50 Best High School Movies of All Time

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 99.415%
Critics Consensus: One of the most influential of all teen films, American Graffiti is a funny, nostalgic, and bittersweet look at a group of recent high school grads' last days of innocence.
Synopsis: This Academy Award-nominated classic, voted one of the American Film Institute's top 100 Films Of All Time, features the coming... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#9

Risky Business (1983)
96%

#9
Adjusted Score: 100.103%
Critics Consensus: Featuring one of Tom Cruise's best early performances, Risky Business is a sharp, funny examination of teen angst that doesn't stop short of exploring dark themes.
Synopsis: Risky Business is the film in which 19-year-old Tom Cruise dances around his living room in his underwear. He does... [More]
Directed By: Paul Brickman

#8

Juno (2007)
94%

#8
Adjusted Score: 100.532%
Critics Consensus: One of the brightest, funniest comedies of the year, Juno's smart script and direction are matched by assured performances in a coming of age story with a 21st century twist.
Synopsis: When a teenage girl is faced with an unexpected pregnancy, she enlists the aid of her best friend in finding... [More]
Directed By: Jason Reitman

#7

Hairspray (1988)
98%

#7
Adjusted Score: 100.741%
Critics Consensus: Hairspray is perhaps John Waters' most accessible film, and as such, it's a gently subversive slice of retro hilarity.
Synopsis: Forever interested in the kitsch built into past eras, director John Waters chooses the TV dance show craze of the... [More]
Directed By: John Waters

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 100.921%
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

#5

Say Anything... (1989)
98%

#5
Adjusted Score: 100.927%
Critics Consensus: One of the definitive Generation X movies, Say Anything is equally funny and heartfelt -- and it established John Cusack as an icon for left-of-center types everywhere.
Synopsis: A high-school valedictorian begins dating an irresponsible army brat, much to the dismay of her father. After breaking off the... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#4

Hoop Dreams (1994)
98%

#4
Adjusted Score: 101.075%
Critics Consensus: One of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of all time, Hoop Dreams is a rich, complex, heartbreaking, and ultimately deeply rewarding film that uses high school hoops as a jumping-off point to explore issues of race, class, and education in modern America.
Synopsis: This documentary about the aspirations of high-school basketball players from inner city Chicago won awards from the Sundance film festival,... [More]
Directed By: Steve James

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 101.782%
Critics Consensus: Rebel Without a Cause is a searing melodrama featuring keen insight into '50s juvenile attitude and James Dean's cool, iconic performance.
Synopsis: This landmark juvenile-delinquent drama scrupulously follows the classic theatrical disciplines, telling all within a 24-hour period. Teenager Jimmy Stark (James... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Ray

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 102.171%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed, Back to the Future is rousing a time-travel adventure with an unforgettable spirit.
Synopsis: Contemporary high schooler Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) doesn't have the most pleasant of lives. Browbeaten by his principal at... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 105.449%
Critics Consensus: Making excellent use of its period and setting, Peter Bogdanovich's small town coming-of-age story is a sad but moving classic filled with impressive performances.
Synopsis: Produced by Hollywood iconoclast BBS Productions, film critic-turned-director Peter Bogdanovich's 1971 film pays homage to Hollywood's classical age as it... [More]
Directed By: Peter Bogdanovich

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