You know Sloth, if you sit too close to the TeeVee you'll hurt your eyes...
July 21, 2011 6:04 PM   Subscribe

Boychild has just declare "The Goonies" the greatest movie ever. He has requested other films in which "there is adventure, with a group" as in the group is all friends, or brothers, or have some other sort of comraderie. My mind has drawn a complete blank on other fine pre-teen/teen films that have risen to classic status. [Additional data point: Also seen and approved: 3 Ninjas.]
posted by Dr. Zira to Media & Arts (85 answers total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe too obvious, but Stand by Me.
posted by Durin's Bane at 6:06 PM on July 21, 2011 [12 favorites]

The Sandlot.
posted by paisley sheep at 6:07 PM on July 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Super 8.
posted by tintexas at 6:13 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by smokingmonkey at 6:13 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Adventures in Babysitting. (Disclaimer: this may not be as good a movie as I remember it being.) Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. Holes. I heard okay things about Super 8... Is the boychild too young for The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off?
posted by Specklet at 6:14 PM on July 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

Perhaps a little on the dark side of what you're after, but I think Sleepers fits in terms of being a coming of age story about a group of friends.
posted by chmmr at 6:15 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

How old is the Boychild?

The Outsiders. Also a good book to read together (or by himself).

The recent Abrams/Spielberg movie Super 8 reminded me a lot of The Goonies in terms of the camaraderie among the middle school-age boys (and girl) and adventure/action. I think it could eventually be considered a classic along those lines. It has some scenes that would definitely be way too scary for younger kids and some pre-teens. It's PG-13, which seems about right.
posted by dayintoday at 6:15 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Damn, sorry, I just realised who was your audience. My suggestion is almost certainly inappropriate fare.
posted by chmmr at 6:16 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Explorers. I definitely enjoyed it at that age.
posted by artichoke_enthusiast at 6:16 PM on July 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


Time Bandits
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:17 PM on July 21, 2011

"E.T," as well as the "Spy Kids" movies.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:18 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Harry Potter series
Lord of the Rings series
posted by apparently at 6:19 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Princess Bride is always good!
posted by bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated at 6:19 PM on July 21, 2011 [6 favorites]

The Mighty Ducks and Camp Nowhere were favorites of mine growing up.
posted by janepanic at 6:22 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

I know its literary, but I was once hooked on the Three Investigators book series when I was a pre-teen. Three boys solving haunted house mysteries, often under the employ of Alfred Hitchcock. In later reprints, Hitchcock was replaced with a fictitious movie mogul, but most of the fun was in the comraderie between the very different kids.
posted by Unsomnambulist at 6:22 PM on July 21, 2011

"Neverending Story". Atreu and Bastion can arguably be said to be part of a group of adventurers, even thought they are geographically seperated. Be forewarned, the scene in the swamp with the horse is likely to cause tears.
posted by cosmicbandito at 6:23 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


some that came to mind:

- Lost boys
- Now and then
posted by deeman at 6:23 PM on July 21, 2011

Space Camp

Seems particularly appropos right now.
posted by Leezie at 6:24 PM on July 21, 2011 [6 favorites]

I'm very fond of the 2003 Peter Pan.
posted by keever at 6:25 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
Maybe The Pagemaster, though it's on the younger side
Maybe Ferris Bueller's Day Off, though that's on the older side

Seconding Jumanji and Time Bandits
posted by Rhaomi at 6:27 PM on July 21, 2011

War Games
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:28 PM on July 21, 2011

Boychild is 11, but he's demonstrated enough responsible behavior to earn a film with an occasional F-Bomb or two and that are a bit darker (although not as dark as Sleepers! That too dark even for a 40 year old) but Lost Boys, we've already seen - sexy sax man and all. Holes was on a few weekends ago. We saw Super 8 and he liked that. Hell to the yes on Neverending Story. Adventures in Babysitting might be worth a shot. The John Hughes canon (outside of Home Alone, natch) might be too relationship-y at this stage for this stage, although we have seen Ferris. Jumanji and Time Bandits he's seen (also Baron Munchausen, while I'm on the Terry Gilliam train of thought.) War Games, yes, and Project X.

