Best Coming of Age Movies

Last week, the fantastic adaptation of Me and Earl an the Dying Girl hit theaters in a limited run, and this week the lively Dope also arrives on the big screen. Both are spectacular coming of age tales from two very different sides of the spectrum, but they both have wonderful young characters, engaging relationships, and are special in their own ways.

And with these two magnificent coming of age movies hitting the big screen recently, we thought it was a good time to look back at some of the great films to come out of this subgenre. But since everyone has gushed over films like Stand by Me, The Breakfast Club and Say Anything for years, I decided to put a more modern focus on coming of age films by counting down my picks for the Top 25 Best Coming of Age Movies of the Past 25 Years. That means you won’t find anything on here from before 1990. Do your favorite movies make the cut?

Check out my list of the Top 25 Best Coming of Age Films of the Past 25 Years after the jump! Read More »


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jason reitman live read

There are less than 24 hours until the big event and Captain America is out. The text comes in at 11:20 p.m. on Wednesday March 18. For the past two weeks, I’ve been talking regularly to writer/director Jason Reitman about the latest installment in his Live Read series, the ongoing set of performances at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in which he assembles famous casts to read famous scripts from famous movies as a one-night only event. We’ve been covering them for a long time. For the final one of this season, I wanted to know how it was done.

This Live Read was to be Dazed and Confused by Richard Linklater, a sprawling coming of age film with a huge cast of characters, many of whom have become iconic for moviegoers. The most iconic is Wooderson, played by Matthew McConaughey. It’s a small role, and one that Reitman thought he had cast months before the event.

Reitman was at the 87th Annual Academy Awards back in February representing Whiplash, a Best Picture nominee he produced. There he ran into Captain American actor Chris Evans and asked him if he wanted to read the role of Wooderson. Evans enthusiastically agreed and was on board… until less than 24 hours before the event, when he had to drop out. “He had a sincere personal reason to pull out,” Reitman writes via text. “He’s an incredibly decent and lovely guy.” Nevertheless, Captain America has caused a bit of a problem.

Below, find out both how that turned out and the entire making of story behind the Jason Reitman Live Read of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused Live Read. Read More »

Dazed and Confused Linklater

The great thing about Dazed and Confused? I get older and it stays the same age.

Twenty-two years after Richard Linklater‘s ’70s slice of life film hit theaters, listening to it read by a group of actors still feels as poignant and relevant as ever. Maybe the music and references have changed a bit but a teenager’s insecurities, rebellious nature and mischievousness are and will continue to be universal. In Linklater’s script those ideas are delivered with an almost unfairly simple and eloquent precision.

At Thursday’s Live Read, presented by Film Independent at LACMA, Jason Reitman brought together a group of actors to read the script and, yes, the huge cast of characters made things a little confusing. In back-to-back scenes, an actor might have to jump from nerd to cool guy to stoner, giving the whole evening an unpredictable energy. It was even more unpredictable as they were reading an earlier version of the script that had some huge differences from the final film.

Below, we’ll break down those script changes, the cast, some of the crazy performances, and talk about how even in a form that’s unfamiliar to most of us, Dazed and Confused remains as good as ever. Read More »

Boyhood - Richard Linklater and Ellar Coltrane

Richard Linklater has long touted his next film, That’s What I’m Talking About, as a “spiritual sequel” to 1993’s Dazed and Confused. But now he reveals it’s also a “continuation” of sorts to another of his hits, the recent Boyhood. “It begins right where Boyhood ends,” the director explained. Find out what he means after the jump.  Read More »

Wright Beverly

Both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were born out of a basin of movie history. Each film is drenched in movie reference, be it visual or a line of dialogue, which adds a whole other layer of enjoyment on top of the individual stories. For the third film in The Cornetto Trilogy, writer/director Edgar Wright gets away from that. The World’s End is a movie obviously influenced by the history of film, but in a much less overt way. If anything, it’s overtly referencing Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, making it a great end to the trilogy.

The World’s End has plenty of influence though and, for his third screening series at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles, CA, Wright has picked 14 films, on seven double features, that all had some inspiration in his latest work. The screening series is called The World’s End Is Nigh and it takes place August 9 through August 22, the eve of The World’s End. Check out the full line up below. Read More »

Spectacular Now poster header

James Ponsoldt‘s wonderful film The Spectacular Now hits theaters August 2. It’s one of those serious, emotional, yet magical coming of age stories in the mold of films from the Eighties and Nineties. Films like Say Anything, Dazed and Confused, Almost Famous and The Breakfast Club. All four of those certainly influenced The Spectacular Now and they’re being screened to solidify that connection.

Nine cities across the country will be hosting four screenings on Tuesdays in July called The Spectacular Classics. The four films above will be preceded with an exclusive video introduction by Spectacular Now and 500 Days of Summer screenwriters Michael Weber and Scott Neustadter discussing the specific connections. And, if that’s not enough, audience members will also get a free ticket to see The Spectacular Now. Read More »

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Richard Linklater

To steal a line from The Most Interesting Man in the World, Richard Linklater doesn’t always make sequels, but when he does, he makes some of the most vital sequels a film lover could ask for. One of those, Before Midnight, is about to slide into theaters this weekend with with almost unanimously positive reviews. Not bad for the second sequel to a movie that few thought needed a sequel in the first place.

Now the director reveals that he’s making plans to shoot a “spiritual sequel” to another of his hits, Dazed and Confused, this fall. Additionally, he reveals that Growing Up — his 12-year-long effort about childhood and adolescence — could hit theaters as soon as 2014. The next couple of years are gonna be a pretty sweet time for Linklater fans. Hit the jump to read his comments.

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With a cast decades ahead of its time, characters that are both funny and honest, and a story perfect enough to have universal appeal, Richard Linklater‘s Dazed and Confused is undoubtedly one of the best films of the Nineties.

2013 commemorates the 20th anniversary of the film. To celebrate, the state of Texas is honoring it, along with its writer/director, in a few ways. First up, Quentin Tarantino will attend the 13th Annual Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards and give the film a Star of Texas Award. Then the Austin Film Society will host several screenings of the film with cast and crew in attendance, accompanied by a beautiful, limited edition screenprint by Chuck Sperry. All the info is below. Read More »

You want Riddick photos, Star Trek 2 photos, Men in Black 3‘s website, Dazed and Confused 2 rumors, American Reunion images and news on who just saw the first screening of The Dark Knight Rises? It’s all here in Sequel Bits, which includes:

  • The first look at Battlestar Galactica‘s Katee Sackhoff on the set of Riddick.
  • Your first look at John Cho‘s Sulu in J.J. AbramsStar Trek 2.
  • A few new looks at Men in Black 3 on its official website.
  • Richard Linklater and Matthew McConaughey talk about bringing back Wooderson for a Dazed and Confused sequel.
  • New photos from the upcoming comedy American Reunion.
  • Christopher Nolan just showed the first cut of The Dark Knight Rises to Warner Bros. executives.

Read More »