Home / FASHION / The Best Coming-Of-Age Movies

The Best Coming-Of-Age Movies

(Last Updated On: December 22, 2017)

Growing up is difficult to do. Before “adulting” — that’s, clumsily impersonating our function fashions and pretending we now have our lives collectively — turned a buzzword, we “came of age.” The motion continues to be the identical: staying out too late and attempting to “find ourselves,” or constructing a brand new life in a wierd metropolis.

The neatest thing about coming-of-age films is that you would be able to watch them and get a greater understanding of your self immediately. The awkwardness of getting older is greater than pimples and puberty, and greater than the milestones of educational life. Growing up is about wanting round and piecing collectively what you need and don’t desire, who’s and is not price listening to, the place you do and do not feel secure. Whether you are working via these inner dilemmas in another person’s home — in a household residence or with a band on tour — or in your first residence, it is all powerful.

These are the perfect coming-of-age films we are able to consider. And whereas many such tales are about love, we have culled a listing of movies which have a bit extra to supply than a conventional romance, as a result of you do not have to fall in love to seek out your self. “Coming of age” is not about assembly the individual you are purported to spend the remainder of your life with, however deciding what you wish to spend the remainder of your life as.

Keep checking again earlier than your subsequent film night time. We’ll be including new films to this listing often.

My Friend Dahmer(2017)

This is not fairly a coming-of-age story — it is a coming-of- serial killer story. Derf Backderf occurred to go to high school with a younger Jeffrey Dahmer, who would go on to homicide legion younger males starting shortly after commencement. In a graphic novel, Backderf recalled his impressions of Dahmer. This film, starring Ross Lynch as Dahmer, will severely unsettle you.

Call Me By Your Name(2017)

Each yr, Elio (Timothee Chalamet) and his mother and father spend the summer season at their Italian villa, together with a visiting scholar his father has chosen. The summer season Elio is 17, David (Armie Hammer), an American, comes to remain. What occurs subsequent will twist your coronary heart till it drips…peach juice? Elio experiences a longing so pure, so aching that you’re going to be 17 once more simply by looking at it.

Lady Bird(2017)

Lady Bird’s in search of reinvention — that is why she’s switched from her given identify, Christine, to the kookier Lady Bird. She’s in her last yr at Catholic highschool in Sacramento. But earlier than she will depart all of it behind, Lady Bird has to get via a yr in highschool. This film takes all of the staples of a coming-of-age film, like relationships and friendships and moms and awkward time in-between life phases, and makes them more true.


Ten-year-old Mija grew up within the idyllic South Korean countryside caring for Okja, an enormous, pig-like creature. Then, she discovers that Okja’s truly the prototype for a (nutritious) product thought up by an enormous meat firm, the Mirando Corporation. Mija is prepared to sq. off in opposition to company America to save lots of her good friend. Outside of her city, Mija learns about how the “real” world, aka the capitalist system, works — and will not settle for it.


Granted, It is one terrifying film. But whenever you’re not leaping out of your seat with terror at Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgård), you will be laughing on the hilarious, earnest interactions of the youngsters within the Losers Club. It is sort of a mash-up of Stranger Things, Stand By Me, and your worst nightmares.

Riding round city on their bikes, the youngsters within the Losers Club expertise the summer season of our imaginations. No guidelines, no adults, simply boundless chance, with the stormclouds of rising up gathering within the distance.

Stand By Me(1986)

The group of buddies in Stand By Me are nonetheless children by their finish of their trek to seek out the supposed useless physique within the woods. But like the youngsters in Stranger Things, they emerge altered from their brush with the grownup world of loss of life and strangeness. Childhood won’t ever be the identical after realizing its permanence.

Stand By Me does its magic greatest when seen by an grownup. Instead of a coming-of-age story, Stand By Me is a becoming-a-kid-again story. You’ll keep in mind, briefly, the world as you as soon as noticed it.


