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10 Movies Like Dazed and Confused For Fans of Coming-Of-Age Flicks

movies like dazed and confused

Coming-of-age films take us back to a time of youthful innocence, full of fun, heartbreak and honest… and sometimes dishonest mistakes. For lovers of the starry-eyed ragtag group of friends, or the high school senior finding their way through teenage life, here is a list of movies like Dazed and Confused. Dazed and Confused is a coming-of-age film that was released in 1993.

It features a large ensemble cast, most of whom would become huge stars in the future, like Ben Affleck, and Matthew McConaughey, among others. The movie follows a group of high school students living in the 70s, who are having their last day of school, as they try to deal with the ups and downs of adolescence and the transition into adulthood. The film explores themes such as friendship, fitting in, drug use, and sexuality, themes that would be very familiar to coming-of-age film fans.

List of Movies Like Dazed and Confused

1. Sixteen Candles (1984)

Sixteen Candles is a rom-com film directed by John Hughes. It follows the story of Samantha, played by Molly Ringwald, who stars as a high school student who is on the brink of her 16th birthday but feels left out due to the wedding of her beautiful but somewhat self-absorbed sister, Ginny.

Similar to films like Dazed and Confused, Sixteen Candles is a coming of age film which takes place over a very short period of time, in this case, the whole plot spans about two days. The film follows Samantha’s story as she navigates the challenges of teenage life, love, crushes and family. If you enjoyed Dazed and Confused, then this classic is another movie for you.

2. Stand By Me (1986)

Adapted from Stephen King’s novel, The Body, into a movie, Stand by Me is an American coming-of-age film directed by Rob Reiner. The plot is centred on the journey of four boys who are in search of a missing boy named Ray Browner, in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Oregon in 1959. Similar to movies like Dazed and Confused, their journey teaches them lessons of camaraderie, death, friendship, and determination.

The film stars Wil Wheaton, the late River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O’Connell as the group of four. The classic film has been praised for its heartfelt writing and well-developed characters, melancholic soundtrack, and emotional scenes that will tug at your heartstrings, should you decide to watch.

3. Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Many of the stars of the 00s and 10s got their start on coming-of-age films like Dazed and Confused, and many of the other movies on this list. Heavenly Creatures keeps this theme going. This film, which is directed by Lord of the Ring Trilogy’s Peter Jackson, is a movie based on the true story of two teenage New Zealander girls named Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, who grow very fond of each other in the 50s. The girls have vivid imaginations, which weirds people around them out so much that they are even later accused of killing Pauline’s mother.

The film stars Titanic’s Kate Winslet and Two and a Half Men’s Melanie Lynskey as Pauline and Juliet. The movie deeply, and quite interestingly explores themes ranging from creativity, childhood friendship, and obsession. If this combination of mystery, thriller and coming-of-age drama interests you, then Heavenly Creatures is definitely the one for you.

Also Read: Movies like The Hangover

4. Badlands (1973)

Father of another Two and A Half Men star, Martin Sheen is the lead character alongside Sissy Spacek in this 1973 crime and coming-of-age film, directed by Terrence Malick. The lead characters star as Kit and a 15-year-old Holly respectively, a young couple who embark on a killing spree across the American Midwest in the late 1950s. Badlands brings a sinister and not-so-innocent twist to the coming-of-age drama, as Holly relates the events that led to their capture.

Badlands is praised for its stunning cinematography, and haunting soundtrack, which includes some musical pieces by composer Carl Orff, and also for the performances of the lead actors. The film has been praised for its unique take on this subgenre and is a certified classic similar to movies like Dazed and Confused, as it was selected for preservation by the US National Film Registry. It is definitely one you should give a watch whenever you get the time.

5. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

A lot of coming-of-age films like to look back to the past to show you the teenage or childhood experience of these different eras. Picnic at Hanging Rock, directed by Peter Weirfits this bill, as it is set in 1900, and follows a group of Australian schoolgirls who go on a picnic to a volcanic formation in Victoria, Australia. However, several of the girls go missing during the picnic, leaving behind a mystery that seemed unsolvable.

The film makes great use of camera work and editing to create a gloomy atmosphere, which fits in well with the style the movie is going for. The movie shows a darker portrayal of the genre, compared to films like Dazed and Confused. But if you don’t mind being taken on this journey, then I recommend you check out this movie.

6. The Breakfast Club (1985)

The Breakfast Club is probably the most popular coming-of-age drama to ever be made, and still influences media today, with its influence seen in a show like Netflix’s Stranger Things. The movie follows the story of five high school teenagers, similar to movies like Dazed and Confused, and takes place during Saturday detention where these diverse groups of students are forced to spend the day together. Over the course of the day, the students start to gain a deeper understanding of each other’s personalities.

The film explores themes of friendship, identity, social class (even within the school), and the transition into adulthood. The Breakfast Club is a classic movie from the 80s and a must-watch for coming-of-age fans and general movie watchers at large.

7. Almost Famous (2000)

Almost Famous is a comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe. The film follows the journey of a young journalist named William Miller as he joins a rock band on their tour to document their trip.

The film explores themes of friendship, family, love, and the pursuit of one’s dreams. Almost Famous is known for its exciting portrayal of the rock and roll lifestyle, and a callback to the rockstars of the 70s and the music scene in general. Almost Famous has received great reviews for its well-written dialogue and characters, as well as its touching storyline hence, it’s a must-watch for fans of movies like Dazed and Confused.

Also Read: Movies like Drive

8. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

Cinema Paradiso is a 1988 Italian film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. The film is a coming-of-age story similar to movies like Dazed and Confused, set in the small Sicilian village of Giancaldo, Italy, and follows the life of a young boy named Salvatore as he grows up in the local movie theatre, run by the projectionist Alfredo. Salvatore under the guidance of Alfredo begins to develop a love for cinema.

The film is known for its nostalgic portrayal of the golden age of cinema and the magic of old movies. Cinema Paradiso has gained rave reviews worldwide for its touching cinematography, moving soundtrack, and super characterisation

9. Tex (1982)

Tex follows the titular character Tex McCormick, a teenage boy who is going through the pains of growing up and finding a purpose in his life. The film is set in the 1950s in a small town that Tex can’t wait to just get out of as soon as possible. Tex is an interesting option for movies like Dazed and Confused.

The film explores themes of friendship, family and a longing for purpose, and has been praised for its realistic portrayal of the lead-up from adolescence to early adulthood. The film has received praise for its well-written characters, and well-captured 1950s American setting.

10. Where the Day Takes You (1992)

Where the Day Takes You is a drama film directed by Marc Rocco that follows a group of homeless teenagers growing up and trying their best to survive in the tough streets of Los Angeles.

This film similar to movies like Dazed and Confused features an ensemble cast of then-up-and-coming actors, including Sean Astin, Balthazar Getty and the legendary Will Smith. It is praised for the realistic portrayal of street life, and received rave reviews from viewers and critics alike, especially for putting the lens on an oft-overlooked issue of homelessness.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few movies like Dazed and Confused that didn’t make the list that you can also check out: 

1.      Fast Times at Ridgemont High

2.     Say Anything

3.     The Karate Kid

4.     Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.


The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island.

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake

The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66.

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created.

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan

The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world.

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward
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