When you think of high school movies, we don’t know what the first movie that comes to mind is; But if there’s one thing we do know, it’s that the high school years are for many the most memorable years of their lives. Friendship, friendship, love, rebellion, fight, happiness, sadness… Times when many other emotions, feelings and relationships are experienced to the fullest…
In the ordinary course of life, there are definitely times when you remember your high school years. At such times, we sometimes get emotional and sometimes smile. We experience all feelings together and intensely. We have compiled 20 high school movies for you that will take you back to your high school years.
20) Charlie Bartlett – Charlie at Work (2007) | IMDb: 7.0
Director: Jon Poll
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Charlie Bartlett, the first movie of our list of high school movies, centers on the character of Charlie, the spoiled child of a wealthy family. Expelled from every school he attended, Charlie is sent to a public school when he is expelled from the last private school he attended. When he goes to public school for the first time in his life, he naturally begins to have trouble adjusting. However, this school will be a turning point in his life.
During her time at school, she discovers that the other students she met have some problems and decides to turn this into an opportunity. He attempts to provide psychological support to students in need in the men’s restroom. He listens to their lives, even exaggerating, giving the students the drugs his doctor gave him. Although this dangerous game seems very profitable and fun for Charlie at first, it will change his life in the future.
19) American Pie (1999) | IMDb: 7.0
Director: Paul Weitz, Chris Weitz
Cast: Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas
American Pie, one of the most loved and also the most sensational films of its time, is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary films in our list of high school films. Four male high school students who are close friends have never had sexual intercourse before. Moreover, they do not know how to approach girls. This situation begins to put a psychological pressure on all four of them.
The four friends put everything aside and start working on their first sexual experience until graduation night. For this, they enter into an argument with each other. Now for them the world is just girls and they have to have a sexual relationship until graduation night comes. This will naturally come back to them as a material and moral burden.
18) Easy A – Not Known (2010) | IMDb: 7.0
Director: Will Gluck
Cast: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Olive is a self-made student in high school. However, one day, a rumor spreads in high school that she lost her virginity. This rumor spreads day by day and suddenly the whole school starts talking about Olive and her virginity. Olive tries very hard to explain that the rumors are not true, but to no avail.
At first, Olive is psychologically affected by this slander and gossip. He even thinks his life is ruined. Then something unexpected happens and Olive turns into the most popular girl in school because of all these gossip. Moreover, this popularity brings him financial gain.
17) Mean Girls – Bad Girls (2004) | IMDb: 7.0
Director: Mark Waters
Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Jonathan Bennett, Rachel McAdams
Cady was born and raised in Africa, as her parents were zoologists. Cady, who never went to school and was constantly educated at home, adopted the principle that only the fittest survive, due to the natural conditions in which she lives. However, at the age of 15, she has to go to high school and the things Cady has learned and adopted until that day suddenly come to naught.
Cady, who is shocked for a short time in the new world she enters, falls in love on top of it. And the boy he fell in love with is the ex-girlfriend of the most popular girl in school. While the laws of the jungle, which she learned until the age of 15, were already in vain in her high school life, Cady finds herself in complete chaos when love gets involved.
16) To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018) | IMDb: 7.1
Director: Susan Johnson
Cast: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Adapted from Jenny Han’s novel of the same name, the film tells the story of a 16-year-old high school girl named Lara Jean. Lara Jean is in love with 5 different people and writes a letter to each of these men. But of course he doesn’t send the letters. With the thought that no one would read the letters, he conveyed all his feelings in the most sincere way. However, one day, letters are mysteriously mailed to their owners.
When Lara finds out about the situation, the world collapses on her. The five men she loved and wrote letters to have also read the letters. Lara doesn’t know what to do in a big panic, the world is almost collapsed on her. After that, there is only one thing left to do: find out who mailed the letters…
15) Grease (1978) | IMDb: 7.2
Director: Randal Kleiser
Cast: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing
Genre: Comedy, Musical, Romance
Grease, one of the first movies that comes to mind when it comes to musicals, stands out as a classic movie in our list of high school movies. Set in the 1950s, the movie focuses on the love between Danny and Sandy. At the same time, the daily lives of a group of American high school students are among the subjects that the film focuses on.
