Are you looking for the best back to school movies for kids, and even adults, who want to check out some movies for school now that the kids are headed back? Well, this back-to-school movies list contains some of the greats, like Kindergarten Cop and Billy Madison for the first day of High School. There are also some middle school movies and movies about school that will get everyone excited for that first day. Check out this list of 35+ of the best back to school movies 2023 to even watch in class.
Best Back To School Movies 2023
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Plot: Five high school students from different walks of life endure a Saturday day detention under a power-hungry principal. The disparate group includes rebel John, princess Claire, outcast Allison, brainy Brian and Andrew, the jock. Each has a chance to tell his or her story, making the others see them a little differently — and when the day ends, they question whether school will ever be the same. Directed by John Hughes.
Star Cast: Paul Gleason, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez
Mean Girls (2004)
Plot: Teenage Cady Heron was educated in Africa by her scientist parents. When her family moves to the suburbs of Illinois, Cady finally gets to experience public high school and gets a quick primer on the cruel, tacit laws of popularity that divide her fellow students into tightly knit cliques. She unwittingly finds herself in the good graces of an elite group of cool students dubbed “the Plastics,” but Cady soon realizes how her shallow group of new friends earned this nickname.
Star Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey
The Outcasts (2017)
Plot: In this teen comedy, after falling victim to the prank by the high school Queen Bee, two nerdy best friends decide to exact their revenge by uniting the outcasts of the school against her and her friends.
Star Cast: Victoria Justice, Eden Sher, Peyton List
American Pie (1999)
Plot: A riotous and raunchy exploration of the most eagerly anticipated — and most humiliating — rite of adulthood, known as losing one’s virginity. In this hilarious lesson in life, love and libido, a group of friends, fed up with their well-deserved reputations as sexual no-hitters, decide to take action.
Star Cast: Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Alyson Hannigan
High School Musical (2006)
Plot: Troy Bolton, the star athlete at a small-town high school, falls for nerdy beauty Gabriella Montez at a holiday karaoke party. When they return to campus, Troy and Gabriella audition for the upcoming school musical. Meanwhile, the jealous Sharpay Evans conspires to squelch their chances. The two must struggle to make it to auditions while also meeting their existing obligations to the basketball team and the academic decathlon.
Star Cast: Zac Efron, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale
School of Rock (2003)
Plot: Overly enthusiastic guitarist Dewey Finn gets thrown out of his bar band and finds himself in desperate need of work. Posing as a substitute music teacher at an elite private elementary school, he exposes his students to the hard rock gods he idolizes and emulates — much to the consternation of the uptight principal. As he gets his privileged and precocious charges in touch with their inner rock ‘n’ roll animals, he imagines redemption at a local Battle of the Bands.
Star Cast: Jack Black, Joan Cusack, Kevin Clark
Dead Poets Society (1989)
Plot: A new English teacher, John Keating, is introduced to an all-boys preparatory boarding school that is known for its ancient traditions and high standards. He uses unorthodox methods to reach out to his students, who face enormous pressures from their parents and the school. With Keating’s help, students Neil Perry, Todd Anderson and others learn to break out of their shells, pursue their dreams and seize the day.
Star Cast: Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard
21 Jump Street (2012)
Plot: When cops Schmidt and Jenko join the secret Jump Street unit, they use their youthful appearances to go under cover as high school students. They trade in their guns and badges for backpacks, and set out to shut down a dangerous drug ring. But, as time goes on, Schmidt and Jenko discover that high school is nothing like it was just a few years earlier — and, what’s more, they must again confront the teenage terror and anxiety they thought they had left behind.
Star Cast: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)
Plot: Middle school is not an enjoyable experience for preteen Greg Heffley but a horrid ordeal of social land-mines that he must bear. To do so, he devises schemes to win him the recognition and status he feels he deserves — all of which fail miserably. Greg chronicles his misadventures, thoughts and opinions in a diary to prepare for the day that he will no longer have to put up with nonsense.
Star Cast: Zachary Gordon, Greg Heffley
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
Plot: Adaptation of the first of J.K. Rowling’s popular children’s novels about Harry Potter, a boy who learns on his eleventh birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own. He is summoned from his life as an unwanted child to become a student at Hogwarts, an English boarding school for wizards. There, he meets several friends who become his closest allies and help him discover the truth about his parents’ mysterious deaths.
Star Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Plot: Academic overachievers and high school senior Amy and Molly thought keeping their noses to the grindstone gave them a leg up on their high school peers. But on the eve of graduation, the best friends suddenly realize that they may have missed out on the special moments of their teenage years. Determined to make up for lost time, the girls decide to cram four years of not-to-be missed fun into one night — a chaotic adventure that no amount of book smarts could prepare them for.
Star Cast: Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever, Molly Gordon
Akeelah and the Bee (2006)
Plot: Akeelah, an 11-year-old girl living in South Los Angeles, discovers she has a talent for spelling, which she hopes will take her to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Despite her mother’s objections, Akeelah doesn’t give up on her goal. She finds help in the form of a mysterious teacher, and along with overwhelming support from her community, Akeelah might just have what it takes to make her dream come true.
