The Best Gay Coming-of-Age Films

by kjtenorman | created - 05 Feb 2016 | updated - 5 months ago | Public

A chronological list of the best coming-of-age films centered around young gay male characters.

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1. My Own Private Idaho (1991)

R | 104 min | Drama

77 Metascore

Two best friends living on the streets of Portland as hustlers embark on a journey of self discovery and find their relationship stumbling along the way.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, James Russo, William Richert

Votes: 47,879 | Gross: $6.40M

2. Totally F***ed Up (1993)

Unrated | 78 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

62 Metascore

Six queer teenagers struggle to get along with each other and with life in the face of varying obstacles.

Director: Gregg Araki | Stars: James Duval, Roko Belic, Susan Behshid, Jenee Gill

Votes: 2,579 | Gross: $0.10M

3. The Doom Generation (1995)

R | 83 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

48 Metascore

Jordan White and Amy Blue, two troubled teens, pick up an adolescent drifter, Xavier Red. Together, the threesome embark on a sex and violence-filled journey through an America of psychos and quickiemarts.

Director: Gregg Araki | Stars: James Duval, Rose McGowan, Johnathon Schaech, Cress Williams

Votes: 13,490 | Gross: $0.26M

4. Total Eclipse (1995)

R | 111 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

42 Metascore

Young, wild poet Arthur Rimbaud and his mentor Paul Verlaine engage in a fierce, forbidden romance while feeling the effects of a hellish artistic lifestyle.

Director: Agnieszka Holland | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, David Thewlis, Romane Bohringer, Dominique Blanc

Votes: 12,901 | Gross: $0.34M

5. Beautiful Thing (1996)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

In a suburb of London, young Jamie is escaping sport hours, to avoid being the victim of his comrades. Young Ste, his neighbor, is beaten by his father, and comes to sleep overnight. They discover new feelings, sleeping in the same bed.

Director: Hettie Macdonald | Stars: Glen Berry, Linda Henry, Scott Neal, Tameka Empson

Votes: 22,087 | Gross: $1.50M

6. Nowhere (1997)

R | 82 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

44 Metascore

Follows a day in the lives of a group of Los Angeles high school students and the strange lives they lead.

Director: Gregg Araki | Stars: James Duval, Rachel True, Nathan Bexton, Chiara Mastroianni

Votes: 7,998 | Gross: $0.03M

7. Mandragora (1997)

Unrated | 126 min | Drama

Two gay teenage runaways thrown out of their repressive homes try to survive on the streets of Prague. Hunger and desperation forces them into a life of prostitution, drugs, and teen-porn.

Director: Wiktor Grodecki | Stars: Miroslav Caslavka, David Svec, Pavel Skrípal, Kostas Zerdolaglu

Votes: 1,052

8. Edge of Seventeen (1998)

Not Rated | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A teenager copes with his sexuality on the last day of school in 1984. It shows him coping with being gay and being with friends.

Director: David Moreton | Stars: Chris Stafford, Tina Holmes, Andersen Gabrych, Stephanie McVay

Votes: 5,532 | Gross: $0.87M

9. Get Real (1998)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A tenderly romantic coming-of-age story as two boys in a British school fall in love.

Director: Simon Shore | Stars: Ben Silverstone, Brad Gorton, Charlotte Brittain, Stacy Hart

Votes: 12,131 | Gross: $1.20M

10. Trick (1999)

R | 89 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

The misadventures of two young gay men, trying to find a place to be alone, one night in Manhattan.

Director: Jim Fall | Stars: Christian Campbell, John Paul Pitoc, Tori Spelling, Brad Beyer

Votes: 8,034 | Gross: $2.05M

11. Nico and Dani (2000)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

59 Metascore

A Spanish coming of age story focusing on the antics of two 17 year olds, who have a posh beach house almost all to themselves one summer. This is also a summer of sexual awakenings.

