She’s yet to celebrate her 30th birthday, but Emma Stone has already been wooed by Jonah Hill, battled zombies, and smooched Spider-Man — and this weekend, she faces off against Steve Carell in Battle of the Sexes, so now seems like a pretty good time to take a look back at some of the brighter critical highlights from her growing list of film credits, while inviting you to rank your own favorites in the bargain. We’re romancing the Stone, Total Recall style!


Use the up and down arrows to rank the movies, or click here to see them ranked by Tomatometer!

70 Best High School Movies of All Time

For some, high school is the peak of their life: You’ve got prom and pep rallies, and homecoming and hormones. For others, it’s the pits because you’ve got…well, prom and pep rallies, and homecoming and hormones. And there to capture every awesome/awful moment are these high school movies which earned high grades from film critics.

Some of these beloved movies (like The Last Picture Show or American Graffiti) take a look back on high school with the clarity of time gone by. Others (like Superbad or Booksmart) make you feel like the high school experience is unfolding in real-time right before your eyes.

The best high school movies reflect discovering one’s self (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), questioning authority (Dead Poets Society), taking wild risks (Better Luck Tomorrow), and working for a better future (Hoop Dreams). And some ask the big questions. Like, what if I was in high school and I was also, you know, a superhero? What if one day I’m driving to school and then I time-travel back to 1955? And what if I had a better idea of what to do with that pie than just eating it?

As the jump-gate into adulthood and beyond, high school can be wild and wondrous and heart-breaking and hilarious. (And usually all at once.) The same can be said for these Fresh and Certified Fresh films (each with at least 20 critics reviews), representing the best high school movies ever, all ranked by Tomatometer!

#70

American Pie (1999)
61%

#70
Adjusted Score: 66633%
Critics Consensus: So embarrassing it's believable, American Pie succeeds in bringing back the teen movie genre.
Synopsis: A riotous and raunchy exploration of the most eagerly anticipated -- and most humiliating -- rite of adulthood, known as... [More]
Directed By: Paul Weitz

#69

Bring It On (2000)
64%

#69
Adjusted Score: 67406%
Critics Consensus: Despite the formulaic, fluffy storyline, this movie is surprisingly fun to watch, mostly due to its high energy and how it humorously spoofs cheerleading instead of taking itself too seriously.
Synopsis: The Toro cheerleading squad from Rancho Carne High School in San Diego has got spirit, spunk, sass and a killer... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#68
Adjusted Score: 67873%
Critics Consensus: It won't win many converts, but High School Musical 3 is bright, energetic, and well-crafted.
Synopsis: Amid preparations for a basketball championship, prom, and graduation, sweethearts Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) and Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) vow... [More]
Directed By: Kenny Ortega

#67

O (2001)
64%

#67
Adjusted Score: 68652%
Critics Consensus: Though well-intentioned and serious in its exploration of teen violence, O is an uneven experiment that doesn't quite succeed.
Synopsis: Moving the classic tale of "Othello" onto the basketball courts of a high school, the story focuses on a young... [More]
Directed By: Tim Blake Nelson

#66
Adjusted Score: 72062%
Critics Consensus: Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger add strong performances to an unexpectedly clever script, elevating 10 Things (slightly) above typical teen fare.
Synopsis: Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) is beautiful, smart and quite abrasive to most of her fellow teens, meaning that she doesn't... [More]
Directed By: Gil Junger

#65

Palo Alto (2013)
68%

#65
Adjusted Score: 73059%
Critics Consensus: A promising debut for director Gia Coppola, Palo Alto compensates for its drifting plot with solid performances and beautiful cinematography.
Synopsis: A lack of parental guidance encourages teens in an affluent California town to rebel with substance abuse and casual sex.... [More]
Directed By: Gia Coppola

#64

Freedom Writers (2007)
70%

#64
Adjusted Score: 74029%
Critics Consensus: Freedom Writers is a frank, formulaic entry in the inspirational inner-city teacher genre, with an energetic Hilary Swank leading the appealing cast of unknowns.
Synopsis: A dedicated teacher (Hilary Swank) in a racially divided Los Angeles school has a class of at-risk teenagers deemed incapable... [More]
Directed By: Richard LaGravenese

#63
#63
Adjusted Score: 78234%
Critics Consensus: A charming, quirky, and often funny comedy.
Synopsis: In small-town Preston, Idaho, awkward teen Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) has trouble fitting in. After his grandmother is injured in... [More]
Directed By: Jared Hess

