The Best Teen Movies on Netflix (December 2021)

Relive the ups and downs of high school — from a safe distance

Teen movies have been making a comeback in recent years, especially on Netflix, but they've never really gone out of style. These films include Netflix originals along with some old-school picks and serve up everything you’d expect from the genre: heartache, romance, coming-of-age lessons, and the timeless tradition of parties without parental supervision.

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Mixtape (2021): A Movie About Discovering Who Your Parents Were

Julie Bowen and Gemma Brooke Allen in 'Mixtape'


IMDb Rating: n/a

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Julie Bowen, Gemma Brooke Allen, Nick Thune

Director: Valerie Weiss

Motion Picture Rating: TV-G

Runtime: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Beverly Moody (Gemma Brooke Allen) is an orphan teen being raised by her grandmother. One day, she discovers a broken mixtape her parents made before they died. Seeing this as an opportunity to learn more about her parents, she seeks to find all of the songs on the tape with the help of a quirky neighbor and curmudgeonly record store owner.

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Night Teeth (2021): A Campy Vampire Romp for the College Crowd

Jorge Lendeborg Jr. and Debby Ryan in 'Night Teeth'


IMDb Rating: 5.7/10

Genre: Action, Thriller

Starring: Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Debby Ryan, Lucy Fry

Director: Adam Randall

Motion Picture Rating: TV-14

Runtime: 1 hour, 47 minutes

College student Benny wants to make some extra cash, so he's moonlighting as a chauffeur. But when he picks up two mysterious women for a night of bar-hopping, he gets pulled into a secret world of vampires and vampire hunters. While the plot is predictable, the cast is talented. Anyone looking for a campy fun watch could do worse.

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Klara Castanho in 'Confessions of an Invisible Girl'


IMDb Rating: 5.2/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Klara Castanho, Júlia Rabello, Stepan Nercessian

Director: Bruno Garotti

Motion Picture Rating: TV-PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes

This Brazilian teen film stars Klara Castanho as Tetê, a socially awkward loner who feels unaccepted at school and at home. But, when she's forced to move to a new city and start over at a new school, she tries her best to change her life for the better. This cute comedy will strike a nerve in anyone who's ever felt they don't quite fit in.

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He's All That (2021): Gender-Flipping a Classic '90s Rom-Com

Tanner Buchanan and Addison Rae in 'He's All That'


IMDb Rating: 4.3/10

Genre: Romance, Comedy

Starring: Tanner Buchanan, Rachael Leigh Cook, Addison Rae, Matthew Lillard

Director: Mark Waters

Motion Picture Rating: TV-MA

Runtime: 1 hour, 28 minutes

The 1999 rom-com She's All That stars Freddie Prinze. Jr. as a popular high school kid who makes a bet that he can turn a socially awkward art student (Rachael Leigh Cook) into the prom queen. This gender-flipped remake sees a social media influencer (Addison Rae) bet that she can turn a scruffy loner (Tanner Buchanan) into the prom king. Of course, the two fall for each other, which complicates things.

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JJ+E (2021): A Swedish Romance About Class and Cultural Barriers

Mustapha Aarab and Elsa Öhrn in "JJ+E"


IMDb Rating: 5.3/10

Genre: Romance

Starring: Mustapha Aarab, Elsa Öhrn, Magnus Krepper

Director: Alexis Almström

Motion Picture Rating: TV-14

Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Based on one of the most famous books by the award-winning Swedish author Mats Wahl, JJ+E is a modern-day story about two young people who fall in love despite the cultural and class barriers between them. Elisabeth and John-John couldn't be more different economically and socially, but when they start in the same high school class, they become friends and fall in love. The Swedish setting and actors help put a fresher spin on an old romance trope.

