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50 best movies about college

  • 50 best movies about college
    1/ Lawrence Turman

    50 best movies about college

    This is Ben. He’s a little worried about his future.

    His fear is justified. Going to college can be an exciting and scary time—though maybe not quite as scary as navigating the changing job market after graduation. College students are navigating a new school, a new city, and new relationships, and, according to neuroscientists, they’re doing all of this with brains that haven’t reached full maturity. That means college students are still learning how to make good decisions on their own, decisions that have a real impact. Studies have found that experiences in college, both in and out of the classroom, shape your adult life for years to come. That’s a lot of pressure to put on four years of someone’s life; how is any college student supposed to navigate it all?

    Thankfully, we have movies to help us through it. College movies are a cinema-staple, precisely because of all the good and the bad that comes with the experience. These movies are full of characters who learn, party, make questionable decisions, fall in love, break up, and figure out who they want to be. Now that you’ve thrown your commencement caps and turned in your final papers, we’ve compiled an exclusive Stacker list that ranks the 50 all-time classic college movies, including everything from “The Graduate” and “Animal House” to “Good Will Hunting.”

    To create this comprehensive list, Stacker gathered popular college movies from IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, pulling each film’s IMDb rating (audience-based) and Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer (critic-based). All possible movies were then ranked from #50 (worst) to #1 (best) based on the Stacker Score metric, which weighs both the IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes rankings equally. Also included are details about how the film and its creators have impacted college students and culture at large.

    Read on to check out our list. Don’t worry, we won’t grade you.
     

    You may also like: Best college in every state

  • #50. 21
    2/ Columbia Pictures

    #50. 21

    Year: 2008

    Stacker score: 51.5

    IMDb rating: 6.8

    Tomatometer: 35

    Based on the bestselling non-fiction book “Bringing Down the House” by Ben Mezrich, “21” follows the story of a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who, in order to earn money to pay for medical school, joins a secretive club of brilliant students being trained by a professor in the art of card-counting. The group runs into trouble when they win big at a Las Vegas casino. Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess, Laurence Fishburne, and Kate Bosworth left critics with mixed reviews, but the movie was a box office success.

  • #49. St. Elmo's Fire
    3/ Columbia Pictures Corporation

    #49. St. Elmo's Fire

    Year: 1985

    Stacker score: 54

    IMDb rating: 6.4

    Tomatometer: 44

    In this classic 1985 “Brat Pack” coming-of-age film, a group of recent Georgetown University graduates struggle with adulthood. The all-star cast features Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, and Demi Moore. Friendship is a major theme in the film, and the college friends continue to support each other through all their misadventures. The theme song even became a #1 hit on the Billboard charts.

  • #48. Orange County
    4/ Paramount Pictures

    #48. Orange County

    Year: 2002

    Stacker score: 54

    IMDb rating: 6.2

    Tomatometer: 46

    A smart high school student’s (Colin Hanks) acceptance into Stanford University is put in jeopardy when his guidance counselor sends the wrong transcript in with his application. The high-achieving student spends the rest of the film trying to prove he truly is a top applicant, with hilarious help from Jack Black. Roger Ebert gave the film 3/4 stars, calling it a “happy project” with stars of Hollywood’s next generation.

  • #47. The Program
    5/ Touchstone Pictures

    #47. The Program

    Year: 1993

    Stacker score: 54.5

    IMDb rating: 6.4

    Tomatometer: 45

    This 1993 film, starring Halle Berry and Omar Epps, follows college football players as they try to cope with the pressures of playing at a top university. Some sink into the allure of steroids or hard drugs, while others turn to alcohol to relieve the stress. A controversial scene, in which the movie’s hero lies down in the middle of traffic, was removed from the film after several teenagers tried it and were either injured or killed.

  • #46. The Rules of Attraction
    6/ Kingsgate Films

    #46. The Rules of Attraction

    Year: 2002

    Stacker score: 55

    IMDb rating: 6.7

    Tomatometer: 43

    “The Rules of Attraction” is a black comedy about the incredibly privileged students of fictional Camden College, and their empty lives. Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, the film received relatively poor reviews, some noting its failure to adequately adapt the story for the screen. 

  • #45. Smart People
    7/ Miramax

    #45. Smart People

    Year: 2008

    Stacker score: 56

    IMDb rating: 6.2

    Tomatometer: 50

    A depressed, estranged Carnegie Mellon literature professor (Dennis Quaid) begins a relationship with one of his former students (Sarah Jessica Parker). When his adoptive brother (Thomas Haden Church) shows up on his doorstep, he realizes he needs to make some life changes and reconnect with his children (Ellen Page, Ashton Holmes). Reviews were mixed.