Danny and Sandy met during summer vacation, fell in love with each other and had an unforgettable summer. But when the holidays are over, they both separate to go back to school. However, there is one thing they do not know: Sandy is enrolled in the school that Danny attends. Sandy, who thinks they will continue their love from where they left off, is disappointed. Because Danny is the leader of a gang at school and he is not the romantic and kind person Sandy knows.
While still in love with Sandy, Danny must maintain his weight in school as the leader of the gang. Sandy, in turn, joins the opposing group, the enemy of Danny and his gang. The two lovers now take place in groups that are hostile to each other.
14) The Edge of Seventeen – On the Edge of 17 (2016) | IMDb: 7.3
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner
Type: Comedy, Drama
Nadine is a girl who is unhappy with her high school life, leads a hopeless life and has a teenage depression. One day, her beloved friend Krista and her brother Darian fall in love. Because of this relationship, Nadine’s life enters an even more difficult process. Some amusing and sometimes tragicomic conflicts begin between him and his brother Darian.
The passionate relationship between Krista and Darian drives Nadine crazy day by day. As a result of all this, he feels more and more lonely every day. In such a time when everything is going bad, a man named Erwin comes into his life. Erwin is a very thoughtful and understanding man. The two form great friendships, and Nadine feels that life isn’t as bad a place as she thought.
13) Juno (2007) | IMDb: 7.4
Director: Jason Reitman
Cast: Elliot Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner
Type: Comedy, Drama
The award-winning movie of our list of high school movies, Juno, is about the experiences of Juno, who had an unexpected pregnancy. Juno is someone who has his own rules compared to his peers and lives within these rules. One day, she decides to have sex with her boyfriend, but this decision will be the turning point of her life. After learning that she got pregnant after her relationship, Juno tells her close friend Leah about the situation. Leah’s idea for Juno is to find a family to adopt the baby.
The two begin their quest to find a couple to adopt an unborn baby. Juno, who wants to get help from her family in this process, says that she is pregnant and wants to give the baby up for adoption. The family promises to help their daughter. Juno and Leah find the couple Mark and Vanessa Loring as a result of their research. The couple has been wanting to adopt for many years.
Juno’s father, Mac, wants to investigate the Loring couple and starts acting with Juno. Juno’s stepmother Bren provides emotional support to Juno during this process. Feeling the pregnancy more and more day by day, Juno realizes that she has changed and even matured not only physically but also personally. On top of that, the Loring couple have become increasingly distant from their initial happy image.
At the end of all these ups and downs, Juno begins to overcome all difficulties, taking strength from his transformation and youth. The production, which was deemed worthy of the Best Film award at the Rome Film Festival, also won many awards in different branches from various festivals.
12) Lady Bird – Ladybug (2017) | IMDb: 7.4
Director: Greta Gerwig
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts
Type: Comedy, Drama
Christine McPherson is a high school senior living in Sacramento who calls herself Ladybug. Ladybug is going through a difficult period mentally while talking about puberty, growing pains, and the upcoming university choice. There is only one thing he wants; or to get a university degree in New York.
His mother is struggling to stay with him. In addition to the depressive process she has experienced personally, her good and bad relationship with her mother puts Ladybug more and more stressed every day. Christine is determined to go to New York no matter what.
11) Entre Les Murs – Class (2008) | IMDb: 7.5
Director: Laurent Cantet
Cast: François Bégaudeau, Agame Malembo-Emene, Angelica Sancio
On our list of high school movies, we now extend to Paris. François Marin is a teacher at a high school in Paris. The high school is located in a suburb of Paris and is home to many students of different races and cultures. Both François and the other teachers hold a meeting as they start the new school year. At this meeting, they agree that they will do their best to give a good education to all of the students.
