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Top 10 Teen Movies of the 2010s

Script written by Mersini Karkoulas These are the best teen movies of the 2010s! There’s a lot of coming of age films that have touched our hearts like Lady Bird, Submarine, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, The Kings of Summer and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Then there’s the teen romance that revolves not only about characters growing up but dealing with death like The Fault in Our Stars, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and The Spectacular Now.

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Top 10 Teen Movies From the 2010s

The decade may not be over, but we’re already here to look at some of our favorite teen movies. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Teen Movies From the 2010s.

For this list, we’re looking at films directed at teenage audiences that came out in 2010 to 2017, and that have achieved critical acclaim and/or box office success.

#10: “Submarine” (2010)

Written and directed by Richard Ayoade, of “The IT Crowd” fame, this film is a cornerstone of contemporary teen films. Funny and heartbreaking, it follows Oliver Tate, a fifteen year old who tries to find his way in love, all the while trying to hold his family together amid suspicions that his mother is cheating on his father with an ex who has moved in next door. The whole thing has a delicate air to it that perfectly captures what it's like to be a teenager. It's a poignant reminder of a time where everything felt difficult and dramatic.

#9: “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” (2015)

Everyone’s got growing pains when they’re a teen, but not everyone goes quite as far as Minnie does in this coming of age movie. An aspiring cartoonist, she decides to test the waters after her sexual awakening and begins a relationship with her mother’s boyfriend, Monroe. The two of them are encouraged to spend time together by Minnie’s mother, and find that they are attracted to one another. This indie movie brings together some great talents, like Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgård, in what turns out to be one of the most interesting teen movies we’ve ever seen.

#8: “The Kings of Summer” (2013)

Remember when you were a kid and having a treehouse seemed like it was the coolest thing ever because it was a place where you made your own rules? In this movie, three teens decide to run away from their controlling parents and live a new life in the woods with a house they built themselves. They think they can do whatever they want, but after a while, relationships strain and turn sour. It’s an indie film with a lot of heart and a touch of the dark lingering at its edges. And just like having to come out of your treehouse in time for dinner, these teens find themselves returning home before summer’s end.

#7: “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” (2015)

Despite the long and somewhat depressing title, this movie has a charm that we just can’t help but love. If you’re in it for a happy ending, we’ve got some bad news for you, but that really shouldn't stop you from watching this movie anyway. After realising a girl in his grade has been diagnosed with leukaemia, Greg befriends her and the two of them grow close. Greg decides to make a film for her, putting all his time and energy into it. Adapted from a 2012 novel of the same name, you get some A+ acting and a heartbreaking plot that will leave you breathless with sadness and exhilarated with hope.

#6: “The Fault in Our Stars” (2014)

Unless you were living under a rock in 2014, there is no way you could have missed the release of this movie. Based on the bestselling book by author John Green, it chronicles the tale of two teenagers whose lives become entwined after they meet in a cancer support group. As we watch them try to do the best they can with the time they have left, we’re thrown into a journey that takes them all the way to Amsterdam. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort gave us some heartfelt performances that shook us to our core, and helped launch their careers. We absolutely cannot watch this movie without crying, but it is worth it every single time.

#5: “The Spectacular Now” (2013)

Before Shailene Woodley appeared in “The Fault in Our Stars”, she was Aimee in “The Spectacular Now”. A weird girl with offbeat interests, she attracts the attention of Sutter, the party boy who drinks his way through his final year of high school. Despite becoming friends and then starting a relationship, Sutter struggles to give up drinking, eventually convincing himself that he is hopeless, like his father. It’s a movie that is warm, even when it’s raw, and there are few films that touch on the reality of being an American teenager in the way this one does. The late Roger Ebert gave it 4 stars, and we have to say that we agree.

#4: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (2012)

Any introvert will find themselves relating to something in this movie. Lonely kid Charlie makes friends with a bunch of outsiders, including Sam, the cool girl, and her step-brother Patrick. One of few films that portrays mental healthi issues in teenagers, the movie touches on depression and repressed memories to create a story that is both restrained and empowering. Directed by Stephen Chbosky, we can’t think of anyone better to direct the movie than the man who wrote the original book. And who can forget the image of the characters standing up in the back of a pickup truck speeding through a tunnel to the sound of David Bowie after seeing this movie?

#3: “Lady Bird” (2017)

A standing ovation at TIFF, the highest ever theater average for a film in limited release directed by a woman and the most-reviewed film ever to remain at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes; these are just a few of the things Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut has achieved since its fall 2017 release. At its core, the comedy-drama follows the titular teen as she navigates life. This includes relationships with her family and friends, particularly her mother, as well as her religious surroundings and her artistic ambitions, all while coming of age, falling in love and transitioning from high school to college. Wonderfully acted and directed, “Lady Bird” is a refreshing and relatable cinematic take on adolescence.

#2: “Easy A” (2010)

Emma Stone might be the world’s highest paid actress of 2017, but in this film she was just finding her feet in her career. A high school student who finds out just how cruel the rumour mill can be, Stone plays Olive, a girl whose reputation gets out of hand when she lies about losing her virginity, and the uptight, super religious Marianne overhears. With references to “The Scarlet Letter” and John Hughes, this movie should be on everyone’s ‘To Watch’ list. Plus, it has Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as some of the dorkiest, funniest, and most lovable parents ever seen in film. What else could you ask for?

Before we unveil our top pick, here are some honorable mentions:

“The Way Way Back” (2013)

“The Last Song” (2010)

“The Bling Ring” (2013)

#1: “The Edge of Seventeen” (2016)

We do love our indie movies, and “Edge of Seventeen” is definitely one of the best. Nadine Franklin is an anxious teen whose insecurities can come across as self-centredness. After the loss of her father, she struggles to get along with her family and cannot accept it when her best friend begins dating her older brother. It’s one of the most authentic portrayals of adolescence that we’ve seen, particularly in dealing with the aftermath of a parent’s death. Hailee Steinfeld has a stunning onscreen presence that grounds the movie. With a sense of humor and a touch of romance, this is a must see for anyone looking to expand their teen movie repertoire.

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