  • #44. Eurotrip
    8/ DreamWorks

    #44. Eurotrip

    Year: 2004

    Stacker score: 56

    IMDb rating: 6.6

    Tomatometer: 46

    After being dumped by his girlfriend, a recent high school graduate goes on an epic trip to Europe with his friends. Matt Damon went to college with the writers of “Eurotrip,” and agreed to make a cameo, singing “Scotty Doesn’t Know” in what would become one of the most famous scenes in the movie.

  • #43. PCU
    9/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #43. PCU

    Year: 1994

    Stacker score: 56.5

    IMDb rating: 6.6

    Tomatometer: 47

    A high school senior visits the fictional Port Chester University for the weekend and gets a taste of politically correct campus life while staying at the wildest house on campus. The film is notable for its anti-establishment message and its cast of classics: Jeremy Piven (pre-”Entourage”), David Spade, and Jon Favreau.

  • #42. Higher Learning
    10/ Columbia Pictures Corporation

    #42. Higher Learning

    Year: 1995

    Stacker score: 57

    IMDb rating: 6.5

    Tomatometer: 49

    In this John Singleton-directed ensemble film starring Omar Epps, Ice Cube, Jennifer Connelly, and Laurence Fishburne, a diverse group of freshmen at Columbus University learn about life and cope with sexual assault, racism, and violence on campus. Fishburne won an NAACP Image Award for his work in the film. When “Higher Learning” was released in 1995, violence plagued the cinemas showing the film during its opening week, resulting in two deaths. The conflicts the characters experience on-screen are eerily similar to the real-life issues prevalent on college campuses today.

  • #41. American Pie 2
    11/ LivePlanet

    #41. American Pie 2

    Year: 2001

    Stacker score: 58

    IMDb rating: 6.4

    Tomatometer: 52

    The second film in the “American Pie” sex comedy film series, “American Pie 2” finds the friends reuniting at the beach the summer after their first year of college. The now-iconic awkward and hilarious series (which launched the careers of Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan, among others) was a hit among high school and college students, became one of the highest-grossing franchises of all time, and has had a big influence on the genre.

  • #40. Fandango
    12/ Warner Bros.

    #40. Fandango

    Year: 1985

    Stacker score: 58.5

    IMDb rating: 6.7

    Tomatometer: 50

    Set in 1985, “Fandango” is about five college friends from the University of Texas—led by a young Kevin Costner in one of his first film roles—who embark on a road trip across the Mexican border before facing their post-graduate futures. The film garnered a cult following, and fan groups still hold yearly Fandango gatherings to tour shooting locations. The film itself was made by a University of Southern California student named Kevin Reynolds, who reportedly originally called it “Proof.” Steven Spielberg saw it, liked it, and decided to fund a feature-length version.

  • #39. 100 Girls
    13/ Dream Entertainment

    #39. 100 Girls

    Year: 2000

    Stacker score: 59.5

    IMDb rating: 5.9

    Tomatometer: 60

    A college student gets trapped in an elevator with a woman during an electricity blackout. He then tries desperately to find her, because he believes she is his “dream girl,” despite having never seen her face. Emmanuelle Chriqui, Katherine Heigl, and Jaime Pressly costar.

  • #38. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
    14/ Universal Pictures

    #38. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

    Year: 2016

    Stacker score: 59.5

    IMDb rating: 5.7

    Tomatometer: 62

    In the sequel to “Neighbors,” a sorority replaces the rowdy fraternity in the house next door to a married couple. The girls prove even worse neighbors, and the husband and wife team up with the president of the fraternity, their former nemesis, to bring them down. The film did poorly in theaters, making less than half the money the original raked in during opening weekend.

  • #37. Spring Breakers
    15/ Muse Productions

    #37. Spring Breakers

    Year: 2012

    Stacker score: 60

    IMDb rating: 5.3

    Tomatometer: 67

    “Spring Breakers” tells the tale of four college students who rob a restaurant to get enough money for their spring break trip. They’re arrested while partying in Florida, but get bailed out by a drug dealer and join him in a crime-fueled spree.

  • #36. Road Trip
    16/ DreamWorks

    #36. Road Trip

    Year: 2000

    Stacker score: 61

    IMDb rating: 6.5

    Tomatometer: 57

    A group of college students embark on a wild road trip from New York to Austin, Texas to save their friend’s relationship. It opened to mixed reviews, but reached number three at the box office and grossed a grand total of $119 million.

