Awesome movies with a child/teenager in the leading role

by guisreis | created - 19 Sep 2013 | updated - 1 week ago | Public

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1. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

98 Metascore

In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú

Votes: 600,327 | Gross: $37.63M

2. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

R | 155 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A filmmaker recalls his childhood when falling in love with the pictures at the cinema of his home village and forms a deep friendship with the cinema's projectionist.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore | Stars: Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili, Isa Danieli

Votes: 218,199 | Gross: $11.99M

3. Ponto Zero (2016)

84 min | Drama

While attempting to escape from a claustrophobic family scene, Enio, a 14-year-old boy, defies a stormy night that will lead to a brutal clash with fate.

Director: José Pedro Goulart | Stars: Patricia Selonk, Eucir de Souza, Larissa Tavares, Thiago Ruffoni

Votes: 110

4. City of God (2002)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

In the slums of Rio, two kids' paths diverge as one struggles to become a photographer and the other a kingpin.

Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund | Stars: Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Matheus Nachtergaele, Phellipe Haagensen

Votes: 678,846 | Gross: $7.56M

5. Little Nicholas (2009)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Family

Nicholas has every reason to keep things in life unchanged; however, when he accidentally overhears mum and dad talking about a new baby brother, his world will turn upside down. Will they abandon him to make room for the little stranger?

Director: Laurent Tirard | Stars: Maxime Godart, Vincent Claude, Charles Vaillant, Victor Carles

Votes: 11,934

6. Central Station (1998)

R | 110 min | Drama

80 Metascore

An emotive journey of a former school teacher, who writes letters for illiterate people, and a young boy, whose mother has just died, as they search for the father he never knew.

Director: Walter Salles | Stars: Fernanda Montenegro, Vinícius de Oliveira, Marília Pêra, Soia Lira

Votes: 34,783 | Gross: $5.60M

7. Children of Heaven (1997)

PG | 89 min | Drama, Family, Sport

After a boy loses his sister's pair of shoes, he goes on a series of adventures in order to find them. When he can't, he tries a new way to "win" a new pair.

Director: Majid Majidi | Stars: Mohammad Amir Naji, Amir Farrokh Hashemian, Bahare Seddiqi, Nafise Jafar-Mohammadi

Votes: 60,594 | Gross: $0.93M

8. The Miracle of Bern (2003)

118 min | Drama, Sport

A young boy from a working class family in post-war Germany struggles with his estranged father returning from war captivity, while a friend of his plays for the German National Soccer Team at the 1954 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland.

Director: Sönke Wortmann | Stars: Louis Klamroth, Peter Lohmeyer, Johanna Gastdorf, Lucas Gregorowicz

Votes: 6,416

9. Come and See (1985)

Not Rated | 142 min | Drama, War

After finding an old rifle, a young boy joins the Soviet resistance movement against ruthless German forces and experiences the horrors of World War II.

Director: Elem Klimov | Stars: Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Laucevicius, Vladas Bagdonas

Votes: 50,908

11. Let the Right One In (2008)

R | 114 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

82 Metascore

Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.

Director: Tomas Alfredson | Stars: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl

Votes: 201,110 | Gross: $2.12M

12. Lion (2016)

PG-13 | 118 min | Biography, Drama

69 Metascore

A five-year-old Indian boy is adopted by an Australian couple after getting lost hundreds of kilometers from home. 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.

Director: Garth Davis | Stars: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Sunny Pawar

Votes: 202,249 | Gross: $51.74M

13. Machuca (2004)

Not Rated | 121 min | Biography, Drama, History

76 Metascore

Two 12-year-old Chilean children from different social classes become friends in 1973. They both discover each other's world as political tensions in their country increase.

Director: Andrés Wood | Stars: Matías Quer, Ariel Mateluna, Manuela Martelli, Aline Küppenheim

Votes: 10,656

14. Blame it on Fidel (2006)

Unrated | 99 min | Drama, History

74 Metascore

A 9-year-old girl weathers big changes in her household as her parents become radical political activists in 1970-71 Paris.

Director: Julie Gavras | Stars: Nina Kervel-Bey, Julie Depardieu, Stefano Accorsi, Benjamin Feuillet

Votes: 4,855 | Gross: $0.17M

15. Valentin (I) (2002)

PG-13 | 86 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

52 Metascore

An 8-year-old boy, raised by his grandmother, is surrounded by problems in his family he finds only himself capable of solving.

Director: Alejandro Agresti | Stars: Rodrigo Noya, Alejandro Agresti, Julieta Cardinali, Carmen Maura

Votes: 4,103 | Gross: $0.28M

16. The President (2014)

119 min | Drama

67 Metascore

A brutal dictator comes face to face with the injustices committed by his regime when his country is taken over by revolutionists.