#62

The DUFF (2015)
73%

#62
Adjusted Score: 76425%
Critics Consensus: The DUFF doesn't achieve teen-movie greatness, but offers enough of a postmodern twist on the genre to recommend -- and boasts typically great work from star Mae Whitman.
Synopsis: Frumpy high-school senior Bianca (Mae Whitman) has a rude awakening when she learns that her classmates secretly know her as... [More]
Directed By: Ari Sandel

#61

Elephant (2003)
73%

#61
Adjusted Score: 78324%
Critics Consensus: The movie's spare and unconventional style will divide viewers.
Synopsis: A variety of adolescents at a suburban high school drift through a seemingly uneventful day, until two students arrive with... [More]
Directed By: Gus Van Sant

#60

Pretty in Pink (1986)
73%

#60
Adjusted Score: 78072%
Critics Consensus: Molly Ringwald gives an outstanding performance in this sweet, intelligent teen comedy that takes an ancient premise and injects it with insight and wit.
Synopsis: Andie (Molly Ringwald) is an outcast at her Chicago high school, hanging out either with her older boss (Annie Potts),... [More]
Directed By: Howard Deutch

#59
#59
Adjusted Score: 75996%
Critics Consensus: A feel-good story brought to life by a terrific ensemble cast, Mr. Holland's Opus plucks the heartstrings without shame -- and with undeniable skill.
Synopsis: Composer Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfuss) believes that he'll eventually write a transcendent piece of music, but in the meantime he's... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Herek

#58

Grease (1978)
76%

#58
Adjusted Score: 83674%
Critics Consensus: Grease is a pleasing, energetic musical with infectiously catchy songs and an ode to young love that never gets old.
Synopsis: Experience the friendships, romances and adventures of a group of high school kids in the 1950s. Welcome to the singing... [More]
Directed By: Randal Kleiser

#57
#57
Adjusted Score: 76226%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: World War II veteran Richard Dadier (Glenn Ford) takes a teaching position at a rough New York City school for... [More]
Directed By: Richard Brooks

#56
#56
Adjusted Score: 78225%
Critics Consensus: Some Kind of Wonderful is above-average '80s teen fare for people who need as much John Hughes in their lives as possible.
Synopsis: Keith Nelson (Eric Stoltz), an artsy high school outcast, tries to land a date with popular girl Amanda Jones (Lea... [More]
Directed By: Howard Deutch

#55

Better Off Dead (1985)
76%

#55
Adjusted Score: 77437%
Critics Consensus: Better Off Dead is an anarchic mix of black humor and surreal comedy, anchored by John Cusack's winsome, charming performance.
Synopsis: Lane Meyer (John Cusack) is a teen with a peculiar family and a bizarre fixation with his girlfriend, Beth (Amanda... [More]
Directed By: Savage Steve Holland

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 81248%
Critics Consensus: The Virgin Suicides drifts with a dreamlike melancholy that may strike some audiences as tedious, but Sofia Coppola's feature debut is a mature meditation on disaffected youth.
Synopsis: In an ordinary suburban house, on a lovely tree-lined street, in the middle of 1970s America, lived the five beautiful,... [More]
Directed By: Sofia Coppola

#53
Adjusted Score: 82577%
Critics Consensus: While Fast Times at Ridgemont High features Sean Penn's legendary performance, the film endures because it accurately captured the small details of school, work, and teenage life.
Synopsis: Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is a pretty, but inexperienced, teen interested in dating. Given advice by her uninhibited friend,... [More]
Directed By: Amy Heckerling

#52

Scream (1996)
79%

#52
Adjusted Score: 83845%
Critics Consensus: Horror icon Wes Craven's subversive deconstruction of the genre is sly, witty, and surprisingly effective as a slasher film itself, even if it's a little too cheeky for some.
Synopsis: The sleepy little town of Woodsboro just woke up screaming. There's a killer in their midst who's seen a few... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#51

Brick (2005)
80%

#51
Adjusted Score: 84391%
Critics Consensus: This entertaining homage to noirs past has been slickly and compellingly updated to a contemporary high school setting.
Synopsis: After receiving a frantic phone call from his ex-girlfriend, teenage loner Brendan Frye (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) learns that her dead body... [More]
Directed By: Rian Johnson

#50
#50
Adjusted Score: 86807%
Critics Consensus: Matthew Broderick charms in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a light and irrepressibly fun movie about being young and having fun.
Synopsis: Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) has an uncanny skill at cutting classes and getting away with it. Intending to make one... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#49
Adjusted Score: 85237%
Critics Consensus: Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are just charming, goofy, and silly enough to make this fluffy time-travel Adventure work.
Synopsis: Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are high school buddies starting a band. However, they are about to fail... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Herek

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 82748%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A teenager (P.J. Soles) and her friends get even with their principal to music by the Ramones.... [More]

