Depicting authentic modern experience on film is a tricky business. Because movies take so long to get made, most attempts to be “current” by using internet memes or niche slang or trendy fashion or tech is out of date by the time the finished product debuts. Never is this more noticeable than in movies geared towards young people which all tend to carry themselves with a self-conscious “How do you do, fellow kids?” energy, made by adults who haven’t been in high school for a decade or two.

Now and then, a movie with an actual finger on the pulse of today’s youth slips through the cracks, its sly in-jokes and deft deployment of teen colloquialisms contemporary without being cringe. Their characters feel real instead of parodic, and their use of tech — computers, cell phones, apps — feels like a tool rather than an opportunity to preach. Digital chic popped up in Hackers and culminated in The Matrix, flip phones and corny texting acronyms dominated the 2000s, and now we live in a future of touchscreens, social media, and video cameras primed to film anyone doing anything.

For a minute there, it seemed like Hollywood was embracing the ubiquity of cell phones by trying to make us watch stuff on our phones. (Remember Quibi??) When the allure of that proved false, filmmakers went back to incorporating the digital world into our entertainment, just as our entertainment has been shaped by the digital world. Here are ten movies from the past ten years that not only succeed in telling compelling stories about growing up in the digital age (as a screenager, you might say), but also examine how we use, and are used by, the technology that makes it all possible.

The 10 Best Movies About Screenagers

Cell phones, computer chats, evil apps — these movies dive headfirst into the digital world.

READ MORE: The Worst Movies of the Century, According to Letterboxd

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Gallery Credit: Emma Stefansky

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