Top 10 Teen Movies You've Never Heard Of

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Top 10 Teen Movies You've Never Heard Of

VOICE OVER: Kirsten Ria Squibb WRITTEN BY: Sarah Osman
It's a shame more people haven't heard of these teen movies. For this list, we'll be looking at the best teen movies that you may have missed because life moves pretty fast. Our countdown includes "Vision Quest," "Mid90s," "The To Do List," and more!
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Top 10 Teen Movies You've Never Heard Of


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Teen Movies You’ve Never Heard Of.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the best teen movies that you may have missed because life moves pretty fast.

Did we forget to include your favorite unknown teen movie? Let us know in the comments!

#10: “Vision Quest” (1985)


If you’re trying to drop two weight classes in wrestling, one way to is by going on a vision quest. That’s what Louden Swain decides to do in this often forgotten 80s flick. But, when he and his father take in a boarder who’s a total beauty, Louden starts to forget about his wrestling goals. In pure 80s fashion, there’s an epic sports match, cheeseball love lines, and a hit song by Madonna. Here’s a fun fact: in some countries, the movie’s title was changed to “Crazy For You” in order to capitalize on Madonna’s success.

#9: “Roll Bounce” (2005)


If you’ve ever wanted more teen films about 1970s roller rinks, then have we got the movie for you! Bow Wow, or Lil’ Bow Wow, as he was still Lil’ at the time that he played Xavier, a teen who loves nothing more than roller skating. When his local roller rink is closed down, he and his crew are forced to skate at the fancy-pants one across town. The snobs don’t take too kindly too them, and a skating rivalry ensues, which ultimately culminates in a spectacular skate-off. Oh, and did we mention that there are multiple disco songs in this one? Can you dig it?

#8: “My Bodyguard” (1980)


Most teen movies aren’t nominated by the Writers Guild of America for a screenwriting award, but this teen dramedy managed to do just that. When Clifford gets dropped off at his high school in a limo, he soon finds himself a victim of Melvin and his gang of miscreants. In order to protect himself, Clifford hires the one kid everyone’s afraid of, Ricky, to be his bodyguard. This is already pretty weird, but it’s even weirder that Ricky is rumored to have murdered multiple people. Ricky and Clifford do end up forming an endearing friendship, but don’t confuse their relationship with the one in the 1992 romantic thriller “The Bodyguard”!

#7: “Mid90s” (2018)


Considering just how many comedies he’s been in, it’s a little surprising how dark Jonah Hill’s directorial debut is. Loosely based on his own childhood, “Mid90s” chronicles 13-year-old Stevie's adventures with a group of reckless skateboarders. While this premise seems innocent enough, Stevie’s home life is a wreck and his new group of friends isn’t the best of crowds. Hill deftly handles heavy topics including self harm, drug abuse, poverty, and child endangerment while balancing the film’s heart and humor. Don’t expect McLovin’ to pop up here, but this realistic coming of age story is well worth the watch.

#6: “Charlie Bartlett” (2007)



Before teens started offering sex advice on “Sex Education,” there was “Charlie Bartlett.” After being kicked out of several private schools, Charlie goes public. When he doesn’t fit in, he’s prescribed medication for his ADHD. He decides to team up with the school’s bully and sell the pills, along with a slew of others he’s eventually prescribed. He then begins to offer therapy inside the boy’s bathroom. While there are a few sillier moments, the film does treat mental health seriously. With a cast consisting of Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis, and Kat Dennings, it’s hard to believe this movie is as underrated as it is. (Though, we have to admit, Principal Nathan Gardner is a far cry from Tony Stark!)

#5: “Real Women Have Curves” (2002)


Before America Ferrera starred as Ugly Betty, “Superstore’s” Amy Sosa, or the voice of Astrid Hofferson in the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise, she became an icon for so many young women in her feature film debut, “Real Women Have Curves”. Based on the play by Josefina Lopez, it tells the story of 18-year-old Ana García who wants to go to college, but is pressured by her mother to help run the family’s textile factory. Unfortunately, Ana’s mom’s meddling doesn’t stop there. She wants Ana to lose weight, get married, and have kids. The film was commended for its Latina representation, as well as its depiction of the challenges that so often face Latin American women.

#4: “It’s a Boy Girl Thing” (2006)


“Freaky Friday” doesn’t just happen to mothers and daughters…body swaps can also happen between enemies. In “It’s a Boy Girl Thing,” Nell and Woody quickly learn not to argue in front of ancient Aztec statues, lest they end up in a body switcharoo. Once they’re forced to trade places, however, Nell and Woody learn that the other’s life isn’t all that easy. Nell tries to pick up football while Woody discovers that beauty is pain. Spoiler alert, here, if you’re planning to watch the movie: In a twist that doesn’t happen in most body switch movies, the two end up falling in love.

#3: “The First Time” (2012)


It’s rare to find a teen movie that doesn’t leap into full raunchy mode at the first mention of sex. “The First Time” is a unique case as it manages to avoid all the bawdy jokes. Dave and Aubrey meet at a party and end up talking for hours. Unfortunately, their chemistry is complicated by the fact that they both have other love interests. Things do end up working out for them, but they don’t exactly fall for each other gracefully. The two quickly learn that the first time isn’t all that smooth, which is definitely a more realistic portrayal than we can say for most other depictions of first times.

#2: “The To Do List” (2013)


Traditionally in pop culture, it’s usually boys who are determined to lose their virginity. In “The To Do List”, the protagonist, Brandy Klark, challenges that dated trope. When she gets fed up with her lack of ‘sexy fun time’, Brandy makes a literal “to do” list. As with everything she does, Aubrey Plaza brings exactly the right amount of spunk to her character, who quickly learns that hooking up with boys isn’t quite like studying for a test. Another stand out is, of course, Bill Hader, who stars as Brandy’s boss, as well as Brandy’s two best friends, played by Sarah Steele and Alia Shawkat. Only true BFFs can declare all of their sexual conquests to each other.

#1: “Mud” (2012)


Even though “Mud” was loosely inspired by “Tom Sawyer” and other works by Mark Twain, it’s not exactly a barrel of laughs. Matthew McConaughey stars as Mud, a fugitive living on a small island. When teenagers Ellis and Neckbone discover him, Mud agrees to give them his pistol if they help him get back to his girlfriend, Juniper, played by Reese Witherspoon. This agreement, however, is only complicated by the fact that the law is on the lookout for him. While most of the film is focused on the adults, the two teens end up learning a lot which, you know, is pretty standard for a coming-of-age.
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