15 best films about school

1. We’ll live until Monday

  • USSR, 1968.
  • Drama.
  • Duration: 106 minutes.
  • KinoPoisk: 8.1.

In the center of the plot is a talented teacher Ilya Semyonovich Melnikov (Vyacheslav Tikhonov), who is experiencing an internal conflict. The teacher is deeply wounded by the imperfection of the Soviet education system, which is trying to unify students.

The film directed by Stanislav Rostotsky based on the script by playwright Georgy Polonsky has long been recognized as the gold standard for poignant and truthful cinema about school. This brilliant story in its simplicity has not lost its relevance.

2 The Rise Of Miss Jean Brodie

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

  • UK, 1969
  • Comedy, drama, melodrama.
  • Duration: 116 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.6.
Frame from the film “The Rise of Miss Jean Brodie”

Before taking on the mantle of Minerva McGonagall, Maggie Smith won an Oscar for her role as another charming teacher, Jean Brodie. A teacher with informal methods of education enjoys the boundless trust of her wards – students of a private boarding school in Edinburgh. But later it turns out that Miss Brody is not the best role model.

In a sense, the satirical melodrama The Rise of Miss Jean Brodie, based on the novel of the same name by Muriel by Sarah Spark, is We Live Until Monday in reverse. The central theme of the film is the teacher’s responsibility for fragile minds. While Ilya Semyonovich encouraged individuality in schoolchildren, his opposite – no less bright and talented Jean Brodie – skillfully manipulates his students in order to impose his own opinion on them.

3. Carrie


  • USA, 1976
  • Mystery, horror, drama, psychological thriller.
  • Duration: 98 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.4.

Extraordinary girl Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), who has the ability to telekinesis, suffers from bullying cruel classmates. In her own home, she also has a hard time. The heroine’s mother, an obsessed religious fanatic, accuses her daughter of all mortal sins. After a particularly painful public humiliation, Carrie’s supernatural powers burst forth to exact revenge on anyone who wronged her.

The film by Brian De Palma was the first film adaptation of the works of the horror king Stephen King . The scene in which Carrie is drenched in pig’s blood has become iconic and has been parodied many times.

Despite belonging to the horror genre, the film will be of interest to anyone who wants to understand the psychological mechanisms of bullying.

4. Scarecrow

  • USSR, 1983.
  • Drama.
  • Duration: 127 minutes.
  • KinoPoisk: 7.9.
Shot from the film “Scarecrow”

Sixth-grader Lena Bessoltseva (Kristina Orbakaite) moves to live with her grandfather Nikolai Nikolaevich (Yuri Nikulin), who is not particularly loved in his native provincial town for his unsociable character. New classmates first give the soft-hearted and meek girl the nickname Scarecrow, and then completely declare a cruel boycott for a misconduct that she did not commit.

The cult film by Rolan Bykov is based on the story of the same name by Vladimir Zheleznikov, the plot of which was suggested to the author by life itself. A similar story happened to the writer’s granddaughter, who took on someone else’s fault, similarly to the heroine of Scarecrow.

A frank film that raises the important topic of cruelty and forgiveness, at one time not everyone liked it. In the process of working on the picture, the artistic council of the State Film Agency was constantly looking for a reason to ban filming: is there bullying in the Soviet school?

Many admired the bold approach of Rolan Bykov, and after the session, the audience came out in tears. However, there were also those who scolded the director for allegedly disgracing Soviet children .

5. Club “Breakfast”

The Breakfast Club

  • USA, 1985
  • Comedy-drama, teen drama.
  • Duration: 97 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.8.

Five students at fault must spend the day off at the school writing an essay on the topic “Who do you think you are.” The teenagers would never have become friends under normal circumstances, but they bond through punishment.

The Breakfast Club is the second installment in the School Trilogy, directed and written by John Hughes. It also includes Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. All three films were recognized as the standard of youth cinema and became almost the manifesto of a whole generation of American teenagers.

Behind the simple plot of The Breakfast Club, an attentive viewer will surely discern a much deeper story about growing up and choice.

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6 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

  • USA, 1986.
  • Youth comedy.
  • Duration: 103 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.8.

Instead of passing final exams, the charming Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) indulges in all serious and in the company of his best friends goes to Chicago. And Bueller’s sister, a sneak and a bore, sleeps and sees how to set up her beloved brother, who always gets away with everything.

John Hughes again managed to show the life of teenagers with the utmost honesty and without the condescension inherent in adults. And young Matthew Broderick was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.

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7. Deadly Attraction


  • USA, 1989
  • Comedy, crime film, drama.
  • Duration: 103 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.2.

The film takes place at the fictional Westerburg High School, run by Heather Chandler (Kim Walker), Heather McNamara (Lysanne Falk) and Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty). A student Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) does not like the injustice and cruelty of these girls. One day, she shares her feelings with a new acquaintance – the bad guy Jason Dean (Christian Slater). He offers a radical way to fight tyranny.

Michael Lehmann’s debut film failed at the box office but later became a cult classic. Now “Deadly Attraction” is considered one of the best films about high school students.

8 Rushmore Academy


  • USA, 1998.
  • Comedy, drama.
  • Duration: 93 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.7.

