17 Movies for Teenagers - VerbNow

17 Movies for Teenagers

Pitch Perfect 3 movie poster

As a teenager, sometimes you want to put your phone down, grab some popcorn and settle in to watch a movie. But with such a long list of movies to choose from on a range of different streaming platforms, which one do you choose?

Our list of movies for teenagers includes more recent movies like The Edge of Seventeen, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Lady Bird. It also includes classics from the 80s like Back To The Future and wacky early 2000s films like Mean Girls, She’s The Man, and Freaky Friday.

From coming-of-age stories to musicals and even animated magic, our list has got it all. So if you were wondering what to watch for your next movie night, we’ve got you covered. All you need to do is pick one, relax, and enjoy the cinematic magic!

Table of Contents

The Edge of Seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen

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  • Released: 2016
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama
  • Age Rating: 16+

Seventeen-year-old Nadine Franklin is a junior in high school. With a strained relationship with her mother and her brother, Darian, and after her father’s passing, her best friend Krista is the only relationship she can count on.

That is until Nadine finds out that Krista and Darian have been fooling around and have now started dating. Their new relationship puts strain on her friendship with Krista, and the two begin to drift apart.

Feeling alienated and alone, Nadine forms an unexpected new friendship with her classmate, Erwin Kim, and finds herself realizing that she’s not as much of an outsider as she thought.

The Edge of Seventeen is a feel-good coming-of-age story for anyone who feels alone and is a must-watch for older teens.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (1)

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  • Released: 2018
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Age Rating: 13+

Lara Jean is your average shy and invisible teenager. Except for one thing: she has kept secret love letters to her crushes over the years in a box in her closet. Five of them, to be exact.

But when her well-meaning little sister, Kitty, mails the letters to the boys they were written for, they begin to confront Lara one by one. Mortified, Lara needs to develop a plan to make it seem as if the whole thing was a joke and a misunderstanding.

And that’s where Peter comes in. Tall, handsome, and one of the most popular boys in school, Peter agrees to a mutually beneficial agreement with Lara. Now, they need to pretend that they’re dating to keep up the façade that they have made for themselves. But love is never that simple.

Based on the Young Adult novel of the same name, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the first installment of the movie franchise. So, if you loved the first one, don’t forget to check out its two sequels: To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love you, and To All the Boys: Always and Forever.

Lady Bird

Lady Bird

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  • Released: 2017
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama
  • Age Rating: 16+

Christine’ Lady Bird’ McPherson attends the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic High School in Sacramento, California. Because her family has struggled with money for as long as she can remember, she begins to dream about a more exciting life outside of the confines of Sacramento.

Her mother, an overworked and overprotective woman, finds her plans unrealistic and feels that Christine is ungrateful for her sacrifices to keep the family afloat.

The plot follows Lady Bird as she navigates her way through senior year, her first romance, her first heartbreak, and ultimately, her journey of self-discovery.

She’s The Man

She's The Man

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  • Released: 2006
  • Genre: Comedy, Romance, Sport
  • Age Rating: 12+

Viola Hastings has never been your typical ‘girly girl,’ much to the chagrin of her mother. Instead, she dreams of becoming a professional soccer player, while her mother dreams of making her the ideal debutant.

Her twin brother, Sebastian, has always been a troublemaker. So, when he leaves town to follow his dream of playing with his band in London instead of enrolling in boarding school, Viola hatches a plan.

With the help of her friends, she enrolls in Sebastian’s place and must disguise herself as her brother to play for the boys’ soccer team. Sporting a wig and living in a dorm full of other boys, Viola begins to understand how to dress, act, and speak to fool everyone. And it’s working.

But when a messy love triangle ensues, and her brother’s ex-girlfriend mistakes her for Sebastian, things get more than a little complicated.

She’s The Man is a movie that teaches you to be true to yourself, no matter who you want to be, and it is equal parts heart-warming and side-splittingly hilarious.

Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday (2003)

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  • Released: 2003
  • Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
  • Age Rating: 8+

Recently engaged and planning her wedding, therapist Tess Coleman is doing her best to juggle her career, fiancé, and unruly teenage daughter. Anna is an aspiring musician who lives with her mother and younger brother, Harry, and wants nothing more than to be free of her mother and her new beau, Ryan.

Despite Tess’ best efforts, she and Anna can’t seem to ever see eye-to-eye anymore, and their relationship is becoming more strained than ever.

But, following a dinner to celebrate her engagement at a local restaurant, the mother and daughter have an experience that will quite literally change them, maybe forever.

When they wake up in one another’s bodies, they will have to learn to navigate each other’s lives and learn the true meaning of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.

If there’s any hope of them ever switching back to their own body, they will have to find a way to fix their relationship, understand one another, and see their life through a different perspective.

This fun movie has a lot of heart and has been a classic teen movie since its release.

Love, Simon

Love, Simon (4K UHD)

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  • Released: 2018
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, LGBTQ
  • Age Rating: 13+

High school student Simon Spier has a secret that he’s keeping from everyone, including his close-knit family and three best friends – Nick, Leah, and Abby.

So, when one of his classmates posts anonymously under the pseudonym ‘Blue’ and confesses that he, like Simon, is gay, it sparks an interest in getting to know his fellow secret-keeper.

Speaking to Blue under his own pseudonym – ‘Jacques’ – Simon is drawn to the mysterious stranger and their shared secret. But soon, Simon’s deepest fear is realized, and the threat of being outed as a closeted gay man is growing more and more real.

Love, Simon is a coming-of-age story that touches on some of the fundamental issues many teenagers face, including coming to terms with who they are.

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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  • Released: 2012
  • Genre: Drama, Romance
  • Age Rating: 15+

Set in the early 90s, the film follows the story of Charlie, a shy misfit who is struggling with the suicide of his best friend and with the impending start of high school. He is also under threat of falling back into depression – the same way he did when admitted to the mental health care facility.

When he starts high school, he meets Sam, a beautiful and outgoing senior, and her stepbrother, Patrick. After forming what he feels to be a friendship with the pair, they introduce him to their friends, and Charlie slowly starts to find his place within a group of people who finally seem to understand him.

But Charlie is haunted by the demons of his past, and he will have to face bygone traumas to be able to let it all go finally. However, it seems possible now, with the help of his newfound friends.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower touches on themes of sexual and physical abuse, as well as suicide. Parental guidance is advisable for teens younger than sixteen.

Juno

Juno

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  • Released: 2007
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama
  • Aage Rating: 14+

Told throughout all four seasons, and starting in autumn, Juno tells the story of a quirky and intelligent sixteen-year-old girl, Juno MacGuff.

After taking the plunge and going all the way with her best friend, Paulie Bleeker, Juno discovers that she’s pregnant.

She weighs up her options and eventually decides to look through the local personal ads in the PennySaver to find good prospective parents for her unborn baby. And then she sees them: Mark and Vanessa, the perfect couple.

Things become complicated when Juno finds herself fighting her feelings for Bleeker, trying to make it through school with a passing grade, and forming an unlikely friendship with Mark – all while navigating her pregnancy.

But when Mark starts to develop feelings for Juno, he puts his marriage and the potential adoption in jeopardy.

Mean Girls

Mean Girls

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  • Released: 2004
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Age Rating: 14+

After living in Africa and being homeschooled for the last twelve years, Cady Heron and her zoologist parents return to the U.S., where Cady is enrolled in the first real school she has ever attended: North Shore High School.

She soon feels overwhelmed by how different high school life is and how much it takes to be considered popular – or even likable – among her peers. Janice and Damien are social outcasts but quickly take Cady under their wing and clue her in on the school’s hierarchy.

