7 Excellent Coming Of Age Movies

Personal discovery, pregnancy, fighting and crying. Your teenage years are a weird time indeed.

Juno movie
Fox Searchlight Pictures

There are few genres that have become a quite as long-lasting or consistently present as the coming of age movie. Whether they are ways for directors to return to their roots and re-explore their own origins or just to tell a story around (usually) rebellious teens, coming of age movies are going to keep coming back.

Being almost entirely set in the past, coming of age movies are effectively time capsules: they preserve the attitudes, fashion sense, world problems and often most obviously the soundtracks of a bygone era. Nostalgia is abound in these movies, re-writing history around their young protagonists as they try to find more out about themselves and search for their own place within the world.

As it's such a popular genre to explore the very nature of our fellow human beings, it was seemingly inevitable that there are too many movies within the genre for even the most committed binge-viewer. Therefore, it seemed a perfect time to try and pick out some of the best examples of coming of age movies to date.

7. Boyhood

Juno movie
IFC Films

Boyhood is a phenomenal achievement both on the awards circuit and within this genre. More literally a coming-of-age movie than any other entry on this list, Richard Linklater's epic was composed across 12 literal years' worth of filming across the early lifespan of main character Mason (Ellar Coltrane) as he grows into a young adult

With so much scope, you'd be forgiven for assuming that this would be a breezy, pacy mess that has no narrative development, but you'd be wrong. Boyhood strikes a balance that is both epic in proportions, yet somehow remains a small, intimate experience that's full of charm. More than any other family drama, this becomes a window into any and all of the defining moments within Mason's lifetime.

Having started out with an adaptable script that changed alongside the long-term filming project, Boyhood feels like it naturally grows alongside its protagonist. Mason grows up through divorce, abusive parenting and his own gut-wrenching break-up, to name but a few. More often than not, coming-of-age focuses on one event, one girl or boy. Instead, Boyhood charts as many of the defining events in one boy's life and wants to see what kind of man they produce.


Inevitably talking about Into The Spiderverse. Lover of movies, books and games, not necessarily in that order. @Are_You_Shore I also co-host a podcast now! www.youtube.com/channel/UCKS4_sumDLinlzgdMBAZk7g