Director: Cesc Gay | Stars: Fernando Ramallo, Jordi Vilches, Marieta Orozco, Esther Nubiola

Votes: 5,850 | Gross: $0.35M

12. Come Undone (2000)

R | 98 min | Drama, Romance

68 Metascore

Mathieu, 18, spends the summer at his mother's summer house, in Brittany. On the beach, he meets Cédric, a boy his age. A love-story begins between the two boys.

Director: Sébastien Lifshitz | Stars: Jérémie Elkaïm, Stéphane Rideau, Marie Matheron, Dominique Reymond

Votes: 4,696 | Gross: $0.01M

13. L.I.E. (2001)

R | 97 min | Crime, Drama

73 Metascore

A 15-year-old Long Island boy loses everything and everyone he knows, soon becoming involved in a relationship with a much older man.

Director: Michael Cuesta | Stars: Brian Cox, Paul Dano, Bruce Altman, Billy Kay

Votes: 9,396 | Gross: $1.14M

14. The Rules of Attraction (2002)

R | 110 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

50 Metascore

The incredibly spoiled and overprivileged students of Camden College are a backdrop for an unusual love triangle between a drug dealer, a virgin and a bisexual classmate.

Director: Roger Avary | Stars: James Van Der Beek, Ian Somerhalder, Shannyn Sossamon, Jessica Biel

Votes: 48,655 | Gross: $6.53M

15. You'll Get Over It (2002 TV Movie)

Unrated | 86 min | Drama, Romance, Sport

52 Metascore

When Vincent finds himself a victim of outing in his high school, he must accept to live with the drastic changes it provokes, and redefine his relationships with his friends and family.

Director: Fabrice Cazeneuve | Stars: Julien Baumgartner, Julia Maraval, Jérémie Elkaïm, François Comar

Votes: 1,992 | Gross: $0.04M

16. Latter Days (2003)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

45 Metascore

A promiscuous gay party animal falls for a young Mormon missionary, leading to crisis, cliché, and catastrophe.

Director: C. Jay Cox | Stars: Wes Ramsey, Steve Sandvoss, Mary Kay Place, Amber Benson

Votes: 16,645 | Gross: $0.82M

17. The Mudge Boy (2003)

R | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

62 Metascore

The film follows the story of Duncan, a fourteen-year-old misfit farm boy trying to fill the void and alleviate the numbness left by his mother's passing. Unable to let her go quite yet, ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Burke | Stars: Emile Hirsch, Richard Jenkins, Tom Guiry, Pablo Schreiber

Votes: 4,165

18. Mysterious Skin (2004)

Unrated | 105 min | Drama

73 Metascore

A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.

Director: Gregg Araki | Stars: Brady Corbet, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elisabeth Shue, Chase Ellison

Votes: 64,345 | Gross: $0.70M

19. Dorian Blues (2004)

Not Rated | 88 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

52 Metascore

High school senior Dorian begins a gay man's odyssey when he determines that he's gay and decides to come out. Chief among concerns is the reaction of his father, who has never liked him.

Director: Tennyson Bardwell | Stars: Michael McMillian, Lea Coco, Steve Fletcher, Mo Quigley

Votes: 2,316 | Gross: $0.07M

20. A Home at the End of the World (2004)

R | 97 min | Drama, Romance

59 Metascore

A boy who has experienced many losses in his life grows to manhood and enters into a love triangle with a woman and his boyhood friend.

Director: Michael Mayer | Stars: Colin Farrell, Dallas Roberts, Robin Wright, Sissy Spacek

Votes: 13,029 | Gross: $1.03M

21. Summer Storm (2004)

R | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

51 Metascore

A close friendship between two crew teammates is tested when one slowly discovers he's gay and attracted to the other.

