Whether you’re a movie buff or not, coming of age movies are sure to tug at your heartstrings. After all, they recount the ups and downs of adolescence, Major/Minor arc-style.
To help you make the best out of these tear-jerking tales, we’ve compiled a list of the 15 best coming of age movies of all time. From the nostalgic and rebellious days of high school to the chaotic and confusing years post-university, these films will have you binge-watching from start to finish.
So what are you waiting for? Get stuck into some great coming of age cinema!
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Table of Contents
Types Of Coming Of Age Movies
It’s the time of life when you’re transitioning from being a child to an adult. Whether you’re coming of age in the traditional sense or in your own unique way, there’s a coming of age movie that’s perfect for you.
Some of the best include “The Breakfast Club”, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, and “Can’t Buy Me Love”. Each movie has its own unique appeal and can teach valuable life lessons. For example, “The Breakfast Club” is a comedy-drama that tells the story of five friends coming of age in high school.
“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is a coming of age movie about a high school student who takes the day off school to have the time of his life. “Can’t Buy Me Love” is a romantic coming of age movie about a young high school student who falls for the school-age daughter of his father’s business partner.
What Is Coming Of Age Movie?
There’s something special and nostalgic about coming of age movies. They often reflect the experiences and emotions of the protagonist, who undergoes a change or transition in their life.
Whether it’s growing up and facing the challenges of adulthood, or becoming closer to family and friends, these movies are always entertaining and full of action.
So what are you waiting for? Make sure to add some coming of age movies to your list of must-watch films this year!
The 15 Best Coming Of Age Movies Of All Time
Growing up is an amazing and challenging experience. These 15 movies capture the essence of growing up beautifully and will leave an impression on your coming of age journey.
Some of the best coming of age movies are classics that have withstood the test of time, while others are underrated gems that deserve some attention. Whatever your age, these films are sure to touch your heart and remind you of the amazing journey of growth and development that awaits you.
If you’re feeling down, watch one of these coming of age movies to get your spirits high and remind you that everything will work out in the end.
Number# 01 – The Last Picture Show (1971)
There’s something about coming-of-age movies that touch our heartstrings. And no coming-of-age film is better than The Last Picture Show. This 1971 film follows a group of teenagers in the fictional small town of Texas.
It’s an intense and emotional story that will leave you feeling changed after watching it. The acting is superb, and the plot is rich and layered. If you’re looking for a movie that will stay with you long after you finish watching it, The Last Picture Show is a perfect choice.
Number# 02 – American Graffiti (1973)
There’s just something about coming-of-age stories that get our hearts racing. And that’s why American Graffiti is one of the best coming-of-age movies of all time. Made in 1973, the film tells the story of two young men – John and David – as they journey from childhood to adulthood.
It’s a story of friendship, love, and rebellion, and it’s a must-watch for any fan of coming-of-age stories. Not to mention, the soundtrack is iconic and features hits by The Beach Boys and cars by Ford Mustang. Rotten Tomatoes has awarded it a 97% rating, making it one of the most popular movies ever made.
So, if you’re in the mood for a nostalgic and heart-warming coming-of-age story, make sure to watch American Graffiti.
Number# 03 – Real Women Have Curves (2002)
If you’re looking for a film that will make you laugh and cry, then Real Women Have Curves is the one for you! This coming of age movie is based on the experiences of high school girls and tackles various topics like body image, self-acceptance, and relationships in an honest and humorous way.
Featuring an impressive cast of actresses, including America Ferrera, Josefina López, Lupe Ontiveros, and George Lopez, this film is sure to touch your heart. So why not add it to your movie-watching list? You won’t regret it!
Number# 04 – Badlands (1973)
Badlands is a gritty coming-of-age story set in the early ’70s. It follows the story of a group of young people as they navigate turbulent times – a time of change and turmoil.
Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Martin Sheen, and Jon Voight provide standout performances as the protagonists, and the film’s cinematography is stunning. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s definitely worth watching.
If you’re looking for a movie that will capture the feeling of youth well, Badlands is a perfect choice.
