Quick Start Film List: Ages 14 and Over

Attack the Block film still
Attack the Block film still

Get started on your film club journey with this intriguing and thoughtful list of suggested titles for those students aged 14+. These 15 feature films and one short provide challenging but enjoyable viewing through stories from cultures all around the world, and are the perfect place to start for the first-time film club.

Get started on your film club journey with this intriguing and thoughtful list of suggested titles for those students aged 14+. These 15 feature films and one short provide challenging but enjoyable viewing through stories from cultures all around the world, and are the perfect place to start for the first-time film club.

 

Fruitvale Station

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration82 mins

Fruitvale Station(2013)

Based on real events, this film charts a day in the life of a Black man named Oscar Grant on NYE 2008 and how he was unlawfully killed by the police.

There have, for a long time, been real-world events that prove the deep-rooted and racialised issues that pervade and pervert police forces around the world. This powerful drama is based on one of the most infamous and widely circulated cases of police brutality in the modern age and offers a passionate entry point into discussion of complex issues.

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Mary and Max

Cert12

Age group14+

Duration88 mins

Mary and Max(2009)

A witty and touching Australian claymation about two unlikely pen pals with a unique connection.

Charting the friendship between a lonely girl and a man with Asperger’s, Mary and Max uses a unique animation style to tell its story. Using humour to explore the experience of socially isolated characters, anxiety and obsessive compulsive behaviors, the film is a great starting point for discussions around challenging behaviors, weaving in issues around love and friendship.

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Whiplash

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration102 mins

Whiplash(2014)

Riveting two-hander about a jazz drummer and his demanding tutor.

Andrew is a talented young musician whose tutor is willing to push him to the limits. This Oscar-winning drama is brilliantly alive, a nail-biting examination of the nature of ambition and how it affects social relationships, as well as where the boundaries between teacher and pupil should lie.

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Attack the Block

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration84 mins

Attack the Block(2011)

A bunch of South London teenagers find their tower block under attack from deadly aliens, in this fast and funny sci-fi horror film.

Starring a young John Boyega, this unconventional sci-fi thriller mixes scares and laughs with genuine social commentary, full of characters we care for and a world we recognise as our own. The film is also brilliant for its representation of characters and social groups that are all too often marginalised or vilified in society.

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Pride

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration115 mins

Pride (2014)

Uplifting comedy about an unlikely moment in recent British history when, in 1984, gay rights activists offered to support the striking miners.

Set in the 1980s, Pride tells the true story of a group of LGBTQ+ activists who supported a community of striking Welsh miners in a show of unity and strength. Crowd-pleasing, and with a vibrant soundtrack, the film powerfully demonstrates the importance of political protest as well as threading through a poignant story about a young man struggling to come out to his parents.

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A Room for Romeo Brass

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration90 mins

A Room for Romeo Brass(1999)

Marvellous British drama that tells the tale of two schoolchildren, Romeo and 'Knocks', and their fractious friendship.

This coming-of-age drama from popular British director Shane Meadows does not patronise its audience, or sugar-coat its issues, resulting in a touching, nostalgic take on youthful friendship and growing-up.

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Blade Runner

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration117 mins

Blade Runner(1982)

In the future human clones are sent to work in the outer reaches of space, when six escape and head to earth a blade runner is sent to hunt them.

This ground-breaking sci-fi continues to astound audiences both visually and thematically almost forty years after its release. It’s dystopian vision of the future – in this case 2019 Los Angeles – has arguably never been bettered, and the film combines the human with the philosophical, resulting in a true masterpiece.

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Vertigo

CertPG

Age group14+

Duration128 mins

Vertigo(1958)

A detective with a fear of heights is hired to investigate the strange activities of a woman but, after a tragic event, begins to obsess over her.

Alfred Hitchcock’s spooky classic has often been cited as ‘the greatest film ever made’. We’ll leave it up to you to make up your mind about that, but it is perhaps the definitive example of the most famous filmmaker of all. This richly complex film continues to suggest possibilities for film as an art form like no-other and opens up a remarkable array of debates.

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Frankenstein

CertPG

Age group11+

Duration68 mins

Frankenstein(1931)

Based on Mary Shelley's classic Gothic horror novel, the story of a misunderstood, man-made creature who escapes from his creator’s laboratory.

Perhaps the definitive adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel despite actually differing slightly from its source material, Boris Karloff’s performance as the creature is one of the most memorable in all of cinema, creating a tragic vision of a character that has passed from generation to generation. A macabre horror classic that revolutionised the genre.

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Bande De Filles (Girlhood)

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration110 mins

Bande De Filles (Girlhood)(2014)

Energetic and honest coming-of-age drama about a teenager’s new friendship with a group of girls in the suburbs of Paris.

French director Céline Sciamma has made her reputation on telling provocative, but tender stories about youth and gender. This coming-of-age film, set in suburban Paris, retains these characteristics and builds on them, constructing a compelling portrait of an African-French teenager’s developing identity, told in raw and vibrant fashion.

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Pan's Labyrinth

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration118 mins

Pan's Labyrinth(2006)

Outstanding fantasy grounded in a Spanish Civil War setting, about a girl who discovers a magical maze at her ruthless stepfather's remote army base.

Visionary director Guillermo Del Toro’s modern triumph reframes the horrors of the Spanish Civil War through the eyes of a young girl whose nightmares make more sense than the reality that surrounds her. The result is a terrifying, magical and astounding feat of the imagination.

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Vi är bäst! (We are the Best!)

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration97 mins

Vi är bäst! (We are the Best!)(2013)

Joyous, energetic Swedish coming-of-age comedy in which three teenagers decide to form a punk band in 1980s Stockholm.

An affectionate look at claiming outsider status and self-expression through music perfectly captured in the defiant punk music of the time, this 1980s-set coming-of-age comedy from Sweden features a healthy dose of feminist spirit. A joyous celebration of youth, friendship and growing up different.

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Man on Wire

Cert12

Age group11+

Duration94 mins

Man on Wire(2008)

Gripping documentary about Phillipe Petit who, in 1974, walked on a tightrope between New York's Twin Towers without permission from the authorities.

This gripping documentary is a mesmerising introduction to the genre whilst also refreshing the concept of documentary entirely. It uses a combination of archive footage, interviews and dramatic recreations to tell the astounding story of Phillippe Petit’s high-wire act. The film also captures what sort of personality would undertake such a mission in the first place.

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Diego Maradona

Cert12

Age group14+

Duration130 mins

Diego Maradona(2019)

An immersive documentary covering the period when one of football’s iconic players, Diego Maradona, played in Napoli.

The world of archive filmmaking has never looked or sounded better in this gorgeous and pulsating documentary from one of the UK’s most prominent documentarians, Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna). Capturing the energy of the 1980s footballing zeitgeist, the film is more than just a sports drama, zeroing in on the pitfalls of fame, fortune and the need to win at any cost.

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#tagged

CertUnclassified

Age group14+

Duration12 mins

#tagged(2017)

24 hours in the life of teenager Elsie from the perspective of her smartphone as she discovers the dangers of social media.

Containing both a strong anti-bullying theme as well as gently warning against the overuse and invasive nature of social media, #tagged is also presented in a fascinating and relatable way for young people, with the entire narrative unfolding on the screen of the protagonist. Perfect for classroom debate.

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