Columnists discuss the best movies for UAHS students according to relatability, relevance and overall cinematic quality.

By Callia Peterson, ’22 and Noah Mizer, ’21
The Edge of Seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen, released November 2017, is a film that centers around Nadine, played by rising pop-star Hailee Steinfield, as she navigates high school with her best friend Krista. Reminiscent of a John Hughes’ movie, the film is an honest reflection of life as a teenager with characters whose downfall are often results of their own actions, something most teens are not unfamiliar with.

Lady Bird

Lady Bird, directed by Greta Gurwig follows the tumultuous relationship between Christine, who goes by her chosen name Lady Bird, and her mother. Their arguments mostly center around how Lady Bird aspires to attend an East-Coast college while her mother wants her to go to UC Davis, a more affordable option. The portrayal of their relationship is relatable to students who desire to leave their hometown and embark on their own journey of self-discovery.

Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade, directed by Bo Burnham, tells the story of Kayla, played by Elsie Fisher, through her series of self-created video diaries. In these diaries, she tackles dealing with embarrassment, popularity, and other struggles a preteen experiences. Not only does this film accurately portray the life of a modern middle schooler, the development of the relationship between Elsie and her father is powerful enough to bring anyone to tears.

The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club follows five unique students serving a Saturday detention supervised by an arrogant assistant principal. The group of students is comprised of the “rebel,” the “princess,” the “outcast,” the “brainy” and the “jock.” The movie has been loved for decades because of its comedic moments and valuable lessons about identity. 

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller is the perfect representation of the inner-rebel every high-school student secretly aspires to be. The ’80s classic is 103 minutes of pure entertainment. Watch Ferris skip school, “borrow” a Ferrari and take a trip to Chicago with a couple of friends for a feel-good movie about the perfect day off. 


Booksmart is a quirky film about Molly, an overachiever and valedictorian of her high school graduating class. While she has received acceptance from the college of her dreams, she realizes that in working so hard to do so, she has missed out on many typical teenage experiences. Through the discoveries of Molly and her best friend Amy, director Olivia Wilde leaves viewers questioning their own assumptions about the people around them and the stereotypes they buy into everyday.

Dead Poets Society

O’ Captain! My Captain! Set in the 1950s, students enter the halls of a prestigious all-boys boarding school in Vermont dreaming of the summer days they left behind and dreading the boring school year before them. However, the boys’ seemingly mundane school year is reinvigorated by their new English teacher, Mr. Keating (Robin Williams). He teaches the boys to appreciate literature, encourages them to resurrect an old club and helps them find their voices in their writing. This film highlights the challenging aspects of living as a teen with high expectations from their parents and teachers.

Love, Simon  

Love, Simon, is a modern take on the classic teenage movie. It explores important issues such as coming out and accepting yourself for who you are. Even students who don’t identify as LGBTQ+ can find Simon and his struggles relatable.