After neighbors catch them enjoying a innocent recreation with boys, 5 orphaned sisters in Turkey face outsized punishment. Their conservative grandmother retains them on home arrest, and mounts a plan to get her granddaughters in marrying form. But the sisters will not undergo their household’s oppressive plan for them with out scheming first.

Narrated by the youngest sister, Mustang reveals 5 younger girls on the cusp of a fantastic and horrible change. This is the story of childhood’s pressured finish.

Little Women(1994)

There’s no extra iconic coming-of-age story than Little Women, which tracks the lives of the 4 March sisters. Plus, it contains a very, very younger Christian Bale.

Sing Street(2016)

The yr is 1985. The place, Dublin. Conor’s (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) mother and father are combating. His new college is run by a strict madman. Bullies chase him into bogs. So, he does what any boy with numerous emotions and a musical ear would: begin a band. Coming of age was by no means so catchy.

The Spectacular Now(2013)

Young love’s the subject of so many movies, however hardly ever is it dealt with with this earnest, genuine grace. While The Spectacular Now performs into the trope of a bookish lady courting a nasty boy, Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller carry a three-dimensional depth to their younger ardour that’ll make you ache on your personal highschool loves.

Mr. Nobody

This mind-bending film is in contrast to some other coming-of-age movie ever made.

Nemo Nobody is 118 years outdated, and the final mortal member of the human race. In honor of his birthday, he tells a reporter of his childhood and appears again on the pivotal second of their childhood. A boy is on a prepare tracks. He can select to go along with his mom on the prepare, his father on the tracks, or run away. From there, Mr. Nobody sees the infinite trajectories of his life.

The Way Way Back (2013)

14-year-old Duncan’s summer season down the Jersey shore along with his mother and her skeevy boyfriend isn’t shaping as much as be any enjoyable in any respect. Desperate to get out of the home, Duncan takes a job at Water Wizz water park and finds a good friend within the park’s overly pleasant supervisor. The trials and tribulations of younger teenage-dom have by no means been so endearing. Plus, seeing Steve Carrell play a villain is definitely worth the watch.

Y Tu Mamá También (2001)

Alfonso Cuarón directed what’s now thought of a seminal basic coming-of-age movie. The title roughly interprets to “and your mother, too,” a model of an insult tagline. (Think: “your mom ____.”) The movie follows Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael García Bernal), two teenage boys, as they take their life on the highway. The friendship will get knotty once they invite Luisa, a good looking mysterious girl — there’s at all times a type of — to affix them, sowing discord of their friendship.

Elvis Mitchell, writing in The New York Times, known as the film, “fast, funny, unafraid of sexuality and finally devastating.”

Whale Rider (2002)

Keisha Castle-Hughes acquired an Academy Award nomination for her function because the plucky Paikea, a younger Maori lady struggling to come back to phrases along with her patrilineal tribe.

Paikea, known as Pai, is a direct descendant of the present chieftain. The solely drawback: she’s a lady. To make issues worse, Pai had a twin stillborn brother. By custom, her late brother needs to be chief. Pai’s grandfather will not acknowledge her — till she rides the whale, that’s.

Whale Rider succeeds by taking the harrowing strategy of rising up and transposing it onto the strict guidelines of custom. In order to develop, Pai should subvert custom. Breaking the boundaries of her tightly-wound society is Pai’s coming-of-age ordeal, and each second of this New Zealand movie can have you on edge.


Boyhood is the coming-of-age movie that actually got here of age. Filmed over 12 years, the film follows Mason (Ellar Coltrane) as he traipses via adolescence. At the conclusion, Mason leaves for faculty, his “boyhood” coming to a detailed because the credit roll.

Richard Linklater’s movie is outstanding as a result of it danced between fiction and actuality. We are watching a fiction, however the actors — together with Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, and Lorelei Linklater — are topic to the very actual results of time.

