5 Best Teen Movies on Netflix That Capture the Chaos of Adolescence

Are you a teenager looking for some familiar tales about teenage drama or an adult who wants a short trip back to the messy teens? Watch these five best teen movies on Netflix.
5 Best Teen Movies on Netflix That Capture the Chaos of Adolescence

Films that represent the messy turbulence of teenage years often strike the precarious balance of resonating with young adults looking for a nostalgia hit while also being relatable to those in the throes of adolescence.

There’s no shortage of teen movies that skilfully show awkward growth, first loves, first heartbreaks, and the all-too-familiar tiffs with family and friends as the protagonist finds their identity. We are sure you’re done watching some of the most iconic teen movies on Netflix, such as The Edge of Seventeen (2016), Candy Jar (2018), or Alex Strangelove (2018). If not, give them a watch!

These teen movies on Netflix have left an indelible mark with their seamless portrayals of teenagers trudging through the chaos of high school or discovering what love means to them. 

Here are 5 other recommendations for the best teen movies on Netflix you can watch with your teens or if you want a 2024 refresh of what a teenager’s life is like: 

First Daughter (2004)

Okay, we know that relating to the daughter of a U.S. President may seem absurd. Still, this teen movie on Netflix manages to make her woes accessible even to those without royal or presidential ties. Sam (Katie Holmes) is the ‘first daughter’, thanks to her father, John (Michael Keaton), and she cannot wait to free herself from presidential protocol to simply exist.

Scene from First Daughter (2004)
Scene from First Daughter (2004)

A line in the film will especially resonate with anyone who felt like they couldn’t fit in among their peers in high school: “Imagine never being alone and always feeling lonely.”

While Sam said that in the context of always being accompanied by an entourage of Secret Service agents, it may stand true for anyone who’s sat alone at a bustling lunch table in the school canteen.

The film also features a love story, and just like any teenage romance, it has some bumps in the road stemming from trying to feel accepted. And, of course, the icing on the cake of this Netflix teen movie is the father-daughter relationship that blossoms through a series of arguments, fights, and misunderstandings.

Also Read: 6 Movies That Show Unrealistic College Life

Love, Simon (2018)

When you mix high school pandemonium with a hidden sexual orientation that you’re being blackmailed for, the stakes shoot up. Love, Simon is a film based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (2015) by Becky Albertalli.

This teen movie on Netflix is about Simon (Nick Robinson), a closeted gay teenager who has found love and support in his parents, as well as his three best friends.

Scene from Love, Simon (2018)
Scene from Love, Simon (2018)

The film explores themes such as bullying and discrimination while also showing light-hearted narratives about youngsters trying to figure out relationships.

The chemistry among the actors drives home the fact that if you have people in your corner, you need to trust them, and they will stand up for you — an essential message for anyone feeling alone among the back-and-forth of school, co-curricular activities and social interactions.

Also Read: 7 Movies That Will Transport You Back to High School

Upcoming Summer (2021)

A coming-of-age (love) story between Chen Chen (Zhang Zifeng) and Zheng Yu Xing (Leo Wu) stemming from not passing the Gaokao exam (think of it as China’s IIT JEE, but more demanding), Upcoming Summer is a hard-hitting teen movie on Netflix that is not your run-of-the-mill teenage romance.

Scene from Upcoming Summer (2021)
Scene from Upcoming Summer (2021)

Carefully crafted in a way that it communicates vital lessons any teenager may benefit from, the story is complemented by excellent set design and an impactful soundtrack.

The movie starts with a lie that governs the lives of both protagonists and an open-to-interpretation ending that allows you to decide their fate. What lies in the middle is the difficult journey of accepting life’s obstacles and being honest with yourself through them.

You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah (2023)

If you enjoy Adam Sandler’s comedic timing, this Netflix original will be a laugh riot for you. The cast consists of Adam Sandler, his wife, and two daughters playing precisely those roles. You know the chemistry, the half-hearted laughs you would let out if Adam Sandler were your dad inundating you with his jokes, and the emotional quotient is genuine.

Scene from You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah (2023)
Scene from You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah (2023)

The central theme of this Netflix teen movie is a bat mitzvah, a grand Jewish ritual that marks the start of adulthood for a child on their 13th birthday. The family holds a ceremony, and the entire community celebrates.

The stress of this party gets to Stacy (Sunny Sandler), who is trying to plan the perfect bat mitzvah while also feuding with her best friend Lydia (Samantha Lorraine) and having no luck with her crush Andy (Dylan Hoffman). Her parents, Danny (Adam Sandler) and Gabi (Jackie Sandler) are learning to pivot as their daughter embraces this new phase of her life.

The movie has every teenage trope you could imagine, and if you know nothing about Jewish culture, it’s a fun lesson in tradition. It captures parenting dynamics, the woes of growing up, and those fleeting moments that seem significant when you’re in your teen years.

It’s a movie about a family made by a family.

Also Read: 7 Must-Watch Adam Sandler Comedies

Maboroshi (2023)

The Japanese word ‘Maboroshi’ refers to an illusion or hallucination. This Japanese anime lies at the intersection of science, fantasy, and drama.

Scene from Maboroshi (2023)
Scene from Maboroshi (2023)

Masamune (Junya Enoki) is a middle school student living in a town under lockdown after a steel mill explosion. This explosion has led to time standing still, and the town is living in a loop.

Masamune and his classmates are fighting a frozen reality. Although the overarching theme is fantastical, it’s a teen movie at heart because of its themes of growing up, stepping out of your comfort zone, love and sexuality.

This film sets itself apart from other teen movies on Netflix because it doesn’t tie up the storylines into a neat ending. The mystery and intrigue that it generates will keep you thinking about the film long after the (almost) two hours are up.

Also Read: 7 Anime Movies You Must Watch Before You Die

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