55 Best Coming-of-Age Movies

We have often heard about coming-of-age movies – but most of us don’t know much about the real meaning of such movies. Basically, these movies show dramatic scenes of someone’s emotions along with someone’s life journey. These movies are portrayed in such a manner that the audience starts to relate them to their own lives. But what are the best movies of the coming ages of all time?

Coming-of-age movies indeed denote brutal honesty in that they clearly reflect your experiences in the story and characters. Up till now, there have been hundreds and thousands of coming-of-age movies from Daxed to breakfast club and sixteen candles to fast times. All are super-plotted and exciting. Having said all of that, let’s check out our list of 55 best coming-of-age movies

1. Superbad

55 Best Coming of Ages Movies

Superbad is a movie that revolves around friends from high school who will pass out from school. In between these, they were invited to a well-organized house party. Together, with one of their friends, these boys try to score a lot of alcohol and then talk the girls into drinking it as well. The plot of the movie gets twisted as one boy gets into the hands of an incompetent cop.

2. Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Fast times at Ridgemont is another excellent movie. The movie revolves around the beautiful yet inexperienced teenage girl, Stacy Hamilton, who wants to do dating. Moreover, a friend of that girl named Linda Barett advises the girl to go on a date. The story further moves into a love triangle where the girl Stacy fell in love with a nice person named Mark, and his old colleague fell in love with Stacy.

3. Sixteen Candles

Sixteen Candles are plotted around the wedding and the relationship between the sister-brother and their own lives. Samantha is a young girl who has turned 16t. The marriage of Samantha’s sisters is happening, which makes everyone forget about Samantha’s birthday. Meanwhile, Samantha fell in love with an older boy, Jake. 

However, she takes a step back due to the risk of things getting worse as Jake is one of the school’s most popular boys. Furthermore, a nerdy boy named Ted- the teddy seems to have high affection for Samantha. However, Samantha rejected that. Thus, the story moves around the change of phases in Samantha’s life.

4. The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club was released in 1985. The story revolves around five students in high school who randomly meet each other in detention and suddenly feel extraordinary common things between them. Thus, the movie shows how the five students from different aspects of life come together and how the phase of life change.

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5. American Graffiti

55 Best Coming of Ages Movies

American Graffiti falls under the comedy section. It revolves around a high school student who goes on a final night together on the streets of California, cruising the strip and having fun. The friends include Curt, Steve, Terry, and John. Another boy jockey sings rock and roll tunes, and thus, all these students enjoyed themselves. There is another aspect of Steve’s high school crush for whom Steve has massive feelings.

6. Pretty in Pink

The movie  Pretty in Pink is one of the most famous coming-of-age movies. The movie revolves around a pretty girl Andie who is in a high school in Chicago. Andie went through the two options: hang out with her boss, Annie Potts – the owner of a record store, or hang out with an old classmate Duckie, who has accepted his feelings for Andie.

Moreover, Andie is offered a date by one of Blane’s most popular and rich kids. Soon Andie finds herself in love with Blaine. At the end of the movie, Andie realizes that dating a guy from a different social status is complicated.

7. Stand by Me

Stand by Me is an adventurous movie from 1986. The storyline of the movie revolves around Oregon boys who went to rural homes to see the dead body of a person who had been killed accidentally. Moreover, on the way to the rural home, the four boys, Gordie, Vern, Chris, and Teddy, spotted a trash man and marshes full of leeches. The curious boys get across different adventures to find out the absolute truth.

8. River’s Edge

The movie River’s Edge is based on a Crime plot where a high school teenage boy, Samson, kills his girlfriend and leaves the body at the riverside on the small outskirt of California. Samson told all the truth to his friends and brought them where the body was placed. Soon, the friends, after seeing this, got worried and started shouting at each other. Two friends of Samson, Matt, and Clarissa did not want to help Samson and wanted to inform the cops.

9. Mermaids

55 Best Coming of Ages Movies

The movie Mermaids revolves around a mother and her two daughters. It has been seen that both mother and daughters have been moved from different towns, and now they have settled in a small village near California. Here the daughters started a hope of settling forever. However, soon the mother fell in love and started dating that man.

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10. Heavenly Creatures

Heavenly Creatures revolves around a crime drama where two teenage girls who met in New Zealand fall into extreme friendship and start sharing a unique bond. On realizing the urgency of the unhealthy friendship, the parents of both girls tried to separate them, but it was too late. The girls decided to move to America and stay away from anyone who tries to keep them apart. Thus, the storyline shows the intense bond between girls and their intense changes in life after an extreme emotion.

11. Empire of Sun

Empire of Sun is an action historical story. The movie depicts a young boy named Jamie who gets captured when the Japanese invade Shanghai. On becoming the captive, Jamie is captured by an American sailor. However, Jamie is a young boy, away from his parents. He still shows great youthful charm and spirit in prison and shows the captives a sign of hope.

12. The Journey of Natty Gann 

The Journey of Natty Gann infers an adventurous storyline where a boy, Natty Gann who lives in Chicago with his guardian, comes across the reality of being abandoned by the guardian; thus, he decides to run away and find his birth father. Embarking on railway journeys across the country.

13. Tex 

55 Best Coming of Ages Movies

Tex is the story of the three brothers and their families. The family is said to live in a rural area and faced significant troubles after the death of their mother and after the leftover of their father. The three young boys are forced to live on their own and meet a lot of difficulties. Meanwhile, one of the three boys, Tex, falls in love with a local girl named Jamie, his childhood friend’s sister.

14. Holes 

Holes is an adventure yet suspense movie. In the movie, a convicted boy has been sent to a detention camp arranged in the desert. The boy, however, seems to have some mysterious reason for joining the camp. Moreover, the camp warden has been brutal with a boy and forced him to dig holes all day in the desert.

15. Dazed and Confused 

Dazed and Confused revolves around the high school adventures of junior mates and senior students. The high school students are seen enjoying the last day party of high school-however, the incident of bullying happens.

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16. Where the Day Takes You 

The story of Where the Day Takes You revolves around a gang leader and his people. The gang leader was a young man and acted as a leading mentor for the troubled kids. Moreover, there is a girl named Heather- she belongs to Chicago, and once she hangs out with the gang leader, the entire hierarchy of the gang changes.

17. Almost Famous 

Almost Famous is a movie that revolves around the theme of adventure and comedy. The story goes around a funny yet young boy of 15 years who was given a chance to write for Rolling Stone magazine, and to write it; the boy goes with the band Stillwater.

18. Last Picture

55 Best Coming of Ages Movies

Last picture depicts the theme of romance. The movie revolves around two best friends, Sonny and Duane, who live in Texas. In the meantime, both boys have a romantic exchange. Duane is dating a local girl Jacky while Sonny has an affair with the coach’s wife, Ruth. Well, it is seen that after graduation both boys decide to gain a better future, and for this, both try all. At last, Duane joins the army, and Sonny starts a local business. Thus, the movies show the phases of life and emotions and change their bachelor life into a mature one.

19. Next Stop, Greenwich Village 

Next Stop, Greenwich Village revolves around the new college students and their life. The story shows the boy lady who, after coming out, tries to become an actor and soon after joining has secured her worth among the best young creative types. The story gets twisted when the lady finds herself at the breakthrough of her career, and it gets difficult for her mother to allow her to go.

20. Dead Poets Society 

Dead Poets Society is one of the best-known Robin William movies, and among the best coming-of-age movies ever made. It depicts the theme of motivation. The story revolves around a new boarding school teacher who utilizes his poetry, which brings the self to belief and self-expression. Moreover, by using his poetry, different students get motivated and reach new heights.

21. The Karate Kid

Karate Kid depicts a teenage boy who moves to California and his mother but soon finds himself in trouble. When the group of boys studying karate started bullying the young boy. However, the young boy then met with a karate master who, on request, agreed to teach him karate. Karate Kid Movies in Order (Including Cobra Kai)

22. Say Anything

Say Anything has many themes of comedy and romance. The story revolves around a beautiful high school that fell in love in the summers. The girl named Diane was proposed to by one of his schoolmates named Lloyd. Soon both find themselves in great emotions for each other. However, the problem arose when Diane’s possessive father rejected this proposal.

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23. Ferris Buller’s Day Off 

55 Best Coming of Ages Movies

The movie Ferris Buller’s Day off seems to be a comedy movie. The story revolves around a high school boy Ferris Bulllier, who decides to take off from school for a one-day trip. In between this, he rents a Ferrari and goes on a tour of Chicago. However, on knowing all this, the Ferris Bueller principal decides to catch the red-handed.

24. Bridge to Terabithia 

Bridge to Terabithia has a theme of fantasy. The movie revolves around Jesse and Leslie’s two young friends, who make their world of magical creatures and name them Terabithia. However, both girls and boys belong to the lower-middle family where it is challenging to manage ordinary lives- here in their magical world, both rule as a king and queen, respectively. Thus, the story depicts the highly intense emotions of both friends with Terabithia.

25. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants depicts the theme of romance and comedy. The story shows the life of 4 best friends who have lived together for years. However, now they all are going to get apart from each other for a few months. So, to get connected, they took out the jeans pants from the second-hand shop, exchanged them, and decided to get connected in the form of jeans.

26. Rebel Without a Cause 

 Rebel Without a Cause depicts the life of a young man with a past full of troubles, who came to live in a new town and, due to his rebellious nature, creates problems in the new city too. Moreover, in between trying to control himself, the boy started having a good relationship with one of his classmates who is mentally depressed. The boy also falls in love with a local girl. However, that girl is found in a relationship with one of his neighbors. When that neighbor came to know about the reality of this boy’s feelings for her girlfriend, the real problems began.

27. East of Eden  

East of Eden shows the family issues when Cal’s younger brother feels that his father loves his elder brother, Aron. Even when Cal goes on a business trip, he doesn’t support his father and mother. Thus, it made him aggressive. Things get intense when Cal falls into emotions with the girlfriend of his brother Aron. Hence, the movie denotes the life of the boys along with their feelings.

28. Mean Girls 

55 Best Coming of Ages Movies

Mean Girls shows a girl who gains her early education from her parents and moves to Illinois. The movie thus indicates the girl’s new experience of school. The girl became the subject of the tactics in the school. Soon she finds a group of incredible students, and the name is known as “The plastics.” 

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29. The Yearling 

 The Yearling has a family theme. The movie shows a family – the father (Penny), the mother (sorry), and their only living son (Jody). Both the penny and worry work on the farm. The problem begins when Jody goes on a companionship trip and finds his companion- an orphaned fawn. However, on Jody penny’s powerful argument, agree to take care of these few, but pray to stay resistant. This leads to conflict.

30. The Secret Garden 

The Secret Garden is a family theme movie. The movie shows the life of a girl who has now come to her uncle’s place to live as her family and mother died. The girl finds some interesting facts from family history to the child’s secrets at her uncle’s place.

31. Our Vines Have Tender Grapes 

Our Vines Have Tender Grapes reflects the theme of a family where a Norwegian farmer brings her daughter with so much affection and care during world war 2. The farmer used to live on the farm. However, along with his cousin, the girl reads most of the book and plans to visit the element circus.

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32. West Side Story 

55 Best Coming of Ages Movies

West Side Story depicts the love and war theme. The story goes around when two, Romeo and Juliet, from two opposite gangs, fall in love on the streets of New York. Thus, the movie denotes the change in their life, tensions, and the courage to accept love.

33. Treasure Island 

Treasure Island revolves around a young Jim who lives with his mom in a small town. Soon, a person ‘Billy ‘comes in search of treasure and dies there. Meanwhile, Jim takes over the things, especially the map Billy possesses. Jim then convinces the authorities to follow the map, which shows the treasure in the pirate ship.

34. Bad Boys

Bad Boys denote the theme of crime and thrill when a young boy named O’Brien is sent to prison to kill a gang leader’s younger brother. The story mainly depicts the brutal prison life and the change of life stages in revenge and rivalry.

35. White Oleander 

White Oleander shows a teenager’s journey through a series of foster homes. After her mother was arrested and put into prison for doing a crime. Thus, the movie depicts the change of events and emotions.

36. A Bronx Tale 

55 Best Coming of Ages Movies

A Bronx Tale revolves around the theme of crime and romance. The story shows a teenage boy who gets under the guidance of his neighbor Sonny- who initiates the boy and brings him into the conflict of gangsters.

 37. A Little Romance 

 A Little Romance depicts a teenager named Lauren who lives in Paris with her mother. On the other hand, there is a teenage boy named Daniel, and soon after meeting, both fall in love with each other. However, Lauren’s mother forbids the two lovebirds to do so. Thus, the story denotes the courage of two lovebirds to fight for their love and their change in life.

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38. The Man in the Moon

The story of The Man in the Moon revolves around Maureen and her yonder brother Dani – both are said to have a strong connection. Well, with jealousy, a local boy Court foster threatens the siblings to destroy them. Thus, the movie shows the rivalry.

 39. Mask 

Mask denotes the story of a boy named Rock- intelligent and witty; however, he has a problem with a facial deformity and has isolated himself in the outskirts of two. On the other hand, her mother fights with the public system to make her child socially accepted. 