And right on the top of the food chain is Regina George. Blonde, pretty, and an all-around trendsetter, Regina is envied by everyone except Janice. Instead, Janice seems to harbor a hatred for Regina that extends beyond jealousy.

When Regina and her clique welcome Cady into their group, Janice sees the perfect opportunity to sabotage Regina and bring her down from her proverbial throne.

But what happens when Cady starts to like being accepted by Regina and her friends? And most of all, why would she ever want to give up her growing popularity for a social pariah like Janice Ian?

Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect

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  • Released: 2012
  • Genre: Comedy, Music, Romance
  • Age Rating: 14+

Collegiate a capella group the Barden Bellas are the first all-female group to be invited to the finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Capella. But when one of their lead vocalists, Aubrey Posen, lets her nerves get the better of her in the worst possible way, the Bellas become the laughing stock of the a capella world.

Desperate to restore the group’s former glory, Aubrey begins her hunt for new girls to join the Bellas. But with their tarnished reputation, outdated arrangements, and known for only taking in attractive girls, the turnout at the auditions is abysmal.

Trying to make the best of a bad situation, Aubrey tries to whip the girls into shape. But Becca – a grungy loner and aspiring music producer – intervenes and helps the Bellas find their true sound while unintentionally bonding them for life on the way.

Five Feet Apart

Five Feet Apart

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  • Released: 2019
  • Genre: Drama, Romance
  • Age Rating: 13+

When two teenage Cystic Fibrosis patients have a chance to meet while staying in the hospital, their genetic condition keeps them at least six feet apart from one another at all times. But when their innocent spark turns into a whirlwind romance, staying away from each other is more complicated than either of them could have ever realized.

Stella is a seventeen-year-old with a complicated past following her sister’s death. Using social media to cope with her loss and to come to terms with her terminal illness, she spends time filming videos and posting updates in her hospital room.

When Will finds her online videos, he becomes enamored with Stella and wants to know everything about her. They end up going on a carefully curated date, and the rest is history.

But navigating love and romance when you can’t be closer than six feet apart is hard, and the teens’ willpower is put to the ultimate test.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (4K UHD)

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  • Released: 2010
  • Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy
  • Age Rating: 14+

Twenty-three-year-old Scott Pilgrim is a bassist in a band with high aspirations. After being dumped by his former girlfriend, now a successful musician with her own band, he begins dating Knives Chau, a cute high-school girl five years younger than him.

But then Ramona Flowers rollerblades into his life – and his dreams. A mysterious girl with ever-changing hair colors and a past that nobody seems to know much about, Scott can’t help but feel drawn to her and the intrigue she brings.

After Scott falls in love with Ramona, he struggles to let go of Knives and tries to romance Ramona. Things aren’t that simple, though.

To make matters worse, Ramona comes with baggage. She has seven vengeful ex-lovers who want her back, and now Scott must decide whether or not to battle to the death with them to win Ramona’s love.

Silly, romantic, and just wacky enough to keep fresh and interesting throughout the movie, Scott Pilgrim is a must-see for teenagers who love fantasy and video games.

Sierra Burgess Is A Loser

Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (Original Netflix Sound Track)

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  • Released: 2018
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Age Rating: 13+

Sierra Burgess is a loser. She’s smart and aspirational and has dreams of going to Stanford University. But that isn’t what her classmates see. They see frumpy, freckled Sierra who blends in with the furniture.

Veronica, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. Pretty and popular, she is the worst of Sierra’s tormentors. So, when she’s approached by Jamey – a boy from another high school – she gives Jamey Sierra’s number instead as if it was hers.

Sierra and Jamey begin texting, and Sierra plays into the fact that he thinks he is texting someone else. Behind the anonymity of a different identity, she feels she can truly be herself. But when she develops feelings for him, she can’t help but wonder: Would he like her all the same if he knew who she really was?

The film is heart-warming and a testament to being yourself and is a feel-good romance for teens and their parents alike.

