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3 Movies You Need To See But Haven’t.

 —  October 9, 2013 — 13 Comments

Anybody who sort of knows me knows that movies are my vice, my guilty pleasure. A bad evening at the movies…never mind, there’s no such thing!

Every now and then a movie comes along that has a lot to teach those of us who work with young teens. And most of the time they seem to fly under the radar without much fanfare. So I thought I’d share three fairly recent movies that I think everybody who works with junior highers or younger high schoolers should see. They are all very unique, and all give a peek into the various waters young teens navigate.

Moonrise Kingdom. The best Wes Anderson film yet.

The Way Way Back. The first 15 minutes will make you question this pick. The rest of the movie is pure gold.

Mud. My inlaws recommended this movie and I delayed far too long. One of my favorites in a long time!

Do you have a favorite to recommend?

Kurt Johnston

Kurt Johnston


Kurt Johnston leads the student ministries team at Saddleback Church in Southern California. His ministry of choice, however, is junior high, where he spends approximately 83.4% of his time.

13 responses to 3 Movies You Need To See But Haven’t.

  1. Seen all 3 and completely agree. Especially The Way Way Back.

  2. Moonrise Kingdom is a great flick; I wasn’t familiar with Craven’s work before that. Definitely going to have to see Mud now; you’re the 2nd person to recommend that.

    Has anyone seen Kings of Summer? Yea or nay?

  3. Just to be clear – Wes Craven and Wes Anderson make very different kinds of films. Moonrise Kingdom is a Wes Anderson film.

  4. Amber Cassady

    I’m also curious about Kings of Summer!

  5. I think we’re thinking of Wes Anderson, not Wes Craven… Nightmare on Elm’s Street, anyone? ;)

  6. The movie “Short Term 12″ should be a must for all youth workers. About taking care of ourselves as we work with young people.

  7. Kings of Summer was OK. At no point did I think “my youth leaders need to see this!” like I have with some other coming of age films.

    Totally agree on #1 on this list; I’m adding #2 and #3 to my “to watch” list. Thanks for the recommendations! (I’ve seen the Mud trailer on Hulu a few times and I think it’s at redbox, so I’ll probably watch that one first).

  8. Also, I would add “It’s kind of a funny story” if we’re compiling a list :)


  9. Haven’t seen any of them but will certainly check them out. Can any be shown to a group of students without losing my job? (obviously I’d screen something first)

  10. I agree with Jason, Short Term 12 was an incredible film for mentors.

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