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Since Jim, Stifler, Michelle and the rest of the crew (even alcoholic Tara Reid is coming back to play Vicky) are bringing the band back together for “American Reunion” this Friday, I’m here to offer you my top ten coming of age movies ever. Certainly, this sequel to an already dried out storyline will have to do a lot of good during its screen time in order to compete with these classics.
Honorable Mention: Wes Anderson’s “Rushmore” (1998)
10. Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Outsiders” (1983) – Arguably Coppola’s last good movie, “THE OUTSIDERS” has a plot featuring north verses south and rich verses poor battles. It also features a handful of upcoming young standout actors including Tom Cruise and Patrick Swayze.
9. Paul Weitz’s “American Pie” (1999) – So here’s where this goofy piece of work stands – but how could I leave it off considering all the characters from it are so eerily relatable to a lot of our old friends? What’s depressing about this movie is the fact that the studio had to go on and make endless sequels and spin-offs to fatten their pockets, none of them comparable in quality to the first.
8. David M. Evans’ “The Sandlot” (1993) – This is every adolescent boy’s dream movie – something they can watch over and over again and imagine that they or someone from their old pick-up crew could turn into Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez.
7. Richard Donner’s “The Goonies” (1985) – It hurts me deep down inside to put this at #7 because I have a soft spot for Mikey, Chunk, Mouth and the rest of the pack, but the fact of the matter is that this is a silly movie with an even sillier plot. Still, “THE GOONIES” has withstood the test of time.
6. Jason Reitman’s “Juno” (2007) – In the role that really exposed her to the public eye, Ellen Page by acting in this movie made the case that teenage pregnancy actually isn’t that bad if the girl can handle it. Wait, did I just say that?
5. Richard Linklater’s “Dazed and Confused” (1993) – Watching this movie is like being thrown into a time machine and getting transported back to when you were hanging out at the pool hall, smoking doobies and enjoying the company of your most trusted friends during high school. “DAZED AND CONFUSED” features great acting all around, especially the performance of Matthew McConaughey as supercreep David Wooderson.
4. Joe Cornish’s “Attack the Block” (2011) – One of the most overlooked 2011 releases, “ATTACK THE BLOCK” was produced by Edgar Wright in the hopes that his name would draw interest from American viewers – with no such luck. Take my word for it that lead actor John Boyega is about to become a mega star, the kid has so much composure that he seems like a young Denzel Washington.
3. John Hughes’ “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986) – I’ve heard people argue that this isn’t a coming of age movie, and I can kind of sympathize with that statement because Ferris Bueller’s seemingly already got his life figured out in his own movie about how he played hooky to enjoy a day in Chi-town with his nerdy best friend and cute girlfriend. However, I couldn't leave it off this list
2. Cameron Crowe’s “Untitled” (AKA “Almost Famous”) (2000) – Crowe masterpiece is an expose of learning about life’s ups and downs amidst a boy’s journey reporting for the traveling fictitious rock band called “Stillwater.” Set in the 70’s, you can expect the soundtrack of this Crowe film to be superb, and be sure to check out the director's cut of this movie called "UNTITLED" if possible as I consider it to be better than the theatrical cut.
1. Rob Reiner’s “Stand By Me” (1986) – This Steven King short story adaptation deals with human inclinations and childhood curiosity in a way that truly makes the viewer miss their childhood – part of the reason it’s #1 for my favorite coming of age movies.
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