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf | Stars: Mikheil Gomiashvili, Dachi Orvelashvili, Ia Sukhitashvili, Guja Burduli

Votes: 1,370

17. The Breadwinner (2017)

PG-13 | 94 min | Animation, Drama, Family

78 Metascore

In 2001, Afghanistan is under the control of the Taliban. When her father is captured, a determined young girl disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family.

Director: Nora Twomey | Stars: Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Noorin Gulamgaus, Laara Sadiq

Votes: 17,942 | Gross: $0.31M

18. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

R | 101 min | Comedy, Drama

80 Metascore

A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.

Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris | Stars: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Abigail Breslin

Votes: 427,151 | Gross: $59.89M

19. Monsieur Ibrahim (2003)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama

69 Metascore

In Paris, a Turkish shop owner befriends a Jewish boy in his mid-teens.

Director: François Dupeyron | Stars: Omar Sharif, Pierre Boulanger, Gilbert Melki, Isabelle Renauld

Votes: 10,575 | Gross: $2.82M

20. The White Balloon (1995)

Unrated | 85 min | Drama, Family

Several people try to help a little girl to find the money her mom gave her to buy a goldfish with.

Director: Jafar Panahi | Stars: Aida Mohammadkhani, Mohsen Kafili, Fereshteh Sadre Orafaiy, Anna Borkowska

Votes: 6,372 | Gross: $0.47M

21. Promises (2001)

106 min | Documentary

80 Metascore

Several Jewish and Palestinian children are followed for three years and put in touch with each other, in this alternative look at the Jewish-Palestinian conflict. The three filmmakers ... See full summary »

Directors: B.Z. Goldberg, Justine Shapiro, Carlos Bolado | Stars: Moishe Bar Am, B.Z. Goldberg, Shlomo Green, Sanabel Hassan

Votes: 2,537 | Gross: $0.24M

22. Kamchatka (2002)

106 min | Drama

The film is seen through the eyes of a ten-year-old boy, Harry (Matías del Pozo), who does not know that Argentina's 1976 coup d'état is impacting his life. After witnessing the "... See full summary »

Director: Marcelo Piñeyro | Stars: Ricardo Darín, Cecilia Roth, Héctor Alterio, Fernanda Mistral

Votes: 3,286

23. Hugo (2011)

PG | 126 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

83 Metascore

In 1931 Paris, an orphan living in the walls of a train station gets wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee, Ben Kingsley

Votes: 296,608 | Gross: $73.86M

24. True Grit (2010)

PG-13 | 110 min | Drama, Western

80 Metascore

A stubborn teenager enlists the help of a tough U.S. Marshal to track down her father's murderer.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Brolin

Votes: 300,083 | Gross: $171.24M

26. Léon: The Professional (1994)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. An unusual relationship forms as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello

Votes: 993,353 | Gross: $19.50M

Almost the leading role... Natalie Portman's first film!

27. O Diabo a Quatro (2004)

108 min | Comedy

In Copabacana, the pothead surfer Paulo Roberto is the son of a politician with a dysfunctional family that spends the day surfing and smoking grass. The family maid has a son, the ... See full summary »

Director: Alice de Andrade | Stars: Marcelo Faria, Maria Flor, Márcio Libar, Netinho Alves

Votes: 267

28. Butterfly (1999)

R | 96 min | Drama

69 Metascore

For Moncho, it's an idyllic year: he starts school, he has a wonderful teacher, he makes a friend in Roque, he begins to figure out some of the mysteries of Eros, and, with his older ... See full summary »

Director: José Luis Cuerda | Stars: Manuel Lozano, Fernando Fernán Gómez, Uxía Blanco, Gonzalo Uriarte

Votes: 7,991 | Gross: $2.09M

29. Castle Ra-Tim-Bum (1999)

108 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

A young wizard must create new spells in his magic book before the planets align. His uncle and aunt, powerful mages themselves, help him achieve that. Based on the award-winning Brazilian TV series.

Director: Cao Hamburger | Stars: Diego Kozievitch, Rosi Campos, Sérgio Mamberti, Marieta Severo

Votes: 607

30. The Year My Parents Went on Vacation (2006)

PG | 110 min | Drama

67 Metascore

A boy is left alone in a Jewish neighborhood in the year of 1970, where both world cup and dictatorship happen in Brazil.