And if Princess Bride is on cable, TeeVee goes there, just like it does whenever Hunt for Red October.

Holy shit, I totally forgot about Space Camp.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:33 PM on July 21, 2011

A little different, but I loved Swallows and Amazons as a kid (and now, still, as an adult). (plus: Books by Enid Blyton.)
posted by girlpublisher at 6:33 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Monster Squad! I remember it as being the essential era-companion to The Goonies. I also remember it being a little rough, so give it a once over.
posted by GilloD at 6:35 PM on July 21, 2011 [7 favorites]

omg he will LOVE monster squad!
posted by moxiedoll at 6:37 PM on July 21, 2011

Not too young for Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Also I picked Sleepers as a first date movie once. I think we were both 16? Didn't go over particularly well.
posted by trialex at 6:41 PM on July 21, 2011

I am still giggling about Sleepers. I feel like Inappropriate Sleepers needs to be a meme.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:47 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Not to be confused with the Van Damme movie, there's an Australian movie called The Quest with Henry Thomas from E.T. that I loved as a kid and have been trying to find ever since - apparently it was alternatively titled Frog Dreaming, so that's probably why I had so much trouble. But I remember it fitting in nicely with The Goonies and Stand By Me in my childhood.

Also, seconding Monster Squad, which I rewatched this past winter - not quite as good as I remembered, but your kid will likely enjoy it.
posted by mannequito at 6:50 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

What about TV? Supernatural is two brothers who travel around the country investigating and dealing with supernatural stuff. It gets a bit dark, but nothing an 11 year old couldn't handle. My teenage brother loves it.
posted by katyggls at 6:55 PM on July 21, 2011

these may be looser "groups of buddies" than he had in mind, but:

The Three Amigos
City Slickers
Silent Movie
The In-Laws (original)
posted by Mchelly at 6:57 PM on July 21, 2011

Surf Ninjas was the essential childhood companion to 3 Ninjas in my house. In retrospect, it's kind of (possibly hilariously?) politically incorrect that the movie features two Mexican kids as Asian "ninjas," but the "Find Spain" sequence is...pretty excellent.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 7:01 PM on July 21, 2011

Oh, yeah, Supernatural would be right up his alley, as he loves the various ghost-hunting franchise programs ("Mom, I know this is totally fake but...")
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:02 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
posted by John Cohen at 7:03 PM on July 21, 2011

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is a bit left field, but he does stumble across those renegade kids who help him defeat Tina Turner.

As for adventure films with kids as heroes, I grew up loving DARYL, the Last Starfighter, Flight of the Navigator, and, for a darker twist, White Water Summer.
posted by Unsomnambulist at 7:03 PM on July 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

Not exactly a buddy picture, but The Dark Crystal is pretty stellar.
Can the buddies/friends be animals? Then perhaps Homeward Bound.
posted by Glinn at 7:04 PM on July 21, 2011

The Muppet Movie! Any of 'em would work, but the first especially.
posted by smirkette at 7:06 PM on July 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

The Spiderwick Chronicles?
posted by peagood at 7:10 PM on July 21, 2011

Stuff like Homeward Bound is great, but that tends to be stuff that he will see at afterschool programs because it's one of those films that's safe enough that they're not going to get complaints from parents. On the other hand, it's been awhile since the Skeksis have paid a visit...
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:12 PM on July 21, 2011

I feel like I would have loved The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension to pieces if I had seen it when I was his age.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:15 PM on July 21, 2011 [5 favorites]

The kid has taste. Big Trouble in Little China? Only because it, along with Goonies & Labyrinth, are my boyfriend's all time favourite movies that he first watched at around that age.
posted by Wantok at 7:22 PM on July 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

