10 YA Movies That Actually Received Amazing Reviews from Critics

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Act III Communications

Act III Communications

If we could spend all day watching our favorite movie adaptions of the best books and dreaming of the perfect casts for books that should get the big-screen treatment, we totally would. It can be extremely nerve-wracking when a new movie with your favorite actor is announced, or the trailer for a highly anticipated flick comes out — you just want other people to like the story as much as you!

It can be surprising to see which movies critics love and which ones they despise, especially when the audience has totally different opinions. You always have to take critical reviews with a grain of salt, but sometimes they are pretty darn accurate. We gathered up 10 of our all-time fave YA movies that got amazing reviews from some of the toughest critics — check ’em out!

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The first installment of the well-loved franchise made us fall in love with Katniss Everdeen as she fought to the death to be able to return to her family and defy the government that failed her. Critics showed their support for the second film by giving it a 89 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes and calling it a "refreshingly gritty and adventurous affair that packs plenty of thematic depth." Unfortunately, the rest of the movies weren't as well-received, and Catching Fire remains the best of the series.

Photo: Lionsgate

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

As we learned more about Charlie's life and his desire to fit in while recovering from his past, we can't help but feel sympathy and sadness on his behalf. The coming-of-age story definitely struck a similar cord in the critics who gave it a rating of 86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and saying that "it's been a while since a movie captured so colorfully the comedy, tragedy, angst, and exuberance of adolescence." So true!

Photo: Mr. Mudd

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

The final installment of one of the greatest movie franchises that spanned across 10 years left both the audience and the critics wanting more. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 96 percent, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 secures the best rating of the whole series. Critics said that "it has been a true coming-of-age saga, in the fullest and most moving sense of the term," proving that the Wizarding World is one of the best.

Photo:Warner Bros.

The Spectacular Now

This romantic drama is one of the best movies to watch during sleepovers while eating lots of ice cream, and the critics agree. The Spectacular Now, which tells the story of Sutter and how he struggles with alcoholism and how the unusual Aimee changes his life, received a 93 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes and truly showed off the incredible acting abilities of Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller. Saying that "the film is engrossing all the way through, the sweetest, saddest, most humane movie I've seen all year," we feel the need to go watch is asap.

Photo:21 Laps Entertainment

Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia was one of our earliest memories of heartbreak. As Jesse and Leslie explored their made-up Terabithia and learned more about themselves, we felt their joy with them. Critics obviously felt the same way because they gave the movie an 85 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and called it a "fanciful, emotional and entertaining movie." And honestly, nothing is better than watching young Josh Hutcherson and Anna Sophia-Robb.

Photo: Walt Disney Pictures


The hilarious movie-turned-musical is one of our all-time favorite sick-day watches that makes us wish we had magical powers, too. As we saw Matilda learn to harness her magical aptitude and stand up to her parents, we couldn't help but cheer when she found true family in her friends. Critics were just as enchanted with Matilda as we were and called it "rare amongst children's films in that it's as much cathartic fun for adults as it is a sheer, silly adrenaline jolt for youngsters," and gave it a 90 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Photo: TriStar Pictures


The historical adventure following the life of orphan Hugo and his quest to finish his late father's work was the most critically acclaimed movies of 2011. Not only does it have a 94 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it received 11 Academy Award nominations, more than any other film that year. Featuring young Asa Butterfield and Chloe Grace Moretz, this amazing 3D movie is a must-watch, especially since critics called it "a magical cinematic experience, and a masterpiece so unlike anything. Captivating and original, it is the director's most human film yet."

Photo:Initial Entertainment Group

The Princess Bride

This classic romance/action film tops our list due to its incredible 97 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics explained that the movie "has often been copied, but never equaled," continuing its legacy as being one of the bests. The story has everything from true love and princesses to vengeance and action, and you should definitely watch it sometime this week.

Photo: Act III Communications

To Kill a Mockingbird

Chances are you have already read To Kill a Mockingbird in school and have seen the movie, but before it was on the required reading list, it became a critically acclaimed film. Receiving a 91 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and being called "a product of American realism [that] is a rare and worthy treasure," TKM has cemented itself as a timeless classic that everyone can learn from.

Photo:Universal Studios


This stop-motion animated horror was one of the first of its kind that surpassed every expectation. Following the life of Coraline and how she discovers a parallel universe with dark secrets, Coraline it received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture in 2009, but it was given a 90 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and called a "triumph of storytelling and cinematic technology." This movie set a new standard for stop-motion films.

Photo: Laika

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