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Source: Universal Pictures

25 Movies You Should Watch to Really Understand Gen Xers


Poor Gen X. The post-boomer generation of people born between the mid-1960s and 1980 face a lot of erasure due to the obsession with millennials and how we're killing every industry. But Gen Xers faced the world with a unique set of traits and values that, if you pay close attention, are extremely evident in the movies that define the era, along with the perfect fashion choices of the '80s and '90s.

The movies that define Generation X have a few themes in common: post-graduate ennui, a distaste for authority and yuppies, "slacker" tendencies, feelings of alienation, a desire to disrupt the norm, punk music, and lots of flannel. You'll also see several entries from Richard Linklater and John Hughes, and multiple appearances by Gen X darlings like Ethan Hawke, John Cusack, and Judd Nelson.

1. 'Reality Bites' (1994)

Source: Universal Pictures

Ben Stiller directed this Gen X masterpiece whose very Gen X thesis is, well, reality bites. In the film, Stiller, Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo, and Steve Zahn (a Gen X all-star team) face the challenges of "adulting" in the '90s, even though this was before "adult" was used as a verb. The movie tackled the quintessential Gen X struggles over "selling out," dead-end jobs, and having divorced parents.