Teenage Dream: Best Teen Films on Netflix

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Films on Netflix which explore the insecurities, anxieties and delusions of adolescence.


Heathers (1989) Director: Michael Lehmann

This dark cult comedy stars Winona Ryder and Christian Slater as a young couple who decide to take murderous revenge on their “popular” classmates who are needlessly cruel to the nerdier kids. The dialogue has definitely dated, but, like Ferris Bueller, it’s a fun trip back in time to the distinctive aesthetics of the 1980s.

Freaks and Geeks (1990-2000) Creator: Paul Feig

Set in the late 1970s/early 1980s, the television series Freaks and Geeks follows a pair of siblings, Lindsay and Sam Weir, who move in fringe social circles at a fictional Detroit high school. Sadly, Freaks and Geeks was cancelled after one season, but it’s a smart and funny look at teenage life through the eyes of disaffected Generation X.


10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Another literary adaptation, 10 Things I Hate About You is based on William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. This cheerful comedy stars Joseph Gordon Levitt and the late Heath Ledger as high school classmates who hatch a plan to woo two unattainable sisters whose highly strict father has banned from dating.

Malcolm in the Middle (2000-2006) Creator: Linwood Boomer

A true contemporary classic, the philosophical depth of which often goes unappreciated, Malcolm in the Middle stars Frankie Muniz as “Malcolm” an academic prodigy growing up in a dysfunctional working class family with three rowdy brothers, a hapless father (played brilliantly by Bryan Cranston) and an overwrought mother.

With a comedic lens Malcolm in the Middle cleverly examines class, family and frustration.

Skins (2007-2013) Creator: Brian Elsley and Jamie Brittain

The surreal television series Skins observes the hedonistic existence of a group of British millennials growing up in the 2010s in Bristol. Their lives are a whirl of drugs, sex and raving, but Skins probes deeper into the fears that drive their relentless escapism.

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