Director: Marco Kreuzpaintner | Stars: Robert Stadlober, Kostja Ullmann, Miriam Morgenstern, Jürgen Tonkel

Votes: 13,114 | Gross: $0.10M

22. C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)

Not Rated | 127 min | Comedy, Drama

81 Metascore

A young French-Canadian, growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, struggles to reconcile his emerging homosexuality with his father's conservative values and his own Catholic beliefs.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée | Stars: Michel Côté, Marc-André Grondin, Danielle Proulx, Émile Vallée

Votes: 30,927

23. The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (2005)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama

70 Metascore

A young boy falls in love with a handsome policeman who is investigating his family's criminal activities.

Director: Auraeus Solito | Stars: Nathan Lopez, Soliman Cruz, J.R. Valentin, Neil Ryan Sese

Votes: 1,460

24. Another Gay Movie (2006)

Not Rated | 92 min | Comedy, Romance

37 Metascore

Four gay high school friends make a pact to lose their virginity before they go to college.

Director: Todd Stephens | Stars: Michael Carbonaro, Jonathan Chase, Jonah Blechman, Mitch Morris

Votes: 8,651 | Gross: $0.65M

25. Wild Tigers I Have Known (2006)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama

52 Metascore

A lyrical telling of the coming of age of a 13-year-old boy who learns to cope with his newfound sexuality and his unrequited love for the cool kid in school.

Director: Cam Archer | Stars: Malcolm Stumpf, Patrick White, Max Paradise, Fairuza Balk

Votes: 2,007 | Gross: $0.01M

26. The Curiosity of Chance (2006)

98 min | Comedy

A confident, out-of-the-closet gay teenager has the support of an eclectic range of friends while dealing with a homophobic bully during his first year at an international high school.

Director: Russell P. Marleau | Stars: Tad Hilgenbrink, Brett Chukerman, Aldevina Da Silva, Pieter Van Nieuwenhuyze

Votes: 2,743

27. Shelter (II) (2007)

R | 97 min | Drama, Romance, Sport

66 Metascore

When his college dreams are sidelined by family obligations, a young man finds comfort in surfing with his best friend's brother.

Director: Jonah Markowitz | Stars: Trevor Wright, Brad Rowe, Tina Holmes, Jackson Wurth

Votes: 20,455 | Gross: $0.14M

28. Were the World Mine (2008)

Not Rated | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

A bullied and demoralized gay student at an all-boys school uses a magical flower derived from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream' to turn many in his community gay, including a comely rugby player for himself.

Director: Tom Gustafson | Stars: Tanner Cohen, Wendy Robie, Judy McLane, Zelda Williams

Votes: 5,191 | Gross: $0.12M

29. Dream Boy (2008)

R | 88 min | Drama, Romance

Chronicles the relationship between two gay teenagers in the rural south in the late '70s.

Director: James Bolton | Stars: Stephan Bender, Thomas Jay Ryan, Diana Scarwid, Tom Gilroy

Votes: 3,752 | Gross: $0.01M

30. Kaboom (2010)

Not Rated | 86 min | Comedy, Mystery, Romance

64 Metascore

A sexually "undeclared" college freshman's clairvoyant/prophetic dreams are the first sign that something very strange is going on involving his class-mates -- with him at the center.

Director: Gregg Araki | Stars: Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett, Chris Zylka, Roxane Mesquida

Votes: 12,241 | Gross: $0.12M

31. Private Romeo (2011)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Romance

53 Metascore

A modern take on Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. Set at an isolated all-boys military academy, it follows the forbidden relationship between two cadets.

Director: Alan Brown | Stars: Hale Appleman, Charlie Barnett, Adam Barrie, Chris Bresky

Votes: 2,032

32. Suicide Room (2011)

Not Rated | 110 min | Animation, Drama, Thriller

After suffering extreme humiliation at school, Dominik holes himself up in his room and begins spending all his time in a virtual reality chat room.

Director: Jan Komasa | Stars: Jakub Gierszal, Roma Gasiorowska, Agata Kulesza, Krzysztof Pieczynski

Votes: 9,141

33. North Sea Texas (2011)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Romance

63 Metascore

A teenage boy's search for love finds him fixated on a boy who lives nearby.

