As our children get older, we all experience that inner dread that their childhoods are passing us by. One minute they’re learning to walk, and the next, they’re graduating high school.
It seems that these moments pass with a blink of an eye, and, unfortunately, there is not much we can do to slow that time down.
All we can do is make the most of every moment, and try to make as many memories with them while they’re around. When you’re waving them off to college, you don’t want to regret the moments you never spent with them.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that make the most memorable moments. For example, sharing an evening watching a classic movie.
In this list, we have put together 25 movies that you should watch with your teen, or teens. These are all family-friendly movies, but contain themes and humor that teenagers and adults alike will appreciate.
It may be the case that you have already seen some of these movies, or your teen has some of these movies, and you haven’t.
Hopefully, there will be, at least, one movie that neither of you have seen, so you can experience it together for the very first time.
So, grab some popcorn, pile onto the couch, and get started. Here are 25 timeless movies that you should watch with your teen.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Here is a timeless 80s movie to start things off. Teenagers and adults alike have cherished this movie for centuries.
We were all inspired by this tale to at least fantasize about skipping class and going on an escapade with our pals across the city. Introduce this classic to your teen, if they haven’t already seen it.
“Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by Regina George.”
Everyone who went to a public high school will have had the unfortunate encounter with their own school’s version of Plastics. This is why this movie is so relatable!
This timeless comedy has entertained young people for many years, and will continue to do so. We recommend watching on a Wednesday… while wearing pink.
The Hunger Games trilogy
“May the odds be ever in your favor.”
Following the successes of other YA books-turned-to-movies, such as Harry Potter and Twilight. The Hunger Games made a huge impact on the world during the 2010s.
Surprisingly heavy-hitting for a teen series, this is a trilogy that can be enjoyed at all ages. Start the night early, and marathon through all three of the movies in one evening!
13 Going on 30
“I want to be 30… 30, and flirty, and thriving…”
Did you know that those who were 13-years-old when this movie was first released are now 30 (or 31) in 2022? No matter how old you are, this movie is enjoyable for the whole family.
A Walk To Remember
“Our love is like the wind; I can’t see it, but I sure can feel it.”
If you’re looking for a soppy love story that’ll have you in tears by the end, this is the one for you. The twist may catch you off guard if it’s your first time viewing.
Don’t forget to have some tissues on hand to share around while watching this one.
“…and in conclusion, may I please remind you that it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty!”
If you had to choose a teen movie to define the 1990s, Clueless is probably the first one that comes to mind. Watch this with your teen, and show them what fashion used to look like.
Pretty In Pink
“You know, it’s so insane that someone you’ve never met – never talked to – can be your enemy.”
This is the first John Hughes movie on this list, but not the last. After all, no teen movie list would ever be complete without them. Pretty in Pink will make you laugh, cry, and most importantly, have fun.
Stand By Me
“I never had any friends later on like the one I had when I was 12.”
While Stand By Me’s main cast consists of a bunch of pre-teen boys, this is definitely not a kids’ movie. This movie taught us the importance of friendship, and how important our childhoods were.
“This is one doodle that can’t be un-did, home skillet.”
Despite the fact that Juno is primarily a comedy, the entire narrative is really moving. This movie does a fantastic job at portraying the difficulties of a teen pregnancy while maintaining the witty humor.
The Harry Potter series
“The boy who lived, come to die.”
We refuse to believe that there are still people who have never seen the Harry Potter movies. This is a series that defined an entire generation of children.
Your teen has probably already seen them, but we still recommend giving them a rewatch.
A Series Of Unfortunate Events
“Children, I’m afraid I must inform you of an extremely unfortunate event.”
This somber comedy is a steadfast household favorite that only gets better and better with repeated viewings. While there is a more recent adaptation of the books, this is still our favorite.
As the wicked Count Olaf, who is attempting to cheat three orphaned siblings out of their fortune after they unexpectedly lost their parents, Jim Carrey’s performance never gets old.
The Sisterhood Of Traveling Pants
“Maybe, sometimes, it’s easier to be mad at the people you trust because you know they’ll always love you, no matter what.”
Adolescent girls will particularly enjoy this wonderful picture, which is another outstanding novel adaptation. It is a deep and clever film about friendships.
It tells the tale of four best pals who experience their first summer separated, keeping in contact through a pair of jeans that they share between them.
“Stay gold, pony boy.”
This movie version of S.E. Hinton’s well-known young adult thriller about juvenile gangs, created by Francis Ford Coppola, was huge back in the day.
Although we’re not sure if your teens would recognize them, the cast of this film features an incredible array of up-and-coming stars, including Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, and Patrick Swayze.