  • #35. Glory Road
    17/ Walt Disney Pictures

    #35. Glory Road

    Year: 2006

    Stacker score: 64

    IMDb rating: 7.2

    Tomatometer: 56

    The new basketball coach at Texas Western leads the first all-black starting line-up to the NCAA National Championship, an unheard-of achievement in the 1960s. “Glory Road” was loosely based on the true story of the 1966 Texas Western Miners.

  • #34. Legally Blonde
    18/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    #34. Legally Blonde

    Year: 2001

    Stacker score: 65

    IMDb rating: 6.2

    Tomatometer: 68

    A seemingly stereotypical sorority girl enrolls in Harvard Law School (“What? Like it’s hard?”) to try and win back her ex-boyfriend. The 2001 film was hugely popular, inspired a sequel, and can even be credited for inspiring some women to pursue their law school dreams. Reese Witherspoon said starring in “Legally Blonde” motivated her to create more feminist movies, and the film cemented her status as a bankable star.

  • #33. Old School
    19/ DreamWorks

    #33. Old School

    Year: 2003

    Stacker score: 65.5

    IMDb rating: 7.1

    Tomatometer: 60

    An attorney (Luke Wilson) moves into a new house near a college campus and tries to get his life back together after a bad breakup. His two best friends (Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn) join him, and the trio opens a new fraternity in an attempt to relive their glory days. “Old School” gained a massive cult following after its release, and helped launched the careers of Simon Helberg (“Big Bang Theory”) and Elisha Cuthbert, among other co-stars.

  • #32. Damsels in Distress
    20/ Westerly Films

    #32. Damsels in Distress

    Year: 2011

    Stacker score: 66

    IMDb rating: 5.7

    Tomatometer: 75

    Three girls endeavor to change the male-dominated environment of their college campus, and rescue their classmates from depression. “Damsels in Distress” is different from most movies in its genre, opting for main characters that spew lines from classic literature instead of referencing pop culture or browsing social media.

  • #31. Revenge of the Nerds
    21/ Twentieth Century Fox

    #31. Revenge of the Nerds

    Year: 1984

    Stacker score: 68

    IMDb rating: 6.6

    Tomatometer: 70

    A group of geeky college students is thrown out of their dorm by the Alpha Betas after their fraternity house burns down. Forced to live in dumpy quarters, the nerds reach their breaking point and plot revenge. The 1984 comedy inspired three sequels, and foreshadowed the modern trend of nerds becoming mainstream in pop culture.

  • #30. Neighbors
    22/ Good Universe

    #30. Neighbors

    Year: 2014

    Stacker score: 68

    IMDb rating: 6.3

    Tomatometer: 73

    A young couple moves in next door to a fraternity house, and initially tries to get along with the cool fraternity president, played by Zac Efron. A war erupts, however, when they call the cops on the students during a raucous party. The raunchy comedy has echoes of the hard-partying fraternity scenes made famous by “Animal House” (#6 on our list).

  • #29. Liberal Arts
    23/ BCDF Pictures

    #29. Liberal Arts

    Year: 2012

    Stacker score: 68.5

    IMDb rating: 6.7

    Tomatometer: 70

    A man in his thirties falls for a college student when he returns to his alma mater in Ohio for a professor’s retirement party. “Liberal Arts” expresses a nostalgic view of college, notably through the protagonist who hasn’t been truly happy in his lackluster life since he graduated. This aligns with the popular trope that college is the happiest four years of one’s life.

  • #28. Drumline
    24/ Fox 2000 Pictures

    #28. Drumline

    Year: 2002

    Stacker score: 69.5

    IMDb rating: 5.7

    Tomatometer: 82

    “Drumline” is about a talented Harlem street drummer, played by Nick Cannon, who enrolls in a Southern university. The protagonist struggles with his new surroundings as well as the fierce competition to be band leader.

  • #27. Like Crazy
    25/ Paramount Vantage

    #27. Like Crazy

    Year: 2011

    Stacker score: 69.5

    IMDb rating: 6.7

    Tomatometer: 72

    While attending college in Los Angeles, an American (Anton Yelchin) falls in love with a woman from London (Felicity Jones) who violates the terms of her visa, forcing her to return to England. The pair struggles with maintaining a long-distance relationship, but keep returning to each other. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance when it premiered in 2011, and won praise from critics.

