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17th Jul 2019

Twelve movies that aren’t as deep as you thought when you were a teenager

Wil Jones

When you are a teenager, you are allowed to have awful taste

You can listen to terrible music, and wear ridiculous clothes, it is all part of dealing with hormones and figuring out who you are.

And this also extends to films. There are certain movies that absolutely blow your mind when you are young, and see them for the first time as an adolescent – but when you watch them back as an adult, hopefully, you’ve grown up enough to see them differently.

Not that they are bad films per se – in fact, many of the movies on this list are very good – but they are the sort of thing you might hope to, well, grow out of as you get older.

tl:dr – if any of these are your favourite movies, you are a basic. Sorry.

Donnie Darko

Some films don’t offer easy answers. They instead urge you to interpret the material and come to your own conclusions. Yes, it is more work, but so often those movie-going experiences can be far richer than watching the hero ride off into the sunset. On first viewing, Donnie Darko might feel like one of those movies. But then you watch the Director’s Cut, where literal title cards come up to explain the difficult bits.

(500) Days of Summer

There are lots of things that seem deep in (500) Days of Summer when you are a teenager. Characters that love The Smiths and ‘old movies’ like The Graduate, plus a non-linear structure that makes you seem clever for following it. Despite all this, it is still a relatively charming hetero-normative indie romance, and none of those things are what put it on this list. No, what really ruins it is when he meets a girl called ‘Autumn’ the end.

La Haine /  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon / Amelie

Well done. You own 500 DVDs, and only three of them are in a foreign language.

Fight Club

Capitalism, is like, you know, bad. Did you ever think about that?

Requiem For A Dream

Lots of flashy camera techniques and camera moves do little but add up to the message “Drugs are bad, m’kay”. Plus, that cool music has been ruined by being used on too many Sky Sports montages.


It doesn’t stop spinning, which means he is still in the dream world. Next.


Right, the good bits in Scarface are great. Really great. “Say hello to my little friend,” the chainsaw bit, “Say goodnight to the bad guy,” Michelle Pfeiffer dancing to ‘She’s On Fire’ – that’s all great. But have you watched the whole thing recently? Those bits make up like 30 minutes of the nearly three-hour runtime. There is a lot to slog through to get to the good stuff.

The Big Lebowski

Ordering a White Russian down The Red Lion doesn’t make you The Dude. It makes you a prick.

The Dark Knight

There is a point when you are a teenager when you think Batman should always have been dark and gritty and ‘realistic’ (whatever that means), and should never, ever, be any fun. But part of growing up is realising that Adam West is still the best Batman.

Any Tim Burton film

We get it, you were a goth.

Bonus section: The following films are still acceptable to be your favourite film, even if you loved them as a teenager:

GoodfellasThere Will Be BloodAkira, anything directed by David Lynch.