25 truly excellent high school movies we’ve enjoyed since Superbad

25 truly excellent high school movies we’ve enjoyed since Superbad

Seth Rogen says “no one has made a good high school movie since Superbad” – but Seth Rogen is so, so wrong, as this list more wholeheartedly proves.

The year is 2007. You’re almost definitely wearing a pair of skinny jeans, either tucked into a pair of faux fur boots or paired with flats, and humming along to Timbaland’s Apologise. You’re buying a small popcorn and a Slush Puppy at your local cinema, you’re somehow getting change back from a fiver, and you’re finding your plush velvet seat at the late afternoon screening of Superbad. The film is excellent: you laugh, you squirm, you make a mental note to refer to yourself as McLovin henceforth – and then, just like that, the credits roll, and all life as we know ceases to continue on this strange little planet.

Or, at least, that’s what Seth Rogen thinks. Because the actor, who co-wrote the beloved high school movies, just told People: “What’s crazy is that Gabe LaBelle is like, 19 years old and his and his friends’ favourite movie is Superbad. So it never changed for some reason.

“No one’s made a good high school movie since then.”

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Hmm. We think that the directors and stars of Dope, Booksmart, Lady Bird, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and plenty more brilliant teen movies would beg to disagree, quite frankly. And so, just to prove a point (and because we have a hot minute), we’ve decided to list off all the excellent high school films we’ve watched since Superbad came out.

There are lots of them, as an FYI. You’re welcome.


A fresh gender-swapped spin on the classic teen sex comedy? Sign us up. Blockers follows Lisa (Leslie Mann), Mitchell (John Cena) and Hunter (Ike Barinholtz), all of whom have become good friends since their kids started hanging out together. When they learn that their daughters are planning to lose their virginity on prom night, though, the parents work harder than the devil himself to stop them.


Juno is a millennial favourite for a reason. The soundtrack! The hamburger phone! Elliott Page’s perfect deadpan humour! We will never fall out of love with this tale of a social misfit who takes three pregnancy tests and learns, to her horror, that she is forshizz up the spout. Cue her coming to terms with her unplanned pregnancy and getting way more involved in the lives of her baby’s adoptive parents than she expected…

Rocks is one of the most genuine depictions of young girls in inner-city London.


Rocks is filled to the brim with teenage girl power. And, despite taking a very realistic approach to the perils faced by young women today, this critically acclaimed coming-of-age movie is guaranteed to leave you feeling uplifted and hopeful for a brighter future, too.

Do Revenge

Drea (Camila Mendes) is the “alpha it-girl” who’s fallen from grace after her sex tape is leaked to the school. Eleanor (Maya Hawke) is the “awkward new transfer student” who discovers to her dismay that one of her new classmates is her old bully Carissa (Ava Capri). Together, they are the ultimate duo, forging a secret friendship to “do revenge” on each other’s tormentors. It’s basically Mean Girls meets Strangers On A Train, and we’re into it.

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Easy A

This coming-of-age comedy follows Emma Stone’s Olive Penderghast as she takes advantage of her school’s rampant rumour mill to build a new identity for herself and increase her social standing. And, as if that weren’t enough to tempt you in, how’s about the fact that Stanley Tucci plays Olive’s normal, authentic, and lovely dad? 

Yeah, we thought as much.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Peter Kavinsky and Lara Jean Covey are star-crossed lovers in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

When her secret love letters somehow get mailed to each of her five crushes, Lana Condor’s Lara Jean finds her quiet high school existence turned upside down. And, for those who fall in love with this story about… well, about love, both of the sugary-sweet sequels are streaming on Netflix, too.


Based on the Jennifer Mathieu book of the same name, Moxie tells the story of girl from a small town who, inspired by her mother’s Riot Grrrl past, starts a feminist revolution at her high school. 

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The Spectacular Now

This sensitive coming-of-age film follows an innocent, bookish teenager (Shailene Woodley) as she begins dating the charming, freewheeling high-school senior (Miles Teller) who wakes up on her lawn.


The first Saudi Arabian-produced film ever to be directed by a woman, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Wadjda tells the story of a rebellious Saudi girl, who enters a school competition solely so that she can win enough money to buy her own bicycle.

