(Photo by Universal / courtesy Everett Collection)

20 Movies To Watch If You Loved The Breakfast Club

If you’re looking for more movies like The Breakfast Club, you’ve come to the right place, princess. Or criminal. Or basket case. Or whoever you identify with from John Hughes’ timeless high school classic of disaffected youth. If you’re new to school, Hughes was the outsider king of ’80s cinema. The other movies of the era he was involved with — Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, and Some Kind of Wonderful — are nearly equal in stature to Breakfast Club.

A lot of high school movies are about partying, and there’s certainly some of those necessary classics in this guide (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dazed and Confused), but Breakfast Club is beloved for synthesizing the emotional and mental states of those further down the social ladder. A lot of these stories are told from male perspectives, like in broad comedies Weird Science or Better Off Dead, the fight-ready My Bodyguard or Lucas, the sincerely devastating Dead Poets Society, and the bring-on-the-’90s Pump Up the Volume.

Of course, much of the appeal of John Hughes movies is that they aren’t just boys clubs. Thanks to his groundbreaking works, high school cinema opened up for female-centric stories, including the black comedy satire Heathers and the frothy Clueless, which would lead the way into the new century for Mean Girls and The Edge of Seventeen.

The 21st century got its high school outsider poster boy with Napoleon Dynamite in 2004. As the internet became ubiquitous and we became more connected and young people more empathetic (we hope), high school movies evolved into ground zero for a new class of protagonists we wouldn’t have seen even in prior years. For proof, see Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, or the LGBTQ-focused Booksmart and Love, Simon. The movies of John Hughes, who sought to save the hearts and souls of the young before they were sacrificed to society and class hierarchy, helped make these movies possible.

What would you recommend to someone who loved The Breakfast Club?

#20

Weird Science (1985)
57%

#20
Adjusted Score: 59.047%
Critics Consensus: Hardly in the same league as John Hughes' other teen movies, the resolutely goofy Weird Science nonetheless gets some laughs via its ridiculous premise and enjoyable performances.
Synopsis: John Hughes's third directorial effort, Weird Science, follows in the tradition of his previous teen-centered films, Sixteen Candles and The... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#19

Lucas (1986)
71%

#19
Adjusted Score: 72.197%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Corey Haim plays 13-year-old Lucas, a bespectacled, bookish type who attracts school bullies like a magnet. Lucas befriends 16-year-old Maggie... [More]
Directed By: David Seltzer

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 76.795%
Critics Consensus: A charming, quirky, and often funny comedy.
Synopsis: The directorial debut of filmmaker Jared Hess, who also co-wrote the screenplay, Napoleon Dynamite is a quirky, offbeat comedy set... [More]
Directed By: Jared Hess

#17

Better Off Dead (1985)
76%

#17
Adjusted Score: 77.176%
Critics Consensus: Better Off Dead is an anarchic mix of black humor and surreal comedy, anchored by John Cusack's winsome, charming performance.
Synopsis: After being rejected by the object of his affection and suffering a series of other humiliations, a depressed teenager decides... [More]
Directed By: Savage Steve Holland

#16
Adjusted Score: 81.508%
Critics Consensus: While Fast Times at Ridgemont High features Sean Penn's legendary performance, the film endures because it accurately captured the small details of school, work, and teenage life.
Synopsis: Based on 22-year-old Cameron Crowe's undercover exposé on life in a Southern California public high school, this groundbreaking effort presents... [More]
Directed By: Amy Heckerling

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 82.968%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Teenage angst finds a new voice in this drama. By day, Mark Hunter (Christian Slater) is a quiet, studious student... [More]
Directed By: Allan Moyle

#14

Clueless (1995)
81%

#14
Adjusted Score: 88.781%
Critics Consensus: A funny and clever reshaping of Emma, Clueless offers a soft satire that pokes as much fun at teen films as it does at the Beverly Hills glitterati.
Synopsis: Jane Austen might never have imagined that her 1816 novel Emma could be turned into a fresh and satirical look... [More]
Directed By: Amy Heckerling

#13

Pretty in Pink (1986)
73%

#13
Adjusted Score: 77.753%
Critics Consensus: Molly Ringwald gives an outstanding performance in this sweet, intelligent teen comedy that takes an ancient premise and injects it with insight and wit.
Synopsis: John Hughes crafts an exemplary '80s Brat Pack romance out of the standard Cinderella story in Pretty in Pink. Andie... [More]
Directed By: Howard Deutch

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 86.217%
Critics Consensus: Matthew Broderick charms in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a light and irrepressibly fun movie about being young and having fun.
Synopsis: Teenaged Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) is a legend in his own time thanks to his uncanny skill at cutting classes... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 78.913%
Critics Consensus: Some Kind of Wonderful is above-average '80s teen fare for people who need as much John Hughes in their lives as possible.
Synopsis: In a gender-reversed version of his previous hit Pretty in Pink, John Hughes retreads all-too- familiar ground in Some Kind... [More]
Directed By: Howard Deutch

