Undefended: Best Movies For Adolescent Boys

At the beginning of the week, FilmFisher writers were asked to come up with lists of great movies for adolescent boys to watch. The editor suggested: I’m thinking 12 to 14 here. Movies young boys ought to watch to get a grip on the world, to tame bland instincts for violence and leather catsuits. Movies that, if drunken deeply, might be an aid in growth toward virtue. No repeats, remember.

Here is what our writers returned.


Timothy Lawrence

1. The Empire Strikes Back

2. The Fellowship of the Ring

3. Toy Story

4. It’s A Wonderful Life

5. The Night of the Hunter


Brian Murnion

1. La promesse (1996)


2. The Kid with a Bike (2011)

3. Lord of the Flies (1963)

4. Pather Panchali (1995)

5. The Thin Red Line (1998)


James Banks

1. Patton

2. Groundhog Day

3. The Mission

4. Grizzly Man


5. Walkabout


Elizabeth Stinnette

1. The Count of Monte Cristo

2. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

3. Rear Window

4. October Sky

5. The Princess Bride


Justin Spencer

1. Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea

2. A River Runs Through It

3. To Kill a Mockingbird

4. Rudy


5. The Pride of the Yankees


Thomas Banks

1. Secondhand Lions

2. The Jungle Book


3. The Sandlot

4. Raiders of the Lost Ark

5. The Goonies


Remy Wilkins

1. Sunshine

2. Unbreakable

3. Where the Wild Things Are

4. The Truman Show

5. Reign of Fire


Joshua Gibbs

1. 28 Days Later (probably one to watch with Dad, not Mom)

2. Paths of Glory

3. Man on Fire

4. Pride and Prejudice (2005)


5. Wendy and Lucy

Joshua Gibbs

Joshua Gibbs teaches great books, collects records and jogs to work. He and his wife have two children, both of whom have seven names. He tweets at @joshgibbs and blogs for the CiRCE Institute.

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