Although the teachers agree on the same idea, the method of each is different from the other. Their communication with students, their advice on achieving success, their understanding of discipline… However, all of them, including the school administration, make an effort to treat students fairly. We follow the story with a focus on François. François tries every possible way to be friends with his students and to be among them. Moreover, this effort is sometimes even to his detriment.
Speaking of different cultures, beliefs and races, the film conveys another face of France to the audience through a classroom at school. In addition to the relationships of adolescent students with each other, their families, school and life, the low wages of teachers, broken motivations, methods that are starting to be questioned are other issues that the film deals with.
10) Superbad – So Bad (2007) | IMDb: 7.6
Director: Greg Mottola
Cast: Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Evan and Seth are two teenagers about to graduate high school. These two friends, whose social skills are very low, are connected to each other at a level that can be called dependent. Therefore, they lead an antisocial life. Evan is very cowardly, and Seth is a good talker compared to Evan. Seth also stands out for his fondness for girls.
Two friends, who decide to face life more because it is their last year in high school and because they will go to different universities, take action to pick up the girls they like. Factors such as spending time with each other for years and not socializing, of course, come across at this stage. The duo engage in efforts full of mistakes in order to pick up the girls.
9) Rushmore – Crazy High Schools (1998) | IMDb: 7.7
Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Next on our list of high school movies is Wes Anderson, one of the most beloved directors. As always, Wes Anderson creates a very interesting and enjoyable high school movie by reflecting his own style and narrative style in this movie.
Max Fischer is a student who works as an editor for the school newspaper and takes an active part in many clubs in the school. However, he is not successful at all in his classes. Therefore, his application to Oxford was rejected. Fischer, who fell into a pessimistic mood about his education life after this refusal, falls in love with his teacher as if this were not enough. Life is much more difficult for him now.
8) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) | IMDb: 7.7
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Cast: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke
Type: Comedy, Drama
17-year-old Greg Gaines is a high school senior. Greg, who does not have many social environments, has chosen to be an invisible character by setting up his school life to get along with everyone. He spends most of his time with Earl, who has been his best friend since childhood. The duo’s greatest pleasure, and even the only activity, is to remake the cult movies of the history of cinema with their own interpretations.
One day, a girl named Rachel at school is diagnosed with leukemia. Greg’s mother, who is good friends with Rachel’s mother, forces Greg to spend time with Rachel. Although Greg does not accept the offer at first, he has to befriend Rachel. Later, Earl joins this duo from time to time. After a while, Greg, Rachel and Earl start hanging out together.
Rachel’s illness gets worse day by day. Greg and Earl also decide to make a movie for Rachel, this time. However, these young people, who are only 17 years old, go through difficult days when they talk about high school life, university preferences, family life, personal depressions, and friendship inquiries. Will Greg and Earl be able to finish the movie they shot for Rachel?
7) Detachment (2011) | IMDb: 7.7
Director: Tony Kaye
Cast: Adrien Brody, Christina Hendricks, Marcia Gay Harden
Henry Barthes is a very talented educator. However, he has been teaching for a while, putting his profession in the background. Henry, who was able to establish very good relations with his students, especially in a one-to-one sense, could not stay long in any school he worked in, despite these talents and success. Therefore, he could not get close enough to establish emotional bonds with both his school friends and students.
Something catches Henry’s attention at the new school he’s been working at. All teachers and students at school are very introverted. This introverted attitude even progressed to displaying pessimistic attitudes. In all this environment, Henry finds a very warm bond with the students, even though he least expects it. So much so that he makes a great effort to bring back a student who escaped from school and started living on the street, both to his family and to life again.
6) The Breakfast Club (1985) | IMDb: 7.8
Director: John Hughes
Cast: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald
Type: Comedy, Drama
Breakfast Club is not only one of our high school movies list, but one of the cult movies in the history of cinema. 5 different students, an anarchist, a nerd, an intellectual, an athlete, and a blonde, are taken to the center. These 5 students have to spend Saturday in the school library because they are suspended. Moreover, the penalties are not limited to this. They are exposed to the disturbing behavior of the school’s discipline-addicted principal.
