Growing up is a universal experience so it isn’t surprising that a lot of us find coming-of-age movies relatable despite our differences in culture, gender, ethnicity, and class. While a coming-of-age film can be a hilarious comedy, a heartbreaking drama, or a bloody thriller, almost all of them usually feature a hard-hitting moment where the protagonist is forced to grow up and make a mature decision for the first time. If you’re looking for some pure nostalgia from when you were just on the verge of adulthood, below are 35 of the greatest coming-of-age movies of all time that you may want to watch.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Set in a dystopian near-future Britain, A Clockwork Orange centers on antisocial delinquent Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) and his small group of thugs as they go on crime sprees that include theft, rape, murder, and other forms of “ultra-violence”. When Alex is jailed, he submits to a conduct-aversion experiment that conditions him to abhor violence. Though he eventually earns his freedom, he returns to the world defenseless, becoming the victim of his prior victims.
In Anthony Burgess’ 1962 novel of the same name, on which the Stanley Kubrick-directed movie is based, Alex’s sadism subsides as he gets older — making his crime spree a metaphor for the wild urges of adolescence. Though the movie adaptation is a lot more sinister than the source material, the former still scored Best Picture, Best Writing, Best Director, and Best Film Edition nominations at the 44th Academy Awards.