Coming-of-age movies tend to hold a special place in the hearts of viewers because they portray the best years of their lives. When made right, they have the ability to become cult favorites. There is no exact formula for creating a good young adult film. But something that they definitely have in common is a set of relatable characters, an engaging story line, and a memorable soundtrack to boot.
Explore Talent is counting down the best coming-of-age movies that have graced the big screen in the last ten years. Find out which films made it to the list below.
The Best Coming-of-Age Movies of the Past Decade
1. Submarine (2010)
Submarine centers around a young boy named Oliver (Craig Roberts) who is infatuated with his mysterious classmate Jordana (Yasmin Paige). And besides his awkward feelings, Oliver also has to deal with his mother who is slowly getting close again to her ex-boyfriend.
The British comedy film is packed with charm and a great musical score by Alex Turner of the band Arctic Monkeys. Those looking to relive what it was like to fall for someone so unreachable should definitely check this lesser-known gem out.
2. Boyhood (2014)
Boyhood broke the boundaries of filmmaking upon its release. The premise is simple: a young boy navigates through his years of boyhood to the time he becomes a young adult. What makes this film so fascinating is that the central character, Mason, is actually being played by Ellar Coltrane over the course of twelve years.
Boyhood garnered a total of seven nominations in the 87th Academy Awards with Patricia Arquette winning the Best Supporting Actress award that year.
3. Dope (2016)
A lot of coming-of-age movies center around a group of teens who are unsure about their future. But in Dope, the characters are completely sure of where they want to go next. But their dreams take an unexpected detour when they get involved with illegal drug peddling. Filled with comedy, crime, action, and drama, Dope is definitely a coming-of-age film that transcends its predecessors.
4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
Bringing Perks of Being a Wallflower to the big screen was definitely going to be a challenge. So what better choice is there than letting the novel’s author, Stephen Chbosky, himself direct the live-action adaptation? Not only did Chbosky write the iconic book but he directed and wrote the screenplay for the movie as well. All three main stars, Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller were all stunning in their roles even if they were a bit overage to play teenagers.
Perks of Being a Wallflower tackles delicate subjects like homosexuality, child abuse, and bullying. Despite taking on such sensitive themes, the movie teaches audiences about the importance of connecting with your family and friends.
5. The Spectacular Now (2013)
Miles Teller puts out quite the breakthrough performance in The Spectacular Now. Adapted from Tim Tharp‘s novel of the same name, the film explores how a popular high schooler destroys his relationships because of his partying ways. It is a refreshing take on the challenges of growing up especially with a troubled character like Sutter (played by Teller).