The 25 Best High School Movies of All Time

by malthetuxen | created - 1 month ago | updated - 4 hours ago | Public

My 25 personal favorite high school movies of all time.

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1. The Breakfast Club (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

62 Metascore

Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy

Votes: 324,432 | Gross: $45.88M

2. American Graffiti (1973)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

97 Metascore

A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 76,129 | Gross: $115.00M

3. Election (1999)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

A high school teacher's personal life becomes complicated as he works with students during the school elections, particularly with an obsessive overachiever determined to become student body president.

Director: Alexander Payne | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein, Jessica Campbell

Votes: 84,264 | Gross: $14.88M

4. Heathers (1988)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime

72 Metascore

In order to get out of the snobby clique that is destroying her good-girl reputation, an intelligent teen teams up with a dark sociopath in a plot to kill the cool kids.

Director: Michael Lehmann | Stars: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk

Votes: 80,453 | Gross: $1.11M

5. Lady Bird (2017)

R | 94 min | Comedy, Drama

94 Metascore

In 2002, an artistically inclined seventeen-year-old girl comes of age in Sacramento, California.

Director: Greta Gerwig | Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges

Votes: 187,157 | Gross: $48.96M

6. Hoop Dreams (1994)

PG-13 | 170 min | Documentary, Drama, Sport

98 Metascore

A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.

Director: Steve James | Stars: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates, Curtis Gates

Votes: 22,629 | Gross: $7.83M

7. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Drama

67 Metascore

A group of Southern California high school students are enjoying their most important subjects: sex, drugs, and rock n' roll.

Director: Amy Heckerling | Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Robert Romanus

Votes: 86,698 | Gross: $27.09M

8. Rushmore (1998)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Drama

86 Metascore

The extracurricular king of Rushmore Preparatory School is put on academic probation.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams, Seymour Cassel

Votes: 159,367 | Gross: $17.11M

9. Dead Poets Society (1989)

PG | 128 min | Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles

Votes: 380,838 | Gross: $95.86M

10. Superbad (2007)

R | 113 min | Comedy

76 Metascore

Two co-dependent high school seniors are forced to deal with separation anxiety after their plan to stage a booze-soaked party goes awry.

Director: Greg Mottola | Stars: Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader

Votes: 491,586 | Gross: $121.46M

11. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy

61 Metascore

A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the Principal thinks of that.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones

Votes: 295,042 | Gross: $70.14M

12. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

PG-13 | 103 min | Drama

67 Metascore

An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.

Director: Stephen Chbosky | Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd

Votes: 428,701 | Gross: $17.74M

13. Donnie Darko (2001)

R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

88 Metascore

A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.

Director: Richard Kelly | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne

Votes: 706,920 | Gross: $1.48M

14. Whiplash (2014)

R | 106 min | Drama, Music

88 Metascore

A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student's potential.

Director: Damien Chazelle | Stars: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser

Votes: 636,825 | Gross: $13.09M

15. Say Anything... (1989)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

85 Metascore

A noble underachiever and a beautiful valedictorian fall in love the summer before she goes off to college.

Director: Cameron Crowe | Stars: John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney, Lili Taylor

Votes: 77,655 | Gross: $20.78M

16. Dazed and Confused (1993)

R | 102 min | Comedy

78 Metascore

The adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Matthew McConaughey, Rory Cochrane

Votes: 150,229 | Gross: $7.99M

17. Back to the Future (1985)

PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

87 Metascore

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover

Votes: 960,121 | Gross: $210.61M

18. Grease (1978)

PG-13 | 110 min | Musical, Romance

70 Metascore

Good girl Sandy and greaser Danny fell in love over the summer. When they unexpectedly discover they're now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance?

Director: Randal Kleiser | Stars: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway

Votes: 215,867 | Gross: $188.76M

19. Easy A (2010)

PG-13 | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

A clean-cut high school student relies on the school's rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.

Director: Will Gluck | Stars: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley, Dan Byrd

Votes: 335,965 | Gross: $58.40M

20. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

PG-13 | 111 min | Drama

87 Metascore

A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus

Votes: 77,208

21. Juno (2007)

PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Drama

81 Metascore

Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an offbeat young woman makes an unusual decision regarding her unborn child.

Director: Jason Reitman | Stars: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman

Votes: 470,898 | Gross: $143.50M

22. Scream (1996)

R | 111 min | Horror, Mystery

65 Metascore

A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich

Votes: 265,950 | Gross: $103.05M

23. 21 Jump Street (2012)

R | 109 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

69 Metascore

A pair of underachieving cops are sent back to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring.

Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller | Stars: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Brie Larson

Votes: 484,760 | Gross: $138.45M

24. Brick (2005)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Drama

72 Metascore

A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, Emilie de Ravin, Meagan Good

Votes: 95,924 | Gross: $2.06M

25. American Pie (1999)

R | 95 min | Comedy

58 Metascore

Four teenage boys enter a pact to lose their virginity by prom night.

Directors: Paul Weitz, Chris Weitz | Stars: Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Jennifer Coolidge

Votes: 357,251 | Gross: $102.56M



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