Movies Like Thirteen: 23 Best Emotional Movies About Adolescence - Endless Popcorn

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure here.

Thirteen, with its raw and honest portrayal of a young girl’s journey through the challenges of adolescence, has left a lasting impact on audiences everywhere. From first love to family drama, this film tackles the complexities of growing up with a grace and nuance that is hard to come by.

So buckle up and get ready to relive those teenage years, as we take you on a tour of our top picks for movies like Thirteen. From coming-of-age tales to heart-wrenching dramas, we’ve got something for everyone. So sit back, grab some tissues, and let’s get started!

1.  Cruel Intentions

Details
Ratings
Cast
Where To Watch

Cruel Intentions Movie Description

Annette (Reese Witherspoon) is an ambitious high school senior with lofty goals, who has promised her boyfriend she’ll stay pure until they’re married.

Unknowingly, she finds herself caught in the midst of a treacherous wager of sexual conquest between her classmate Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) and his girlfriend Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar). However, Sebastian may end up being in over his head.

2.  Heathers

YouTube video
Details
Ratings
Cast
Where To Watch

Heathers Movie Description

Veronica (Winona Ryder) is the queen bee of her high school, and part of a popular clique of girls whose cruel behavior has driven her to secretly disapprove.

When Veronica and her new boyfriend, J.D. (Christian Slater), come into conflict with Heather Chandler (Kim Walker), the leader of the clique, they inadvertently poison her and make it look like suicide.

3.  The Basketball Diaries

Details
Ratings
Cast

The Basketball Diaries Movie Description

Jim Carroll (Leonardo DiCaprio), a high school basketball star, is struggling to cope with the intense pressure of his coach and mother. With nowhere to turn, he falls prey to the temptations of drug use in the mean streets of New York City.

Along with his friends, Jim scours the neighborhood for whatever he can get his hands on, stealing and even prostituting themselves to support his habit.

4.  Speak

YouTube video
Details
Ratings
Cast
Where To Watch

Speak Movie Description

Freshman high-school student Melinda (Kristen Stewart) is struggling to move past a traumatic event that occurred over the summer when she called the police on a popular party attended by her former friends.

With the entire school having turned their backs on her and her parents too busy to notice her struggles, Melinda begins to retreat into herself, desperately trying to hide her secret, that the star senior, Andy (Eric Lively), sexually assaulted her during the party.

5.  Beautiful Boy

Details
Ratings
Cast
Where To Watch

Beautiful Boy Movie Description

In the midst of teenage life, Nicolas Sheff is a young man with an impressive array of talents. He excels at school, shines in his roles as an actor, artist, and athlete, and is even the editor of the school newspaper.

Despite all this success, he has been quietly struggling with a meth addiction that eventually threatens to consume him. Nic’s father is determined to help his son. With no clear path forward, he embarks on an emotional and expensive journey as a parent in order to save Nic from himself.

6.  Girl, Interrupted

Details
Ratings
Where To Watch

Girl, Interrupted Movie Description

When Susanna (Winona Ryder) finds herself at a prestigious mental facility for women who are dealing with challenges in their lives, she is faced with an important decision.

Shall she remain isolated within the confines of the institution and succumb to Lisa (Angelina Jolie), a seductive, yet dangerous woman who seems to be in control? Or will she venture out into the real world, which can often be difficult, but ultimately offers her freedom?

7.  mid90s

Details
Ratings
Cast
Where To Watch

mid 90s Movie Description

A Thirteen-year-old is growing up in 1990s Los Angeles, facing the struggles of home life as well as the typical teenage issues that come along with it.

8.  White Oleander

Details
Ratings
Cast
Where To Watch

White Oleander Movie Description

A young girl is facing a difficult transition as her mother serves a life sentence for murdering her boyfriend. Now placed in the foster care system, she has to learn how to survive and find her own identity in the face of this coldhearted situation.

Moving from one troubled foster home to the next, she must grow increasingly resilient as she grapples with the conflicting emotions and lessons of each home.

9.  Christiane F.

YouTube video
Details
Ratings

Christiane F. Movie Description

In 1970s Berlin, an adolescent girl lives with her single mother. Struggling to fit in and find her place in the world, she falls in with a drug dealer.

10.  Foxfire

Details
Ratings
Where To Watch

Foxfire Movie Description

Maddy Wirtz (Hedy Burress) and her four new friends, Legs (Angelina Jolie) and Goldie (Jenny Shimizu) are high school girls determined to stand up against the teacher who has been making sexual advances toward students.

When they try to get Maddy’s confiscated art supplies back by sneaking into the school at night, an accidental fire is started. Despite this, the girls continue to stand up for each other and fight against their own personal demons.

11.  Havoc

Details
Ratings
Cast
Where To Watch

Havoc Movie Description

High school students Allison (Anne Hathaway) and Emily (Bijou Phillips) are tired of the mundane life in their suburban town and look to find something more exciting. On a journey to find real gangsters on the streets of Los Angeles, they come across Hector (Freddy Rodriguez), an inner-city thug.

They decide to hang out with him and his friends, quickly getting absorbed in the criminal lifestyle. But as they go further down this dark path, they quickly learn that it is a lot more dangerous than they thought. Faced with the consequences of their actions, Allison and Emily must figure out how to get out of the situation alive. Will they be able to escape unscathed or will the streets consume them?

12.  Trainspotting

Details
Ratings
Cast
Where To Watch

Trainspotting Movie Description

Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor), a heroin addict, has difficulty staying sober and away from the unreliable companionship of Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Begbie (Robert Carlyle), Spud (Ewen Bremner), and Tommy (Kevin McKidd). With Diane (Kelly Macdonald), his underage girlfriend, along for the ride, the group takes off on various adventures.

After cleaning up his act and moving to London in an attempt to escape his old life, Mark finds himself face-to-face with Begbie, who has come to London on the lam. Sick Boy is also hot on his trail, and a series of misadventures ensues as they all embark upon a journey of redemption.

13.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Details
Ratings
Cast
Where To Watch

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower Movie Description

Charlie (Logan Lerman), an awkward teenage boy with a passion for writing, appears to have no friends and is content to stay on the sidelines of life. But when two charismatic students, Sam (Emma Watson) and her stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller), become his mentors, Charlie slowly begins to learn about friendship, first love, music, and more.

With the encouragement of a teacher who believes in his writing talent, Charlie’s confidence begins to grow and he starts to look forward to the future.

14.  Eighth Grade

Details
Ratings
Cast
Where To Watch

Eighth Grade Movie Description

Gathering her courage and determination, thirteen-year-old Kayla ventures through the final week of middle school, the last stretch of a tumultuous eighth-grade year.

Amidst the rising pressures of suburban adolescence, she struggles to make sense of the world around her while fending off anxieties. As if life isn’t already difficult enough, she’s continually bullied by her peers and overlooked by her teachers.

15.  Mean Girls

Details
Ratings
Cast
Where To Watch

Mean Girls Movie Description

Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan), a teenage girl, is living a life of privilege in Africa with her scientist parents. But her life takes an unexpected turn when her family decides to move to the United States and settle down in the suburbs of Illinois.

As she embarks on her first experience of public school, Cady quickly comes to terms with the social hierarchy and the popular cliques of the school.

16.  (500) Days of Summer

Details
Ratings
Cast
Where To Watch

(500) Days Of Summer Movie Description

Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a talented greeting-card writer and devoted romantic, is left reeling when his beloved Summer (Zooey Deschanel) suddenly ends their 500-day relationship. Heartbroken and confused, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery to better understand how their love affair went so wrong.

As he reflectively examines the highs and lows of their time together, Tom begins to uncover his true passions and embrace life with an open heart.

17.  The Edge of Seventeen

Details
Ratings
Cast
Where To Watch

The Edge Of Seventeen Movie Description

High school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) is struggling to cope with her everyday life. Already dealing with the peak of awkwardness that all teenagers go through, things become even more complicated when her older brother Darian (Blake Jenner) starts dating her best friend, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson).

Nadine feels more alone than ever before and doesn’t know where to turn for support. But when she meets a thoughtful and kind teen, Nadine finds a glimmer of hope in her life.

18.  Spring Breakers

Details
Ratings
Cast
Where To Watch

Spring Breakers Movie Description

Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Faith (Selena Gomez), Brit (Ashley Benson), and Cotty (Rachel Korine) are college students who are desperately in need of money to fund their spring break trip. Desperate to get the cash they need, they rob a diner and set off for Florida. However, their plan doesn’t go as expected when they get apprehended by the police.

Unexpectedly, a drug dealer and aspiring rap artist named Alien (James Franco) comes to their rescue and bails them out. Impressed by his bravado and comfortable lifestyle, three of the four girls decide to join him in a life of crime. Excited for the new, dangerous adventure, they embark on a wild journey filled with fun, excitement, and danger.

5 More Movies Like Thirteen (Honorable Mentions)

While the top picks for movies like Thirteen may have stolen the spotlight, there are plenty of other films that deserve recognition for their impact and influence in the genre. From coming-of-age stories to tales of youth rebellion, these honorable mentions showcase a diverse range of experiences and perspectives.

While they may not have received the same level of recognition as the top picks, these films still offer thought-provoking and emotional journeys that are worth exploring. So if you’re looking for some more good options, make sure you consider these films.

  • Lady Bird (2017)
  • The Virgin Suicides (1999)
  • Juno (2007)
  • Waves (2019)
  • Blockers (2018)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap