50 Best High School Movies of All Time

Adjusted Score: 85.334%
Critics Consensus: An acute survey of the football-obsessed heartland that succeeds as both a stirring drama and a rousing sports movie.
Synopsis: A drama that chronicles the entire 1988 season of the Permian High Panthers of Odessa, Texas, with football players, coaches,... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

Adjusted Score: 86.5%
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, John Hugues

Adjusted Score: 85.786%
Critics Consensus: My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea's attention-getting visual style matches debuting writer-director Dash Shaw's distinctive narrative approach -- and signals a bright future for a promising talent.
Synopsis: From acclaimed graphic novelist Dash Shaw (New School) comes an audacious debut that is equal parts disaster cinema, high school... [More]
Directed By: Dash Shaw

Adjusted Score: 86.726%
Critics Consensus: Peggy Sue Got Married may seem just another in a line of '80s boomer nostalgia films, but none of the others have Kathleen Turner keen lead performance.
Synopsis: During her 25th high school class reunion, middle-aged Peggy Sue (Kathleen Turner) tries to forget her marital problems with husband... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola


Rocket Science (2007)

Adjusted Score: 87.074%
Critics Consensus: Though Rocket Science appears to be a typically quirky indie, the well-rounded performances and director Jeffrey Blitz's clear affection for his characters gives the film its proper human spark.
Synopsis: Jeffrey Blitz's seriocomedy Rocket Science proves that many a handicap can be overcome, no matter how daunting the obstacle at... [More]
Directed By: Jeffrey Blitz


Bully (2012)

Adjusted Score: 89.189%
Critics Consensus: Hard-hitting and gracefully filmed, Bully powerfully delivers an essential message to an audience that may not be able to see it.
Synopsis: Directed by Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, Bully is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are... [More]
Directed By: Lee Hirsch


My Bodyguard (1980)

Adjusted Score: 88.184%
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


Sixteen Candles (1984)

Adjusted Score: 88.433%
Critics Consensus: Significantly more mature than the teen raunch comedies that defined the era, Sixteen Candles is shot with compassion and clear respect for his 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


Mean Girls (2004)

Adjusted Score: 87.618%
Critics Consensus: Funnier and more smartly written than the average teen comedy.
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)


River's Edge (1987)

Adjusted Score: 88.561%
Critics Consensus: A harrowing tale of aimless youth, River's Edge generates considerable tension and urgency thanks to strong performances from a stellar cast that includes Crispin Glover, Keanu Reeves, and Ione Skye.
Synopsis: Based on a true story, a group of apathetic high school students learn that a friend has killed his girlfriend,... [More]
Directed By: Tim Hunter

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