The Half Of It

  • Released: 2020
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, LGBTQ
  • Age Rating: 13+

Elli Chu has no friends and is only known by her classmates as someone who writes homework papers in exchange for cash. Living with her widowed father, Ellie tries to help him by making extra money.

So, when popular jock Paul Munsky approaches her not to write an essay but rather a love letter for Aster Flores, Ellie’s initial shock becomes reluctant acceptance when she realizes her bills are long overdue at home.

Although she writes in the hopes that she will woo Aster and Paul will eventually be able to go out with her, Ellie can’t help but fall in love with the girl she is writing to as well.

In a heart-warming story about forming connections in the most unlikely places and going through the waves of your first love, The Half Of It is brilliantly filmed and touches on the subject of coming to terms with your sexuality in a beautiful and touching manner.

The Princess Diaries

The Princess Diaries

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  • Released: 2001
  • Genre: Comedy, Family, Romance
  • Aage Rating: 8+

Based on the book of the same name by Meg Cabot, The Princess Diaries follows the story of Mia Thermopolis. An outcast with big, bushy brown hair, glasses, and a shy and nerdy demeanor, she has spent her teenage years learning to blend it.

But when she hears that her paternal grandmother is in town and visits her for tea, her whole life is turned upside down.

As it so happens, Mia isn’t just Mia. She is Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi – Princess of Genovia, and sole heir to the throne after her father’s passing.

Now, Mia will have to juggle the struggles of growing up, getting through high school, and learning the ropes when it comes to love, all while attending princess lessons to get her ready for her new title.

This light-hearted comedy is one for the whole family to enjoy, and the hilarity of watching our clumsy main character fumble through her new life is nothing if not super relatable.

Back To The Future

Back to the Future (4K UHD)

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  • Released: 1985
  • Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Sci-fi
  • Age Rating: 10+

In a movie that almost every parent has seen throughout their life, Back To The Future is a classic must-watch for teenagers.

Life is a dump for Marty McFly. His mother, Lorraine, has a drinking problem and his father, George, is a victim of constant bullying from his supervisor, Biff Tannen.

One night, Marty gets an unexpected call from his scientist friend Dr. ‘Doc’ Emmet Brown, telling Marty to meet him at Twin Pines Mall at 1:15 AM. It is there that Doc unveils the time machine running off plutonium built into a DeLorean, and he shows his latest invention to Marty.

But, when Marty accidentally activates the time machine, he returns to 1955, where he accidentally interferes with the meeting of his teenage parents.

Now, Marty must convince Doc that he is from the future, reunite his parents to avoid disappearing forever, and finally get back to his life in the future.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

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  • Released: 2018
  • Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
  • Age Rating: 9+

Miles Morales, a bright Brooklyn youngster, struggling to find his place in the world while managing school and family, reluctantly enrolls in an elite New York City boarding school.

Miles discovers a whole new universe hidden in an abandoned NYC subway tunnel while grappling with his new duties, only to be bitten by a radioactive spider from another realm. Miles is surprised to realize that life has become even more confusing, unaware to him that he is about to become caught in the heart of a terrible inter-dimensional struggle.

Miles, young and inexperienced, has no choice but to master his unexpected skills while the fate of the cosmos hangs in the balance, despite his belief that not everyone is cut out to be a hero.

But is Miles willing to take a chance and become Spider-Man?

Conclusion

We can’t get enough of our favorite movies for teenagers. Our list of the top picks also has something for everyone. So, whether you’re watching alone or you’ve gathered your friends and family for a movie night, you can go ahead and sit back, get comfortable, and enjoy!

References:

Seventeen Magazine: 55 Best Teen Movies You Can’t Grow Up Without Watching

Good Housekeeping: These 25 Teen Movies on Netflix Will Either Have You Swooning or Cringing

PureWow: The 55 Best Teen Movies of All Time

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