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The Best Young Adult Movies to Watch on Netflix Right Now

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It is an age-old question, or at least a streaming age old question: What should I watch on Netflix? If you are among the those stuck at home for the foreseeable future and are looking for some fun, youthful, adventures to take your mind off what’s going on outside — this is the list for you. From rom-coms to soapy thrillers, TV Guide has compiled a list of the best young adult movies to watch on Netflix.

The streaming service has been steadily adding so much of this content over the past couple of years that you’ve probably missed some real gems. Here’s what we think is worth the investment of your Netflix and chill time.

<p><em>Set It Up</em> </p>

Set It Up

Set It Up (2018)

If you’re a millennial with an internet connection, at least one of your friends has told you how great Set It Up is. Believe the hype. Glen Powell and Zoey Deutch have effortless chemistry as two over-worked assistants who decide to team up to Cupid’s chokehold their bosses in the hope that a romantic connection will allow them to have lives of their own, outside of work. The banter is quippy and the movie hits all of the desired rom-com traditions without falling into tropes or predictability. It is fun, funny and smart. We really don’t think it’s hyperbole at all to call it a modern When Harry Met Sally. Do yourself a favor and enjoy this now.

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Alex Strangelove (2018)

Heads up: Stock up on tissues before you watch this one. Alex Strangelove stars relative new comer Daniel Doheny as the adorable Alex Truelove, who only wants to find his person but is struggling inside the dark closet of his sexuality. It’s the Netflix version of Love, Simon and is equally compelling, heartbreaking and good for the soul.

Good Burger (1997)

Before Kenan Thompson had the longest tenure of any cast member ever on SNL, he and Kel Mitchell were the stars of the Nickelodeon sketch show All That. One of the many gems that show gifted the world was the Good Burger movie, which saw the sketch move to the big screen as Dexter (Thompson) and Ed (Mitchell) tried to take down the evil Mondo Burger with Ed’s special good burger sauce. It’s a nostalgic romp that should lift any ’90s kid’s spirits. Just remember that you’re a dude, I’m a dude, and we’re all dudes, hey!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018) / P.S. I Still Love You (2020)

It’s been a hot minute since we’ve had quality teen movies like the classics we enjoyed in the ’90s and early ’00s. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, based on Jenny Han’s endearing young adult novel, is bringing the high school romance comedy back in a huge way. Lana Condor leads the way as Lara Jean, a high school junior who falls into her first real relationship after the letters she wrote to her five previous crushes are sent out. It captures all the awkward pitfalls of high school romance with just enough surrealism to make this a fantastic escape movie.

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When you’ve finished the first movie, you can move right on to the sequel, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, which adds Jordan Fisher‘s John Ambrose McClaren into the mix and puts Lara Jean in a heart-twisting love triangle.

<p>Noah Centineo, Lana Condor, Anna Cathcart, and John Corbett, <em>To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You</em> </p>

Noah Centineo, Lana Condor, Anna Cathcart, and John Corbett, To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

Everyone knows what it’s like to be a teen and feel like no one understands you, and that sentiment is at the heart of the coming-of-age film The Edge of Seventeen, which stars Hailee Steinfeld as Nadine, a 17-year-old who has contentious relationships with both her older, more successful brother (Blake Jenner) and her single mother (Kyra Sedgwick) in the wake of her father’s death. When Nadine’s best and only friend, Krista (Haley Richardson), begins dating her brother, it sends Nadine spiraling even more, until the only person she feels she can confide in is her teacher (Woody Harrelson). A great story about family and friendship, The Edge of Seventeen is also highly relatable.

The Spectacular Now (2013)

Before Shailene Woodley was telling Big Little Lies, she and Miles Teller were spinning an epic YA love story in The Spectacular Now. It’s a coming-of-age drama that sees two seemingly opposite personality types fall in love and see each other through turbulent family drama and the pressures of leaving high school. Can they unpack their own baggage in time to make their love last? It’s a poignant movie that goes a lot deeper than expected.

See You Yesterday (2019)

Spike Lee produced this sci-fi YA adventure. Two young geniuses are on the brink of solving time travel, but when tragedy strikes, they have a limited amount of time to set things right. Don’t miss an incredible cameo by Michael J. Fox, who pays homage to Back to the Future.

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Ibiza (2018)

Fun fact: Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) has not skipped arm day at the gym, and it pays off in Netflix’s travel comedy Ibiza. If you’re looking for pretty people to get into your eyeballs, Ibiza is a colorful adventure you should dig into. Madden plays the ridiculously hot Scottish DJ Leo West, who steals the heart of the ambitious Harper (Gillian Jacobs), who finds herself putting it all on the line for romance during a work trip to Spain. Dope Queen Phoebe Robinson and SNL‘s Vanessa Bayer round out the cast as her two best friends and add some hysterical laughs into the mix.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

We are throwing it back to a classic! This John Hughes iconic film is the ultimate movie to watch when you feel like you’re playing hooky and you know the parade scene is bound to help shake off some of the cabin fever you may be experiencing. And if you’re young enough to have no idea what I’m talking about, add this movie to the top of the queue, because it’s a must-watch for everyone.

Step Sisters (2018)

Step Sisters could have easily been a Bring It On rip-off, but the college-centered romp about Jamilah (Megalyn Echikunwoke), a down and out black sorority sister forced to teach a group of uncoordinated white girls how to step in order to get a recommendation to Harvard Law School, is actually a self-aware, empowering good time. The movie even cast Matt McGorry as Jamilah’s desperately-trying-to-be-woke boyfriend. The movie has all of the great performance sequences of classics like the aforementioned Bring It On and Step Up, but also tackles issues like nepotism and cultural appropriation with grace and honesty.

<p><em>Step Sisters</em> </p>

Step Sisters

You Get Me (2017)

Sometimes movies are so insane that they loop back around to being good. Enter You Get Me, or what we’ve affectionately named “Bella Thorne Swimfan” around the TV Guide office. You know what, let’s just leave you with that description because it’s all you need to want to give movie this a chance.

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Dance Academy: The Comeback (2017)

This movie will make a lot more sense if you binge every episode of the preceding Australian dance drama on Amazon (or for free on Tubi, Pluto TV, or Vudu), which is also a great way to deal with empty hours at home. The movie sees Tara (Xenia Goodwin) get back into her pointe shoes and reclaim the dance career she thought she lost due to a back injury. She encounters old friends and familiar faces along her journey to find her true path to success.

The Craft (1996)

Behold: The OG teen witch movie that wasn’t afraid to get dark when it comes to balancing dark forces of magic and who to take to prom. The Craft is the epitome of late ’90s dark dramas. It’s like Cruel Intentions meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer and now you can watch the cult classic in the comfort of your own home. You could even do a seance afterwards, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Stop searching, start watching! TV Guide’s Watch This Now! page has even more TV recommendations.


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