Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Best Coming-of-Age Movies

In honor of Richard Linklater's groundbreaking cinematic achievement, Boyhood, a coming-of-age tale filmed with the same crop of actors over a course of 12 long years, I've decided to dedicate July's Movie List of the Month to the Best Coming-of-Age movies of all-time (you can check out June's list here).

Now, I'm aware at how personal the genre can be to each and every individual, so I asked 9 of my movie-loving friends to choose from a relatively wide range of titles and order their favorite films. Then, each ranking was given a specific point value to create a collective list from all 10 of us. As the creator of the original list to choose from, I'm sorry for fans of The Breakfast Club and other popular options, but I went with my gut and here's what we came up with:

Chris Bandoian (#3 on his list): "Perks isn't just one of the best coming-of-age stories we've seen, but also one of the best all around movies. What better way is there to ensure a movie stays true to the book than to have to author direct it himself? The script is well-written, the performances are perfect, the score is excellent, and the cinematography is beautiful to the point of being surreal. Chobsky's work is personal and embodies some of the finest aspects of the rest of the movies on the list."

#7. The Outsiders

Gary Dickens (#1 on his list): "The Outsiders went on to show that just because you were from the wrong side of the tracks, it doesn't mean you don't know about family, loyalty and humanity."

#6. Big

Dave Traverso (#3 on his list): "Big is the quintessential example of an unforgettable coming-of-age tale. Through a brilliant performance from one of the greatest actors the world has ever known, Tom Hanks, we're all reminded that there's a beauty nestled inside of each and every stage of life and that there's no need to rush growing up."

 #5. Almost Famous

Greg Rouleau (#1 on his list): "With a fantastic soundtrack and one of the best screenplays ever written, Almost Famous makes you feel like you're floating on a cloud over a rainbow in 'Happy Land' for 120 minutes."

#4. A Bronx Tale

Jason Votta (#2 on his list): "A Bronx Tale is more than just a gangster movie, it's a life lesson on family, friendship, love, and what it means to be a real "tough guy". And the film poses the question, in the end, is it better to be feared or loved?"

#3. The Goonies

Amy Shoffner (#1 on her list): "The Goonies has most of the elements we all wanted (or feared) from our childhood ... a treasure hunt, pirates, befriending a deformed giant, cheerleaders wearing letter jackets, being kidnapped by a family of fugitives, booby traps, kissing your older brother's hot girlfriend, inspirational speeches by a teenager in a wishing well, and a bunch of kids sticking it to the man and saving the Goon Docks."

#2. The Sandlot

Joe "Chunk" Corcoran (#1 on his list): "The Sandlot goes to show you that a film doesn't need violence or death to show character development and growth. Just baseball."

#1. Stand by Me

Mike Sage (#1 on his list): "I picked Stand by Me because we all deal with fears and most of the time we don't face them. This movie inspires us to do just that and to go on our own journey!"

Note: A special thanks to everyone who helped offer their insight and compile this list: Mike Sage, Gary Dickens, Joe "Chunk" Corcoran, Chris Bandoian, Greg Rouleau, Jason Votta, Ryan O'Hara, Amy Shoffner and Ashley Traverso.

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