Occasionally I get asked, and it is a really valid question, why I don’t recommend more movies for TEENS that a) make those younger viewers think and b) and would be enjoyable for them to think about. Hrrm. My first response is to say, uh, because they don’t exist? hahaha. No, that isn’t true. I mean, don’t they just want to watch the Kardashians on repeat? No. Not all teens want that. Certainly, right? But, generally, teenagers don’t hop on Google and type the words, “Explain the existential and metaphysical underpinning of the movie Tenet.” That’s just not a thing. But you might have, which is why you are here! Regardless, today, I’m bringing you Enola Holmes and Other Films for Teens. Wherein, I will tell you a bit about the movie Enola Holmes, and then also try and conjure up some movies that I have been watching with my two oldest teens that they enjoyed. OK? Great. So today will be a spoiler free experience. No walk throughs. No in depth unveilings and metaphysical existentialism – or what have you. Just ten perfect movie recommendations for you and your teens.
And now that I think about it, I did do this post for thinking college students where I recommended 10 films for this elusive group. But I don’t know if that demographic of movies is what we are looking for here. I wouldn’t show many of those movies to my teens anyway. So let’s find a few more family friendly films that everyone in the family might enjoy thinking about.
Teen Movie Recommendations
R1 – Enola Holmes
Okay, reason number one for why you and your teen will fall in love with Enola Holmes? Millie Bobby Brown. (She’s also my reason #2 – #28, but that would get really old with me just typing that over and over again. “Millie Bobby Brown, Millie Bobby Brown, Millie Bobby… you get the idea.) I’m pretty sure your kid dug her as Eleven in Stranger Things and so they’ll like watching her flip to an even more likable role. Also, she shows up film greats Henry Cavill, and Sam Claflin, so there’s that too. And she works marvelously well with Helena Bonham Carter, and who doesn’t like Helena Bonham Carter?
R2 – Juno
Juno is one of the greatest movies of all time. It features brilliant and witty dialog that your smart teenager will enjoy. It’s got a STACKED cast. And the film spends its time dealing with the chaos that is teenage pregnancy. Did I mention it was written by Diablo Cody – and it’s some of the best writing in a dialog driven screenplay I’ve ever seen. She also wrote the crazy brilliant Jennifer’s Body (yes, that is my official opinion, don’t make me write a 5k word piece justifying myself) and also Tully, but I don’t recommend EITHER of those movies for your teen. OK? Juno is a movie with a really great heart and a fantastic message to boot.
R3 – Peanut Butter Falcon
This might be the only perfect movie on this list. Hell, it might be the only perfect movie ever made. And it has Shia LaBeouf who might be the only perfect actor in Hollywood today. I’m so enamored with this guy… this movie… all of it. (If you’d like to read more about it – knock yourself out here.)
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R4 – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
I am the last person on the planet that can give an objective perspective on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This is literally heaven on earth when it comes to movie making. I tell this story all the time about this movie, but when I went to college in Chicago, I went WAY out of my way to attempt to reenact many of the crazy scenes in this movie. Including running out in between two floats during the Thanksgiving Parade in order to scream Danke Schoen at the top of my lungs. Needless to say, my kids were certain they would hate Ferris, but he won them over by the end of the film. Big time. “Mr. Rooney, would you like a Gummie Bear? They’re nice and warm, they’ve been in my pocket.”
R5 & R6 – National Treasure 1 & 2
You’ve already watch Raider’s of the Lost Ark with your kids. I know you have, because you are sane. And I don’t want to have to call the Movie Police. (Don’t worry, my kids watched Indie1, but refused to movie on to Indie2 – I know, I tried to have them kicked out of the house, but their mother sort of got in the way of that.) But National Treasure?!? Nicolas Cage?!? Archeology, puzzles, explosions? This is brilliant fun right here. And yes, it plays fast and loose with history, but your kids will have to keep up with it to know just when and where they are. It’s perfect for those smart kids of yours.
R7 – Easy A
Look, your kids already know that the rumor mill that is the internet is way way way worse to deal with than the more sedate, in-person rumor mill that we had to deal with growing up. So this super-smart teen comedy inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter might even be more relevant than the original source material. It is all about a rule abiding teen who gets shredded via the rumor mill on Facebook. And it’s all about her attempts to right that wrong.
R8 – Live, Die, Repeat
I have turned my son into a guinea pig for your amusement just to build this perfect teen movie post recommendations page – and Live, Die, Repeat (or Edge of Tomorrow – whatever) is without a doubt his favorite movie on this list. He loved the brilliance of the time loops, the action, the comedy. He loved everything about this movie. Trust me, if your kid likes movie like you do – this is one that will keep them thinking for long after the movie is over.
R9 – 10 Things I Hate About You
The thing I love about 10 Things is that 1) it’s based on Shakespeare (Kiss Me Kate, aka Taming of the Shrew) 2) it’s wicked brilliant screenplay 3) Heath Ledger. Really? Do I need anything more than that to suggest it to your teens? Sure, you could go with Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles in this slot, but man, I re-watched them all recently and they are really really crass. Too crass for my kids anyway. But 10 Things takes the intelligent writing seriously here, and it also comes with a great moral. This is one of my favorite movies of all time. (Parents, if you want the more mature version of this film, try Heathers out. Christian Slater is epic.)
R10 – Inception
My kids are already huge Christopher Nolan fans. So much so they can’t grasp why all movies are graven in his image. (They literally have asked me that very question.) But, of all the Nolan films, the one that just really kept them on the edge of their seats (though I’d prefer it to be The Prestige – alack) was Inception. They loved the action. They loved the brain back twists. There really wasn’t a thing about it they didn’t love.
And there you have it – Enola Holmes and Other Films For Teens. A total of ten films to share with your kids that will cause them to think…while simultaneously show them a really good time. And if your kids don’t like any of the movies on this list, feel free to contact my kids and ask for your money back. (Because that wouldn’t be weird at all.) I’m sure my kid’s mowing money will more than cover your grievances. Or something.