Growing up is a time of confusion, heartbreaks, misery and pain but it is also a time of excitement and adventure and at the end of it you come out having found yourself. Coming-of-age movies tell this story that everyone goes through once in their lifetime. That’s why coming-of-age movies are so attractive and people feel connected to them. There have been some really great movies made over the years that tell the tale of growing up and becoming an adult.
10. Little Miss Sunshine:
Little Miss Sunshine is the story of a dysfunctional family that goes through an adventure while trying to make it to a beauty pageant that the daughter is participating in. Through the adventure they all learn a little about themselves and about life and everyone grows up a little. It teaches us that you don’t stop growing up even after becoming an adult.
9. Moonrise Kingdom:
Moonrise Kingdom is the story of a young boy and girl in love who run away from home to be together. The boy is a scout and the girl is just an eccentric little dreamer. The adventure that they start leads to them learning about life and love and about who they are. An unpredictable storyline and some great actors make it a must watch movie.
8. The Breakfast Club:
The Breakfast Club is the story of 5 teenagers who study in the same school but are not friends as they belong to different stereotypical cliques. They are forced to spend 8 hours together in detention and slowly find that they are not so different after all. It is considered one of the best coming-of-age movies ever made and deals with teenage issues in a lighthearted but effective manner.
7. Almost Famous:
Every teenager dreams of being a rock star and living the rock lifestyle. In Almost Famous a young teenager writer for Rolling Stone magazine gets this opportunity to tag along with a rock band and experience first hand how they live and work. They go through a typical adventure and everybody learns a bit about themselves and about life.
6. The Squid and the Whale:
The Squid and the Whale is an award winning coming of age story of two brothers who have to grow up while dealing with the divorce of their parents. The two boys end up taking sides as one supports his mother while the other supports his father. Their angst comes out in different ways and with the help of a therapist they are able to understand what they are going through.
5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower:
If Catcher in the Rye is the ultimate coming of age book, then The Perks of Being a Wallflower has to be one of the best coming of age movies as it is based on a novel of the same name which is highly inspired by Catcher in the Rye. This is the story of a shy introvert young boy who is dealing with the death of his best friend, mental illness and sexual abuse suffered during childhood.
4. Empire of the Sun:
Empire of the Sun is a masterpiece of talented director Steven Spielberg. It tells the story of a young British boy who forms a friendship with a Japanese teenager while in an internment camp during World War II. It’s one of the best war films ever made and tells the classic tale of ‘loss of innocence’ that happens during a war.
3. Dead Poets Society:
This is a classic coming of age movie that everyone has seen and loved. Who hasn’t wished they had a teacher like Keating and who hasn’t felt the helplessness and angst that drove Neil to suicide. It’s a great tale about life and what it means to grow up. It questions the rightness of the adult world and its rules.
2. The 400 Blows:
The 400 Blows is a 1959 French film that is known as one of the defining films of the French New Wave Cinema Movement. It is a story of a troubled preteen youth who is tormented by his stepfather and insensitive teacher. He runs away from home and school repeatedly and is sent first to prison and then to a youth facility where a psychiatrist tries to help him.
1. Stand by Me:
The best coming of age movie has to be the 1986 classic, Stand by Me. This is a story of four friends who set out on an adventure to find the body of a missing boy. The four friends represent four stereotypical kids with their own set of problems and how during their adventure they learn that each is not what he seems. It’s a great movie about life, childhood and growing up.