The Best High School Movies

thekjmachine August 31, 2020

What are the best high school movies of all time, or nowadays, series? That depends on who people ask. Each generation is drawn to the movies they grew up with. One thing that’s hard to deny is the influence of High School Films on each generation. Whether it’s a fun romp like Ferris Buehler’s Day Off or something more serious like the HBO series Euphoria starring Zendaya that tackles hardcore issues, people relate to shows and movies about high school students. Most people relate to shows about students since school was a part of our lives through varied experiences, whether dramatic, fun, or noteworthy.

So, while everybody might not agree on the best high school movie, they can agree on the impact these movies and shows have on people everywhere, especially the younger crowd. In fact, Dart News Online said that “Teenage movies reflect popular culture of each generation,” and they nailed it. Are they always realistic? They tend to be more dramatized, but with reason. It makes a more significant impact. Entertainment Weekly made a list in 2015 of what they considered the 50 Best High School Movies.

One of the things that’s always interesting is how old the actual actors are when they play the role of a teenager in a high school movie or series. Take, for example, The Breakfast Club. While Anthony Michael Hall was only 16, Judd Nelson was 25. Molly Ringwald was 16, but Ally Sheedy was 22. In the movie Grease, at the age of 34, Stockard Channing played a high school student. Zendaya was born in 1996, which says she’s definitely beyond the age of a high school student—and yet, she plays the part so well.

When it comes to culture, people take cues from trends, styles, language, and more. It’s a reflection of wanting to relate, relive the past’s fun, or connect with the emotions brought out by a film. That’s the magic of the entertainment industry. The emotional draw of movies can offer us mini experiences as audiences get to live out dangerous adventures safely, fall in love again, or get drawn deeply into tangled webs of twisted feelings and things they might never go through. 

There’s a layer of awe, special effects, but more than anything, a connection to a well-drawn character or storyline. We are allowed to escape into a world of another and relinquish our stress, fears, or even squash our boredom if just for another day.

What's your favorite high school movie or series? Let me know in the comments.​