No. 1: "Y Tu Mama Tambien" (2001)
The coming-of-age plotline is a staple of the beach movie. It's been done well by Jan-Michael Vincent and Gary Busey in surfer-favorite "Big Wednesday" (1978), by Matt Dillon in "The Flamingo Kid" (1984), and to a certain degree, by Keanu Reeves in "Point Break" (1991).
But "Y Tu Mama Tambien" (2001), explores the coming-of-age theme in raw, powerful new ways. It follows two teens in Mexico on the cusp of adulthood played by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, on an impulsive road trip with an older woman in search of a mysterious secluded beach.
The movie was released unrated in the U.S. due to its stark sexuality -- this is no "Gidget." But it artfully reveals a number of broader social issues as well as a timeless tale of young men on a journey from lusty teens to manhood.
Critics almost unanimously praised the movie: "originality writ large" (Washington Post) and "fast, funny, unafraid of sexuality and finally devastating" (The New York Times).