Summer’s winding down, and you know what that means? Back to hitting the books! Even if it’s been a long time since you were in school, well, it’s a perfect time for some good old nostalgia. Here are ten English movies about school, teenagers, teachers, and that first taste of love. They’re awesome for watching without subtitles if you’re at the Intermediate level or higher.
Lady Bird, 2017
A story about an ordinary teenager, no superpowers, no crazy illnesses, and no crystal-clear future. But this kid’s giving it all to dive headfirst into the grown-up world.
The film’s plot revolves around 17-year-old named Christine (played by Saoirse Ronan), wrapping up her senior year in high school. Like many her age, she’s pushing back against her bossy mom, hunting for a shot at college on the other side of the country, and of course, dealing with first love. Then one day, Lady Bird decides she’s had enough of her little town and sets her sights on New York, with some help from her older adopted brother, aiming to find her groove in life.
“I want you to be the very best version of yourself that you can be.”
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, 2012
This one’s based on a novel from Stephen Chbosky, and it’s all about finding your place in this crazy world, dealing with the struggles of growing up, and coming out stronger on the other side.
Charlie (Logan Lerman), a shy 15-year-old dude with some mental scars, is trying to adapt to the new world called high school. Making buddies isn’t exactly his strong suit. But he gets lucky when a couple of older students take him under their wings, showing him the ropes of the ‘real’ world.
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
|School days serve up all sorts of lessons, some good, some not-so-good. Wanna spill a school memory in English? Send us a recording for the ‘Go Back to School: Yay or Nay’ podcast at LinguaTrip radio. Go ahead, record your story.LinguaTrip Radio is a cool place to practice English by telling stories from your life. Share your cool adventures, thoughts, and memories in English, practice speaking, and watch how awesome you become at talking! How does it work?|
This movie portrays the not-so-great side of modern youth, their attitudes toward teachers, school, and life.
Henry Barthe (Adrien Brody), an English teacher, steps in as a substitute at a troubled school. The students there look down on teachers, treating them with disrespect and ignoring their efforts. Henry’s been through this before, so he stays chill. But then he meets this girl with a tough story, and it breaks through his “whatever” attitude. He decides to lend a hand.
“Some of us believe that we can make a difference, and then sometimes we wake up, and then realize we failed.”
Bad teacher, 2011
It’s a pretty fun movie with a cool cast and some funny conversations.
A wealthy fiancé ditches Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz). She’s all into getting a boob job, thinking it’ll reel in wealthy and famous dudes. But surgeries cost a pretty penny, so she’s back to teaching. She hustles to get the cash she needs.
“It’s a pretty inspiring message to the kids. We should never stop working on ourselves. Like you with your little boobs or me experimenting with ethnic food.”
Easy A, 2010
This one’s like a modern spin on “The Scarlet Letter,” basically saying those rumors about today’s youth being wild are blown out of proportion.
There’s this quiet girl, Olive (played by Emma Stone), and suddenly she’s at the center of rumors about her wild bedroom adventures—except they’re all made up. But she runs with it, acting like some sort of sexy legend and even starting this little service for good deeds. She’s soaking up the attention until things go a little haywire and her life becomes a mess.
“I used to be anonymous, invisible to the opposite sex. If Google Earth were a guy, he couldn’t find me if I was dressed up as a 10-story building.”
17 Again, 2009
A comedy about transformation, where the main character wakes up one day as a totally different person and gets a shot at a do-over.
So, there’s Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry), who’s kind of a mess. At 37, he’s dealing with divorce, a stagnant career, and his kids don’t give him the time of day. Then something weird happens and suddenly he’s 17 again. Now he’s (played by Zac Efron), a basketball star and a total crush magnet.
“When you’re young everything feels like the end of the world. But it’s not; it’s just the beginning.”
High School Musical, 2006
This chill Disney musical is all about embracing your real self.
Different groups at school don’t really see eye to eye. But things shift when the basketball hotshot, Troy (Zac Efron), crosses paths with this smart but shy girl, Gabriella. They decide to audition for the school musical and shake things up.
“In my other schools, I was the freaky math girl. It’s cool coming here and being… whoever I wanna be.”
School of Life, 2005
A film about an innovative teacher who teaches how to enjoy life and make the most of our time.
Mr. Warner’s kind of a pedant and perfectionist, aiming to snag Teacher of the Year, but then things go south. This young history teacher, Michael (Ryan Reynolds), rolls into town and suddenly he’s the students’ fave. Drama starts brewing. But little does anyone know, Mr. D has a secret that’ll change the whole school vibe and bring rivals together for a major life lesson.
“Education is truly a hero’s journey, and it seems to me that going to school is a lot like a Star Wars movie. You’re all Luke Skywalkers or Lucy Skywalkers, whichever applies, and school is just one of the many places that you’re going to receive your Jedi training.”
Mean Girls, 2004
A movie about the typical life of American high schoolers: guys, gossip, and of course, a prom.
Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) was homeschooled till she hit 16. Then she has to adjust to the norms of a regular public school with feuding cliques, outsiders, competition, and fitting in. Cady crushes on the ex-boyfriend of the meanest girl in school, which totally flips her world.
“I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me, but I can’t help it that I’m popular.”
The Breakfast Club, 1985
A deep story about growing up and making choices.
Five misfit students have to spend a Saturday in school detention. These teens would never be friends under normal circumstances, but they bond due to their punishment.
“We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it; That’s all.”
Some school movies will give you warm memories, while others will make you glad those classroom days are behind you. Found something you like? Get comfortable and get ready to watch. Just remember, watch them in English!”