Any teen parent knows it can be hard to connect with your kids at this age. Their need for independence often drives them into their rooms or out of the house to hang with friends. Yup, they used to love hanging out with you but now you’re lucky if they even greet you. But sometimes, bonding with them can come down to the small things—like simply watching a movie together.
There’s a huge range of teen movies on Netflix that parents will love too. From romantic comedies to horror to movies that touch on what it feels like to lose someone or come out, there’s bound to be something that you’re both excited to watch. But brace yourself, there’s no research indicating that your teen won’t go back to their usual grumpy selves once the movie ends. (Though you may get a fleeting smile first!)
Here are our picks for the best teen films on Netflix Canada.
1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Lara Jean is faced with humiliation after the five secret love letters she wrote to different boys get leaked. In the midst of diverting an awkward letter-confrontation situation, she gets herself caught in a lie that winds up surprising her.
2. To the Bone
Watch a brave 20-year-old battle anorexia in a group home while navigating a journey of self-discovery. This harrowing story—involving her family, too—will teach you and your teen how to embrace life throughout its challenges.
An eighth grader gets recognized for his advanced talent and a promising future in basketball. He finds himself playing on a team with older guys at an elite boarding school where his academics and life choices are challenged.
4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Charlie is entering freshman year battling depression and the grief of his best friend’s suicide. This coming-of-age film narrates how he learns about himself and the real world, with the help of two unconventional seniors with whom he connects.
5. Next Gen
Mai, a lonely girl who hates robots, finds herself becoming friends with one. These two tight-knit friends-turned-vigilantes go on an adventure to take down a villain with a sinister plot.
6. The Outcasts
Best friends, who are often made fun of by the school’s popular victimizers, manage to turn the student body’s outcasts against the “Queen Bee” and her friends.
7. The Kissing Booth
Elle falls for her best friend’s older brother—but he’s off limits, according to a set of rules they established years back. She learns that sometimes following your heart is more important than following the rules, but that comes with risks and consequences.
Her mom is a former beauty queen, but plus-size teen Willowdean thinks pageants are silly. That is, until she decides to join the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant as a protest to show that everybody—and every body—deserves a chance to shine.
9. Alex Strangelove
When Alex starts crushing on Elliot, his friends tell him he’s just nervous about losing his virginity to long-term girlfriend Claire. As he keeps questioning his sexuality, he comes to an unexpected conclusion.
10. Vampires vs. the Bronx
If your kids like horror but with a healthy dash of humour, this one’s a winner. As vampires terrorize the New York neighbourhood, it’s up to a group of Bronx teens to band together and stop the undead’s evil plot to take over.
11. The Prom
When Emma tries to bring a girl as her date, the school cancels her prom and she gets bullied by other students. Luckily, a group of Broadway actors in need of positive PR hear about her story and rush in to save the day, bringing various hijinks along with them.
12. Enola Holmes
Enola, the teenage sister of Sherlock Holmes, defies the gender roles of her time with her keen detective skills. Those skills are put to the test when her own mother goes missing.
The personal issues of four best friends come to a head in the last two weeks before their high school graduation.
Best friends Amy and Molly spent their high school years studying. Right before graduation, they realize they’re no better off than their hard-partying classmates, so they decide to make up for all the fun they didn’t have in one unforgettable night.
15. 17 Again
As 37-year-old Mike’s life begins to crumble around him, he gets the chance for a do-over when he miraculously becomes 17 again. He quickly learns that this might not be the blessing he thought it was.
16. All The Bright Places
Finch and Violet, two teenagers struggling with the aftermath of traumas, adventure through Indiana. They form a powerful bond through their cathartic journey.
17. All Together Now
The ambitious, musically talented Amber has a struggle she’s keeping secret: she’s homeless. An unforeseen tragedy forces her to be honest with her friends and to learn to accept their help.
18. The Half Of It
Ellie, who is used to taking on odd jobs, agrees to write a love letter for a jock who isn’t good with words. As the letters continue, she finds that she’s also developing feelings for his crush.
19. Anonymously Yours
Vale and Alex strike up an anonymous friendship via text messaging, which turns into a mutual crush. How long can they go before they realize they know (and dislike) each other in real life?
20. Love is Colorblind
Ino suffers a tragic accident that leaves him colourblind. As he struggles to open his heart to love again, he is forced to choose between his best friend, Cara, and Iris, in whom he can see the colour red again.
21. When We Were Boys
Emotional and family dramas dot the lives of a group of teenagers in an amateur hockey league. Throughout it all, they stick together and work towards winning a tournament.
Amidst sexist events at her high school, Vivian is inspired by her mother Lisa’s old feminist zines and decides to start her own, called Moxie, bringing hidden tensions at the school to the surface.
23. The In Between
Tessa loses the love of her life, Skylar, in a tragic accident. Brokenhearted, she starts looking into methods to access the “in between” and communicate with Skylar one last time.
24. Along for the Ride
Loner and night owl Auden wants to reinvent herself the summer before she leaves for college. She meets fellow insomniac Eli, who pushes her to try all the things she missed in childhood.