This is perhaps on the old side, but I loved Young Guns and Young Guns II around that time (I think). Also, what about the Indiana Jones movies? Adventure for sure, a group, kind of....
posted by cider at 7:23 PM on July 21, 2011

The Lost Boys
posted by emd3737 at 7:27 PM on July 21, 2011

Oh yeah, we've done the three Indy films plus the One of Which We Shall Never Speak Again. Hadn't thought about Young Guns. I think we've see Big Trouble a few months back as well. The good thing about 80s films is that they're easy to catch on cable networks now, because 80s is the new 70s.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:29 PM on July 21, 2011

If you want something more long form, the TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender is a fantastic kid-buddy-group story. (but don't watch the terrible movie)
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:37 PM on July 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

Little Monsters w/Fred Savage
Ice Age
Cool Runnings
posted by MustardTent at 7:38 PM on July 21, 2011

Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller and Solarbabies and The Peanut Butter Solution, while not necessarily classics as far as the wider public is concerned, are classics in my brain.
posted by hapticactionnetwork at 7:44 PM on July 21, 2011

Tried the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles? A far better contribution to the series than the mess that was Crystal Skull.

Also high on my list, Young Sherlock Holmes (I'm seeing a pattern), 20,000 Leagues Beneath The Sea, James & The Giant Peach, and The Last Starfighter. Guessing he might be a bit too young for Weird Science, but that's another classic.
posted by thirtyeightdown at 7:45 PM on July 21, 2011

How about The Bad News Bears?
posted by janepanic at 7:45 PM on July 21, 2011

Also, more recently, I liked Sky High.
posted by hapticactionnetwork at 7:49 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Breaking News from John Hodgman's Twitter Feed: Krull.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:50 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

When I was 12-13, I saw The Cowboys and declared it the best movie ever. I don't remember the story in great detail but I know it involved a group of misfit boys who have to work together to help John Wayne in a cattle drive. Hmmmm . . . on that note, he might also like City Slickers which has a very similar story line. I'm not at all into Westerns; both movies are really more about camaraderie, teamwork, and overcoming adversary - with the help of a crotchety cowboy.
posted by kbar1 at 7:56 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

2nding Stand by Me, but be prepared for some profanity. I showed it to a couple of kids and they loved it, but I was surprised to have forgotten how much cursing there was.

School of Rock
posted by Gilbert at 7:58 PM on July 21, 2011

2nding Stand by Me, but be prepared for some profanity. I showed it to a couple of kids and they loved it, but I was surprised to have forgotten how much cursing there was.

and on a related note, every second word Dean says in Supernatural is 'bitch'

would the X-Men movies count?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:05 PM on July 21, 2011

He's almost old enough for Real Genius, which is a group caper movie, but with some sex or at least heavy innuendo.

Would he like movies like Airplane, Top Secret, etc?
Galaxy Quest is pretty great too, in the same vein of adult caper movies.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:15 PM on July 21, 2011

I love this type of movie. The two that come to mind are:

(1) Toy Soldiers (Plot: Terrorists take over a school, naughty kids fight back against the terrorists. Stars Sean Astin from the Goonies, also has Wil Wheaton).

(2) The B.R.A.T Patrol (Again, stars Sean Astin, a bunch of military brats that live on a military base get up to hijinx, also uncover a plan by some people to steal military equipment).
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 8:25 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

John Wayne is an interesting idea. We started "True Grit" one night (it was on AMC or something) but it didn't really hold his attention the pace was a bit slow. Yeah, recent sci-fi like X-Files, Wolverine, etc. is usually first in the Netflix Queue on new releases, which is why we seem to be gravitating toward older stuff from the 80s that we either haven't seen in awhile or just flat out forgot about and need to rediscover. Then there are your modern classics in heavy rotation, like Galaxy Quest.