  • #26. Kill Your Darlings
    26/ Killer Films

    #26. Kill Your Darlings

    Year: 2013

    Stacker score: 70

    IMDb rating: 6.5

    Tomatometer: 75

    “Kill Your Darlings” is a biographical drama about a murder involving legendary beatniks Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs. John Krokidas’ debut film follows the young poets during their college years, when Allen Ginsberg, played by Daniel Radcliffe, is a freshman at Columbia University.

  • #25. Real Genius
    27/ Delphi III Productions

    #25. Real Genius

    Year: 1985

    Stacker score: 71.5

    IMDb rating: 7

    Tomatometer: 73

    Two highly intelligent college roommates team up on a project to develop a high-powered laser. Conflict ensues when they learn the CIA intends to use their technology as a weapon. The goofy comedy received positive critic reviews, and was one of the first films to be promoted online. 

  • #24. A Coffee in Berlin
    28/ Schiwago Film

    #24. A Coffee in Berlin

    Year: 2012

    Stacker score: 73.5

    IMDb rating: 7.4

    Tomatometer: 73

    An aimless law school dropout spends a fateful day wandering around Berlin, attempting to make sense of life. The black-and-white German film had a limited release in the United States, and won a slew of European awards, including the German Film Award for Best Feature Film.

  • #23. Mistress America
    29/ Fox Searchlight Pictures

    #23. Mistress America

    Year: 2015

    Stacker score: 74.5

    IMDb rating: 6.7

    Tomatometer: 82

    A lonely college freshman living in New York City gets pulled into the exciting antics of her adventurous stepsister. The quirky comedy, originally released in Brazil, explores the millennial generation’s relationship with meaningful work environments and their desire for upward mobility.

  • #22. Back to School
    30/ Orion Pictures

    #22. Back to School

    Year: 1986

    Stacker score: 75

    IMDb rating: 6.6

    Tomatometer: 84

    A concerned father (Rodney Dangerfield) enrolls himself in college to encourage his son to attend, but the uneducated, self-made millionaire faces trouble when he learns how to manipulate the system a little too well. The 1986 Dangerfield comedy is consistently remembered as a classic back-to-school film.

  • #21. L'auberge Espagnole
    31/ Bac Films

    #21. L'auberge Espagnole

    Year: 2002

    Stacker score: 75

    IMDb rating: 7.3

    Tomatometer: 77

    In “L’auberge Espagnole,” a French university student moves to Barcelona to improve his Spanish language skills, and has a life-changing experience living in a house full of international students. Cédric Klapisch reportedly wrote the script in less than two weeks, and shot the film in Barcelona on a lightweight digital camera.

  • #20. Pitch Perfect
    32/ Brownstone Productions (II)

    #20. Pitch Perfect

    Year: 2012

    Stacker score: 75.5

    IMDb rating: 7.2

    Tomatometer: 79

    College freshman Beca isn’t sure where she fits in on campus, until she joins an all-girl a cappella group and becomes immersed in crushing the competition. The female-driven movie was a huge success, grossing $113 million worldwide. To nobody’s surprise, it also had the best-selling soundtrack of 2013, and a single that rose to number six on the Billboard Hot 100, launching a full-on franchise. “Pitch Perfect” also helped college a cappella groups reach newfound popularity in the mainstream

  • #19. Monsters University
    33/ Walt Disney Pictures

    #19. Monsters University

    Year: 2013

    Stacker score: 76

    IMDb rating: 7.3

    Tomatometer: 79

    In this animated hit, Mike Wazowski enrolls in Monsters University to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a Scarer, and enters into a rivalry with natural-born Scarer Sulley. The Pixar team painstakingly detailed their animation of a college campus, and went on visits to Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, and the University of California, Berkeley. They even created a fake website for the university.

  • #18. Rudy
    34/ TriStar Pictures

    #18. Rudy

    Year: 1993

    Stacker score: 76.5

    IMDb rating: 7.5

    Tomatometer: 78

    In the iconic 1993 film “Rudy,” a high school student dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame, but he doesn’t have the grades or money to attend. When his best friend dies, Rudy overcomes obstacles to gain admission to Notre Dame and stubbornly works his way onto the football team. Considered one of the best sports movies of all time, it was inspired by the life story of Notre Dame walk-on Dan “Rudy” Ruettiger.

  • #17. Love & Basketball
    35/ 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks

    #17. Love & Basketball

    Year: 2000

    Stacker score: 77

    IMDb rating: 7.2

    Tomatometer: 82

    “Love & Basketball” follows two childhood friends, Monica and Quincy, who both endeavor to play professional basketball. The two begin to fall in love as they grow older, but their diverging paths threaten their relationship. Written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the film had a lasting impact on sports and romantic comedy genres, as well as minority representation on-screen.