#10
Adjusted Score: 88.946%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully scripted and perfectly cast, Me & Earl & the Dying Girl is a coming-of-age movie with uncommon charm and insight.
Synopsis: Winner of the 2015 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL is... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

#9

My Bodyguard (1980)
84%

#9
Adjusted Score: 86.214%
Critics Consensus: T. Bill debuts as an affectionate director, keenly aware of growing pains.
Synopsis: In this coming-of-age comedy-drama from director Tony Bill, a diminutive high schooler (Chris Makepeace) decides to defend himself against the... [More]
Directed By: Tony Bill

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 88.189%
Critics Consensus: Affecting performances from the young cast and a genuinely inspirational turn from Robin Williams grant Peter Weir's prep school drama top honors.
Synopsis: Robin Williams toned down his usually manic comic approach in this successful period drama. In 1959, the Welton Academy is... [More]
Directed By: Peter Weir

#7

Mean Girls (2004)
84%

#7
Adjusted Score: 89.292%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by a brilliant screenplay and outstanding ensemble cast, Mean Girls finds fresh, female-fronted humor in the high school experience.
Synopsis: Tina Fey from Saturday Night Live wrote and appears in this comedy about the alternately funny and terrifying pecking order... [More]
Directed By: Mark Waters (VIII)

#6

Sixteen Candles (1984)
84%

#6
Adjusted Score: 86.93%
Critics Consensus: Significantly more mature than the teen raunch comedies that defined the era, Sixteen Candles is shot with compassion and clear respect for its characters and their hang-ups.
Synopsis: On the eve of her sister's wedding, suburban teenager Samantha (Molly Ringwald) suffers silently as her family forgets her birthday.... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 96.594%
Critics Consensus: Featuring an excellent ensemble cast, a precise feel for the 1970s, and a killer soundtrack, Dazed and Confused is a funny, affectionate, and clear-eyed look at high school life.
Synopsis: Like George Lucas' American Graffiti, Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused is an affectionate look at the youth culture of a... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#4

Love, Simon (2018)
91%

#4
Adjusted Score: 100.824%
Critics Consensus: Love, Simon hits its coming-of-age beats more deftly than many entries in this well-traveled genre -- and represents an overdue, if not entirely successful, milestone of inclusion.
Synopsis: Everyone deserves a great love story. But for seventeen-year old Simon Spier it's a little more complicated: he's yet to... [More]
Directed By: Greg Berlanti

#3

Heathers (1988)
93%

#3
Adjusted Score: 96.886%
Critics Consensus: Dark, cynical, and subversive, Heathers gently applies a chainsaw to the conventions of the high school movie -- changing the game for teen comedies to follow.
Synopsis: A deliciously nasty black comedy, Heathers is set at a cliquish high school in Ohio. The most exclusive of those... [More]
Directed By: Michael Lehmann

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 102.235%
Critics Consensus: The Edge of Seventeen's sharp script -- and Hailee Steinfeld's outstanding lead performance -- make this more than just another coming-of-age dramedy.
Synopsis: THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN is a new coming-of-age movie in the vein of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club -... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Fremon Craig

#1

Booksmart (2019)
96%

#1
Adjusted Score: 112.12%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, funny, and fresh, Booksmart does the seemingly impossible by adding a smart new spin to the coming-of-age comedy.
Synopsis: The story follows Dever and Feldstein's characters, two academic superstars and best friends who, on the eve of their high... [More]
Directed By: Olivia Wilde