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Hunters encounter a dragon in 'Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild'


IMDb Rating: 5.4/10

Genre: Animated, Action

Starring: Dante Basco, Erica Lindbeck, Brando Eaton

Director: Steve Yamamoto

Motion Picture Rating: TV-PG

Runtime: 58 minutes

If the 2020 Monster Hunter film adaptation starring Milla Jovovich felt lacking, give this new animated movie a chance. Focusing on the character Aiden (a.k.a the "Excitable A-Lister" last seen in the video game Monster Hunter: World), it promises to stick more faithfully to its source material. During the film, Aiden and his fellow hunters track down and battle a fearsome Elder Dragon to protect their village. Fans of the video game franchise can expect plenty of nods and Easter eggs, and even a quippy, adorable Palico!

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The Kissing Booth 3 (2021): Elle Evans Goes to College

Joey King, Joel Courtney, Meganne Young, and Jacob Elordi in 'The Kissing Booth 3'


IMDb Rating: 4.7/10

Genre: Romance

Starring: Joey King, Joel Courtney, Jacob Elordi

Director: Vince Marcello

Motion Picture Rating: TV-14

Runtime: 1 hour, 52 minutes

Based on author Beth Reekles' The Kissing Booth novels, this film adaptation sees protagonist Elle Evans preparing for college. With one summer left between her and dorm life, she sets out to fulfill a bucket list with her boyfriend, Noah, and her best friend, Lee. While the films veer too often into rom-com cliche, fans of the novels should enjoy this third outing.

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Audible (2021): Best Documentary for Teen Athletes Who Want to Be Inspired

The Maryland School for the Deaf football team in the documentary 'Audible'


IMDb Rating: 5.3/10

Genre: Documentary

Starring: Amaree McKenstry-Hall

Director: Matthew Ogens

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 39 minutes

This documentary short follows teen athlete Amaree McKenstry-Hall, who plays football for the Maryland School for the Deaf. He and his fellow players are on an unprecedented winning streak. During the film, they deal with the stress of protecting it while also struggling with their senior year, their futures in the hearing world after graduation, and the death of a friend.

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Skater Girl (2021): A Film About Blazing Your Own Path

Rachel Saanchita Gupta and Shafin Patel in 'Skater Girl'


IMDb Rating: 6.7/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Amy Maghera, Waheeda Rehman, Rachel Saanchita Gupta

Director: Manjari Makijany

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 47 minutes

This Indian film is about a young girl who discovers skateboarding and dreams of competing in the sport but faces opposition from her traditional parents and the rest of her village. Meanwhile, the young woman who introduced her to skateboarding seeks to support her and the other village girls by building a skatepark. Skater Girl promises to be a heartwarming story about following your dreams.

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Vampires vs. The Bronx (2019): Best Gentrification Metaphor Since Beetlejuice

Jaden Michael, Gerald Jones III, and Gregory Diaz IV in 'Vampires vs. the Bronx'


IMDb Rating: 5.6/10

Genre: Comedy, Horror

Starring: Jaden Michael, Gerald Jones III, Gregory Diaz IV

Director: Oz Rodriguez

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Miguel, Bobby, and Luis are a bunch of normal teens with an unusual problem—vampires have invaded their Bronx community and are eating their neighbors. Plucky teens protect their neighborhood from invading monsters is not a new concept. Vampires vs. the Bronx wears that trope like a comfy blanket. But in between the fun frights and the witty one-liners is a clever meditation on gentrification and whitewashing.

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Mirai (2018): A Lovely Animated Film About Family and Time Travel

A scene from the animated film 'Mirai'


IMDb Rating: 7.0/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure

Starring: Rebecca Hall, Daniel Dae Kim, John Cho 

Director: Mamoru Hosoda

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 38 minutes

This lovely Japanese animated film is an emotional story about family. Kun is a four-year-old boy who has a new baby sister, Mirai. Jealous of the newcomer, he flees to the family's garden, which is magical and allows him to travel through time to meet different versions of his relatives—including the teenaged version of his new sister. Throughout the movie, Kun learns that his family members are people with personalities separate from his own and that he's not quite the center of the universe.

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Moxie (2021): A Film About Fighting Toxic School Culture

 Hadley Robinson in 'Moxie'


IMDb Rating: 6.7/10

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Hadley Robinson, Lauren Tsai, Alycia Pascual-Pena 

Director: Amy Poehler

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1 hour, 51 minutes

This teen comedy from Parks and Rec comedienne Amy Poehler stars Hadley Robinson as Vivian, a shy 16-year-old who decides to rebel against her school's toxic atmosphere by publishing an underground zine called Moxie. Her writing sparks a movement amongst the female students. While Poehler is relatively new as a film director, she's proven herself a talented comedic writer and actress, making this movie promising.

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Finding 'Ohana (2021): For Anyone Who Misses The Goonies

Owen Vaccaro, Alex Aiono, Lindsay Watson, and Kea Peahu in 'Finding Ohana'


IMDb Rating: 6.1/10

Genre: Action, Adventure

Starring: Kelly Hu, Ke Huy Quan, Lindsay Watson 

Director: Jude Weng

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 2 hours, 3 minutes

If you're a fan of movies where precocious teens go on an adventure for hidden treasures, you may want to spend a weekend watching Finding 'Ohana. It just might fill that Goonies-sized hole in your heart. The film is about two Brooklyn kids who go to Oahu to take care of their ailing grandfather and discover a pirate's journal that leads to a 200-year-old shipwreck. But, they also learn to appreciate their Hawaiian heritage along the way.

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The Half of It: A Hopeful Love Story

The Half of It on Netflix


IMDb Rating: 6.9/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Starring: Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Alexxis Lemire

Director: Alice Wu

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1 hour, 44 minutes

When a lovesick football player named Paul begs loner Ellie to help him woo popular-girl Aster with a love letter, Ellie finds herself in a confusing love triangle.

This intelligent and sincere story tackles friendship and self-discovery and offers a texting-era twist on Cyrano de Bergerac-style love letters and mistaken identity.

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Lady Bird: The Best Depiction of Senior-Year Struggles

Still from Lady Bird


IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts 

Director: Greta Gerwig

Motion Picture Rating: R

Runtime: 1 hour, 34 minutes

Christine (Lady Bird) desperately wants independence from her high school existence. Nothing seems to be going very smoothly—not her relationship with her mom, best friend, or first real boyfriend.

This film is a heartfelt look at the anticipation and uncertainty wrapped up in leaving high school behind.

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: A Charming Teen Rom-Com for Fans of All Ages

To All the Boys I've Loved Before on Netflix


IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Starring: Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish

Director: Susan Johnson

Motion Picture Rating: TV-14

Runtime: 1 hour, 39 minutes

The setup: Lara Jean's young sister secretly mails the love letters she's written to five crushes. Lara Jean enlists the help of one letter recipient, Peter, to convince neighbor and crush Josh (and fellow letter recipient) that she and Peter are in a relationship and that she’s moved on.

If you’re a rom-com fan of any age, there’s plenty to love in this sweet movie with two follow-up installments.

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All the Bright Places: An Important Mental Health Conversation Starter

All the Bright Places on Netflix


IMDb Rating: 6.5/10

Genre: Drama, Romance

Starring: Elle Fanning, Justice Smith, Alexandra Shipp

Director: Brett Haley

Motion Picture Rating: TV-MA

Runtime: 1 hour, 47 minutes

Violet and Finch start spending more time together while working on a school project about the wonders of Indiana. While they're both struggling in different ways, they look to each other for solace and hope for the future.

This story highlights the importance of finding support and looking out for one another—a meaningful message for all ages.

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Enola Holmes: There’s a New Holmes Detective In Town

Enola Holmes on Netflix


IMDb Rating: 6.6/10

Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime

Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin

Director: Harry Bradbeer

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 2 hours, 3 minutes

When 16-year-old Enola's older brothers refuse to help her find their recently missing mother, she heads to London on her own to solve the mystery. This spirited caper will appeal to true mystery-loving Sherlock Holmes fans, or Millie Bobby Brown (from Stranger Things) fans alike.

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