Is there anything better than a musical comedy? If you think so, then this is the ultimate teen movie for you and your kids to enjoy.
Not only is this movie filled with so many sing-along moments, but it’s also hilarious. Just don’t forget to do some vocal warm-ups beforehand.
“I don’t know what your generation’s fascination is with documenting your every thought, but I can assure you, they’re not all diamonds.”
Easy A is a fun yet cautionary tale that demonstrates how one seemingly inconsequential fib may have far-reaching consequences.
In this intelligent and hilarious adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s masterpiece The Scarlet Letter, Emma Stone plays a bright young girl navigating high school. This comedy has a message to impart in addition to being humorous.
The Hate U Give
“Division is how they win. Unity is how they crumble.”
Angie Thomas’ YA novel, which describes what ensues when a white police officer murders an innocent black youth, served as the inspiration for this movie.
Although you might feel uncomfortable watching this movie with your kids due to the language and themes, we believe it is important to show young people the effects of racial profiling and systematic injustice.
Back To The Future Trilogy
“Wait a minute, Doc… are you telling me you built a time machine… out of a DeLorean?!”
If your teen has never had the honor of watching these three movies, then you need to deal with that ASAP. Watching the BtTF movies is a rite of passage.
Unlike Doc Brown and Marty, you won’t be able to jump in the DeLorean and go back in time to re-make these memories with your children. So, what are you waiting for?
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
If you ask us, this is truly a modern classic. While it was advertised as a standard teen movie, this will move you way more than you’d expect.
Again, grab some tissues for this one. We guarantee you won’t be able to hold your emotions back by the time the credits start scrolling.
“There is always someone prettier, or more talented, or richer than you, but it shouldn’t affect how you see yourself.”
This is yet another teen comedy that hides a much deeper message beneath the surface. The term ‘DUFF’ stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend, which Mae Whitman’s character has been dubbed.
The DUFF teaches us that, while we may not be the prettiest or funniest person in the room, it doesn’t matter. We are all DUFFs, so just be yourself!
Dead Poets Society
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race.”
The societal expectations that numerous teenagers experience will undoubtedly come up in discussion after watching this film. We challenge everyone, regardless of age, to view this if they haven’t already.
Without a question, Robin Williams gives one of his greatest performances in his entire career in this role.
The Fault In Our Stars
“Maybe ‘okay’ will be our ‘always’.”
When this book came out in the early 2010s, teenagers around the world became obsessed. Then, when the movie adaptation came out, the hype only got bigger. And, for good reason!
Don’t mistake this for being a typical, mushy, teen romance movie. We are, once again, recommending that you keep a box of tissues nearby while watching this one. It gets pretty heavy.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck on a Ferris wheel; one minute I’m on top of the world, and the next, I’m at rock bottom.”
Next, we have a touching tale about compassion and companionship that should appeal to anyone at any age.
In addition to being a sweet high school comedy, Love, Simon also broke records by becoming the first Hollywood major motion picture to focus on a gay adolescent relationship.
This is a historical piece of cinema, giving you more reason to give it a try.
“When you’re young, everything feels like the end of the world.”
Who hasn’t considered what they would do if they could travel back in time to relive their high school years?
17 Again was huge back when it came out, thanks to up-and-coming Zac Efron being the star, and continues to have a devoted following today. If you haven’t seen it, we recommend giving it a shot.
“Tina, you fat lard! Come get some dinner!”
Keep scrolling if you’re seeking for a moving film with a serious message. You won’t soon forget Napoleon Dynamite, but for different reasons.
In this offbeat comedy, one weird kid befriends another weird kid, and the plot unfolds. After watching, we challenge you to learn the dance routine by heart – yes, that dance routine!
The Breakfast Club
“When you grow up, your heart dies.”
Last, but certainly not least, we have the teen movie to end all other teen movies. You simply cannot write one of these lists without mentioning The Breakfast Club.
This is a tale of a princess, a criminal, a jock, a nerd, and a basketcase.
This movie doesn’t have the most complicated plot of all time, but that’s not the point; you experience the growth of each character, and how they learn they appreciate each other for who they are.
If there is anything that we, as human beings, love to bond over, it’s art.
Movies are a special kind of art that can take you away from the real world for an hour or two, but, unlike a book, you can experience it with another person in real time.
While it may seem like such a simple thing, watching a movie with someone – especially your kids – can be such a magical experience.
So, send this list to your teen, and let them pick out which one they want to watch first. Or, maybe you’ve already spotted one that you can’t wait to recommend. Either way, set a date, and get the snacks in ready for your big night in.
We hope you found this article helpful.