10 Best High School Drama Movies

Wednesday, March 30 by Irving Oala

High school and drama go hand-in-hand, which is probably so many, including these 10 best high school drama movies, have been made about this confusing yet exciting time in all of our lives. All of the best high school drama movies delve into the murky teenage years of self-discovery, going to places adults love to reminisce about and teenagers perfectly identify with. This list of the 10 best high school drama movies have elements of every genre in them, as those volatile high school years are rich with stories and experiences that run the gamut of the dramatic narrative.

  1. "Brick" This pulpy, noirish crime story is set in the high school environment, with a teenager (played masterfully by Joseph Gordon Levitt) trying to solve what happened to his girlfriend, who mysteriously disappeared days earlier. This is a fresh take on the same old high school drama movie, as it treats our main teenage characters like full-grown adults dealing with dark, serious situations.
  2. "Superbad" One of the funniest high school drama movies ever released, "Superbad" deals with some serious adolescent themes, like underage drinking and trying to hook up with girls. Michael Cera and Jonah Hill lead the story of a couple dorky kids trying to bring booze to a high school party to get respect from peers and ultimately (hopefully) get laid.
  3. "Dazed & Confused" A classic ensemble tale that takes high school in the late '70's/early 80's and dwells in it, much like director Richard Linklater actually dwelt within it. What makes "Dazed & Confused" so marvelous is that it is entirely unique, with good things, bad things, great performances by soon-to-be A-Listers like Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck and a style and feel that is all its own.
  4. "Heathers" Christian Slater and Winona Ryder star in this dark comedic high school drama movie about high school popularity and a couple kids who kill the popular kids in school making it look like they've committed suicide. There are incredibly dark but funny moments in "Heathers," like when Slater's character lights a cigarette off Winona Ryder's burning hand.
  5. "Election" Quirky, bizarre and hilarious at time, Alexander Payne's film "Election" is one of the best high school drama movies as it takes that same, age-old story and "makes it new." Matthew Broderick is surprisingly edgy in his role as a teacher who sabotages the school presidential election in order to prevent an annoyingly overachieving self-righteous student, played by Reese Witherspoon, from winning.
  6. "Donnie Darko" A weirdly awesome high school drama movie about a high school kid's dark take on coming-of-age, sifting seamlessly between dreams and reality. This is the film that truly broke actor Jake Gyllenhaal's career and is (so far) the highlight of director Richard Kelly's career.
  7. "School Ties" One of the best private high school drama movies is "School Ties" which dealt with a Jewish student (Brendan Fraser) and a bunch of kids who discriminate against him (among them being Matt Damon and Ben Affleck). A simple, dark but great movie about the high school dynamic.
  8. "Toy Soldiers" One of the only high school drama movies that has a large amount of action in it. A brat pack of late '80's and early '90's actors at an all boys high school are held hostage by terrorists, having to use their cunning and wits to free themselves from the hostage situation. Louis Gossett, Jr. is in there somewhere too.
  9. "Rebel Without A Cause" James Dean's breakout performance is still a classic and for a time, this was the best high school drama movies ever made. "Rebel Without a Cause" is worth watching regardless of if you want to see a good high school drama or just one of the top films ever made.
  10. "Risky Business" Perhaps the best high school drama movie dealing with men and coming-of-age ever made. Tom Cruise plays a virgin who turns his family home into a high class brothel when his parents leave town for a vacation in Europe. Who didn't this happen to in high school?
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