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: 84241%
Critics Consensus: A promising work by Lin, the energetic Better Luck Tomorrow is disturbing and thought-provoking.
Synopsis: An accomplished high school student, Ben (Parry Shen) seems to excel at almost everything except winning over his dream girl,... [More]
Directed By: Justin Lin

#46

Clueless (1995)
81%

#46
Adjusted Score: 89087%
Critics Consensus: A funny and clever reshaping of Emma, Clueless offers a soft satire that pokes as much fun at teen films as it does at the Beverly Hills glitterati.
Synopsis: Shallow, rich and socially successful Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is at the top of her Beverly Hills high school's pecking scale.... [More]
Directed By: Amy Heckerling

#45
Adjusted Score: 89503%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully scripted and perfectly cast, Me & Earl & the Dying Girl is a coming-of-age movie with uncommon charm and insight.
Synopsis: An awkward high-school senior (Thomas Mann) and a gravely ill classmate (Olivia Cooke) surprise themselves by becoming inseparable friends.... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 87152%
Critics Consensus: An acute survey of the football-obsessed heartland that succeeds as both a stirring drama and a rousing sports movie.
Synopsis: A small, turbulent town in Texas obsesses over their high school football team to an unhealthy degree. When the star... [More]
Directed By: Peter Berg

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 86387%
Critics Consensus: Confident directing and acting deliver an insightful look at young athletes.
Synopsis: Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) are two childhood friends who both aspire to be professional basketball players. Quincy,... [More]
Directed By: Gina Prince

#42

Fame (1980)
81%

#42
Adjusted Score: 83422%
Critics Consensus: Just because Fame is a well-acted musical doesn't mean it flinches against its surprisingly heavy topics.
Synopsis: Young men and women audition for coveted spots at the New York High School of Performing Arts. Those who make... [More]
Directed By: Alan Parker

#41

Rocket Science (2007)
84%

#41
Adjusted Score: 87022%
Critics Consensus: Though Rocket Science appears to be a typically quirky indie, the well-rounded performances and director Jeffrey Blitz's clear affection for his characters gives the film its proper human spark.
Synopsis: High-school student Hal Hefner's (Reece Daniel Thompson) life is falling down around him. His parents have split, his brother picks... [More]
Directed By: Jeffrey Blitz

#40

My Bodyguard (1980)
81%

#40
Adjusted Score: 83416%
Critics Consensus: T. Bill debuts as an affectionate director, keenly aware of growing pains.
Synopsis: Clifford Peache (Chris Makepeace) is a sensitive, well-to-do teen who becomes the target of bully Melvin Moody (Matt Dillon) after... [More]
Directed By: Tony Bill

#39

Sixteen Candles (1984)
84%

#39
Adjusted Score: 86088%
Critics Consensus: Significantly more mature than the teen raunch comedies that defined the era, Sixteen Candles is shot with compassion and clear respect for its characters and their hang-ups.
Synopsis: With the occasion all but overshadowed by her sister's upcoming wedding, angst-ridden Samantha (Molly Ringwald) faces her 16th birthday with... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#38

Mean Girls (2004)
84%

#38
Adjusted Score: 90854%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by a brilliant screenplay and outstanding ensemble cast, Mean Girls finds fresh, female-fronted humor in the high school experience.
Synopsis: Teenage Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) was educated in Africa by her scientist parents. When her family moves to the suburbs... [More]
Directed By: Mark Waters

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 88721%
Critics Consensus: Affecting performances from the young cast and a genuinely inspirational turn from Robin Williams grant Peter Weir's prep school drama top honors.
Synopsis: A new English teacher, John Keating (Robin Williams), is introduced to an all-boys preparatory school that is known for its... [More]
Directed By: Peter Weir

#36

Blockers (2018)
84%

#36
Adjusted Score: 96713%
Critics Consensus: Blockers puts a gender-swapped spin on the teen sex comedy -- one elevated by strong performances, a smartly funny script, and a surprisingly enlightened perspective.
Synopsis: Julie, Kayla and Sam are three high school seniors who make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night.... [More]
Directed By: Kay Cannon

#35
Adjusted Score: 88658%
Critics Consensus: My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea's attention-getting visual style matches debuting writer-director Dash Shaw's distinctive narrative approach -- and signals a bright future for a promising talent.
Synopsis: High school sophomores Dash and Assaf are best friends and the only writers for the school newspaper. When the editor... [More]
Directed By: Dash Shaw

#34

Bully (2011)
85%

#34
Adjusted Score: 90686%
Critics Consensus: Hard-hitting and gracefully filmed, Bully powerfully delivers an essential message to an audience that may not be able to see it.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Lee Hirsch examines five cases of youths who endure vicious persecution at the hands of their peers. Ja'meye, 14,... [More]
Directed By: Lee Hirsch