  • #16. The Sure Thing
    36/ Embassy Pictures

    #16. The Sure Thing

    Year: 1985

    Stacker score: 77

    IMDb rating: 7

    Tomatometer: 84

    College freshman Gib (John Cusack) road trips all the way to California to meet a girl after repeatedly striking out with the women at his own college. On the way, Gib and his passenger, Alison, fall in love. Rob Reiner directs, and Anthony Edwards, Tim Robbins, and Nicollette Sheridan co-star in the film Roger Ebert dubbed “a small miracle.”

  • #15. The Great Debaters
    37/ Harpo Films

    #15. The Great Debaters

    Year: 2007

    Stacker score: 77.5

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    Tomatometer: 79

    A professor starts a debate team at a predominately black college in 1935, and his band of intellects becomes the first black debate team to challenge Harvard’s champions. The film is based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson and the debate team at Wiley College.

  • #14. Wonder Boys
    38/ British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

    #14. Wonder Boys

    Year: 2000

    Stacker score: 77.5

    IMDb rating: 7.4

    Tomatometer: 81

    An English professor copes with his wife leaving him, writer’s block, and the many complex problems of his students. After initially performing poorly at the box office, “Wonder Boys” re-opened in 15 theaters nationally in November of 2000. It went on to secure three Oscar nominations, winning the award for Best Original Song. 

  • #13. 22 Jump Street
    39/ Columbia Pictures

    #13. 22 Jump Street

    Year: 2014

    Stacker score: 77.5

    IMDb rating: 7

    Tomatometer: 85

    In the sequel to “21 Jump Street,” police officers Schmidt and Jenko go undercover at a local college. The film includes some commentary on the changing views of gender and sexuality on college campuses. Overall, the movie received positive critic reviews and praise for being a successful comedic sequel, which traditionally have a tendency to flop.

  • #12. Everybody Wants Some!!
    40/ Annapurna Pictures

    #12. Everybody Wants Some!!

    Year: 2016

    Stacker score: 78

    IMDb rating: 7

    Tomatometer: 86

    Set in 1980s Texas, a college freshman meets his new baseball teammates and finds a life of disco, parties, and generally unsupervised youth. The film is based on director Richard Linklater’s own college experience as a ballplayer in Texas. 

  • #11. Adventureland
    41/ Miramax

    #11. Adventureland

    Year: 2009

    Stacker score: 78

    IMDb rating: 6.8

    Tomatometer: 88

    During the summer of 1987, a recent college graduate (Jesse Eisenberg) plans to travel around Europe before attending graduate school, but is instead forced to take a job at the local amusement park. Expecting the worst, he is pleasantly surprised when he finds love with a co-worker.

  • #10. The Paper Chase
    42/ Thompson-Paul Productions

    #10. The Paper Chase

    Year: 1973

    Stacker score: 78.5

    IMDb rating: 7.2

    Tomatometer: 85

    A first-year Harvard law student struggles to keep up with the demands of the school’s stern contracts professor, and makes the situation worse by dating the professor’s daughter. The film is based on the hit novel “The Paper Chase” by John Osborne Jr., inspired by his own time as a Harvard Law student. The film received good reviews, and was later made into a TV series.  

  • #9. Starter for 10
    43/ BBC Films

    #9. Starter for 10

    Year: 2006

    Stacker score: 78.5

    IMDb rating: 6.7

    Tomatometer: 90

    Produced by Tom Hanks, “Starter for 10” is a 2006 British comedy-drama about a working-class student who tries out for a popular TV show called “University Challenge” during his first year at Bristol University. Based on a book of the same name by David Nicholls, the movie earned good reviews for a charming, authentic depiction of the British university experience.

  • #8. The Freshman
    44/ TriStar Picture

    #8. The Freshman

    Year: 1990

    Stacker score: 79

    IMDb rating: 6.5

    Tomatometer: 93

    In “The Freshman,” an NYU film student (Matthew Broderick) accepts a job with a local mobster who resembles a famous cinema godfather. The movie was well-received by critics, although in real life “The Godfather,” Marlon Brando (who co-stars as a parody of himself), apparently deemed it a flop. It was the first role he’d had since the 1980 film “The Formula.”

  • #7. Carnal Knowledge
    45/ Embassy Pictures

    #7. Carnal Knowledge

    Year: 1971

    Stacker score: 79.5

    IMDb rating: 7

    Tomatometer: 89

    Released in 1971, Mike Nichols’ iconic “Carnal Knowledge” follows the lifelong sexual development of two men who first become friends as college roommates. The film, which stars Jack Nicholson, Candice Bergen, Art Garfunkel, Rita Moreno, and Ann-Margret, was deemed “too controversial” for its exploration of chauvinism and male psychology to be shown in Italian theaters. A theater operator in Georgia was even taken to the Supreme Court for screening the movie. Still, it was nominated for a number of awards and is still considered to be a classic.

  • #6. Animal House
    46/ Universal Pictures

    #6. Animal House

    Year: 1978

    Stacker score: 83.5

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    Tomatometer: 91

    “Animal House” is the classic college comedy about a disreputable fraternity at fictional Faber College that throws outrageous parties and continually challenges the authority of the disapproving dean. John Belushi’s famous role as Bluto significantly influenced the comedy genre, and the movie profoundly impacted the image of the college lifestyle in popular culture. The “Animal House” portrayal of competitive Greek life and wild, non-stop partying has been replicated in numerous teen movies, including “Neighbors,” “Accepted,” and “Old School.”

  • #5. The Graduate
    47/ Lawrence Turman

    #5. The Graduate

    Year: 2001

    Stacker score: 84.5

    IMDb rating: 8

    Tomatometer: 89

    In Mike Nichols’s seminal film “The Graduate,” Dustin Hoffman plays a recent college graduate who is seduced by a bored housewife while he’s home for the summer, struggling with what to do next in life. The award-winning film became a classic for its relatable depiction of young adulthood, and for capturing the mood of the 1960s college generation, marking a shift in Hollywood and society alike. The movie’s soundtrack, by Simon & Garfunkel, also made waves: it was the first time a film had featured a popular rock group’s previously recorded music. College students then and now still repeat some of its most famous lines, such as “wood or wire?” and “one word: plastics.”

  • #4. American Graffiti
    48/ Universal Pictures

    #4. American Graffiti

    Year: 1973

    Stacker score: 85

    IMDb rating: 7.5

    Tomatometer: 95

    In a nostalgic look at 1960s teenagers, George Lucas’ iconic “American Graffiti” follows high school graduates as they cruise down California streets and live it up on their last day of summer vacation. It was almost a TV movie, until Francis Ford Coppola signed on as a producer shortly after the release of “The Godfather” and secured more funding. “American Graffiti” was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Director.

  • #3. The Social Network
    49/ Columbia Pictures

    #3. The Social Network

    Year: 2010

    Stacker score: 86.5

    IMDb rating: 7.7

    Tomatometer: 96

    Based on the real-life story of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, “The Social Network” follows the creation of the life-changing social media site while Zuckerberg was a student at Harvard. The film opened with positive reviews, and Harvard students at the time enjoyed the movie’s depiction of life at the university, overall viewing it as a relatable account. “The Social Network” took home three Academy Awards and four Golden Globes, though Zuckerberg wasn’t pleased with some of the liberties the filmmakers took with his story.

  • #2. Whiplash
    50/ Bold Films

    #2. Whiplash

    Year: 2014

    Stacker score: 89.5

    IMDb rating: 8.5

    Tomatometer: 94

    “Whiplash” tells the story of a talented young drummer studying at a competitive music conservatory, where he’s physically and mentally abused by a respected professor intent on pushing his students to greatness. While abusive band director Fletcher, played by J.K. Simmons, was met with some criticism, “Whiplash” was nominated for five Academy Awards (including the 2015 Best Motion Picture of the Year) and won three. Director Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”) said his own high school music experience inspired the film, and he used the movie to take the competitive environment to the extreme

  • #1. Good Will Hunting
    51/ Be Gentlemen Limited Partnership

    #1. Good Will Hunting

    Year: 1997

    Stacker score: 90

    IMDb rating: 8.3

    Tomatometer: 97

    Boston native Matt Damon co-wrote and starred in the award-winning “Good Will Hunting,” a film about a man with the IQ of a genius who works as a janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and receives life guidance from a psychologist. It catapulted Damon and writing partner Ben Affleck to stardom, earned Robin Williams his sole Oscar, and became director Gus Van Sant’s most profitable film to date, banking $263.5 million worldwide. Still wildly popular among Boston college students more than 20 years later, universities screen “Good Will Hunting” during welcome-week events and residents visit filming locations around the city.

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