 40. October Sky 

55 Best Coming of Ages Movies

October Sky shows the family of a man named Homer Hickman, a coal miner. He loves his job and even expects his sons Jim and Homer to become coal miners. However, both sons have different interests. Jim joined the football club as he got the scholarship there, and Homer became interested in rocket science; however, his father disapproved of this interest.

But Homer still practices making rockets with his friends, hoping that rocket science will make his father agree and give them a good lifestyle.

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41. Road to Perdition

Road to Perdition revolves around the boy who witnessed a murder and got detention from an influencer who made this witness a reason to kill Sullivan’s wife and the young son. Thus, the story depicts the journey of revenge. 

42. Scent of A Woman 

The Scent of A Woman went around a story when a young high school boy decided to work to bear his college admission. In the meantime, he got the job of babysitting the blinking man who was a retired colonel from the US army.

43. Spider-Man 

 Spider-Man denotes the science-fictional theme when the spider bit a young boy from high school and genetically modified and got the spider’s abilities and eventually started fighting against evil and promoting the good cause. Spider-Man then became known as the superhero.

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44. That Thing You Do! 

55 Best Coming of Ages Movies

That Thing You Do!  revolves around the bands. Wily, the beautiful brand manager of the small-town band, helps the band secure great success and releases the song Beatles style. On the other hand, the brand Pennsylvania got famous due to its recent drum album.

 45. This Boy’s Life

This Boy’s Life depicts the relationship of a young teenage boy with his stepfather. Toby and his mom shifted to Washington, where his mom met a guy named Dwight. Time flies and both get married. Well, after a few times of relaxation, things got into trouble, and Dwight started abusing his stepson.

46. The Trouble with Angels 

The Trouble with Angels shows the story of the two teenage girls of St. Francis academy – who find the mother of boarding school so harsh. In the meantime, they got bored with their boarding life and thus started using pranks on the nuns. Therefore, as time passes, the two girls realize their mistakes and get mature.

47. The Moon-Spinners 

The Moon-Spinners revolves around a teenage girl who comes to the tropic island to spend her holiday and soon finds herself falling in love with a mysterious English man who is said to be in the case of robbery.

48. In Search of the Castaways 

In Search of the Castaways denotes the theme of the family. Along with her brother Robert, the young man started on a dangerous yet adventurous curiosity to find their father. The latter was the sea captain and has disappeared from the Chilean coast. Thus, the movie depicts the hardships the two siblings have gone through for their father.

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49. Big 

Big shows the life of 12-year-old Josh and 30-year-old Tom- both try to get a job in New York and thus find a low-level job at a toy company. The chance of promotion arises when the company’s owner comes into the company to test toys. Meanwhile, one of the colleagues at the company is staring, falling in feelings with Josh. Thus, the story denotes the stages of life in Josh, Susan, and Tom’s life.

50. Mad About Music

 Mad About Music is a story revolving around a woman who works in a school. She plotted up the stories and wrote up the letter to the imaginary characters. Things get problematic when she brings up the character of the fake father. 

51. Moonlight

55 Best Coming of Ages Movies

The movie Moonlight shows the story of a boy named Chiron. The movie focuses on the life of Chiron from childhood to adulthood. The movie not shows this but also tells the different periods when Chiron learns something new.

52. Lady Bird

The movie Ladybird revolves around a girl named Greta Gerwig, who was nominated for her solo directorial debut but soon she is required to move to another town. However, her mother thinks that Greta should visit the state school rather than another school due to financial issues. The story has a funny theme indeed.

53. Call Me by Your Name

 Call Me by Your Name is a story that revolves around 17-year-old Elio and 24 years Oliver. Back in 1983, Elio was found to come to his father’s home for the summer holidays. There Elio met Oliver, who came there to become an assistant for Elio’s father. Soon after meeting up, both Elio and Oliver find themself falling for each other.

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54. The Parent Trap

The Parent Trap denotes the life of the two identical twin sisters who get separated early due to the divorce between their parents. Years later now, the movie shows the struggles of two sisters who tried to bring their parents back

55. Girl Hood

55 Best Coming of Ages Movies

We finish our list of best coming-of-age movies with Girl Hood. Marie is found to bear the abusive yet heartbreaking remarks of her brother at home. The girl also gets into trouble and soon falls into the local bad girl group. The girl has then made some foolish and enthusiastic decisions. Thus, the movie depicts the change in a girl’s life.

  • Hrvoje Milakovic is co-owner of Fiction Horizon and a big cinephile. Apart from that, he likes to read comics, play games and collect action figures. He has been featured on LifeWire, Yahoo and IMDb, to name a few.