Wacky screwball stuff like the Leslie Nielsen Canon is a possibility (I think we watched "Naked Gun" one night on cable) the problem is that we get into awkward "adult situations" that facilitate awkward fast forwardy moments or awkward explanations of the significance of beavers. Plus, it's not just awkward for us as parents; I can remember when I was a kid watching "Airplane" on Laserdisc(!) and just being mortified about the BOOBIES in the panic scene because OMG PARENTS in the room. But in general, watching adults behave in ridiculous and immature ways is Pure Comedy Gold. For example, the Fake Gunfight scene in Spaced resulted in that wild, unconstrained kid laughter that is one of the most pleasing sounds in the universe. But then there are films like Real Genius that I know well enough to be able to anticipate the fast forwarding needs, so I could probably pull that one off.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:32 PM on July 21, 2011

Please do not show It to your 11-year old, at least not without you watching it in its entirety first. I know plenty of adults that couldn't sleep after seeing that film. :(

Space Camp, hell yeah. I was going to suggest The Cowboys but kbar1 beat me to it. Red Dawn is a great film, but has scenes of teenagers shooting other people; it's a war flick. May not be appropriate for your son, but you know what works for him. Throw Space Camp and The Cowboys together, and give Space Cowboys a try? It's old guys, but it's a great movie.
posted by xedrik at 8:43 PM on July 21, 2011

What about Major League? I saw it on TV when I was around 12 or 13 and thought it was HILARIOUS...I remember there being quite a bit of swearing, but not much else. And seriously. Hilarious.
posted by JuliaIglesias at 9:01 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

If he is at all interested in music, the Blues Brothers is an adventure movie. There is mild language in a few spots, but James Brown and Ray Charles make it all better. Plus Princess Leia with a flamethrower is just so so awesome.
posted by cosmicbandito at 9:04 PM on July 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

Our Gang!
posted by brujita at 9:05 PM on July 21, 2011

posted by cosmicbandito at 9:08 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
posted by hermitosis at 10:38 PM on July 21, 2011

The War was the first one to spring to mind. I remember really enjoying it around that age.

Other movies that my dad introduced me to around that age, after watching the Indiana Jones flicks were the Newman/Redford movies like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting, which, having re-watched them recently, have both aged really well.
posted by clearly at 10:54 PM on July 21, 2011

Seconding D.A.R.Y.L
posted by j03 at 11:44 PM on July 21, 2011

Sneakers? He might like flight of the navigator as well.
posted by demiurge at 12:09 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

I am truly on the Internets? Has no one suggested Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Surely this cannot be. Let me Ctrl-F a few more times.

My word! It is so! But I cannot imagine a more perfect movie for an 11-year-old boy with these particular criteria. I saw it when I was just about that age (perhaps a year or so older) and thought it was the funniest thing ever at the time. I can't see how he wouldn't love it.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 12:37 AM on July 22, 2011 [5 favorites]

Conan the Barbarian has adventures with a group.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:18 AM on July 22, 2011

(also: animated - Wizards, Fire and Ice)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:20 AM on July 22, 2011

Tron. I loved it as a kid and had some of the toys. 10 years later I even started understanding some of what they were talking about.
posted by ericales at 4:22 AM on July 22, 2011

I am truly on the Internets? Has no one suggested Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Surely this cannot be. Let me Ctrl-F a few more times.

Star Wars is not mentioned either, but I'd assume that it has been chalked up as a Given. Is it worth digging for the two Ewok movies? I have no idea if those hold up.

Picking at the animation aspect (although Wizards scarred me at that age), there's a host of animated TV shows that are cinematic (and some have movie spin-offs). Show-wise, most of the DC Animated Universe would fit the bill (Justice League, Teen Titans, Brave and the Bold, Young Justice, etc), plus there's X-Men Evolution and Mighty Avengers (I'd stay away from the Iron Man computer animated show that's on Netflix. Dead, dead eyes).
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:19 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was pleased to see The Cowboys mentioned here, and since I spent the whole walk to work from the bus thinking about how terrific that movie is, I thought I'd spill a little bit in here in the hopes of getting you, or any lover of film, to give this one a try. It might be too much for your 11 year old, but keep it in mind.

I saw it when I was about your kid's age and it blew me away, and blew away both of my older brothers' as well. It's about the things that Kbar1 says it is - "camaraderie, teamwork, and overcoming adversary" but that sort of undersells it. It's a seventies western, and so has the characteristic pitilessness and brutality common to the seventies western. The stakes are extremely high. But it is still about the kids, and camaraderie - it's like the Goonies as directed by Sam Peckinpah. You've got John Wayne and Roscoe Lee Browne on one side representing honor and civility, and on the other side you have Bruce Dern at his most filthily evil (and this is a guy who played some bad, bad dudes) representing everything else.

It does not pull punches. Good people have bad things happen to them. Bad people do and say bad things (including racist things). It portrays a world full of menace, and it all ends up, inevitably, in violent cold-blooded revenge.

But, gosh is it good.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:53 AM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

Just wanted to second Avatar the Last Airbender (the cartoon, emphatically not the movie~). It's a fantastic show and fits all of your qualifications. It's really a lot less "kid's show" than it might appear at first glance. There's a lot of great funny moments too.

I would think twice about Supernatural myself, though of course you know your son best; it's a really good show, but boy does it go to dark places. Buffy might be a good alternative, though?
posted by ashirys at 8:13 AM on July 22, 2011

"Cloak and Dagger" is a great buddy film for kids his age, even if one of the buddies is imaginary - I sometimes wonder if it inspired Calvin and Hobbes.

(And it's weird - when I was a kid and watched it, the scene where Jack Flack "distracts" the badguys is clear proof that he was real, and when I watched it as an adult, it is clear proof he wasn't. Growing up sucks, I don't recommend it.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:16 AM on July 22, 2011

Little Monsters
posted by Windigo at 8:39 AM on July 22, 2011

Simon Burch. My Girl.
posted by JacksonandFinch at 8:42 AM on July 22, 2011

Conan the Barbarian has adventures with a group.

This also happens to be one my husband's favorite films. Might be awkward watching with parents though, although I would be pleased if he after asked me "Mom, what is best in life?"
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:02 AM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

Someone upthread mentioned that they would have loved The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension at that age. I originally saw it at that age, and indeed, I loved the crap out of that movie. (Bonus points: I watched it again this year as an adult, and it was still charming as heck.)

I may have missed it but did anyone recommend Real Genius?

Also, this may just be me, but I thought Solarbabies was awesome when I was a kid. A team of outsider kids saving the world? On roller skates? Tubular to the max.
posted by themissy at 10:56 AM on July 22, 2011

This is a great thread and can I just state for the record that Netflix Watch Instantly sucks because 90% of these movies from 20+ years ago are not available there.
posted by jeremias at 3:47 PM on July 22, 2011

An awesome recent (2010?) Australian film, Tomorrow when the war began. Not sure how available it is where you are, but it was a great adventure film in which a group of teenage friends are suddenly thrust into a situation where they must take control. And it's the first in a series I believe (adapted from a great YA book series), so there will be others forthcoming if he likes it.
posted by k_tron at 2:40 AM on July 23, 2011

Does The Secret of Nihm count?
posted by jasondigitized at 1:23 PM on July 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

NetFlix has the 70's Hardy Boys on streaming.

Also maybe try movies/shows revolving around Camelot?

Percy Jackson & Lightning Thief

Clash of the Titans 70's version

Alabama Moon (2009)
posted by JulieML at 1:24 AM on July 29, 2011

I just saw Attack The Block last night in a theater. It was easily the best kids/adventure I've seen all year (I liked it about one million times better than Super 8). It might be a little too scary/violent/English for an 11 year old American kid, I'd recommend watching it without the kid first.
posted by hapticactionnetwork at 11:16 AM on August 1, 2011

Great Scott! I still love Back to the Future and thought I'd add them to the list.
posted by MansRiot at 5:19 PM on October 31, 2011

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