Movies That Take Place in a High School Setting

Mary Gormandy White
Universal Pictures/Entertainment Pictures/ZUMAPRESS

There are hundreds of movies that take place in a high school setting. High school is something that almost all people have experienced, or will experience, at some point in their lives, so it is a popular backdrop for many different films. The teenage years bring a lot of changes that make for interesting, funny and engaging topics for books, plays and movies.

List of Favorite High School Movies

High school campuses are among the most popular settings for movies that feature teenagers as major characters. Some of the most popular titles include:

  • Back to the Future - Follow the adventures of high school student Marty McFly as he goes back in time to 1955 and attempts to save his parents' romance so he and his siblings can be born.
  • Bandslam - A story about a misfit who knows all there is to know about music. Through his passion for music, he is able to put together a successful band and make lifelong friends.
  • The Blind Side - A heartwarming story about a young boy who has never even had a bed of his own until he is taken in by a loving family and made a part of their home.
  • The Breakfast Club - A group of teens from different cliques serve detention and find they have more in common then they thought.
  • Clueless - What do you get when you take a movie about a book to LA? You get Clueless, where Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd became well known. The film is a high school comedy for the shopping obsessed who just love the sun. Popularity has nothing on money, right? As if!
  • Dead Poets Society - What happens when English professor John Keating teaches his prep school class of boys to live outside the box? Life is what happens when the boys start to live their lives as their own people rather than focusing on being who their parents want them to be.
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off - Ferris and his friends play hooky from school and have quite an adventure.
  • Grease - Seen as the first high school musical, this follows the love story of Sandy and Danny as they try to extend their summer romance and live in one another's worlds.
  • High School Musical - Students from different cliques come together on the stage, learn how to get along, forge strong friendships and deal with peer pressure.
  • John Tucker Must Die - John Tucker is cheating on all his girlfriends. They get together and decide he must die a social death.
  • The Lizzie McGuire Movie - Spun off the Disney series by the same name, the movie follows the adventures of Lizzie as she leaves junior high and heads to high school. She falls in love, has her heart broken and even gets a chance at being a rock star.
  • Mean Girls - A homeschooled girl goes into the world of a public high school and almost becomes a mean girl herself when she gets involved in a clique.
  • Mr. Holland's Opus - A story about a music teacher, the high school students he changes, and those who change him.
  • Raise Your Voice - Another Hilary Duff favorite, this movie is a bit darker, focusing on a young girl who loses her brother in a car accident and is able to pick up the pieces by focusing on her music.
  • Napoleon Dynamite - Spend some time with Napoleon as he eats tater tots, feeds the llama in his back yard and tries to make it through high school in one piece.
  • The Princess Diaries - Young Mia is somewhat of a misfit until she suddenly discovers she is actually a princess and is in line to take over the throne.
  • Say Anything - Do opposites attract? In this film, a "loser" and the class valedictorian fall in love over the summer before college. The film tackles how their relationship can continue to function in the real world.
  • She's All That - When ugly duckling Laney is the subject of a bet between popular Zach and his friends, high school drama happens at rapid speed. The bet? Zach wagers that he could turn just about any girl into the prom queen. His friends pick Laney and his work begins. However, Zach never planned to fall in love with his subject.
  • Sixteen Candles - Sam is 16 years old, but it seems that no one remembers her birthday. She deals with an annoying little brother, crazy grandparents and the fact that the boy she loves doesn't know she exists. Or does he?
  • The Twilight Saga - This romance follows the story of Bella (a human) and Edward (a vampire) as they fall in love and eventually get married.

This is certainly not an all inclusive list, as there are many other movies about high schools and teenagers - and more are made each year. These are, however, some of the best - and most popular - choices.

Finding Your Favorite High School Movies

Movies about high school are widely available via streaming, rental and purchase sources.

Streaming

Older titles can be viewed via sites like Netflix, iTunes and Crackle. On-demand subscription services like Xfinity and Direct TV On Demand are also good options. With on-demand services older titles are often available free, while newer titles can be viewed on a fee basis.

Rental

You can also rent DVDs and Blu-Ray discs via Redbox and Blockbuster Express kiosks. To save time and make sure that you can get the titles you want, reserve the high school movie you want to rent online and pick it up from the vending location of your choice.

Retail Purchase

If you'd prefer to purchase DVD or Blu Ray discs of your favorite high school flicks, there are many resources. Mass merchandise stores like Walmart and Target are good sources for finding recent titles. Amazon.com is a great resource for new titles, as well as those harder-to-find, older titles that you love to watch time and time again.

Enjoy Your Favorite Movies About Teens

You never get too old to enjoy watching movies that are set on a high school campus. With so many great films readily available to stream, rent or purchase, there's no reason to miss out on watching your classic favorites, as well as hot new releases. Relive your own high school memories or relate to the characters as they navigate through the often-difficult high school years.

Movies That Take Place in a High School Setting