15 of the best high school movies of all time

DreamWorks, Screen Gems, MMVIII New Line Productions, IncSome of the best movies about high school are comedies.
  • There are lot of great movies that are about or set in a high school.
  • If you’re in the mood for some classics, try watching films like “American Pie” (1999), “Clueless” (1995), and “The Breakfast Club” (1985).
  • If you want something with humour, watch “17 Again” (2009), “Superbad” (2007), or “She’s the Man” (2006).
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

High school is a place where teens spend a few years shaping their futures while dealing with drama and falling in love along the way. With all of that going on, it’s no surprise so many movies are about this sacred time.

And though high school may not have been the best years of your life, sometime, you may find yourself pining for the days of gym class, homework, and prom.

Here are the best movies to watch if you’re feeling a little nostalgic for high school.


“21 Jump Street” (2012) puts a hilarious twist on high school.

Sony PicturesThe film starred Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum teamed up for this 2012 reboot of the classic Johnny Depp show of the same name.

Set mostly in a high school, “21 Jump Street” follows Hill and Tatum as cops who have to go undercover as students to bring down a drug ring.


“17 Again” (2009) is a relatable comedy with some big-name stars.

MMVIII New Line Productions, IncZac Efron in ’17 Again.’

Don’t most of us wish we could go back in time and change a few things?

In “17 Again,” a 37-year-old man miraculously gets a chance to become his 17-year-old self once more, and he tries to correct his past mistakes and potentially change his life.

This 2009 Zac Efron movie is touted as a cheesy family comedy, but it’s actually a wholesome family film with a deep life lesson underneath it all.


“American Pie” (1999) is a film about sex and hijinks.

Universal PicturesThe film is filled with humour.

Starring Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Sean William Scott, Thomas Ian Nicholas, and Jennifer Coolidge, this late-1990s movie is about a group of teenage boys who make a ridiculous pact to lose their virginity by prom night – but of course, several things go awry.


“Mean Girls” (2004) is a classic for a reason.

‘Mean Girls’Be sure to wear pink while you watch — only if it’s Wednesday, of course.

On Wednesdays, we wear pink in honour of this coming-of-age story about a transfer student trying to make a name for herself among the popular girls in high school.

Starring Tina Fey, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, and Amanda Seyfried, “Mean Girls” is filled with drama and plenty of memorable lines.


“A Cinderella Story” (2004) tells a classic high-school romance.

Warner Bros./IMDbHilary Duff in ‘A Cinderella Story.’

Channing Tatum and Hilary Duff are the stars of what’s arguably one of the best “Cinderella” remakes.

This early-aughts film is a retelling of the popular fairytale, complete with a mysterious love interest, a plastic surgery-obsessed stepmother, a school dance, and plenty of high-school shenanigans.


“She’s the Man” (2006) will leave you laughing.

DreamWorksAmanda Bynes in ‘She’s the Man.’

“She’s the Man” is a fantastic high-school movie with Amanda Bynes at its helm.

In the film, Bynes’ character pretends to be her twin brother at an elite boarding school where she’s playing on an intense soccer league all the while crushing on her attractive teammate.

It’s a whirlwind of a movie, but it’s definitely worth the 105 minutes you’ll spend watching it.


“Easy A” (2010) is perfect if you feel like remembering the drama of high-school gossip.

Screen GemsSex and social status go hand-in-hand at this movie’s fictitious high school.

A reimagining of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” (a book many perhaps read in high school), “Easy A” stars Emma Stone as a high-school girl who tells a white lie about losing her virginity, but rumours spread and she must handle being portrayed as someone who will sleep with just about anyone.


“Napoleon Dynamite” (2004) has a wonderfully weird sense of humour.

Fox SearchlightThere’s no movie quite like this one.

Far from your typical “all-American” teenage movie, this high-school-focused comedy is strange, obscure, and somehow totally works.

It centres on a group of teens in a small town in Idaho, focusing on the titular Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) and his friends who have trouble fitting in at school.

You’ll be voting for Pedro at the end of the film, that’s for sure.


“Clueless” (1995) is an iconic film that never gets old.

Paramount PicturesThe movie will make you nostalgic for the 1990s, too.

The ever-talented Alicia Silverstone starred alongside Paul Rudd, Brittany Murphy, and Stacey Dash in this 1995 classic.

In the movie, a wealthy Beverly Hills high-school student tries to be friends with a new “less cool” transfer student and discovers a lot about herself in the end.


“The Breakfast Club” (1985) is pure gold, and it has a killer soundtrack.

Universal PicturesThis can also satisfy your cravings for a 1980s film.

In this classic, five high-school students from vastly different social groups are stuck together in Saturday morning detention where they’re forced to interact.

Of course, the cast of characters – played by Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, and Paul Gleason – quickly find out that they have a lot more in common than they think.


“Bring It On” (2000) is more than just a cheer movie.

Universal PicturesThere are multiple ‘Bring It On’ movies

Ready? OK! Featuring Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union, this drama-filled cheerleading movie will take you back to the days of football games and after-school sports.

“Bring It On” follows a champion cheerleading squad that soon discovers all of their best routines have actually been stolen from another school. After this major revelation, the team must work together to compete in the upcoming championships.

You can also plan a “Bring It On” movie marathon since the film has multiple sequels and spin-offs.


“10 Things I Hate About You” (1999) tells a classic Shakespearean tale in a more modern way.

DisneyMoviesInternationl/YouTube ScreenshotIn typical high-school style, there’s even a little bit of Shakespeare.

Starring Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt,this iconic 1999 film has everything you could ever want from a high-school movie: tension, drama, flirty back-and-forth dialogue.

At its core, the film is about a popular high-school girl who isn’t allowed to go on any dates until her irritable older sister does. Plus, the movie even has parallels to Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” which will transport you right back to English class.


“Superbad” (2007) has fake IDs, wild parties, and plenty of awkward moments.

Columbia PicturesThis movie takes house parties to the next level.

Starring Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Bill Hader, this comedy is all about two high-school seniors who spend their last few weeks of high school learning to be more independent while trying to make their way into a booze-filled party.


“Grease” (1978) has plenty of music that will take theatre kids back.

Paramount PicturesOlivia Newton-John and John Travolta in ‘Grease.’

Starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, “Grease” is a musical that’s all about summer romances and high-school cliques.

In it, two high schoolers have a summer romance that crosses clique lines, causing many to question if a timid exchange student and the greaser-gang leader can actually last once school is back in session.


“High School Musical” (2006) never gets old.

DisneySinging along is highly encouraged.

This Disney Channel classic starred Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, and it also has two sequels.

It follows a star athlete who falls for a super-smart student – and the two end up auditioning for the high-school musical, causing new rivalries, chaos among cliques, and the discovery of new passions.

As a bonus, this film has loads of iconic songs and dance moves that never get old.

Read More:

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.