Number# 05 – Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975)
If you’re a fan of coming-of-age movies, you’ll love Picnic at Hanging Rock. It’s an emotional and suspenseful movie that will leave you breathless. The story follows the journey of five schoolgirls who go missing after attending a picnic at Hanging Rock.
The film is based on a true story, and it is sure to evoke the best of memories for you and your friends. So, whether you’re looking for an Atmospheric and melancholic film to watch or just want to escape the real world for a little while, give Picnic at Hanging Rock a try!
Number# 06 – Cinema Paradiso (1988)
Cinema Paradiso is a movie that is impossible to forget. It tells the story of young Leon, who yearns to escape his small-town life and explore the world beyond its walls. With the help of his friend, cinema-lover Guido, and the film-loving priest, Claudio, Leon begins a journey that will change his life forever.
This film is a must-watch for any fan of cinema, and is still relevant and touching today. So go on and experience one of the greatest coming-of-age stories of all time – Cinema Paradiso!
Number# 07 – Boyz N The Hood (1991)
Coming-of-age movies are a popular genre and for good reason. They are powerful and emotional stories that speak to everyone going through adolescence. Boyz N The Hood is one of the best of the best.
The cast is excellent, and the musical score is nothing short of amazing. Don’t skip out on watching this classic – it’ll change your life! 5th Ward is one of Hollywood’s most underrated gems and deserves more attention!
Number# 08 – Little Women (1994)
There are few coming of age movies that are as universally loved and appreciated as Little Women. The story of four sisters during the American Civil War is timeless and emotional, and the performances by Mary Kay Place and Ashley Judd are nothing short of amazing.
Winona Ryder gives an Oscar-winning performance as Jo March, the titular little women. Every teenage girl should watch this movie at some point in her life, and for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider or struggled with growing up, it will be a heart-warming and cathartic experience.
Little Women is a movie about growing up that is difficult to pull off well, but it is done brilliantly in this movie.
Number# 09 – Almost Famous (2000)
There’s nothing like a coming-of-age story to stir the soul and transport us to a simpler time. Almost Famous is one of the best of its kind and will touch your heartstrings in all the right ways. It tells the story of 15-year-old William Miller and his journey to becoming a rock star.
Along the way, he experiences the highs and lows of growing up – from the emotional (but oh-so-emo) moments to the challenges of making it big. But the film is more than just a story of young love and success. It’s also a testament to the power of music and the transformative power of fame.
Patrick Fugit, Billy Crudup, and Michael Angarano are just a few of the stars that make this coming-of-age movie unforgettable. So put on your best coming-of-age movie playlist and let the Tears of a Teenage Fanboy flow!
Number# 10 – Boyhood (2014)
Coming-of-age stories are a notoriously difficult genre to pull off, but director Richard Linklater nails it with Boyhood. It’s an emotional ride from start to finish, and it will leave you speechless in the end. The acting is top-notch, and the story is heartbreaking but ultimately rewarding.
If you’re a fan of coming-of-age stories or movies in general, don’t miss this incredible movie – it will forever change how you look at life!
Number# 11 – The Diary Of A Teenage Girl (2015)
If you’re a fan of coming-of-age movies, then you need to watch The Diary of a Teenage Girl. This movie is sure to touch your heart and soul and is well worth the watch when it hits theaters next year.
It follows the big moments in the life of a young girl as she navigates through her teenage years. Barbet Schroeder’s sensitive and powerful drama is a must-watch for anyone looking for a story that will stay with them long after the movie is over.
Number# 12 – Moonlight (2016)
There’s no better time than the present to revisit some of the best coming of age movies of all time. Moonlight is one of the best and deserves to be on the list. It’s a moving and inspiring story that will touch your heart in ways you never thought possible.
The acting is top-notch, making it easy to connect with the characters on an emotional level. The movie is also emotionally charged, leaving you feeling uplifted and inspired after watching it. So what are you waiting for? Make sure to add Moonlight to your coming of age movie list!
Number# 13 – Call Me By Your Name (2017)
If you’re looking for a movie that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, look no further than Call Me By Your Name. This coming-of-age love story was directed by Luca Guadagnino and stars Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet.
