Teen Angst Movies

Sunday, March 20 by Shawn Lealos

The best teen angst movies feature normal kids who realize they might never reach their dreams but desire to be more than just a normal kid. These movies portray trouble makers, good kids who want to find love and stereotyped kids who want to be different.

  1. “Girl, Interrupted” Angelina Jolie became a star thanks to this teen angst movie. The movie is based on a novel by a woman who recounted her 18 month stay in a mental asylum. Winona Ryder stars as the protagonist while Jolie won an Oscar for her role as a wild child.
  2. “Donnie Darko” Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this strange hybrid sci-fi-teen angst movie. The movie follows a young man, insecure with his own surroundings who begins to see a giant rabbit and tracers that leads him to believe the world might be about to come to an end.
  3. “Igby Goes Down” Kieran Culkin stars in this independent teen angst movie about a young nihilistic man who believes in nothing as the world passes him by. Susan Sarandon stars as his eccentric mother while Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Ryan Phillippe and Clair Danes co-star.
  4. “Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys” Kieran Culkin and Emile Hirsch star as imaginative students at a Catholic boy’s school. In this teen angst movie, comic book artist Todd McFarlane draws animated scenes that indicate what the boys imagine their lives could be like if they were heroes.
  5. “Rebel Without a Cause” James Dean stars in the grandfather of all teen angst movies. Dean is a rebellious young man who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. The movie made Dean a worldwide star and provided the template for what the rebel teenager looked like for future generations of filmmakers.
  6. “Breakfast Club” John Hughes directed one of the greatest teen angst movies of the 80's in this story of a group of kids in detention one afternoon. A jock, nerd, princess, criminal and outcast band together and realize they aren’t so different after all.
  7. “Sixteen Candles” Another John Hughes teen angst movie, this one shows the life of a girl who finds herself forgotten in the midst of her sister’s upcoming wedding. Molly Ringwald stars as the girl who just wants someone to recognize her on her sixteenth birthday.
  8. “River’s Edge” Crispin Glover and Keanu Reeves star in this ambitious teen angst movie from the 80s. A slacker kills his girlfriend and leaves her body by the river’s edge. When he shows his friends, the teens seem amazed at the sight but don’t know how to react to the incident.
  9. “The Outsiders” Some of the greatest actors of this generation became famous thanks to this teen angst movie. The movie follows the greasers as they battle rival gangs and try to stay alive long enough to reach adulthood. Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe and Matt Dillon became stars thanks to this movie.
  10. “Adventureland” The newest movie on this list, Jesse Eisenberg stars as a recent college graduate who doesn’t know what to do next. He ends up working at an amusement park and, thanks to the kids he meets there, realizes it is exactly what he needs to get started in the real life.
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