Director: Cao Hamburger | Stars: Michel Joelsas, Germano Haiut, Daniela Piepszyk, Paulo Autran

Votes: 5,880 | Gross: $0.76M

31. Maman(s) (2015)

20 min | Short, Drama, Family

The 8-year-old Aida lives in an apartment in the Parisian suburb. The daily life of Aida and the whole family is overwhelmed when her father comes back from Senegal, their country of origin... See full summary »

Director: Maïmouna Doucouré | Stars: Sokhna Diallo, Maïmouna Gueye, Eriq Ebouaney, Azize Diabaté Abdoulaye

Votes: 105

32. Trash (I) (2014)

R | 114 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

50 Metascore

Set in Brazil, three kids who make a discovery in a garbage dump soon find themselves running from the cops and trying to right a terrible wrong.

Directors: Stephen Daldry, Christian Duurvoort | Stars: Rickson Tevez, Gabriel Weinstein, Martin Sheen, Rooney Mara

Votes: 19,838 | Gross: $0.01M

33. The Golden Compass (2007)

PG-13 | 113 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

51 Metascore

In a parallel universe, young Lyra Belacqua journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organization.

Director: Chris Weitz | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards, Ben Walker

Votes: 175,442 | Gross: $70.11M

34. The Cup (1999)

G | 93 min | Comedy, Sport

70 Metascore

While the soccer World Cup is being played in France, two young Tibetan refugees arrive at a monastery/boarding school in exile in India. Its atmosphere of serene contemplation is somewhat ... See full summary »

Director: Khyentse Norbu | Stars: Orgyen Tobgyal, Neten Chokling, Jamyang Lodro, Lama Chonjor

Votes: 2,813 | Gross: $1.07M

35. Wadjda (2012)

PG | 98 min | Comedy, Drama

81 Metascore

An enterprising Saudi girl signs on for her school's Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remaining funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest.

Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour | Stars: Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdullrahman Al Gohani, Ahd

Votes: 17,759 | Gross: $1.35M

36. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

PG | 152 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

64 Metascore

An orphaned boy enrolls in a school of wizardry, where he learns the truth about himself, his family and the terrible evil that haunts the magical world.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith

Votes: 612,844 | Gross: $317.58M

37. The Kite Runner (2007)

PG-13 | 128 min | Drama

61 Metascore

After spending years in California, Amir returns to his homeland in Afghanistan to help his old friend Hassan, whose son is in trouble.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Khalid Abdalla, Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada, Atossa Leoni, Shaun Toub

Votes: 76,187 | Gross: $15.80M

38. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

G | 86 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

86 Metascore

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto, Shigesato Itoi

Votes: 270,015 | Gross: $1.11M

39. Antboy (2013)

PG | 77 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

12-year-old Pelle is bitten by an ant and develops superpowers. Aided by comic book nerd Wilhelm, Pelle creates a secret identity as superhero Antboy. When a super villain The Flea enters the scene, Antboy must step up to the challenge.

Director: Ask Hasselbalch | Stars: Oscar Dietz, Amalie Kruse Jensen, Samuel Ting Graf, Nicolas Bro

Votes: 1,841

40. The Kid (1921)

Passed | 68 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan, Carl Miller

Votes: 106,634 | Gross: $5.45M

41. Yaaba (1989)

90 min | Drama, Family

A small African village. The story focuses on Bila, a ten year old boy who befriends an old woman, Sana. Everybody calls her 'Witch' but Bila himself calls her 'Yaaba' (grandmother). When ... See full summary »

Director: Idrissa Ouedraogo | Stars: Fatimata Sanga, Noufou Ouédraogo, Roukietou Barry, Adama Ouédraogo

Votes: 585

42. Bad Hair (2013)

93 min | Drama

74 Metascore

A nine-year-old boy's preening obsession with straightening his hair elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother.

Director: Mariana Rondón | Stars: Samuel Lange Zambrano, Samantha Castillo, Beto Benites, Nelly Ramos

Votes: 2,009

43. The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Fantasy

87 Metascore

In 1940, after watching and being traumatized by the movie Frankenstein (1931), a sensitive seven year-old girl living in a small Spanish village drifts into her own fantasy world.

Director: Víctor Erice | Stars: Fernando Fernán Gómez, Teresa Gimpera, Ana Torrent, Isabel Tellería

Votes: 16,034

44. Red Princesses (2013)

102 min | Drama

Family is no longer a safe place to grow up.

Director: Laura Astorga | Stars: Valeria Conejo, Aura Dinarte, Carol Sanabria, Fernando Bolaños

Votes: 67

45. Matilda (1996)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

72 Metascore

Story of a wonderful little girl, who happens to be a genius, and her wonderful teacher vs. the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable.

Director: Danny DeVito | Stars: Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Mara Wilson, Embeth Davidtz

Votes: 121,290 | Gross: $33.08M

46. Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Not Rated | 137 min | Drama, War