#33

Easy A (2010)
85%

#33
Adjusted Score: 91150%
Critics Consensus: It owes a huge debt to older (and better) teen comedies, but Easy A proves a smart, witty showcase for its irresistibly charming star, Emma Stone.
Synopsis: Prompted by her popular best friend to spill details of her boring weekend, Olive (Emma Stone), a clean-cut teen, decides... [More]
Directed By: Will Gluck

#32

Chronicle (2012)
85%

#32
Adjusted Score: 92756%
Critics Consensus: Chronicle transcends its found-footage gimmick with a smart script, fast-paced direction, and engaging performances from the young cast.
Synopsis: Andrew (Dane DeHaan) is a socially awkward, introverted teen whose main form of escape and expression is a video camera.... [More]
Directed By: Josh Trank

#31
Adjusted Score: 92003%
Critics Consensus: The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a heartfelt and sincere adaptation that's bolstered by strong lead performances.
Synopsis: Socially awkward teen Charlie (Logan Lerman) is a wallflower, always watching life from the sidelines, until two charismatic students become... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Chbosky

#30

21 Jump Street (2012)
85%

#30
Adjusted Score: 93642%
Critics Consensus: A smart, affectionate satire of '80s nostalgia and teen movie tropes, 21 Jump Street offers rowdy mainstream comedy with a surprisingly satisfying bite.
Synopsis: When cops Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) join the secret Jump Street unit, they use their youthful appearances... [More]

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 88145%
Critics Consensus: Peggy Sue Got Married may seem just another in a line of '80s boomer nostalgia films, but none of the others have Kathleen Turner keen lead performance.
Synopsis: Peggy Sue Bodell (Kathleen Turner) attends her 25-year high school reunion after separating from her cheating husband, Charlie (Nicolas Cage).... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#28

Donnie Darko (2001)
87%

#28
Adjusted Score: 90338%
Critics Consensus: Richard Kelly's debut feature Donnie Darko is a daring, original vision, packed with jarring ideas and intelligence and featuring a remarkable performance from Jake Gyllenhaal as the troubled title character.
Synopsis: In a funny, moving and distinctly mind-bending journey through suburban America, one extraordinary but disenchanted teenager is about to take... [More]
Directed By: Richard Kelly

#27

River's Edge (1987)
88%

#27
Adjusted Score: 87795%
Critics Consensus: A harrowing tale of aimless youth, River's Edge generates considerable tension and urgency thanks to strong performances from a stellar cast that includes Crispin Glover, Keanu Reeves, and Ione Skye.
Synopsis: Teenage burnout Samson (Daniel Roebuck) has murdered his girlfriend and left her naked body lying on the bank of a... [More]
Directed By: Tim Hunter

#26

Dope (2015)
88%

#26
Adjusted Score: 94208%
Critics Consensus: Featuring a starmaking performance from Shameik Moore and a refreshingly original point of view from writer-director Rick Famuyiwa, Dope is smart, insightful entertainment.
Synopsis: High-school senior Malcolm (Shameik Moore) and his friends Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) bond over '90s hip-hop culture,... [More]
Directed By: Rick Famuyiwa

#25

Superbad (2007)
88%

#25
Adjusted Score: 96000%
Critics Consensus: Deftly balancing vulgarity and sincerity while placing its protagonists in excessive situations, Superbad is an authentic take on friendship and the overarching awkwardness of the high school experience.
Synopsis: High-school seniors Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) have high hopes for a graduation party: The co-dependent teens plan... [More]
Directed By: Greg Mottola

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 94335%
Critics Consensus: The Breakfast Club is a warm, insightful, and very funny look into the inner lives of teenagers.
Synopsis: Five high school students from different walks of life endure a Saturday detention under a power-hungry principal (Paul Gleason). The... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#23

Rushmore (1998)
90%

#23
Adjusted Score: 94790%
Critics Consensus: This cult favorite is a quirky coming of age story, with fine, off-kilter performances from Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray.
Synopsis: When a beautiful first-grade teacher (Olivia Williams) arrives at a prep school, she soon attracts the attention of an ambitious... [More]
Directed By: Wes Anderson

#22

Hoosiers (1986)
91%

#22
Adjusted Score: 94988%
Critics Consensus: It may adhere to the sports underdog formula, but Hoosiers has been made with such loving craft, and features such excellent performances, that it's hard to resist.
Synopsis: Failed college coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) gets a chance at redemption when he is hired to direct the basketball... [More]
Directed By: David Anspaugh