Nothing actually outstanding occurs within the movie, which lasts a beneficiant three hours, however that is precisely the purpose. This bildungsroman is in regards to the sluggish churn of self-discovery and the endurance that it requires.

Almost Famous (2000)

Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman) mentioned it greatest: “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”

William Miller (Patrick Fugit) may be very, very uncool. So when the precocious teen will get an opportunity to profile an up and coming rock band for Rolling Stone, he jumps at it. There’s the plain profession enhance, in fact, but additionally the joys of the highway paired with the rock’s outlaw fantasy.

Cross crossing the nation, director Cameron Crowe’s protagonist will get a lesson in reporting — nobody is ever a dependable supply on their very own life — but additionally in friendship. He’s rapidly smitten with Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), a younger blonde fangirl who’s low key sleeping with the band’s lead singer. Penny is troubled and flighty, and William is the one one who actually cares about her. But even he tries to devour her free spirit. “I always tell the girls, never take it seriously,” Penny explains as soon as. “If you never take it seriously, you never get hurt, if you never get hurt, you always have fun. And if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends. “

The Fits (2016)

Toni (Royalty Hightower) is an 11-year-old tomboy that does not know find out how to be a teenage women. As women her age have their first awkward crushes, she hangs out along with her brother, watching him flirt with women, chuckle along with his buddies, and prepare to be a boxer. She’s modeled her life after his, till now: Toni is transfixed by the cool women, ones who appear unbothered by insecurities like her personal.

So Toni skips her brother’s boxing classes, and as a substitute tries out for the native rec heart’s dance group. She watches them, and mimics their femininity. When an eerie illness begins to unfold different women on the group, she hopes she’s not affected by the identical convulsions.

There’s a certain quantity of suspense to this film — what illness causes these women to shake and shiver with out warning? Where did it begin, and the way is it being transmitted? But its coronary heart is in Toni’s coming of age story as she begins to know gender efficiency, and her place as a younger girl in her group.

Brooklyn (2015)

Brooklyn is a 1950s immigrant story that begins out easy sufficient: Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) has simply moved from Ireland to the borough (in opposition to her mom’s higher judgement) for a greater life. She leaves the ship that introduced her to America’s shores, prepared to seek out the American promise she’s heard a lot about. In a wierd metropolis with rowdy Americans, she’s lonely sufficient to sob into her personal sheets. She may not have left a full life past, nevertheless it was a satisfying one.

Soon sufficient, she meets Tony (Emory Cohen), a boyishly good-looking Italian man at a Catholic mixer. For some time, Brooklyn masquerades as a love story: The pair sweetly fall in love and plan a life collectively. Then a tragedy at residence in Ireland requires Eilis to return to her sleepy hometown.

And that is when Brooklyn will get actually nice: It takes assembly a boy at residence (Domhnall Gleeson) to place in perspective how a lot Eilis has achieved. She’s constructed herself a life in Brooklyn, via lengthy days and lonely nights. The crux of the film is the crossroads of coming of age: Looking within the mirror and deciding between the self you’ve grown out of and the self you’ve grown into.

Splendor In The Grass (1961)

This basic, directed by Elia Kazan, is most well-known for being the primary American film to characteristic French kissing onscreen. Outside of the Natalie Wood-Warren Beatty lip motion, although, it’s a touching story of need, resistance, and the way jarring it’s to understand your mother and father are imperfect — and possibly even deeply flawed.

The story is ready in 1920s Kansas, and Bud Stamper (Beatty) and Deanie Loomis (Wood) are in love. He’s the soccer hero, inheritor to an oil fortune; she’s lady, dutiful daughter to a humble grocery-owning household. There’s no method (or motive) to place it delicately: Kissing isn’t sufficient anymore. These highschool seniors are able to do the factor they’re taught good women aren’t purported to need and good boys aren’t purported to ask for: have intercourse.