Although the 5 characters seem different, this Saturday they spend as punishment will allow them to discover both each other and themselves. Although both its story and characters seem like a cliché, Breakfast Club is undoubtedly a very successful production that can be watched at any time.
5) The Perks of Being a Wallflower – The Benefits of Being a Pot (2012) | IMDb: 7.9
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Cast: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
Genre: Drama, Romance
Charlie, a high school student, struggles with being underestimated and ignored by his friends, while grappling with the personal problems in his own world. As if these weren’t enough, he falls into a severe depression with his best friend’s suicide attempt.
Charlie, who meets two brothers named Patrick and Sam at his new school, soon become very good friends, although it seems unlikely. Patrick and Sam try to change Charlie’s hesitant and pessimistic demeanor and turn him into a character who enjoys life. Although Charlie resists it at first, thanks to Sam and Patrick, he discovers that he can see the world in a different way.
4) Donnie Darko – The Dark Journey (2001) | IMDb: 8.0
Director: Richard Kelly
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Another classic on our list of high school movies, Donnie Darko is considered one of the best movies of the ’80s. 16-year-old Donnie Darko has been seeing a man in a bunny suit for a while. One day, this man in the bunny suit tells Donnie Darko that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, 12 seconds. When Donnie Darko finds out about this, he ends his already limited social life completely and does not leave the man in the bunny costume.
Donnie Darko, who is considered incompatible by family, school, friends and society, and does not want to follow the path drawn by these authorities, will begin to discover himself in this mysterious journey, which he does not know whether it is real or imagined.
3) Dead Poets Society (1989) | IMDb: 8.1
Director: Peter Weir
Cast: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke
Type: Comedy, Drama
Would it be okay to make a list of high school movies and skip such a classic? Of course it wouldn’t! We are in the 1950s. Welton Academy is renowned for its discipline and highly respected in the academic world. When this understanding of discipline is combined with oppressive teachers, the school becomes unbearable for students. However, the new English teacher, John Keating, starts working to implement an educational approach that has never been seen before in the history of the school.
John Keating rips out textbooks and tells students to break away from conventional and stereotyped ways of thinking. Instead of these, he should encourage his students with poetry, novels, etc. introduces literary works. The school administration notices Keating’s illegal behavior and immediately takes action and removes him from the school. Students, on the other hand, will not easily let go of their teachers who change their lives.
2) Hoop Dreams – Big Dreams (1994) | IMDb: 8.3
Director: Steve James
Cast: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates
Genre: Documentary, Drama, Sports
Hoop Dreams, the only documentary on our list of high school movies, chronicles the lives of two African-American students, William Gates and Arthur Agee. William and Arthur are in St. Petersburg in the predominantly white Westchester area. Joseph High School. Their biggest dreams are to become professional basketball players.
Living far from school, William and Arthur never give up. In order to become a professional basketball player, they travel many kilometers every day, reflecting all their energies on the field during tough training sessions. Hoop Dreams, which is considered not only as a high school movie but also as one of the most successful and impressive documentaries in the history of cinema, reflects America’s problems such as social class, race and education in a striking way.
1) The Hababam Class (1975) | IMDb: 9.3
Director: Ertem Eğilmez
Cast: Kemal Sunal, Munir Ozkul, Halit Akçatepe
Type: Comedy, Drama
We have come to the last movie of our list of high school movies. It would be impossible to make such a list and not mention the Hababam Class. Adapted from the novel of the same name by Rıfat Ilgaz, the film broke records after its release and played sold out for weeks. It is not only a comedy film, but also remains a current production with its language that criticizes the education system through students, teachers and families.
The film centers on the mischievous and lazy class of Private Çamlıca High School. With the arrival of the newly appointed assistant principal, Kel Mahmut, the students of the Hababam Class begin to experience difficult times. Kel Mahmut is a teacher who never compromises on discipline and is determined to bring Hababam Class on the right path. However, the students of the Hababam Class are not determined to leave their dominance in the school to Kel Mahmut easily.
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