#21

Hairspray (2007)
91%

#21
Adjusted Score: 100574%
Critics Consensus: Hairspray is an energetic, wholly entertaining musical romp; a fun Summer movie with plenty of heart. Its contagious songs will make you want to get up and start dancing.
Synopsis: In 1960s Baltimore, dance-loving teen Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) auditions for a spot on "The Corny Collins Show" and wins.... [More]
Directed By: Adam Shankman

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 97985%
Critics Consensus: The Spectacular Now is an adroit, sensitive film that avoids typical coming-of-age story trappings.
Synopsis: An innocent, bookish teenager (Shailene Woodley) begins dating the charming, freewheeling high-school senior (Miles Teller) who awoke on her lawn... [More]
Directed By: James Ponsoldt

#19

Election (1999)
92%

#19
Adjusted Score: 96964%
Critics Consensus: Election successfully combines dark humor and intelligent writing in this very witty and enjoyable film.
Synopsis: Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick), a well-liked high school government teacher, can't help but notice that successful student Tracy Flick (Reese... [More]
Directed By: Alexander Payne

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 96009%
Critics Consensus: Featuring an excellent ensemble cast, a precise feel for the 1970s, and a killer soundtrack, Dazed and Confused is a funny, affectionate, and clear-eyed look at high school life.
Synopsis: This coming-of-age film follows the mayhem of group of rowdy teenagers in Austin, Texas, celebrating the last day of high... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#17

Risky Business (1983)
92%

#17
Adjusted Score: 95187%
Critics Consensus: Featuring one of Tom Cruise's best early performances, Risky Business is a sharp, funny examination of teen angst that doesn't stop short of exploring dark themes.
Synopsis: Ecstatic when his parents leave on vacation for a few days, high school senior Joel Goodsen (Tom Cruise) cuts loose... [More]
Directed By: Paul Brickman

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 97356%
Critics Consensus: Rebel Without a Cause is a searing melodrama featuring keen insight into '50s juvenile attitude and James Dean's cool, iconic performance.
Synopsis: After moving to a new town, troublemaking teen Jim Stark (James Dean) is supposed to have a clean slate, although... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Ray

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 121011%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Homecoming does whatever a second reboot can, delivering a colorful, fun adventure that fits snugly in the sprawling MCU without getting bogged down in franchise-building.
Synopsis: Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#14

House Party (1990)
93%

#14
Adjusted Score: 94521%
Critics Consensus: House Party is a light, entertaining teen comedy with an infectious energy.
Synopsis: Play's parents are out of town, and he's planning the house party to end all house parties. His best friend,... [More]
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin

#13

Heathers (1989)
93%

#13
Adjusted Score: 96433%
Critics Consensus: Dark, cynical, and subversive, Heathers gently applies a chainsaw to the conventions of the high school movie -- changing the game for teen comedies to follow.
Synopsis: Veronica (Winona Ryder) is part of the most popular clique at her high school, but she disapproves of the other... [More]
Directed By: Michael Lehmann

#12

Carrie (1976)
93%

#12
Adjusted Score: 98506%
Critics Consensus: Carrie is a horrifying look at supernatural powers, high school cruelty, and teen angst -- and it brings us one of the most memorable and disturbing prom scenes in history.
Synopsis: In this chilling adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel, withdrawn and sensitive teen Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) faces taunting from... [More]
Directed By: Brian De Palma

#11

Ghost World (2001)
93%

#11
Adjusted Score: 98267%
Critics Consensus: With acerbic wit, Terry Zwigoff fashions Daniel Clowes' graphic novel into an intelligent, comedic trip through deadpan teen angst.
Synopsis: The story of neo-cool Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) who, faced with graduation from high school, take a... [More]
Directed By: Terry Zwigoff

#10

Juno (2007)
94%

#10
Adjusted Score: 102388%
Critics Consensus: One of the brightest, funniest comedies of the year, Juno's smart script and direction are matched by assured performances in a coming-of-age story with a 21st century twist.
Synopsis: When precocious teen Juno MacGuff becomes pregnant, she chooses a failed rock star and his wife to adopt her unborn... [More]
Directed By: Jason Reitman

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 106365%
Critics Consensus: The Edge of Seventeen's sharp script -- and Hailee Steinfeld's outstanding lead performance -- make this more than just another coming-of-age dramedy.
Synopsis: Everyone knows that growing up is hard, and life is no easier for high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), who... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Fremon Craig

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 100874%
Critics Consensus: One of the most influential of all teen films, American Graffiti is a funny, nostalgic, and bittersweet look at a group of recent high school grads' last days of innocence.
Synopsis: On the last day of summer vacation in 1962, friends Curt (Richard Dreyfuss), Steve (Ronny Howard), Terry (Charles Martin Smith)... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 103089%
Critics Consensus: Inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed, Back to the Future is a rousing time-travel adventure with an unforgettable spirit.
Synopsis: In this 1980s sci-fi classic, small-town California teen Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is thrown back into the '50s when... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#6