The central battle is that Deanie and Bud are trapped inside puritanical conventions about sexuality and womanhood that nobody can clarify, however which might be rigidly abided by. Some of what the film has to say about intercourse isn’t as potent so many a long time later. But the bigger questions on mother and father who love you however can’t hear or elevate or relate to you — and the way we’re tasked with loving them via it — stay.

An Education (2009)

When Jenny (Carey Mulligan) meets David, she’s a small-town lady with goals of Oxford. She’s intelligent, achieved, and bored. He’s older, curiously clean, and enjoyable. The pair doesn’t have numerous pure chemistry, however the concept of the connection is alluring, and David brings her right into a world of luxurious, teasing her with a visit to Paris. Jenny trades her textbooks for kitten heels. “My choice is to do something hard and boring for the rest of my life,” Jenny tells her instructor, selecting to put aside her research, “or to go to Paris. And have fun!”

But the grownup relationship requires Jenny to develop up in methods she didn’t count on. Loving David may not come saddled with Proust or Saussure, however their life collectively nonetheless has strings connected. As the girlish cello-playing pupil, Jenny noticed previous them. As the lady Jenny grows into, she sees via them.

Girlfight (2000)

Diana Guzman (Michelle Rodriguez) is a troubled teen climbing her method out of the dysfunction of her highschool life. She has an issue with combating. In college and at residence, her mood is at all times dragging her into bother. After spending just a few moments within the boxing ring by likelihood, she’s hooked. The aggression is thrilling, and the self-discipline of the game anchors her within the midst of the chaos of her life.

It’s vital that boxing is what wins Guzman’s curiosity. The sport is dominated by testosterone and physicality. To the lads and boys who encompass her, Guzman’s entrance into the boxing gymnasium upsets their masculine energy. “This is a story about a girl growing up in a macho society and, far from being threatened by its values, discovering she has a nature probably more macho than the men around her,” wrote Roger Ebert on the time of the movie’s launch. “Since the movie (written, directed, and produced by women) is deeply aware of that theme, it’s always about more than boxing.”

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl (2015)

Minnie Goetze simply had intercourse for the primary time in her life. That’s not a secret — it’s one of many first strains within the film. Her pleasure is infectious as we watch her life play out and hear as she confides to her tape-recorder diary. Her commentary particulars the smallest, most intimate moments with a boy she likes.

The boy in query, nevertheless, is a person: Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård) is the boyfriend of Minnie’s lonely, wayward mom (Kristen Wiig). Their love isn’t pure, however Skarsgård strikes a stability between creepy and coyish. We don’t notice he’s a bum till Minnie does. The film in the end belongs to Minnie, as a result of each scene is anchored by Bel Powley’s efficiency. The digicam watches her discover her sexuality with out exploiting her teenage lust.

The Kids Are All Right (2010)

By the time we meet mother and father Nic and Jules (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore), the fractures of their household have bubbled to the floor. Only on the floor is that this a film a couple of household with two mothers, or about what occurs when an “unconventional” household opens their doorways to their sperm donor. A coming-of-age story is on the root of the plot: Nic and Jules’s children, two California teenagers in most respects — one headed to varsity, the opposite attempting to outline his life exterior of “jock” and “child brother” — are piecing collectively their origin story, and their total household is rising previous it.

Like this put up? There’s extra. Get tons of celeb information, enjoyable takes on popular culture, and trending tales on the Refinery29 Entertainment Facebook web page. Like us on Facebook — we’ll see you there!

Like what you see? How about some extra R29 goodness, proper right here?

The Women-Directed Movies From 2017 To Watch Right Now

Does Pitch Perfect's Fat Amy Still Have A Place In 2017?

It’s Not Officially Christmas Unless You Watch These Movies

About Alisa james

Check Also

A Week In Dallas, TX, On An $81,000 Salary

(Last Updated On: January 15, 2018) Welcome toMoney Diaries , the place we’re tackling what …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *