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12 Movies To Watch If You Liked The School For Good And Evil

Based on a series of novels by author Soman Chainani, the Netflix original film "The School for Good and Evil" tells the tale of two friends named Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso) and Agatha (Sofia Wylie) who get accepted to the titular school in order to maintain the balance between good and evil in this fantastical world. For Sophie, this is a dream come true since she has always seen herself as a future princess and is desperate to escape her mundane existence.

Unfortunately, Sophie is taken to the evil side of the school while Agatha (who doesn't even want to be there) is dropped off on the good side, leaving both of them to figure a way out of their situation through a quest. The film boasts an impressive cast that includes Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington, and Laurence Fishburne, and the narrative explores themes of identity and self-discovery amidst all the magical spectacles.

Not only is the story greatly influenced by fairy tales and mythology, it directly references the characters in those stories and mentions the fact that many of them attended the school. If you enjoyed this spin on classic stories or just really dug the look of this Paul Feig-directed film and you're craving more titles reminiscent of it, the titles below have you covered.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

It's practically impossible to watch a movie featuring a magical school and not think of the "Harry Potter" films. While it didn't originate the idea of attending a school to learn magic, it certainly popularized it more than ever before with a series of monumentally successful books and an enormous film series. Chronicling the adventures of the titular hero, the "Harry Potter" films take you on a seven-year journey through the schooling of a young wizard who is destined to save the magical world with the help of his two best friends.

While author J.K. Rowling's problematic views on the legitimacy of trans women have cast a dark shadow on the legacy of the source material, hundreds (if not thousands) of people worked incredibly hard to make the films happen, and they deserve to have their work seen and appreciated. If you enjoyed the "Good and Evil" concept of students being sorted into specific areas based on their potential and your main heroes battling true evil, and you haven't managed to at least watch the first film "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (which details Harry's acceptance to the Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry and his first conscious battle with the dark lord Voldemort), then now is the time to track it down.

A Wrinkle in Time

"A Wrinkle in Time" isn't about a magical school, but it is about children being swept up in a mind-blowing adventure with beings they never knew existed and a kind of evil that threatens to take over everything. Based on the groundbreaking novel by Madeleine L'Engle and directed by Ava DuVernay, the film tells the story of a young girl named Meg (Storm Reid) and her brother and a boy from school traveling to other dimensions with the help of three interdimensional beings named Mrs. Who (played by Mindy Kaling), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) to rescue her missing father (Chris Pine).

This is a huge movie with concepts and ideas explored through quantum physics, but the core truly is about a little girl just wanting to bring her dad home. It closely resembles "The School of Good and Evil" on a design level. Many of the costumes and special effects are similar to each other, it's just the scale of "A Wrinkle in Time" is much grander. So, if you really liked the look of the Netflix film but are ready for some headier topics, check out "A Wrinkle in Time" as soon as possible.

Sky High

Witches, wizards, and fairy tale characters aren't the only ones who need to go to a special school, superheroes also need a place for adolescents to learn how to nurture and use their incredible abilities. So, they attend Sky High, a school located among the clouds where they're free to make mistakes without hurting any innocent people. The "Sky High" film stars Michael Angarano as Will Stronghold, the child of the legendary superheroes the Commander and Jetstream, attending school without powers despite his parentage.

While trying to fit in and find his way, he makes friends and enemies in addition to saving the school itself. This was released in 2005 when the superhero movie boom was just getting going and before Marvel Studios perfected the art of authentically translating larger-than-life characters to the silver screen. Therefore, a lot of the "Sky High" mythology is generic "comic book stuff," but the performances are great, the action is exciting, and the whole thing is a lot of fun. Besides, it's a Disney film with Kurt Russell (the guy cut his teeth working for the company in the '60s), the always fantastic Bruce Campbell playing the gym teacher, and a school principal being played by none other than Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Some writers like to repurpose fairy tales in a new setting, as Soman Chainani did with "The School for Good and Evil," while others, like C.S. Lewis, turn their inspiration into an original fairy tale all their own. "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" was the first book published in Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia" series and it was made into a major, theatrical motion picture in 2005 by director Andrew Adamson. While the books include loads of religious symbolism, you do not need to belong to any particular faith to enjoy the enchanting story of the Pevensie children discovering a magic country on the other side of a wardrobe.

Peter, Susan, Edmond, and Lucy were forced to flee the city and stay at a big, old house in the country in order to escape the blitz during World War II. While there, Lucy enters a wardrobe during a game of hide and seek and enters the incredible world of Narnia, where creatures of myth actually exist, animals speak, and an evil witch has cursed the land to suffer an eternal winter. The film features impressive performances from its young actors, intense battle sequences, wonderful creature effects, and an incredible score by composer Harry Gregson-Williams. If you need more fantasy in your life, go visit Narnia.

Upside-Down Magic

Let's say the binary system in "The School for Good and Evil" or even the house system in "Harry Potter" is too limiting to you because you don't feel like you fit into any one category and hate the idea of your future being decided by labels and categorization. Then you might find yourself more at home with the Disney movie "Upside-Down Magic."

Once again, we see a character who couldn't be happier about being accepted to a magical school, only to find out that she doesn't fit where she thinks she does. Unlike Sophie in "Good and Evil," Elinor (this film's protagonist played by Izabela Rose) isn't just placed somewhere she didn't expect, she is also told that the school is going to allow her magic to die. This is because her ability to change into animals doesn't work properly and that makes her a suitable target for a scary form of magic called shadow magic.