Booksmart (2019)
96%

#6
Adjusted Score: 119752%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, funny, and fresh, Booksmart does the seemingly impossible by adding a smart new spin to the coming-of-age comedy.
Synopsis: Academic overachievers Amy and Molly thought keeping their noses to the grindstone gave them a leg up on their high... [More]
Directed By: Olivia Wilde

#5

Hairspray (1988)
98%

#5
Adjusted Score: 99759%
Critics Consensus: Hairspray is perhaps John Waters' most accessible film, and as such, it's a gently subversive slice of retro hilarity.
Synopsis: When Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake), an overweight teen, auditions for a spot on a popular teen dance show, she beats... [More]
Directed By: John Waters

#4

Say Anything... (1989)
98%

#4
Adjusted Score: 100654%
Critics Consensus: One of the definitive Generation X movies, Say Anything... is equally funny and heartfelt -- and it established John Cusack as an icon for left-of-center types everywhere.
Synopsis: In a charming, critically acclaimed tale of first love, Lloyd (John Cusack), an eternal optimist, seeks to capture the heart... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#3

Hoop Dreams (1994)
98%

#3
Adjusted Score: 101750%
Critics Consensus: One of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of all time, Hoop Dreams is a rich, complex, heartbreaking, and ultimately deeply rewarding film that uses high school hoops as a jumping-off point to explore issues of race, class, and education in modern America.
Synopsis: Every school day, African-American teenagers William Gates and Arthur Agee travel 90 minutes each way from inner-city Chicago to St.... [More]
Directed By: Steve James

#2

Lady Bird (2017)
99%

#2
Adjusted Score: 128243%
Critics Consensus: Lady Bird delivers fresh insights about the turmoil of adolescence -- and reveals writer-director Greta Gerwig as a fully formed filmmaking talent.
Synopsis: A teenager (Saoirse Ronan) navigates a loving but turbulent relationship with her strong-willed mother (Laurie Metcalf) over the course of... [More]
Directed By: Greta Gerwig

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 106118%
Critics Consensus: Making excellent use of its period and setting, Peter Bogdanovich's small town coming-of-age story is a sad but moving classic filled with impressive performances.
Synopsis: High school seniors and best friends, Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (Jeff Bridges), live in a dying Texas town. The... [More]
Directed By: Peter Bogdanovich

I learned the truth at 17, that movie critics can be mean… but not to Hailee Steinfeld and her new movie The Edge of Seventeen, a high school dramedy starring Steinfeld as a neurotic hellcat on the cusp of adulthood. And if the reviews maintain their pace, then Edge will be a future alumni of this week’s 24 Frames gallery of Certified Fresh high school movies since 2000!

The 2011 People’s Choice Awards ceremony have revealed their winners. They
include a Twilight enterprise as Favorite Movie and Zac Efron as Favorite
Star Under 25, an award that we’re sure Efron has won a million times before,
though if not, this was his year and he so totally deserved it. Again, we
emphasize that these awards come from the people (all of you!), giving voice to
the voiceless, the downtrodden, the commoners way too ugly to appear on a very
large theater screen. If, for some insane reason you take umbrage with any of
these choices or winners, what the hell, you big outcast weirdo.


Favorite Movie


Alice in Wonderland


51%


Inception

87%

Iron Man 2


74%

Toy Story 3

99%

Twilight Saga:
Eclipse


51%


Favorite Movie Actor

Johnny Depp


Leonardo DiCaprio

Robert
Downey Jr.

Robert
Pattinson

Taylor
Lautner


Favorite Movie Actress

Angelina
Jolie

Jennifer
Aniston

Julia
Roberts

Katherine
Heigl

Kristen
Stewart


Favorite Action Movie

Iron Man 2


74%

Kick-Ass

76%



Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

37%

Robin Hood

43%

Salt


61%

 


Best Action Star

Angelina
Jolie

Bradley
Cooper

Jackie Chan

Jake
Gyllenhaal

Robert
Downey Jr.