Star Cast: Keke Palmer, Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett
Plot: Shallow, rich and socially successful Cher is at the top of her Beverly Hills high school’s pecking scale. Seeing herself as a matchmaker, Cher first coaxes two teachers into dating each other. Emboldened by her success, she decides to give hopelessly klutzy new student Tai a makeover. When Tai becomes more popular than she is, Cher realizes that her disapproving ex-stepbrother was right about how misguided she was — and falls for him. This cult classic is the perfect film to watch before the first day of school.
Star Cast: Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Plot: Ferris Bueller has an uncanny skill at cutting classes and getting away with it. Intending to make one last duck-out before graduation, Ferris calls in sick, “borrows” a Ferrari, and embarks on a one-day journey through the streets of Chicago. On Ferris’ trail is high school principal Rooney, determined to catch him in the act.
Star Cast: Matthew Broderick, Jeffrey Jones, Alan Ruck
Plot: Experience the friendships, romances and adventures of a group of high school kids during their senior year of high school in the 1950s. Welcome to the singing and dancing world of “Grease,” the most successful movie musical of all time. A wholesome exchange student and a leather-clad Danny have a summer romance, but will it cross clique lines?
Star Cast: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
Plot: Socially awkward teen Charlie is a wallflower, always watching life from the sidelines, until two charismatic students become his mentors and close friends. Free-spirited Sam and her stepbrother Patrick help Charlie discover the joys of friendship, first love, music and more, while a teacher sparks Charlie’s dreams of becoming a writer. However, as his new friends prepare to leave for college, Charlie’s inner sadness threatens to shatter his newfound confidence.
Star Cast: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
Plot: Moving in from Chicago, newcomer Ren McCormack is in shock when he discovers the small town he now calls home has made dancing and rock music illegal. As he struggles to fit in, Ren faces an uphill battle to change things. With the help of his new friend, Willard Hewitt, and defiant teen Ariel Moore, he might loosen up this conservative town. But Ariel’s influential father, Reverend Shaw Moore, stands in the way.
Star Cast: Kevin Bacon, Christopher Penn, Lori Singer, John Lithgow
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Plot: Kat Stratford is beautiful, smart and quite abrasive to most of her fellow teens, meaning that she doesn’t attract many boys. Unfortunately for her younger sister, Bianca, house rules say that she can’t date until Kat has a boyfriend, so strings are pulled to set the dour damsel up for a romance. Soon Kat crosses paths with handsome new arrival Patrick Verona. Will Kat let her guard down enough to fall for the effortlessly charming Patrick? This film is a modern take on Taming of the Shrew.
Star Cast: Julia Stiles, Larisa Oleynik, Heath Ledger
Plot: The high school Class President election is approaching and it looks like Tracy Flick is going to win, unopposed. However, teacher Jim McAllister has other plans. He convinces jock Paul Metzler to run, sparking off an interesting chain of events.
Star Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Broderick, Chris Klein
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Plot: Stacy Hamilton is a pretty, but inexperienced, teen interested in dating. Given advice by her uninhibited friend, Linda Barrett, Stacy gets trapped in a love triangle with nice guy Mark Ratner and his more assured buddy Mike Damone. Meanwhile, Stacy’s classmate Jeff Spicoli, who lives for surfing and being stoned, faces off against Mr. Hand, a strict teacher who has no time for the slacker’s antics.
Star Cast: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Brian Backer, Robert Romanus, Sean Penn, Ray Walston
Animal House (1978)
Plot: When they arrive at college, socially inept freshmen Larry and Kent attempt to pledge the snooty Omega Theta Pi House, but are summarily rejected. Lowering their standards, they try at the notoriously rowdy Delta Tau Chi House, and get in. The trouble is, the college dean has it in for the Deltas. He has put them on “Double Secret Probation” and secretly assigned Omega’s president the task of having their charter revoked.
Star Cast: Thomas Hulce, Stephen Furst, John Vernon, John Belushi, James Daughton
Bring It On (2000)
Plot: The Toro cheerleading squad from Rancho Carne High School in San Diego has got spirit, spunk, sass and a killer routine that’s sure to land them the national championship trophy for the sixth year in a row. But for newly-elected team captain Torrance, the Toros’ road to total cheer glory takes a shady turn when she discovers that their perfectly-choreographed routines were in fact stolen from the Clovers, a hip-hop squad from East Compton, by the Toro’s former captain.
Star Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Gabrielle Union, Eliza Dushku
Billy Madison (1995)
Plot: Man-child Billy Madison has been a spoiled rich kid all his life, and spends his days drinking and partying. When his father, hotel magnate Brian, becomes fed up with his son’s irresponsible ways, he issues an ultimatum. Since Billy passed all his schooling thanks to his father’s influence and bribes, he must retake and pass every grade in 24 weeks. Otherwise, the business will be turned over to Brian’s conniving associate, Eric.
