The Many Saints of Newark (2021, dir. Alan Taylor)

A late 60s/early 70s New Jersey teenager is raised in a mob-affiliated household and neighbourhood. This The Sopranos prequel works as a both an insight into the earlier lives of that series’ main characters, and as a stand-alone movie. Tony Soprano very much a supporting character here: the focus is on his uncle Dickie, played by a never-better Alessandro Nivola.

Here’s the trailer.

Boys in the Trees (2016, dir. Nicholas Verso)

A teen struggles with his past and future one Halloween. Excellent little coming-of-age drama with a supernatural edge. Slight, but beautifully shot and performed, and it doesn’t do the things lesser movies might have.

The Way, Way Back (2013, dir. Nat Faxon & Jim Rash)

A gawky 14-year-old gets a summer job at a water park to escape his dysfunctional family. A charming offbeat comedy-drama very much of two parts: a crumbling new family unit, and the escapism of the park. Highly recommended.

The Goob (2014, dir. Guy Myhill)

A Norfolk teen clashes with his mother’s violent partner. A great little movie of a Fenland redneck summer – stock car race meets, roadside cafes, and gangmasters – with unshowy performances and a palpable sense of threat and place. Big sky and pylons.