Favorite Coming of Age Films

by jdlongh | created - 12 Oct 2012 | updated - 08 Jan 2016 | Public
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1. Into the Wild (2007)

R | 148 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

73 Metascore

After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.

Director: Sean Penn | Stars: Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener, Marcia Gay Harden

Votes: 505,583 | Gross: $18.35M

2. The Squid and the Whale (2005)

R | 81 min | Comedy, Drama

82 Metascore

Follows two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.

Director: Noah Baumbach | Stars: Owen Kline, Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg

Votes: 67,778 | Gross: $7.36M

3. Igby Goes Down (2002)

R | 98 min | Comedy, Drama

72 Metascore

A young man's peculiar upbringing renders him unable to competently cope with the struggle of growing up.

Director: Burr Steers | Stars: Kieran Culkin, Susan Sarandon, Jeff Goldblum, Claire Danes

Votes: 30,506 | Gross: $4.68M

4. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

PG-13 | 94 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray

Votes: 280,410 | Gross: $45.51M

5. Adventureland (2009)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

In the summer of 1987, a college graduate takes a 'nowhere' job at his local amusement park, only to find it's the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.

Director: Greg Mottola | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Kelsey Ledgin

Votes: 144,003 | Gross: $16.03M

6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

PG-13 | 102 min | Drama, Romance

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: 408,890 | Gross: $17.74M

7. The Education of Charlie Banks (2007)

R | 100 min | Drama

50 Metascore

College student Charlie Banks has to face old problems when the bully he had an unpleasant encounter with back in high school shows up on his campus.

Director: Fred Durst | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Ritter, Eva Amurri Martino, Chris Marquette

Votes: 4,659 | Gross: $0.01M

8. It's Kind of a Funny Story (2010)

PG-13 | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

63 Metascore

A clinically depressed teenager gets a new start after he checks himself into an adult psychiatric ward.

Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck | Stars: Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts, Dana DeVestern

Votes: 122,010 | Gross: $6.35M

9. The Art of Getting By (2011)

PG-13 | 83 min | Drama, Romance

36 Metascore

George, a lonely and fatalistic teen who has made it all the way to his senior year without ever having done a real day of work, is befriended by Sally, a popular but complicated girl who recognizes in him a kindred spirit.

Director: Gavin Wiesen | Stars: Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Sasha Spielberg

Votes: 52,203 | Gross: $1.43M

10. Lords of Dogtown (2005)

PG-13 | 107 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

56 Metascore

The film follows the surf and skateboarding trends that originated in Venice, California during the 1970's.

Director: Catherine Hardwicke | Stars: Heath Ledger, Emile Hirsch, Victor Rasuk, Johnny Knoxville

Votes: 48,108 | Gross: $11.01M

11. Good Will Hunting (1997)

R | 126 min | Drama

70 Metascore

Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 730,356 | Gross: $138.43M

12. 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: 454,992 | Gross: $143.50M

13. 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: 397,499 | Gross: $59.89M

14. Youth in Revolt (2009)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

63 Metascore

While his trailer trash parents teeter on the edge of divorce, Nick Twisp sets his sights on dream girl Sheeni Saunders, hoping that she'll be the one to take away his virginity.

Director: Miguel Arteta | Stars: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Ray Liotta, Jean Smart

Votes: 69,399 | Gross: $15.28M

15. Assassination of a High School President (2008)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

At a Catholic high school, the popular girl teams up with a sophomore newspaper reporter to investigate a case of stolen SAT exams. Once the duo target their suspects, a larger conspiracy is unearthed.

Director: Brett Simon | Stars: Reece Thompson, Mischa Barton, Bruce Willis, Michael Rapaport

Votes: 14,841

16. The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Drama

69 Metascore

A group of Catholic school friends, after being caught drawing an obscene comic book, plan a heist that will outdo their previous prank and make them local legends.

Director: Peter Care | Stars: Kieran Culkin, Jena Malone, Emile Hirsch, Vincent D'Onofrio

Votes: 12,540 | Gross: $1.78M

17. Cherry (I) (2010)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Drama

An Ivy League freshman gets an unexpected education when he falls for an older woman and her 14 year-old daughter develops a crush on him.

Director: Jeffrey Fine | Stars: Kyle Gallner, Laura Allen, Britt Robertson, Matt Walsh

Votes: 4,057 | Gross: $0.01M

18. Almost Famous (2000)

R | 122 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

90 Metascore

A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies them on their concert tour.

Director: Cameron Crowe | Stars: Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Frances McDormand

Votes: 228,928 | Gross: $32.53M

19. The Basketball Diaries (1995)

R | 102 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

46 Metascore

A teenager finds his dreams of becoming a basketball star threatened after he free falls into the harrowing world of drug addiction.

Director: Scott Kalvert | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, Marilyn Sokol, James Madio

Votes: 90,872 | Gross: $2.42M

20. The Wackness (2008)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

61 Metascore

It's the summer of 1994, and the streets of New York are pulsing with hip-hop. Set against this backdrop, a lonely teenager named Luke Shapiro spends his last summer before university selling marijuana throughout New York City, trading it with his unorthodox psychotherapist for treatment, while having a crush on his stepdaughter.