Star Cast: Adam Sandler, Darren McGavin, Bradley Whitford
Lean on Me (1989)
Plot: In this true story film, a New Jersey superintendent, Dr. Frank Napier, watches helplessly as East Side High becomes the lowest-ranked school in the state. With nowhere else to turn, Dr. Napier enlists maverick ex-teacher Joe Clark to take over as principal of the declining school. Unfortunately for Clark, before he can focus on improving the student body’s state exam scores, he has to somehow rid the school of its gang and narcotics problems.
Star Cast: Robert Guillaume, Morgan Freeman, Beverly Todd
Plot: The students of Seabrook High School are thrown when students from Zombietown transfer to their school, and both groups must work together to prove they can embrace their differences to celebrate their community.
Star Cast: Milo Manheim, Meg Donnelly, Kylee Russell
Plot: The title refers to a clique of four girls in an Ohio high school, three of them named Heather and the fourth (the good one) named Veronica. The girls form their own sadistic pecking order, make fun of socially unacceptable students and carry out a reign of psychic terror.
Star Cast: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty
Remember The Titans (2000)
Plot: In Virginia, high school football is a way of life, an institution revered, each game celebrated more lavishly than Christmas, each playoff distinguished more grandly than any national holiday. And with such recognition, comes powerful emotions. In 1971 high school football was everything to the people of Alexandria. But when the local school board was forced to integrate an all black school with an all white school, the very foundation of football’s great tradition was put to the test.
Star Cast: Denzel Washington, Ryan Hurst, Ryan Gosling
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Plot: In small-town Preston, Idaho, awkward teen Napoleon Dynamite has trouble fitting in. After his grandmother is injured in an accident, his life is made even worse when his strangely nostalgic uncle, Rico, shows up to keep an eye on him. With no safe haven at home or at school, Napoleon befriends the new kid, Pedro, a morose Hispanic boy who speaks little English. Together the two launch a campaign to run for class president.
Star Cast: Jon Heder, Jon Gries, Efren Ramirez
Plot: When a beautiful first-grade teacher arrives at a prep school, she soon attracts the attention of an ambitious teenager named Max, who quickly falls in love with her. Max turns to the father of two of his schoolmates for advice on how to woo the teacher. However, the situation soon gets complicated when Max’s new friend becomes involved with her, setting the two pals against one another in a war for her attention. Directed by Wes Anderson.
Star Cast: Olivia Williams, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray
Kindergarten Cop (1990)
Plot: In this action-comedy, unusual circumstances find big, brawny cop John Kimble posing as a kindergarten teacher in order to apprehend major drug lord Cullen Crisp, as well as his ruthless accomplice and mother, Eleanor. While pretending to be a kid-friendly instructor, Kimble falls for pretty fellow teacher Joyce Palmieri as he battles both unruly children and dangerous bad guys.
Star Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Tyson, Carroll Baker, Penelope Ann Miller
Sixteen Candles (1984)
Plot: With the occasion all but overshadowed by her sister’s upcoming wedding, angst-ridden Samantha faces her 16th birthday with typical adolescent dread. Samantha pines for studly older boy Jake, but worries that her chastity will be a turnoff for the popular senior. Meanwhile, Samantha must constantly rebuff the affections of nerdy Ted, the only boy in the school, unfortunately, who seems to take an interest in her.
Star Cast: Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling, Anthony Michael Hall
Monsters University (2013)
Plot: Ever since he was a kid monster, Mike Wazowski has dreamed of becoming a Scarer. To make his dream a reality, he enrolls at Monsters University. During his first semester, he meets Sulley, a natural-born Scarer. Sulley and Mike engage in a fierce rivalry that ultimately gets them both kicked out of MU’s elite Scare Program. To make things right, Mike and Sulley — along with a bunch of misfit monsters — will have to learn to work together.
Star Cast: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Charlie Day
Back To School (1986)
Plot: Thornton Melon is concerned that his son Jason is unsure whether to go to college, so the uneducated self-made millionaire encourages him by signing up as a student as well. As Jason tries to establish himself among his peers and make the diving team, Thornton falls for a pretty professor and gets others do his schoolwork for him. When the suspicious dean finds out, Thornton needs to show he can get by on his own.
Star Cast: Keith Gordon, Rodney Dangerfield, Sally Kellerman, Paxton Whitehead
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Plot: This coming-of-age film follows the mayhem of group of rowdy teenagers in Austin, Texas, celebrating the last day of high school in 1976. The graduating class heads for a popular pool hall and joins an impromptu keg party, however star football player Randall “Pink” Floyd has promised to focus on the championship game and abstain from partying. Meanwhile, the incoming freshmen try to avoid being hazed by the seniors, most notably the sadistic bully Fred O’Bannion.
Star Cast: Jason London, Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey
Pitch Perfect (2012)
Plot: College student Beca knows she does not want to be part of a clique, but that’s exactly where she finds herself after arriving at her new school. Thrust in among mean gals, nice gals and just plain weird gals, Beca finds that the only thing they have in common is how well they sing together. She takes the women of the group out of their comfort zone of traditional arrangements and into a world of amazing harmonic combinations in a fight to the top of college music competitions.
Star Cast: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow