Teenager in your life? Suggest these 8 great films.

April 17, 2017

Worried that the teenager in your life doesn’t think you’re cool enough? Tell them about National Canadian Film Day 150 (NCFD 150), the coolest event taking place in Canada on April 19 (seriously) and pass on these suggested films.

We asked critics and film writers for their recommendations for the teens in their lives. Here are a few choice picks from Toronto critics for the budding Canadian-film-buff in yours.

But, of course, these are just personal suggestions from critics, so please check the film ratings in your province to make sure these films are appropriate for the young people you know!

Coming-of-age tales stories and films exploring issues of identity and family were the most popular choice.

Sleeping Giant (2016)


National Post’s Chris Knight went with “the fantastic coming-of-age movie SLEEPING GIANT — or, if they’re already of age, THE F WORD. Toronto Star’s Peter Howell suggested another coming-of-age gem, NEW WATERFORD GIRL. “I think [they] would see themselves in these endearing characters” he said of the teens in his life. NOW Magazine’s Susan G. Cole also put in a vote for New Waterford Girl, because it’s “realistic about teenagers, and features an astonishing breakout performance by Liane Balaban”.

For a different kind of coming-of-age story, cléo Journal’s Kiva Reardon suggested Tracey Deer’s documentary Mohawk Girls, about young women growing up on the Mohawk reserve of Kahnawake, in Quebec.

Mohawk Girls (2005)

Mohawk Girls (2005)

NOW Magazine’s Norm Wilner said “I would tell my teenage niece to check out Stories We Tell, because she’s just old enough to find the investigation aspects intriguing even if she doesn’t have any investment in Sarah Polley herself. Although how that would be possible, I just don’t know.”

CBC’s Eli Glasner thought Don McKellar’s The Grand Seduction would hit the spot. “Hot guy moves out East, falls in love with the place while the locals participate in a hilarious to scheme to add some sophistication to their town. Classic comedic storytelling with in a film with a strong sense of place and a theme any outsider can relate to.”

The Grand Seduction (2013)

The Grand Seduction (2013)

While most critics thought teens would love charming, relatable stories like the ones listed above, not everyone wanted to keep it wholesome.

The Globe & Mail’s Barry Hertz said “I’d want them to get into Videodrome (assuming they’re 13 or older; otherwise, I might get arrested/excommunicated from the family)”, and Greg Klymkiw also thought some classic Cronenberg body-horror would be the right choice. He chose the filmmaker’s very first feature, Shivers. Greg actually has a teenage daughter, and said that she “has seen many Cronenberg movies. Shivers is one I should have shown her long before this.

If you’re hungry for more recommendations, check back here soon for more picks for teens from critics across Canada.

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