Director: Bavo Defurne | Stars: Ben Van den Heuvel, Eva van der Gucht, Thomas Coumans, Katelijne Damen

Votes: 8,036 | Gross: $0.03M

34. Romeos (2011)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Romance

A drama centered on the relationship between a two young men, as one of them navigates the difficulties of life as a transgender man.

Director: Sabine Bernardi | Stars: Rick Okon, Max Befort, Liv Lisa Fries, Felix Brocke

Votes: 3,125 | Gross: $0.00M

35. Weekend (II) (2011)

Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, Romance

81 Metascore

After a drunken house party with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a gay club. Just before closing time he picks up Glen but what's expected to be just a one-night stand becomes something else, something special.

Director: Andrew Haigh | Stars: Tom Cullen, Chris New, Jonathan Race, Laura Freeman

Votes: 27,048 | Gross: $0.46M

36. Struck by Lightning (2012)

Not Rated | 90 min | Comedy, Drama

41 Metascore

A high schooler recounts the way he blackmailed his fellow classmates into contributing to his literary magazine.

Director: Brian Dannelly | Stars: Chris Colfer, Rebel Wilson, Christina Hendricks, Dermot Mulroney

Votes: 14,294 | Gross: $0.02M

37. Geography Club (2013)

PG-13 | 84 min | Comedy, Drama

57 Metascore

At Goodkind High School, a group of students with varying sexual orientations form an after-school club as a discreet way to share their feelings and experiences.

Director: Gary Entin | Stars: Cameron Deane Stewart, Justin Deeley, Meaghan Martin, Wesley Eure

Votes: 5,283

38. G.B.F. (2013)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

56 Metascore

What happens after Tanner is outed by his classmates and becomes the title "gay best friend" for three high school queen bees?

Director: Darren Stein | Stars: Michael J. Willett, Paul Iacono, Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen

Votes: 10,419

39. Monster Pies (2013)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama, Romance

Mike has felt alienated and alone for as long as he can remember, until a new boy arrives at his school - awakening feelings and a world of possibilities he'd never before dared to dream of.

Director: Lee Galea | Stars: Tristan Barr, Lucas Linehan, Rohana Hayes, Katrina Maree

Votes: 2,502

40. Kill Your Darlings (2013)

R | 104 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

65 Metascore

A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs.

Director: John Krokidas | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Ben Foster

Votes: 34,258 | Gross: $1.03M

41. Boys (2014 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 78 min | Drama, Romance

A sexually awakening gay teen athlete finds himself in a budding relationship with his mutually attracted relay race teammate.

Director: Mischa Kamp | Stars: Gijs Blom, Ko Zandvliet, Jonas Smulders, Ton Kas

Votes: 11,719

42. The Way He Looks (2014)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Romance

71 Metascore

Leonardo is a blind teenager searching for independence. His everyday life, the relationship with his best friend, Giovana, and the way he sees the world change completely with the arrival of Gabriel.

Director: Daniel Ribeiro | Stars: Ghilherme Lobo, Fabio Audi, Tess Amorim, Lúcia Romano

Votes: 21,853 | Gross: $0.10M

43. Pride (I) (2014)

R | 119 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.

Director: Matthew Warchus | Stars: Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine

Votes: 49,555

44. Closet Monster (2015)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

81 Metascore

A creative and driven teenager is desperate to escape his hometown and the haunting memories of his turbulent childhood.

Director: Stephen Dunn | Stars: Aaron Abrams, Jack Fulton, Joanne Kelly, Isabella Rossellini

Votes: 7,216 | Gross: $0.04M

45. Henry Gamble's Birthday Party (2015)

Unrated | 87 min | Drama

59 Metascore

Preacher's kid Henry Gamble is turning 17 today. Bring your swimsuit.

Director: Stephen Cone | Stars: Cole Doman, Joe Keery, Elizabeth Laidlaw, Pat Healy

Votes: 2,278

46. Slash (I) (2016)

Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance