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The 25 best teen movies to make you feel old in the best way

15. Say Anything... (1989)

As teen romances go, there's not many movies that come close to capturing the raw, visceral experience of first love like Say Anything. It's got everything you'd want from a love story. There's the good-hearted boy from the wrong side of the tracks, Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) who falls hopelessly for the upper crust Diane Court (Ione Skye). Your cockles will be warmed, and heart strings will most definitely be tugged, as the pair try to make a go of it despite her father's objections. Yeah... it's one of those movies. But thankfully Cameron Crowe doesn't rely on cliches, and instead crafts an original comedy drama about growing up and falling in love. 

Watch Say Anything now on Amazon Prime Video 

14. Pump up the Volume (1990)

Most teenagers today have a smart phone, which lets them live stream their life on social media whether they've got anything to say or not. Pump up the Volume takes place back in 1990 and teenager Mark Hunter (Christian Slater) has a landline and a shortwave radio. It's the latter which Mark uses to speak to his fellow high schoolers under the monicker Happy Harry Hard-On. His alter ego is an irreverent yet well-read kid, who flits from philosophising about life's hardships to having fake wanks live on air. He's crass but knows what's what. Both sides of his persona form the film's true voice. The one that says that nobody is normal, and it's totally okay to be a weirdo. 

Watch Pump up the Volume now on Amazon Prime Video 

13. Juno (2007)

Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) is 16 and pregnant thanks to her friend Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera). Will she keep the baby, though? That's a pretty heavy scenario, which could easily be the foundation for a serious, straight-faced movie. Which Juno absolutely isn't. Though it isn't afraid to tackle issues like abortion, teen pregnancy, and fractured relationships, Diablo Cody's spiky dialogue ensures that it's always on the blackly humorous side of the fence. A large portion of that is down to Page. While the adult cast (Allison Janney and JK Simmons especially) are brilliant, it's the pint-sized Canadian who brings her A-game as Juno. She portrays the kind of teenager rarely glimpsed on screen - whip-smart and also silly as hell.

Watch Juno now on Amazon Prime Video 

12. American Graffiti (1973)

Before he embarked on Star Wars, George Lucas directed this high school drama. It's based on his own experiences growing up in Modesto, California in the early ‘60s - that's why American Graffiti is set in 1962. The movie follows a group of baby boomers who go out on a wild night, cruising around their small-town on their last night before real life beckons. In fact, it's probably the first adolescent movie to take place over the course of a single night. Despite a load of production drama - grr, pesky studio wanting final cut - it now stands as one of the most influential teen flicks ever made. The cars are as stunning as the perfectly-coiffed teens, there's flirtations and heartbreak, and a barrage of hilarious encounters that positively reek of nostalgia.

Watch American Graffiti now on Amazon Prime Video 

11. Boyz n the Hood (1991)

John Singleton's drama follows friends Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), and brothers Doughboy (Ice Cube) and Ricky Baker (Morris Chestnut) as they grow up in South Central Los Angeles. Tre tries to reconcile his homelife with streetlife, Doughboy falls into a life of booze and crime, and Ricky attempts to win a sports scholarship and go to college. The film's so strong it received Oscar noms for directing and writing - mucho impressive considering this was John Singleton's debut. Oh, and he was only 24 at the time. Variety hailed it as "an absorbing, smartly made dramatic encyclopaedia of problems and ethics in the black community."

Watch Boyz n the Hood now on Amazon Prime Video 

Gem is GR+'s west coast entertainment news reporter. She’s a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator.