Special Report

The 25 Best Coming-of-Age Films

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

10. Holes (2003)
> Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Tim Blake Nelson
> Director: Andrew Davis

This comedy-drama tells the story of a wrongly convicted young boy who gets sent to a brutal desert detention center where inmates must dig holes for no good reason. Along the way, they form meaningful friendships. The film marked Shia LaBeouf’s cinematic debut.

Source: Courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures

9. The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)
> Starring: Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee
> Director: Irving Reis

Temple stars as a 17-year-old high school student who falls for an older man, a playboy artist. Well-received by critics and audiences alike, the film won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay for Sidney Sheldon — who later turned to writing romantic thrillers, becoming one of the best-selling fiction writers of all time.

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Distribution Company

8. The Journey of Natty Gann (1985)
> Starring: Meredith Salenger, John Cusack, Ray Wise, Lainie Kazan
> Director: Jeremy Kagan

This Disney adventure flick is about a tomboy in the 1930s who runs away from her guardian in hopes of joining her single father thousands of miles away. There are several twists along the way, including an innocent romantic encounter with a young traveler.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

7. Little Manhattan (2005)
> Starring: Josh Hutcherson, Charlotte Ray Rosenberg, Bradley Whitford, Cynthia Nixon
> Director: Mark Levin

A love story about a couple of Manhattanites — a 10-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl who meet when they’re paired in a self-defence class. The boy’s parents are on the verge of divorce, while the girl’s family is stable and well off. Despite their different circumstances, the youths grow to understand what love may look like.

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

6. Heavenly Creatures (1994)
> Starring: Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse, Diana Kent
> Director: Peter Jackson

This biographical psychological crime story is based on the Parker-Hulme murder case that shook New Zealand in the 1950s, as a teenager — played by a young Winslet — murders her mother with the help of a close friend. The film won overwhelmingly positive reactions from critics, especially for its performances and directing.