20 Movies To Watch If You Loved The Breakfast Club – Rotten Tomatoes
(Photo by Universal / courtesy Everett Collection)
If you’re looking for more movies like The Breakfast Club, you’ve come to the right place, princess. Or criminal. Or basket case. Or whoever you identify with from John Hughes’ timeless high school classic of disaffected youth. If you’re new to school, Hughes was the outsider king of ’80s cinema. The other movies of the era he was involved with — Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, and Some Kind of Wonderful — are nearly equal in stature to Breakfast Club.
A lot of high school movies are about partying, and there’s certainly some of those necessary classics in this guide (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dazed and Confused), but Breakfast Club is beloved for synthesizing the emotional and mental states of those further down the social ladder. A lot of these stories are told from male perspectives, like in broad comedies Weird Science or Better Off Dead, the fight-ready My Bodyguard or Lucas, the sincerely devastating Dead Poets Society, and the bring-on-the-’90s Pump Up the Volume.
Of course, much of the appeal of John Hughes movies is that they aren’t just boys clubs. Thanks to his groundbreaking works, high school cinema opened up for female-centric stories, including the black comedy satire Heathers and the frothy Clueless, which would lead the way into the new century for Mean Girls and The Edge of Seventeen.
The 21st century got its high school outsider poster boy with Napoleon Dynamite in 2004. As the internet became ubiquitous and we became more connected and young people more empathetic (we hope), high school movies evolved into ground zero for a new class of protagonists we wouldn’t have seen even in prior years. For proof, see Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, or the LGBTQ-focused Booksmart and Love, Simon. The movies of John Hughes, who sought to save the hearts and souls of the young before they were sacrificed to society and class hierarchy, helped make these movies possible.
What would you recommend to someone who loved The Breakfast Club?
Adjusted Score: 57.911%
Critics Consensus: Hardly in the same league as John Hughes’ other teen movies, the resolutely goofy Weird Science nonetheless gets some laughs via its ridiculous premise and enjoyable performances.
Adjusted Score: 71.177%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Adjusted Score: 75.63%
Critics Consensus: A charming, quirky, and often funny comedy.
Adjusted Score: 78.365%
Critics Consensus: Better Off Dead is an anarchic mix of black humor and surreal comedy, anchored by John Cusack’s winsome, charming performance.
Adjusted Score: 82.464%
Critics Consensus: While Fast Times at Ridgemont High features Sean Penn’s legendary performance, the film endures because it accurately captured the small details of school, work, and teenage life.
Adjusted Score: 80.868%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Adjusted Score: 82.892%
Critics Consensus: A funny and clever reshaping of Emma, Clueless offers a soft satire that pokes as much fun at teen films as it does at the Beverly Hills glitterati.
Adjusted Score: 83.116%
Critics Consensus: Molly Ringwald gives an outstanding performance in this sweet, intelligent teen comedy that takes an ancient premise and injects it with insight and wit.
Adjusted Score: 86.076%
Critics Consensus: Matthew Broderick charms in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a light and irrepressibly fun movie about being young and having fun.
Adjusted Score: 83.591%
Critics Consensus: Some Kind of Wonderful is above-average ’80s teen fare for people who need as much John Hughes in their lives as possible.
Adjusted Score: 88.747%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully scripted and perfectly cast, Me & Earl & the Dying Girl is a coming-of-age movie with uncommon charm and insight.
Adjusted Score: 85.112%
Critics Consensus: T. Bill debuts as an affectionate director, keenly aware of growing pains.
Adjusted Score: 88.17%
Critics Consensus: Affecting performances from the young cast and a genuinely inspirational turn from Robin Williams grant Peter Weir’s prep school drama top honors.
Adjusted Score: 89.086%
Critics Consensus: Funnier and more smartly written than the average teen comedy.
Adjusted Score: 87.807%
Critics Consensus: Significantly more mature than the teen raunch comedies that defined the era, Sixteen Candles is shot with compassion and clear respect for its characters and their hang-ups.
Adjusted Score: 95.37%
Critics Consensus: Featuring an excellent ensemble cast, a precise feel for the 1970s, and a killer soundtrack, Dazed and Confused is a funny, affectionate, and clear-eyed look at high school life.
Adjusted Score: 101.301%
Critics Consensus: Love, Simon hits its coming-of-age beats more deftly than many entries in this well-traveled genre — and represents an overdue, if not entirely successful, milestone of inclusion.
Adjusted Score: 97.038%
Critics Consensus: Dark, cynical, and subversive, Heathers gently applies a chainsaw to the conventions of the high school movie — changing the game for teen comedies to follow.
Adjusted Score: 101.808%
Critics Consensus: The Edge of Seventeen’s sharp script — and Hailee Steinfeld’s outstanding lead performance — make this more than just another coming-of-age dramedy.
Adjusted Score: 112.644%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, funny, and fresh, Booksmart does the seemingly impossible by adding a smart new spin to the coming-of-age comedy.
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