13 Movies About Students That Will Actually Motivate You

Are you looking for movies about life on campus or movies about teachers and students that give a realistic representation about the student life? Here are 13 best movies about students you’ll love!

Movies about students

Life as a student is full of new experiences, study burdens, and most of all, endless possibilities. The following 13 movies are not just about the common, everyday student life, instead they delve deep into unique, inspiring, and motivational stories surrounding students. 

A sneak peak into the characters’ lives in these movies can propel you to chase your dreams, find your true calling, overcome your fears and gather strength to face your reality. Discover how these representations of student lives and teacher student relationships, on the big screen, can leave a profound impact!


1. Lady Bird (2018)

Lady Bird is a coming-of-age film that encapsulates the trials and tribulations of high school life. It follows Christina «Lady Bird» McPherson, a high school senior from the «wrong side of the tracks». 

She longs for much more than what her home can offer. Her journey explores relationships, social standing, and above all, the struggle of finding one’s identity amidst the chaotic era of adolescence. This brilliantly executed movie will move the students and motivate them to confront their own fears and anxieties.

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

Movies on student relationship

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a poignant film that delves into the life of Charlie, an introverted high school freshman. The story unfolds through a series of letters he writes to an anonymous friend, revealing his struggles with mental health, friendship, and self-discovery.

The movie addresses themes of acceptance, the power of friendship, and the importance of embracing one’s true self. It’s a compelling narrative that can inspire students to navigate the complexities of adolescence with resilience and authenticity.

3. The Graduate (1967)

The Graduate is a classic released in the ’60s that remains relevant even to this day. It portrays Benjamin Braddock as he grapples with uncertainty after his college graduation, and gets entangled in a complex relationship with an older woman leading to an array of conflicting emotions.

His confusion and aimlessness embody a very real aspect of the transition that all graduates have to face. It limits the disdain towards societal expectations and pressures, pushing students not to get succumbed into the conformist trap.

4. The Social Network (2010)

Movies for students

Thinking of starting a business while you are at college? The Social Network is bound to give you some serious motivation. It is a biographical drama film about Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, portraying his journey to realizing his ultimate creation while facing numerous legal entanglements in the process.

This movie is all about student relationship and encapsulates the struggles, excitement, risks and rewards associated with entrepreneurship, showing us the power of unwavering commitment, innovation and resilience even against the harshest oppositions and criticisms.

Read: 20 College Movies You Should Watch Before Your Freshman Year

5. Booksmart (2019)

Booksmart is an excellent movie, especially for students who should focus on their social lives! It navigates the journey of two overachieving high school students, Amy and Molly, who realize on the eve of their graduation that they’ve missed out on special moments of their teenage life due to their intense focus on academics and their obsession with becoming the student of the year.

This revelation pushes them to make up for lost time with one chaotic night of adventure. Besides its humor and fun elements, Booksmart powerfully conveys the message that a balanced life involving academics and social experiences is key for a well-rounded student experience.

6. Election (1999)

Movies about genius students

Is it election time at your school? Election is just the perfect film to watch! It’s a comedy-drama that revolves around a high school election and focuses on the intense competition and unexpected twists and turns leading up to it. The stern and ambitious student, Tracy Flick, goes head-to-head with the beloved jock, Paul Metzler.

It sheds light on the cutthroat nature of school politics in an extremely hilarious and entertaining manner, making students realize that there’s more to leadership than popular votes. It represents the essence of power dynamics and examines it in a narrative, though exaggerated, that many students can identify with.

7. Whiplash (2914)

Whiplash is a gripping drama about a young music student and his tyrannical mentor. It follows Andrew Neiman, a promising drummer at a cutthroat music conservatory, who is driven to the breaking point by his demanding teacher, Terence Fletcher.

The film explores the dichotomy of mentorship and abuse, and digs deep into what it means to truly strive for ‘perfection’. It presents a gripping narrative on ambition and obsession, challenging you to question the extremes you would go to for the sake of your passion.

8. Legally Blonde (2001)

Movies about school

Elle Woods is one of the most iconic characters in movies about students, partly because of her unique outfits, and also because she’s brilliant at what she does!

A major source of inspiration for many law majors, Legally Blonde is a lighthearted, yet empowering movie that follows the journey of Elle Woods, a stylish sorority girl who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend.

However, as the story unfolds, Elle breaks stereotypes, proves her worth, and shows ambitious determination. This movie motivates students to challenge societal expectations, strive for their goals, and realize that they are capable of more than they think.

Read: What To Bring To College: 10 Essentials You Must Have

9. Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

For all the female students out there, forging your way through the patriarchal surroundings, Mona Lisa Smile is a tearful watch. Set in 1953, this film follows the story of Katherine Watson, an unmarried art history professor at the conservative all-women Wellesley College. She faces various challenges due to her progressive teaching methods and defiance of traditional societal norms.

Her course encourages students to cherish their individuality and ultimately teaches them that they can defy societal expectations and pursue careers. Throughout the storyline, you come to value the significance of having a visionary mentor like Katherine and the teacher student relationships she creates.

10. Good Will Hunting (1997)

Good Will Hunting is a brilliantly crafted psychological drama film that explores the life of Will Hunting, a self-taught genius who works as a janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hunting’s profound understanding of complex mathematical theories bewilders university professors, but traumatic past experiences have hindered his ability to see his true potential.

The film delves deeply into interpersonal relationships and vulnerability; it’s an emotionally gripping narrative that shows the power of empathy, forgiveness, and self-understanding for personal growth. It’s a passionate demonstration of how important it is to wrestle with inner demons to manifest one’s full potential.

11. Strike! AKA. All I Wanna Do (1998)

Movies student of the year

Ever wondered what life as a student would be at boarding school? All I Wanna Do offers a brilliant viewpoint. Set in 1963, it’s a comedy-drama that highlights the lives of students at an all-girls boarding school, preserving the charm and essence of the era perfectly.

Interestingly, when the students discover that their school is expected to merge with a nearby boy’s school, they hatch a plan to save their school from this perceived calamity. The film subtly emphasizes the importance of friendship, teamwork, and standing up for conviction in a hearty, nostalgic narrative sparking numerous smiles and laughter.

12. 21 (2008)

For all those into gambling or movies about students that excel, 21 is an interesting watch! It is an exciting, fast-paced movie based on a true story that revolves around six MIT students who are trained to become card counting experts with the objective of swindling Vegas casinos for millions of dollars.

Their professor, played by Kevin Spacey, mentors them but greedy intentions drive them towards risky directions. This thrilling narrative underscores several moral lessons about greed, teamwork, trust, and the risks and consequences associated with undertaking unethical actions.

13. The Breakfast Club (1985)

Movies about teachers and students

An all time classic, The Breakfast Club delves into the lives of five high school students from different socio-economic backgrounds who get stuck in Saturday detention together. Each character represents a different stereotype: the jock, the rebel, the brain, the princess, and the oddball.

Despite their differing personalities and social status, they get to know each other’s worlds beyond their clichéd facades. The film masterfully explores themes such as peer pressure, class division, identity, and acceptance, turning it into an invaluable comment on the high school experience.

This was all about the best movies about students!

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