The 34 Best High School Movies

Mean Girls
This is undeniably the most quoted movie of the 2000s, so watching this movie is important just to understand conversations.
10 Things I Hate About You
Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as young heartthrobs, Julia Stiles as the most "tempestuous" (read: "heinous bitch is the term used most often") ever in a teen movie.
The quintessential 90s movie and a Jane Austen adaptation, it's like so totally culturally relevant and sophisticated to watch this movie.
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Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
This is a movie for anyone who felt like an outsider in high school - it helps you realize what mattered, what didn't, and that everyone made someone else's life hell in high school.
Oh, the struggles of being underage and using a fake ID. Anyone who's ever been in that position will enjoy this.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
This movie is for anyone who has ever felt like they don't fit in. It's beautiful; it's perfect.
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Sixteen Candles
Teens often feel invisible, but none are so invisible that their family forgets their birthdays. Between the guy of her dreams, the creep who wants her underwear, and foreign exchange student Long Duck Dong, this is a classic.
The Breakfast Club
The rebel, the princess, the jock, the nerd, the basketcase. Surely you fit one of these descriptions at some point.
The Bling Ring
A tale as old as (nouveaux riche) time: privileged teens, fed Adderall on a silver spoon, robbing celebrities.
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One of the greatest horror movies of all time, Scream is a postmodern revival of a dying genre that is still relevant and excellent.
You haven't seen Heathers? What's your damage? If you've ever wanted to take revenge on a frenemy, this is the flick for you.
Easy A
A modern take on The Scarlet Letter, it's a comedy about sex, growing up, and honesty. And Emma Stone is her usual charming self amidst a killer cast including Stanley Tucci, Amanda Bynes, Patricia Clarkson, and Lisa Kudrow.
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Ferris Bueller's Day Off
We've all fantasized about taking a day off from our responsibilities to indulge ourselves, but few achieve it as beautifully as Ferris.
Dead Poets Society
One of the most beautiful movies about the academic side of high school, this movie will inspire you to read the classics and seize the day.
A movie about changing for the one you love, about being embarrassed about who you love, and about friendship. We've all been there, but we didn't have the songs or choreography to be this fabulous.
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Bring It On
What high school movie list would be complete without this quintessential cheerleader sass-fest?
American Pie
Many teen boys have the same goal: to lose their virginity before college. This film captures just that, in all of its disastrousness.
Cruel Intentions
Bored, rich teenagers manipulating and sleeping with each others simply for entertainment's sake. This film is at once warped and romantic, hilarious and frightening. It's a must-watch.
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Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Sarah Jessica Parker is a girl who wants to be on a dance TV show, and disobeys her parents orders by auditioning and falling in love with her dance partner. You know you want to watch it.
Rebel Without a Cause
A story about not fitting in, about being misunderstood. Classic James Dean. Classic high school. Poor Plato.
Stand and Deliver
One of the most inspiring teachers in movie history, Edward James Olmos' performance as a teacher at East LA's Garfield High has stayed with me since 6th grade math class.
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Wild Things
Not your typical high school story, what with the student/teacher rape allegations, but it's a sexually-charged story you won't soon forget.
She's All That
A high school version of Pygmalion, it's a classic story that is watchable and enjoyable, regardless if it's a nerdy high school artist, a hooker on Hollywood Blvd., or a flower girl in London.
American Graffiti
This is the sort of movie that will make you wish you grew up in another era - one where everyone in town headed to the burger joint after the big game.
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The Outsiders
This is the sort of movie that reminds you to stay golden. More importantly, it's chockfull of eye candy, ladies!
Filled with the teen angst and whimsy you'd expect to find in a Wes Anderson movie, this film is almost undefinable in its genre.
Not your traditional high school movie, Election is amazing just as a film simply because of how manic Reese Witherspoon is.
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Fast Times At Ridgemont High
This is THE classic high school movie. If you haven't seen it, ignore this list and watch it immediately.
Dazed and Confused
Dazed and Confused is possibly the best movie to watch when you have no idea what to watch.
Friday Night Lights
While no high school movie list is complete without a football flick, this is so much more than that. It's about a community joining together behind one team.
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Never Been Kissed
This is the movie for anyone who wishes they could go back to high school and redeem themselves. We are not Josie Grossie anymore.
If this movie doesn't terrify you, you were probably one of these girls. Drugs, self-mutilation, sexual experimentation, addiction, family issues - this film is a cornucopia of dysfunction.
Napoleon Dynamite
We really have no idea how to categorize this odd gem of a movie. It's a must-watch, but we really can't offer any insights.
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Tanner Hall
A story about frenemies, growing up, friends drifting apart, and temptation. It's not everyone's high school experience, but it's a lovely film nonetheless.