It has been acclaimed as one of the best films of 2017, winning numerous awards including Best Picture at the Academy Awards. If you’re a fan of heartwarming stories, then you definitely won’t want to miss out on this one!
Number# 14 – Lady Bird (2017)
Lady Bird is a coming-of-age movie that will make you laugh and cry. It’s an excellent representation of contemporary teenage life in the US and the cast is phenomenal, including Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, and Lucas Hedges. Highly recommend watching it if you’re looking for a great movie to watch this fall!
Number# 15 – Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)
Released in 2017, Tigers Are Not Afraid is a coming-of-age film that will tug at your heartstrings. It tells the story of a young girl, Elle Fanning, as she struggles to find her place in the world and navigate the challenges of adulthood.
With an impressive cast that includes Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, and Jane Fonda, the film is sure to entertain and engage viewers. Watch it and be reminded that growing up isn’t easy – but it’s worth it in the end!
How To Watch Of Coming Of Age Movie On Netflix?
As we approach the coming of age years, it’s natural to want to watch some of the classics. And what better way to do that than by streaming them on Netflix? Once you’ve added a coming of age movie to your queue, just click ‘Watch Now’ and enjoy the ride.
Make sure to watch these films over and over again to get the true coming of age experience. We recommend doing so for a nostalgic and fun experience. And who knows? You might just find yourself relating to the characters on-screen in a whole new way!
Here are some frequently asked questions to know about the coming age of movies.
Q: Which movie is the perfect nostalgic watch for teenagers aging out of childhood?
A: If you are a teenager aging out of childhood and you remember the feeling of first love, then I would recommend that you watch The Fault in Our Stars.
It is an emotionally charged film that will make you laugh and cry- perfect for when your teenage years feel like they never end.
Q: What is an example of a coming of age movie?
A: If you’re looking for an example of a coming-of-age movie, then some great options include: The Karate Kid, The Paper Chase, Footloose, and Dazed and Confused. All of these films deal with big issues like growing up, self-discovery, and identity formation.
Additionally, they’re all about teenagers who are trying to find their way in the world.
Q: Does a coming of age movie really work?
A: Yes, coming of age movies can definitely work! Some of the best ones include The Breakfast Club, Stand By Me, Grease, Eighth Grade, Pretty in Pink, and The Fault in Our Stars. They are usually touching, emotional, and sometimes even funny – perfect for an afternoon or evening out with your friends.
Q: Which one is better: comic book or live-action film for a coming of age story?
A: Comic books are better for coming-of-age stories due to the format of sequential art. This medium allows the story to have a built-in arc, which makes the pacing much more fluid and the story more immersive.
Additionally, comic books tend to be darker and more complex than their live-action counterparts. This is because the comic book medium is based on illustrations and panels that are carefully arranged and often have a larger page size than most live-action films.
As a result, the story can explore more complex themes and emotions that may not be possible in a shorter film format.
Q: What are the benefits of coming of age movies?
A: Coming of age movies are often a reflection of our own lives and the hardships and challenges we face during adolescence. They help to teach valuable life lessons such as selflessness, forgiveness, and resilience.
Additionally, coming of age movies can be an enjoyable experience for you as an audience member. They provide a mirror to our own lives and allow us to vicariously experience the triumphs and hardships of characters that are similar to ourselves. In the end, coming of age movies are a powerful tool that can touch your heart in many ways.
So, next time you’re looking for something to watch, consider picking up a coming of age movie!
Q: Who is the most famous actors and actress for coming-of-age movies?
A: Some of the most famous actors and actresses for coming-of-age movies are: Andrew McCarthy, Ethan Hawke, Sean Penn, Robin Williams, Sam Elliott, Michael Cera, Ellar Coltrane, Christian Bale, and Hilary Swank.
If you’re a fan of coming of age movies, you’ll love our list of the 15 best coming-of-age movies of all time! From classics like The Last Picture Show and American Graffiti to more recent films like Lady Bird and How to Watch Tigers Are Not Afraid On Netflix, this list has something for everyone.
Don’t wait any longer and check it out now!