16 Teen Movies On Netflix To Stream If You Want To Experience Some Major High School Nostalgia
High school can be a heady swirl of emotions and events high and low — the thrill of crushes, the cruelty of bullying, scene drama, and figuring out who you are. Netflix's 13 Reasons Why amplifies all of these feelings to maximum effect, with narrator Hannah Baker trying to have the last word from beyond the grave, using tapes aimed at her friends and enemies. It's such a rich vein that it shouldn't come as a surprise that many other pieces of pop culture deeply delve into the themes surrounding high school drama as well, including the 16 movies in the list below that are all streaming on Netflix now.
Like 13 Reasons Why and other teen-centric pieces of pop culture, these films all dip into the complicated emotions of high school — from love to betrayal to angst of all. Though the movies, which range from Heathers to Moonrise Kingdom, span different genres and portray vastly different outcomes, each of the 17 films will bring you back to those intense four years in the hallways, for better or for worse. So next time you're in need of a movie marathon, check out a few of the below picks on Netflix. Just prepare to feel some major nostalgia, as well as a wave of relief that you're out of that period of your life.
1. 'Reality High'
After getting rubbed the wrong way by her reality-star smitten classmates, nerdy Dani actually catches the attention of her crush... who happens to be said reality-star's boyfriend. Lots of painful frenemy behavior ensues.
The '80s ur-tale of high school bullying, Heathers is as vicious as its three queen bees and whip smart as their hanger-on turned murderous rebel Veronica.
3. 'High School Musical'
OK, maybe this one isn't quite so traumatic as it is catchy, but it's still about the struggle to find your place and figure out who you are. Plus singing.
Popular teacher Dan Dunne has so far successfully hidden his addiction from his students, but when one of them catches him high in the bathroom, the two of their lives become more deeply entangled. Each tries to help the other out of their rough situations.
5. 'Battle Royale'
This Japanese film takes high school drama and amplifies it to the max by making it really life-or-death. The movie takes place in a near-future where unruly teens are kept in line by choosing a random class to participate in mortal combat on an island, fighting to the death until only one classmate remains. And you thought prom was brutal.
6. 'Let Me In'
This quiet story of a bullied boy making friends with a young vampire is concise and devastating.
7. 'The Wolfpack'
The Angelo brothers grew up isolated from the world in their East Side NYC apartment, their only access to the bustling metropolis just outside their window the movies their father let them watch. When one of the brothers escapes, their world is turned upside down.
8. '13 Going On 30'
This gender-inverted Big is just as charming as the original, where the wish of being taken seriously as an adult comes with extra baggage teens might not anticipate.
9. 'Death Note'
This live-action adaptation of the beloved manga and anime may not be up to snuff, but it's still a fascinating look at the idea absolute power corrupts absolutely, plus Willem Dafoe plays a CGI demon.
10. 'Dead Poets Society'
A baby-faced Ethan Hawke is one of the students influenced by Robin Williams' unorthodox teaching style, as he teaches them to rebel against orthodoxy in this boarding school story.
11. 'Donnie Darko'
As if high school weren't difficult enough, throw omniscient potential hallucinations and time travel into the mix and you've significantly upped the ante.
...and speaking of Ethan Hawke, he ages over 12 years along with his son in this unique film that captures a young man's literal and emotional growth over time.
13. 'Super Dark Times'
Bros just being dudes in this 1996 high school thriller, and as always there are some women thrown in on the periphery as love interests.
14. 'The Lost Boys'
It may be summer but peer pressure's in full effect when two brothers move to a new town and encounter a teen gang of vampires.
15. 'Friend Request'
Social media's done more to expedite teen drama since the invention of the car, so it's no surprise it's both cause of and vector for terrible intentions.
A lighter version of drama as a high schooler takes a summer job at an amusement park and learns more about people and life.
Whether you're just out of high school or years past that time of your life, you don't need any reason to dip into these films for a take on teen drama.