatre class, “Romeo + Juliet” can be enjoyed by/as adults too, for its stylish aesthetic and fun take on the Bard’s work. It may not have been the first, or last, movie to update a Shakespearean play, but it helped popularize the practice, and for good reason.

#8: “Risky Business” (1983)

An early Tom Cruise hit, “Risky Business” sees an overachieving high school student cut loose when left alone by his parents, eventually accidentally running a brothel and learning more than he bargained for about running a business. As teens, the element of sex and danger will not doubt appeal, while adults can probably appreciate the thematic examination of the transition between childhood and adulthood, as well as its commentary on capitalism. Still, we’d be lying if we said we hadn’t thought about imitating that scene whenever we get our place to ourselves!

#7: “The Virgin Suicides” (1999)

This film follows a group of boys who take an interest in five sisters, whose sheltered lives become a topic of much speculation for them. Although primarily a drama, the young cast helps make it a teen movie in our books. The dialogue and situations are very relatable for kids of a similar age, but adults can still appreciate them. The prominent nature of suicide to the movie’s plot can make it a tough one to watch at any age, and the ambiguity surrounding the motivation for the deaths gives them a heartbreakingly true-to-life feeling.

#6: “Mean Girls” (2004)

A famed high school movie, “Mean Girls” follows a new girl at school who joins a superficial clique at the behest of her new friends in order to break them up from within; only to “go native” and become the meanest of them all. “Mean Girls” captures many of the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of high school teens perfectly and people of any age can enjoy its humor, characters, and countless quotable lines. But whether you think the movie’s plastic or totally fetch, it’s definitely a must watch for any age.

#5: “Cruel Intentions” (1999)

In yet another modern reimagining of a piece of classic literature, “Cruel Intentions” is based on “Dangerous Liaisons” and updates the story to follow wealthy New York teens instead of French aristocrats. The tangled web of blackmail, secrets, and seduction is very entertaining, even if it is in a guilty pleasure kind of way, since several of the main leads are just terrible people. Whether you enjoy it for the attractive young leads or the double-dealing and manipulation, “Cruel Intentions” they may be, but the result can still be rewarding.

#4: “The Breakfast Club” (1985)

A seminal teen film, “The Breakfast Club” follows a group of high school students from disparate backgrounds who learn more about each other and themselves when they all have detention together. Although certain parts certainly haven’t aged well, “The Breakfast Club” remains relevant for its naturalistic dialogue, relatable characters, great music, and an excellent look into the difficulties in meeting our families’ expectations of us. All of this helps ensure that “The Breakfast Club” is a teen film we won’t “forget about” until we’re old and gray.

#3: “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955)

Arguably a landmark of Hollywood cinema, “Rebel Without a Cause” follows teenage rebels Jim, Judy, and Plato all struggle with parental issues, as well as peer pressure, that ultimately ends in tragedy for them. The difficulties we face in relating and understanding the previous generation is a very universal one that everyone can understand, and the acting, direction, and writing are all top-notch. Whether you’re an aging rebel hoping to enjoy a nostalgic film or a teenage rebel still finding your voice, this film is one cause that can unite generations in praise.

#2: “Heathers” (1988)

This movie is so much more than a darker, older version of “Mean Girls!” “Heathers” follows Veronica, whose popular clique is composed of three girls with the same eponymous name. A prank gone too far and the influence of the new bad boy at school leads Veronica to take some violent revenge on her former friends. The pitch-black humor makes “Heathers” a very unique entry on our list and one that should be seen by anyone whose sense of humor skews towards the shocking or grim, whether you attend school or it’s a distant memory.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“Eighth Grade” (2018)

“The Edge of Seventeen” (2016)

“Easy A” (2010)

“Dope” (2015)

“Rushmore” (1998)

#1: “Thirteen” (2003)

“Thirteen” may be in the title, but this is not an easy watch for those of that age. The film follows a young girl of that age as she falls in with a crowd that encourages more adult and illegal behaviors, including drug use, stealing, and sexualized clothing. The fallout from these actions on each other and their families is quite sobering, and while “Thirteen” can be a good lesson to teens who find drug use and underage sex glamorous, the movie is definitely geared more towards adults, who may also find a lesson on how to better reach or spend time with their children.
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