A film buff who enjoys watching a range of different films from funny rom coms to intense thrillers.
For a lot of movie fans, flicks such as Dead Poets Society can often be some of the most enjoyable kinds of movies to watch. They often manage to mix in a happy blend of drama and creativity with the invention and artistic flair. The film itself tells the story of a fictional series of events from Vermont. Following the events that take place at Welton Academy, an elite, conservative-minded boarding school, Dead Poets Society gives you all the help that you need to really tap into what life could be like in a school such as this.
It’s mainly based around the work of a particular English teacher, played by Robin Williams. In the film, he uses the power of poetry to help establish a rapport with his students and to encourage their learning and artistic freedom. The film itself received many awards and was critically acclaimed, with BAFTA awards and various other positive awards received. However, just like many other award winning classics, Dead Poets Society can really tap into your desire for a more engaging kind of movie. Finding something similar enough to this, though, can be quite the challenge!
That’s why we recommend that if you intend on watching movies like Dead Poets Society that you take a look at some of the ideas we have for you below. These are some well respected movies that carry large and positive reputations among the artistic community. Some of them are more similar than others, but all of these movies carry the kind of themes and messages that you might find relative or similar to Dead Poets Society.
As a movie, it manages to ask some very important questions about society as a whole. If you would like to watch a movie that poses such questions, try the following.
Movies Like the Dead Poets Society
- The Breakfast Club
- Dazed and Confused
- Sixteen Candles
- The History Boys
- The Emperor's Club
- With Honours
- Easy A
- Scent of a Woman
- Mona Lisa Smile
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower
A fine place to start for many people would be that of The Breakfast Club. You have likely seen it already, but it’s a film about five high school students who are forced into a Saturday detention program. the five students, though, could not be any more unique to one another; none of them are from the same kind of social class, background, or interest group.
As such, the film immediately creates a fine example of both the contrast and the similarity that can be found in classrooms of varying people. It’s very much a fun and enjoyable movie, and one that manages to put in place a whole series of enjoyable commentaries on how our perceptions of people can change simply by spending time together.
Another great coming-of-agile school-based movie is Dazed and Confused, a movie all about teenagers celebrating the last day of school together. They head to a pool hall and then a keg party, but Randall Floyd, one of the protagonists, has no interest in partying. Instead, he’s got his eyes on the big end of year Championship football match.
Meanwhile, other kids come to the party in a bid to avoid being hazed too heavily by the likes of Fred O’Bannion, a powerful but scary bully who has a sick mind. It creates a perfect commentary on how societal barriers and labels can stick, even when the summer months start.
Many people enjoy Sixteen Candles, a movie which is about a soon-to-be 16-year-old named Samantha. It’s her sisters wedding coming up, and she feels more or less left behind. As all the attention goes on the wedding, she feels like her 16th – a landmark birthday for a teenager – has very much taken a back seat on the list of important family events.
However, she finds that he mind is being taken up by Jake, an older boy who she’s fell for. At the same time, she keeps rejecting the advance of Ted, a geek in class who is the only guy to show any genuine interest. Who will she wind up with?
A popular film to turn to when you are looking for fun and engagement in this genre is that of The History Boys. A very popular film for various reasons, this is the story of a series of Yorkshire grammar school students who want to try and get an undergraduate place at Oxford or at Cambridge. It’s a very interesting story, showing how students can learn a lot from their teacher and how the development of our school years is often only as powerful as we allow it to be.
A thought-provoking movie that ties in with the importance of the student-teacher dynamic that makes Dead Poets Society such an excellent movie.
Sticking to a similar theme, The Emperor’s Club is a fantastic movie on the teaching profession. A fine example of what can happen when a student walks into a classroom that a teacher is not prepared for. It follows the story of William Hundert, a Classic professor who finds his organised and easy to manage world thrown into chaos by the arrival of Sedgewick Bell, a student who challenges Hundert like no other
A fine example of the challenging experience that a teacher can go through when they meet their match in a student. An excellent example, too, of the development that takes place for both teacher and student.
Going down a lighter note, With Honours is a fine choice for those who enjoy a more whimsical approach to the school theme. It’s all about a student how is convinced his thesis paper is good enough to land him honours. However, when he finds that his paper has fallen into the hands of a homeless man, he needs to think and act fast or risk losing his academic progress.
However, the lessons that can come from an unassuming homeless man soon prove to be worth every bit as much – if not more – than the academic learning done throughout. A comical drama with plenty of twists and turns, you’ll find plenty of energy and excitement waiting for you in this 101-minute piece.
A good example of a school movie with am ore recent twinge, though, is that of Easy A. It follows the story of Olive, a teen with no real vices or excesses. She’s not an exciting teenager, and this obviously plays a part in her desire to change: to be seen as one of the ‘cool kids’. So, in a bid to win some popularity instead of describing another boring weekend, Olive tells a total pack of lies about how she lost her virginity.
When the campus loudmouth hears her story, the story spreads like wildfire. How will the previously calm and collected Olive handle the concept of her entire school thinking she’s easy for all the wrong reasons?
One of the best films to tap into if you would like to enjoy more of this genre, though, would be that of Scent of a Woman. This came out in 1992, and it’s become a fantastic example of how a school movie can have far more adult themes than many would expect. In the film, we follow Charlie Simms, who is a student at a preparatory school and comes from a poor financial background. To afford a flight home, he starts helping out a retired US Army Lieutenant over the Thanksgiving weekend.
It’s a story about helping a blind man enjoy life again, whilst the student learns the ways of the world and important life lessons from someone who has been there and done it all. It’s a very exciting story, and one that gives you a real example of how enjoyable a movie like this could be.
This film follows the story of Katherine Ann Watson, who was a feminist teacher who came through UCLA, and in 1953 left her love behind to go to teach at Wellesley College. Wellesley was known as being a conservative-minded private liberal arts college, and the movie follows as Watson fights back against a system that really was not made to let people like her thrive.
It’s all about combatting stereotypes, bringing down barriers, and showing how it’s never time to give up: even when the odds are stacked well and truly against you.
2012 movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower was very popular, a classic school story that is based on the popular Stephen Chbosky novel. It follows Charlie, a 15-year-old outsider who is looking to try and find a place in the world. Taken under the tutelage of two seniors, it follows the development of a young 15-year-old who learns more about the world than they would have ever expected.
It’s a tale all about overcoming fear and finding home, as well as finding love and even accepting and dealing with loss. A deeply endearing and engaging story, and one that really manages to showcase the educational power that goes on in school outside of lessons.
If you know of any other movies like Dead Poet's Society, that we have missed out from the list above then please let us know in the comments section below and we will go out of our way to watch it (if we haven't seen it before) to see if it's worth adding to the list above.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Harry Sheen
Rachel M Johnson on July 25, 2019:
I’m so glad you included Dazed and Confused! That is such a great film with unique characters and sometimes it doesn’t get enough recognition!
Michael115 on July 19, 2019:
Great list! Breakfast Club is an awesome movie and so memorable. True example of a timeless classic.
Naomi Starlight from Illinois on July 19, 2019:
I get insane comments too, I hope the internet never changes.
Great article btw, 'The Breakfast Club' is a favorite of mine! And 'Easy A' is just so underrated.
Rene Dulnuan on July 19, 2019:
These hearts and mind smovies is strictly for the elite global intellectual proffesionals of Hearts and mind sbalance of power as per persons then continues to spirits warfares then to ancestral forces commands forces ! I gave once the the switching of the acvtive trigger Firing command , that sent so many people worldwide shattering in life