Favorite Drama Movie


Alice in Wonderland


51%

Dear John


28%


Inception

87%

The Social
Network

97%

Twilight Saga:
Eclipse


51%


Favorite Family Movie


Despicable Me

82%



How to Train Your Dragon

98%

The Karate Kid


67%

Shrek Forever After


58%

Toy Story 3

99%


Favorite Comedy Movie

Date Night

67%

Easy A

86%

Grown Ups

10%

Sex and the
City 2

16%


Valentine’s Day

17%


Favorite Comedic Star

Adam Sandler

Drew
Barrymore

Steve Carell

Tina Fey

Will Ferrell


Favorite On Screen Team

Date Night

67%


Inception

87%

Iron Man 2


74%

The Karate Kid


67%

Twilight Saga:
Eclipse


51%


Favorite Movie Star Under 25

Emma Watson

Kristen
Stewart

Robert
Pattinson


Vanessa Hudgens

Zac Efron


Favorite Horror Movie

The Crazies


71%

The Last
Exorcism


72%

The Kids Are All Right

Let Me In

89%

A
Nightmare on Elm Street


13%


Resident Evil: Afterlife


25%


For all of RT’s awards season coverage, check out Awards Tour here.

Unlike last week, when we had a wealth of popular Certified Fresh choices, this week brings a much smaller selection of new releases. Most of them, in fact, are for direct-to-dvd films and bad horror movies you haven’t heard of. With that in mind, we bring you the five new releases and one boxset of a popular animated show’s parody of the original Star Wars trilogy. It may not be a whole lot to choose from, but there may still be a few things of interest here, so check them out!



85%

Easy A

Emma Stone is the real deal. If you need proof, the Certified Fresh Easy A provides ample evidence that she’s funny, intelligent, and incredibly likeable. Stone stars as Olive Penderghast, whose status in her school is non-existent until rumors of her racy exploits make the rounds. Olive uses her new-found fame to her advantage, until things start to get out of hand. A contemporary update of The Scarlet Letter, Easy A is warm, occasionally hilarious, and smarter than your average teen movie fare, boasting excellent supporting performances and a star-making turn from Stone. The DVD features a making-of doc, a gag reel, commentary from Stone and director Will Gluck, and footage from Stone’s audition.



[tomatometer]MovieId=770805753[/tomatometer]

Salt

Angelina Jolie has always been a Hollywood sex symbol, but she’s also proven herself to be quite the action star as well. Salt is simply the latest in a career filled with plenty of derring-do for Jolie, from racing cars (Gone in Sixty Seconds) to curving gunshots (Wanted). This time around, Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA operative who’s accused of being a Russian double agent and goes on the lam to prove her innocence. In an interesting lead-up to the film, it was revealed that the script was originally penned with Tom Cruise in mind, but Mr. Mission: Impossible felt the character too closely resembled Ethan Hunt, so he declined. That should offer some indication of how strong Jolie’s action cred has become; she effectively filled the shoes of Tom Cruise. And for the most part, critics felt she did an admirable job with material they found to be predictable and, at times, ludicrously plotted. The film also co-stars Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who are no slouches themselves, so Salt should provide a reasonably entertaining evening in with some popcorn.



[tomatometer]MovieId=770814365[/tomatometer]

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

In a year filled with 80s throwbacks (The Karate Kid, The A-Team, TRON: Legacy) one that really came out of nowhere was Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Was anyone really that curious to know whatever happened to Gordon Gekko? In any case, Oliver Stone brought the iconic Michael Douglas character back to the screen, this time with a protégé in the form of Shia LaBeouf as Jake Moore, who teams up with Gekko in order to warn the financial sector of the imminent stock market crash in 2008 and to exact revenge on the man he believes is responsible for his mentor’s death. Critics found Money Never Sleeps to be a decent follow-up to the original, but expressed disappointment at what they felt was a subpar film coming from the likes of Stone, a strong cast (which included Frank Langella and up-and-comer Carey Mulligan), and a timely storyline. It currently sits at 54% on the Tomatometer, but should hold some interest for fans of those involved and thrillers with a hint of realism.



[tomatometer]MovieId=771203480[/tomatometer]

Devil

M. Night Shyamalan hasn’t had much luck with the critics lately, and his last few films (The Last Airbender, The Happening, The Lady in the Water) have also been his worst-reviewed. So it was no surprise that trailers for Devil, which Shyamalan produced and whose story he wrote, were reportedly met with groans from movie audiences when it was revealed he was involved. However, to the credit of directors Drew and John Erick Dowdle, Devil‘s 53% Tomatometer is higher than Shyamalan’s last four efforts. The story centers around five strangers who are trapped inside a stalled elevator in a Philadelphia highrise; it’s revealed that the Devil is among them, and it’s up to them to figure out who it is, and why the five of them have been fated to wind up in the situation they’re in. Critics felt the film was passable entertainment with a few thrills to be had, but also that its premise was intriguing enough that a better movie could have resulted. Take that for what you will, but perhaps the fact that many consider this to be better than most of M. Night Shyamalan’s latest projects will offer some hope.