My Entire High School Sinking Into The Sea

Using a distinctive graphic novel-inspired animation, this film follows Dash (Jason Schwartzman) and Assaf (Reggie Watts) – best friends and the only writers for the high school newspaper. When the editor starts giving Assaf solo assignments, however, Dash gets jealous and reports a false story about Assaf… having… erectile dysfunction? 

Stick with it, we promise it’s worth your while.


Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa, this coming-of-age film sees Malcolm (Shameik Moore) and his friends attend an underground party hosted by a local drug dealer. When the police raid the party, though, the kids escape, unaware that their host has hidden drugs and a gun in his backpack…

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The Edge Of Seventeen

Awkward 17-year-old Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) finds life utterly unbearable following the death of her beloved father. And then her ridiculously popular older brother, Darian (Blake Jenner) starts hooking up with her best friend, Krista (Hailey Lu Richardson), and things get even worse…

Love, Simon

The first mainstream studio film with a gay lead, Love, Simon – starring Nick Robinson – charts teenager Simon Spier’s inspiring journey, from keeping his sexuality a secret from his friends and family, to finally coming out. 

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The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

Socially awkward teen Charlie (Logan Lerman) is a wallflower, always watching life from the sidelines. Until, that is, two seniors – Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller) – take him under their charismatic wings…


Easily one of the most joyful movie musicals ever made, this star-studded romp takes us back to 1960s Baltimore, where a rebellious teenager takes a stand against racism and discrimination – all while dancing her bouffant off.

Work It

When she discovers that her application to her dream school looks exactly like everyone else’s, Quinn (Sabrina Carpenter) realises that her only chance is to stand out. Cue her making the swap from lighting designer to one of the members of her high school’s celebrated dance team.

The Hate U Give

Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly Black, neighbourhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. When Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer, though, the uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered – and Starr must find the strength to speak up for what’s right.

Candy Jar

Sami Gayle and Jacob Latimore star as a pair of Ivy-hopeful overachievers in this fun romcom. As co-presidents of their private high school’s debate club, they spend a lot of time arguing – until they’re forced to compete in their last high school debate tournament as a team, that is. Could their rivalry evolve into a romance, perhaps?

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Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig’s moving and gloriously funny Lady Bird is all about growing up, mother-daughter relationships and the anxiety of separation. And, yes, there’s a reason it has a near-perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes.


Booksmart is an absolute treat of a movie.

Booksmart, starring Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever, takes a brave and hilarious look at teenage sexuality through an LGBT+ perspective. And, in the process, it gives us a fiercely funny and seriously unforgettable high school movie, too.

Sing Street

This musical comedy-drama takes us back to 1980s Dublin, where the ongoing recession sees Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) forced to move from his private school to a tough inner-city alternative. As he tries to adjust to a new way of life – and impress the girl of his dreams, of course – he decides to start his own band, resulting in the sort of toe-tapping tunes that burrow into your brain and lay eggs there. We swear it.

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The Duff

This total Marmite film sees Bianca (Mae Whitman) realise that she is being used by people to get to her popular friends, prompting her to beg the school’s football star for a massive makeover. In exchange for, y’know, science lessons and stuff.

The Half Of It

The Half Of It sees Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), an introverted straight-A student, strike up a deal with jock Paul (Daniel Diemer) to write love letters and texts to Aster (Alexxis Lemire) on his behalf. Over time, though, Ellie develops her own romantic feelings for Aster, and things get complicated. Fast.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Zendaya stars in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Starring Tom Holland and Zendaya, this Marvel movie ticks off so many high school movie tropes as Peter Parker does his best to balance his life as an ordinary student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego, Spider-Man.

Alex Strangelove

Alex (Daniel Doheny) has it all: straight As, a gorgeous long-term girlfriend, and his high school presidency. Next on the agenda? Losing his virginity – until, that is, he meets Elliot (Antonio Marziale) and finds himself on a roller-coaster journey of sexual identity.

Main image: Netflix

All other images: Getty/Tamara Hardman/Disney/Sarah Gavron

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