Stacker pulled ratings for some of the most popular college movies from IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, gathering each film’s audience-based IMDb rating and critic-based Rotten Tomatoes Tomato meter rating. The top 5 movies based on their Stacker Score are presented here, with the worst ones at the bottom of the list. This list looks at cinematic favourites from the past 25 years that take place in college and explore how the film and its makers have impacted college students, both as characters in the movie and real-life audience members.
Films listed in this article were based on books and were even awarded or nominated for Oscars and other prestigious awards. There was one film; however, that was deemed too controversial to be shown in Italian theatres.
GOOD WILL HUNTING(1997)
– Stacker score: 90 – IMDb rating: 8.3 – Tomatometer: 97
Matt Damon, native Bostonian, and famous actor, co-wrote and starred in the award-lasting film “Goodwill Hunting,” tells the story of a man with genius-level IQ who works as a janitor at MIT receives spiritual guidance from a psychologist. One of the most loved and appreciated films of all time, “Good Will Hunting” catapulted Damon & Affleck to stardom and earned Robin Williams his sole Oscar. It also became director Gus Van Sant’s most profitable film to date. The movie banked $263.5 million worldwide. More than 20 years after the film was released, “Good Will Hunting” is still wildly popular on Boston college campuses and even gets screened during welcome-week events. The streets of the city are dotted with filming locations for fans to visit.
– Stacker score: 89.5 – IMDb rating: 8.5 – Tomatometer: 94
“Whiplash” follows the story of a talented young drummer studying at a competitive music conservatory that demands a lot from its students. It seems that all success comes with a cost, as his teacher abuses him physically and mentally to push him to greatness. While some critics were not fond of Fletcher, the abusive band director in “Whiplash,” the film was nominated for five academy awards (including the 2015 Best Picture) and won three. Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”) said his own high school music experience inspired the film and used the movie to take competitiveness to a new level.
The Social Network (2010)
– Stacker score: 86.5 – IMDb rating: 7.7 – Tomatometer: 96
Based on a real-life story, “The Social Network” is a movie that tells the story of how Facebook came to be. Harvard students at the time saw it as a relatable account of life at their university since it received positive reviews and was a hit among them. “The Social Network” was a monumental success and became one of the year’s best movies. The film won 3 Academy Awards and 4 Golden Globes- although Zuckerberg was not happy with some liberties taken by the filmmakers in terms of portraying his story.
American Graffiti (1973)
– Stacker score: 85 – IMDb rating: 7.5 – Tomatometer: 95
In a 1960s-style teen movie, George Lucas’ American Graffiti follows high school graduates as they cruise down California streets and live it up on their last day of summer vacation. “American Graffiti” was almost a TV movie before Francis Ford Coppola came into the picture with funding. The film received four nominations at the Oscars, including Best Director.
The Graduate (1967)
– Stacker score: 84.5 – IMDb rating: 8 – Tomatometer: 89
In “The Graduate,” Dustin Hoffman is a recent college graduate who is most likely struggling with what to do next while home for the summer. He falls into the clutches of an over-sexualized woman, getting sucked into a lifestyle that he will soon have to abandon. The award-winning film became a classic in the relatable and realistic fashion of college life in the 60s. It’s indicative of the cultural shift that America experienced at that time as it ushered in a new era for Hollywood. College students, then and now, tune in to its famous lines from the soundtrack: “Wood or wire.”