Wes Anderson’s second feature film centers on the life of a teenager named Max Fisher (Jason Schwartzman). The protagonist is the real king of extracurricular activities, and he has almost no time to study. Now, under the threat of expulsion, Max urgently needs to improve his academic performance. Adding drama to the situation is the hero’s love for the pretty widowed teacher Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams). And in the way of Max there is a competitor – industrialist Herman Blum (Bill Murray).

The role of the eccentric Max Fisher is the debut of Jason Schwartzman, who later became a regular guest in Anderson’s films.

9 Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society

  • USA, 1989
  • Drama.
  • Duration: 128 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8.1.

A new language teacher, John Keating (Robin Williams), appears at a conservative American academy. He explains to the wards that life is fleeting and there is something else in it besides a career and money. Inspired students secretly revive the Dead Poets Society Literature Club. But one of them, Neil Parry (Robert Sean Leonard), free-thinking threatens troubles that he does not even suspect.

The film has received numerous prestigious awards and nominations, including the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. An inspiring picture about the importance of being able to think for yourself, is considered one of the best examples of cinema about the school. Sometimes the tape is studied as part of courses in pedagogy, psychology and cultural studies.

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10. High and Confused

Dazed and Confused

  • USA, 1993.
  • Comedy.
  • Duration: 102 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.6.

The film tells about the crazy adventures of teenagers on the day of graduation. Ahead of them is a party in honor of the beginning of the summer holidays. In the meantime, the newly minted graduates arrange a grand farewell to childhood, full of sex and rock and roll.

The picture of the director and screenwriter Richard Linklater tells not so much about drugs, as the title might seem, but about the fear of change and adulthood. And for Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey , the film also became a ticket to a big movie.

11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

  • USA, UK, 2001.
  • Fantasy, adventure, family film.
  • Duration: 152 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.6.

Little orphan Harry Potter is nothing more than a burden to his malevolent relatives Petunia and Vernon Dursley. On his eleventh birthday, the boy learns that he is a wizard. Now Harry has to become a student of the Hogwarts school of magic, find friends and enemies and find himself in the center of a whirlpool of events that are somehow connected with the mysterious philosopher’s stone.

Books by JK Rowling, as well as films based on them, tell not only about magic, but also about love for parents, friends and, of course, school. After all, the romantic image of Hogwarts was created in the image of quite real traditional British boarding houses.

12. Elephant


  • USA, 2003.
  • Drama.
  • Duration: 81 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.2.

The plot of the poetic parable by Gus Van Sant is inspired by the tragic events at the American Columbine School. In the form of a non-linear narrative, the viewer sees the stories of the most ordinary schoolchildren who do not know that their lives will soon end.

The director does not aim to guess the true motives of the killers . Rather, it calls for thinking about the vicissitudes of a difficult age and death, the approach of which cannot be predicted.

13. School of Rock

The School of Rock

  • USA, 2003.
  • Musical comedy.
  • Duration: 108 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.1.
Shot from the film “School of Rock”

Dewey Finn (Jack Black) is an unsuccessful but talented guitarist. After being kicked out of his own group, Dewey is left with no money at all. Case comes to the rescue. The protagonist answers a phone call addressed to his roommate, a replacement professional teacher.

Dewey goes under the name of Ned Schneebly to teach at a prestigious private school. He has no idea how and what to teach children, and at first does not show enthusiasm. But the class is full of young talents who play musical instruments very well. Dewey realizes that this is his chance to form a new rock band and finally change his life for the better.

Richard Linklater’s touching comedy about how a social outcast turned out to be a born teacher and imperceptibly helped students cope with problems received critical acclaim.

And rock music fans will also have extra fun with Finn’s tutorials – songs from The Doors, Ramones and Led Zeppelin.

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14. Class


  • Estonia, 2007
  • Psychological drama.
  • Duration: 99 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.9.
Shot from the movie “Class”

The outcast Josep (Pärt Uusberg) is ridiculed and beaten by the head bully of the school and his many friends. One of them, Kaspar (Vallo Kiers), deep down sympathizes with the victim. Gradually, he himself goes over to the side of Josep. Classmates do not forgive Kaspar’s betrayal, not suspecting that their cruelty will lead to devastating consequences.

The plot of the resonant drama by the Estonian director Ilmar Raag is also inspired by the events at the American Columbine School. The creators wondered how the high school students who committed the massacre felt. The result is one of the best films about bullying and its unpredictable effects on the psyche of the victim.

15. It’s good to be quiet

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • USA, 2012.
  • Drama, melodrama.
  • Duration: 102 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7.9.

Based on his own novel of the same name by Stephen Chbosky, the film tells the story of shy high school student Charlie (Logan Lerman). After losing his beloved aunt and best friend, the boy suffers from depression and guilt. But things get better when Charlie meets Patrick (Ezra Miller) and his half-sister Sam ( Emma Watson ). Gradually, the hero grows up and learns to communicate and love again.

“It’s good to be quiet” is a visual aid to the psychology of adolescents and at the same time a reflection on how repressed memories after experienced traumas can be dangerous for a single person.

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