[tomatometer]MovieId=770733841[/tomatometer]

Step Up 3D

With the recent popularity of dance-themed television shows like So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Best Dance Crew, and even Dancing with the Stars, it was only natural that a film would come along that delivered a purely cathartic dance experience for moviegoers. That movie was 2006’s Step Up, which was popular enough around the world to warrant a sequel (Step Up 2: The Streets) and, this year, its third installment, Step Up 3D. For those of you who are planning on renting this movie, you know what you’re getting, and the Step Up series has never pretended to be anything more. Will there be strong plotting and award-worthy acting? Probably not. But will there be stunning choreography and some eye-popping visuals? Most definitely. Grab this one if you want to spend an evening watching hardbodies grinding on the dance floor (or any other appropriately flashy surface); the DVD also comes with a number of music videos for the songs featured in the film.


Laugh It Up Fuzzball: The Family Guy Trilogy

Seth MacFarlane had a hit on his hands with animated Fox show Family Guy, which was successful enough that MacFarlane was able to get two more shows on Fox. Family Guy itself remains the flagship of the network’s Sunday Animation Domination lineup, though the series has a love-it-or-hate-it quality about it, and MacFarlane has been given the opportunity to do pretty much whatever he wants with it. Pair that with his geek leanings and you’ve got Laugh It Up Fuzzball, Family Guy‘s three-part tribute to the original Star Wars trilogy. With three double-sized episodes to mirror Episodes IV, V, and VI of Star Wars, the show celebrates (and skewers) the George Lucas classics as only Family Guy can: with lots of irreverent humor, random non-sequiturs, and Peter being an idiot. The boxset coincides with the individual release of It’s A Trap! (a parody of Return of the Jedi) and contains tons of special features dedicated to each of the installments.

Written by Ryan Fujitani and Tim Ryan

This week at the movies, we’ve got a would-be harlot (Easy A, starring Emma Stone and Stanley Tucci); some Beantown bank robbers (The Town, starring Ben Affleck and Jon Hamm); wandering wolves (Alpha and Omega, with voice work by Justin Long and Hayden Panettiere); and a satanic elevator (Devil, starring Chris Messina and Geoffrey Arend). What do the critics have to say?



[tomatometer]MovieID=770813310[/tomatometer]

Easy A

Like Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You before it, Easy A takes a classic tale – in this case, Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter — and gives it a contemporary teenage spin. Critics say Easy A benefits greatly from the presence of Emma Stone, who helps to elevate this John Hughes-esque comedy with her natural comic instincts. Stone stars as Olive, who, unlike poor Hester Prynne, becomes a minor celebrity in her school when tales of her (alleged) promiscuity get around; she subsequently tries to use the scuttlebutt to her advantage, but finds herself in the midst of a tangled web. The pundits say Easy A is funny and smart, and Stone emerges as a talent to watch.



[tomatometer]MovieID=770814363[/tomatometer]

The Town

As an actor, Ben Affleck’s career has had its ups and downs. In the director’s chair, on the other hand, he’s all aces: his debut was the Certified Fresh Gone Baby Gone, and critics say he’s got another winner with the visceral noirish crime drama The Town. Affleck stars as one of a group of old pals-cum-bank robbers; in the midst of a heist, he finds himself romantically drawn to a hostage and starts to think about going straight. But can he escape his past? The pundits say the Certified Fresh The Town is proof (if any were needed) that Affleck is a strong director, and he gets memorable performances out of Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Jeremy Renner, and others in a strong crime procedural.(Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Affleck’s best-reviewed films.)



[tomatometer]MovieID=770789904[/tomatometer]

Alpha and Omega

As How to Train Your Dragon and Toy Story recently reminded us, even in this age of CGI and 3D, the best special effects are always great characters and strong storytelling. Unfortunately, critics say those attributes are largely missing from Alpha and Omega, a generic action adventure with so-so 3D visuals. A pair of young wolves (voiced by Justin Long and Hayden Panettiere) find themselves relocated by forest officials, and must make their way back to their homeland in order to stop a war with another pack of wolves. Will they find romance along the way? The pundits say Alpha and Omega may please some of the little ones, but it’s not a terribly memorable film — the animation is rudimentary, the gags are pandering, and the characters are bland.



[tomatometer]MovieID=771203480[/tomatometer]

Devil

It appears the folks behind Devil were terrified of critical damnation, since their film wasn’t screened prior to its release. The plot: a group of people trapped in an elevator quickly realize that B.O. is the least of their concerns, since El Diablo is among them. Hey, everybody: take a timeout from listening to Slayer and guess that Tomatometer!


Also opening this week in limited release:

And finally, mad props to Amrit S., Chico Movie Examiner, The Reaper, and Sean A. for guessing Resident Evil: Afterlife‘s 21 percent Tomatometer.

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