Director: Jonathan Levine | Stars: Josh Peck, Ben Kingsley, Olivia Thirlby, Famke Janssen

Votes: 28,694 | Gross: $2.08M

21. Skipped Parts (2000)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

An ungrounded young mother and her thoughtful teenage son are banished to a remote provincial town by a domineering father.

Director: Tamra Davis | Stars: Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mischa Barton, Bug Hall

Votes: 2,971

22. A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006)

R | 100 min | Crime, Drama

67 Metascore

The movie is a coming-of-age drama about a boy growing up in Astoria, New York during the 1980s. As his friends end up dead, on drugs, or in prison. He comes to believe he has been saved from their fates by various so-called saints.

Director: Dito Montiel | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Rosario Dawson, Shia LaBeouf, Dianne Wiest

Votes: 23,578 | Gross: $0.52M

23. Detroit Rock City (1999)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Music

33 Metascore

In 1978, four rebellious teenagers try to scam their way into a KISS concert.

Director: Adam Rifkin | Stars: Edward Furlong, Giuseppe Andrews, James DeBello, Sam Huntington

Votes: 32,672 | Gross: $4.22M

24. Mean Creek (2004)

R | 90 min | Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

When a teen is bullied, his brother and friends lure the bully into the woods to seek revenge.

Director: Jacob Estes | Stars: Rory Culkin, Ryan Kelley, Scott Mechlowicz, Trevor Morgan

Votes: 28,690 | Gross: $0.60M

25. Lymelife (2008)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

A family unit begins to bow under the pressure of a failing marriage.

Director: Derick Martini | Stars: Rory Culkin, Alec Baldwin, Jill Hennessy, Emma Roberts

Votes: 13,231 | Gross: $0.43M

26. Hesher (2010)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama

45 Metascore

A young boy has lost his mother and is losing touch with his father and the world around him. Then he meets Hesher who manages to make his life even more chaotic.

Director: Spencer Susser | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Devin Brochu, Natalie Portman, Rainn Wilson

Votes: 47,571 | Gross: $0.38M

27. Mysterious Skin (2004)

Unrated | 105 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

73 Metascore

A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.

Director: Gregg Araki | Stars: Brady Corbet, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elisabeth Shue, Chase Ellison

Votes: 61,592 | Gross: $0.70M

28. Flipped (I) (2010)

PG | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

45 Metascore

Two eighth-graders start to have feelings for each other despite being total opposites.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Madeline Carroll, Callan McAuliffe, Rebecca De Mornay, Anthony Edwards

Votes: 72,261 | Gross: $1.75M

29. The Virgin Suicides (1999)

R | 97 min | Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

A group of male friends become obsessed with five mysterious sisters who are sheltered by their strict, religious parents in suburban Detroit in the mid 1970s.

Director: Sofia Coppola | Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, James Woods, Kathleen Turner

Votes: 130,653 | Gross: $4.86M

30. The Lookout (2007)

R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

73 Metascore

Chris is a once promising high school athlete whose life is turned upside down following a tragic accident. As he tries to maintain a normal life, he takes a job as a janitor at a bank, where he ultimately finds himself caught up in a planned heist.

Director: Scott Frank | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels, Matthew Goode, Isla Fisher

Votes: 54,027 | Gross: $4.60M

31. Bully (2001)

R | 108 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

45 Metascore

A pack of naïve teenagers conspire to murder a mutual friend, whose aggressive demeanor has proved too much.

Director: Larry Clark | Stars: Brad Renfro, Nick Stahl, Bijou Phillips, Rachel Miner

Votes: 31,731 | Gross: $1.54M

32. Saved! (2004)

PG-13 | 92 min | Comedy, Drama

62 Metascore

When a girl attending a Christian high school becomes pregnant, she finds herself ostracized and demonized, as all of her former friends turn on her.

Director: Brian Dannelly | Stars: Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin, Patrick Fugit

Votes: 42,437 | Gross: $8.94M

33. Heathers (1988)

R | 103 min | Comedy

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: 73,697 | Gross: $1.11M

34. The Way Way Back (2013)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy, Drama

68 Metascore

Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.

Directors: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash | Stars: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb

Votes: 129,497 | Gross: $21.50M

35. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)

PG-13 | 105 min | Comedy, Drama

74 Metascore

High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.

Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon | Stars: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman

Votes: 107,401 | Gross: $6.74M

36. The Spectacular Now (2013)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

A hard-partying high school senior's philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical "nice girl."

Director: James Ponsoldt | Stars: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Votes: 128,288 | Gross: $6.85M

37. The Kings of Summer (2013)

R | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

61 Metascore

Three teenage friends, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land.

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts | Stars: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman

Votes: 71,231 | Gross: $1.29M

38. Short Term 12 (2013)

R | 96 min | Drama

82 Metascore

A 20-something supervising staff member of a residential treatment facility navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend.

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton | Stars: Brie Larson, Frantz Turner, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever

Votes: 69,305 | Gross: $1.01M



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