Tag Cloud

Spike Nat Geo HBO Max heist movie scene in color Captain marvel what to watch spider-man popular kaiju Sundance Country YA latino FOX laika science fiction TCM sitcom Columbia Pictures serial killer Food Network Paramount SXSW films VH1 directors tv talk all-time Lifetime AMC Holiday Women's History Month ABC cinemax know your critic Winter TV History nbcuniversal 2017 Universal 2018 Reality Rocketman Binge Guide WGN Marathons sequel Superheroe concert teaser thriller Comedy Central spanish language CBS All Access cats new star wars movies Set visit Mary poppins stop motion stoner 2016 Disney Channel cancelled Shondaland Adult Swim cops politics The CW criterion stand-up comedy jurassic park Marvel Studios Trailer reboot DirecTV worst parents Bravo Oscars Pop TV Song of Ice and Fire Showtime anthology spy thriller golden globes San Diego Comic-Con transformers Acorn TV remakes RT21 USA Year in Review zombies 21st Century Fox Turner Classic Movies boxoffice Hulu Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TV universal monsters A&E Dark Horse Comics Character Guide italian blockbusters south america The Walt Disney Company 007 PBS Rom-Com social media Amazon Prime Video versus sports saw joker TruTV ghosts VICE romance First Reviews Paramount Network docuseries strong female leads Podcast kids french El Rey Fox Searchlight natural history twilight BBC America franchise 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards NBC Star Wars 24 frames Lionsgate Pet Sematary Comedy YouTube Premium ABC Signature lord of the rings blockbuster video Sundance Now movies TCA Winter 2020 independent fresh Kids & Family live action Classic Film Superheroes A24 SundanceTV Red Carpet Pacific Islander boxing Avengers Spring TV See It Skip It BET Awards Writers Guild of America cults BAFTA animated Interview chucky Holidays Awards Tour movie blaxploitation TCA 2017 screen actors guild unscripted Ellie Kemper Watching Series Action NYCC PlayStation Premiere Dates Legendary 99% Super Bowl Chernobyl comic Netflix quibi jamie lee curtis obituary women Election HBO Go Amazon Prime docudrama rotten reviews Starz Disney Plus CW Seed a nightmare on elm street MSNBC dragons ViacomCBS hist Hallmark Christmas movies Extras ITV hispanic Fox News adaptation game show pirates of the caribbean BBC toy story Family theme song 2020 Calendar E! vampires series Sony Pictures LGBTQ 20th Century Fox Netflix Christmas movies rt archives kong christmas movies Trophy Talk godzilla comics dc TLC Amazon Studios true crime miniseries IFC Films Polls and Games Tubi television 4/20 facebook Mudbound talk show football Nickelodeon dramedy Syfy CBS ABC Family Freeform Stephen King discovery Sci-Fi police drama romantic comedy cancelled TV shows Mystery Apple TV+ prank CNN trailers finale TBS Shudder OneApp new zealand spain First Look critics Sundance TV Cosplay name the review Discovery Channel Walt Disney Pictures Photos indie GIFs TV One Reality Competition dogs Film Christmas festival Ghostbusters batman superhero Masterpiece canceled TV shows MTV dceu Brie Larson Cannes Emmy Nominations documentary Best and Worst harry potter renewed TV shows fast and furious spinoff Trivia WarnerMedia Toys YouTube Creative Arts Emmys Musicals 2015 Amazon archives monster movies composers Fantasy deadpool Grammys war dark australia Image Comics Alien Logo Valentine's Day The Purge ratings Hallmark Apple TV Plus BET CMT Baby Yoda mockumentary Comics on TV crossover sag awards scary movies 2019 Ovation DC Comics Broadway psychological thriller Awards Lucasfilm Video Games MCU Warner Bros. crime thriller spanish Television Critics Association singing competition free movies robots VOD Disney+ Disney Plus Tarantino political drama Epix travel Black History Month Endgame TV Land revenge FX on Hulu casting streaming Quiz cars book venice witnail SDCC emmy awards Infographic Mindy Kaling biography APB ID book adaptation National Geographic rom-coms Marvel Television new york video on demand FX green book RT History Music Pirates DC Universe supernatural Thanksgiving halloween Musical telelvision 72 Emmy Awards GLAAD Emmys Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Teen Academy Awards TNT crime drama Pride Month breaking bad anime space slashers nature Star Trek Box Office TCA Anna Paquin elevated horror zombie The Walking Dead target asian-american Travel Channel Cartoon Network PaleyFest Nominations cancelled TV series razzies X-Men Hear Us Out Western nfl japanese classics Exclusive Video TIFF historical drama 71st Emmy Awards Marvel Crackle The Witch foreign cooking golden globe awards canceled hidden camera high school werewolf sequels Arrowverse screenings USA Network aapi die hard LGBT Mary Tyler Moore TV renewals Elton John Esquire cartoon disaster Peacock comic books Paramount Plus Countdown Rock GoT HBO indiana jones YouTube Red international Summer Britbox documentaries mutant Winners rotten movies we love crime halloween tv ESPN Crunchyroll Certified Fresh worst movies 2021 Horror DGA Black Mirror mission: impossible period drama children's TV Martial Arts Television Academy james bond Rocky adventure Heroines superman Mary Poppins Returns Disney streaming service Apple black President hollywood aliens Disney news OWN binge E3 justice league Tomatazos The Arrangement Drama Fall TV child's play toronto Lifetime Christmas movies Pixar Funimation best scorecard medical drama New York Comic Con cancelled television diversity DC streaming service Comic Book Pop richard e. Grant festivals Spectrum Originals comiccon zero dark thirty Opinion Biopics technology king kong Tumblr award winner game of thrones 45 Vudu satire IFC The Academy 93rd Oscars psycho Schedule marvel cinematic universe based on movie Turner Animation BBC One FXX Sneak Peek doctor who comedies American Society of Cinematographers Film Festival TCA Awards