Kids with abilities that don't work properly are forced to learn normal school things in a bunker away from the school and are forbidden from learning magic at all. However, Elinor will not be silenced and she inspires her classmates to rise up and prove their worth. It's an empowering story about outsiders refusing to be marginalized just because a prophecy wasn't written about them or they're not as perfect as their peers.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Fairy tales aren't the only kinds of stories referenced in "The School for Good and Evil," Greek mythology gets a mention as well. There is no shortage of movies and television shows pulling from mythology to tell epic tales of heroes and quests, but if you're looking for one that somewhat resembles the Netflix original, then look no further than "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief."

Based on the books by author Rick Riordan, the film was directed by Chris Columbus (who also directed the first two "Harry Potter" films) and while it isn't the most faithful adaptation of its source material, it adheres to the major elements of adventure and reinvention that made the series so special. It is set in a world like our own, except the gods of myth actually exist (even though most people don't know it) and their children go to a summer camp where they train for quests.

Instead of being sorted based on personality types, children stay in bunks based on who their parent is. The titular hero of the story is the only living child of Poseidon, so he stays by himself. However, he manages to make some friends and head off on his own journey to retrieve Zeus' lightning bolt and return it to Olympus.

The Kid Who Would Be King

The story of King Arthur and the knights of the round table has been told and retold so many times it's difficult not to find some parallel to it when you're a fan of fantasy and adventure films. Whether it's literal adaptations of the story like "Excalibur" or "The Sword in the Stone," or riffs on it like "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," the story is engrained in the genre's DNA. Writer-Director Joe Cornish ("Attack the Block") found his own spin with the criminally underrated 2019 film "The Kid Who Would Be King."

Starring Louis George Ashbourne Serkis (son of actor-director Andy Serkis), the film sees a bullied kid named Alex discovering the mythical sword Excalibur on a construction site and pulling it from the stone. Realizing that he is the rightful king of Britain, he goes on an adventure to the home of King Arthur's birthplace in order to stop the evil Morgana from rising again.

Aside from the fun setup and the element of wish fulfillment in the story, what really makes the film stand out is its new interpretation of the wizard Merlin. He is played by both Angus Imrie in his young form and Patrick Stewart in his adult form and he's able to change between the two by sneezing. It's a delightful concept with hilarious execution.


If you're looking for more fairy tale material to watch after seeing "The School for Good and Evil," you have almost as many titles to choose from as you do movies related to King Arthur. From silent films to recent blockbusters, these magical folktales have been handed down from generation to generation through spoken, written, and visual forms for hundreds of years. One tale you can almost never go wrong with if you're looking to be mesmerized is "Cinderella."

The story of a girl who is mistreated by her stepmother and sisters following the death of her father, only to be given the chance to obtain the life of her dreams after meeting her fairy godmother has everything a great story needs to tug on the heartstrings and keep you on the edge of your seat. Take your pick of adaptations, a lot of them are very good. This includes the Rogers and Hammerstein version that was turned into multiple television specials starring Julie Andrews in 1957, Lesley Ann Warren in 1965, and Brandy (with Whitney Houston as her fairy godmother) in 1997.

However, if you're looking for something aesthetically similar to "The School for Good and Evil" (with its bright colors and fun costumes) then your best bet is to watch Kenneth Branagh's live-action remake of the 1950 animated classic starring Lily James and Cate Blanchett.

Bridge to Terabithia

Let's say you've had enough with the fairy tales and movies about magical places you'll never get to visit because they don't exist and you'd rather watch something with characters you can relate to living in a world like yours and their imaginations guard them against the harsh reality we all face on a daily basis. If you've ever wanted to disappear into a world like Wonderland or Narnia so badly that you spend more time dreaming up one of your own than engaging with the one we all have to deal with, then you are going to love Bridge to Terabithia.

At first glance, the movie seems to be about kids discovering an incredible realm in the woods around their house, but as the story unfolds, you discover that it isn't so much about the impossible than it is about an incredible bond formed by two young people who don't fit in anywhere else. Based on the novel by Katherine Paterson, this movie starring a young Josh Hutcherson (before he partook in "The Hunger Games") about two kids who imagine a fantasy realm to deal with their problems will scratch the itch you have to see wonderful things like fairies and trolls, but it will also break your heart.


In the wake of blockbusters like "Harry Potter" and "The Lord of the Rings," movie theaters were inundated with fantasy films looking to capture the audience's attention in the same way. Some of those films are listed here, but instead of limiting ourselves to a particular era, it might be fun to look a little further back to a time before Hollywood was ready to bring wizards and goblins to life on the big screen every couple of months; when the idea of seeing a well made epic fantasy story that didn't feature lasers (a la "Star Wars") or hulking, sword-swinging barbarians (like "Conan") was rarer.

In 1988, George Lucas joined forces with director Ron Howard to bring us "Willow," the story of a humble father who wants to be a great sorcerer on a quest to save a baby from the evil sorceress who wants her dead. The similarities with "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" are obvious, but when you look past them, you see a neat fantasy world where magic abounds and the forces of darkness are truly terrifying. It may not have been the most successful movie George Lucas ever put his name on, but it made Warwick Davis a household name (for people who like this genre) and has only grown in popularity over the years, resulting in a sequel series being produced for Disney+.

The Brothers Grimm

In 2005, visionary filmmaker Terry Gilliam ("Brazil," "12 Monkeys") released two very divisive films. One is a dark, sad piece on the incredible lengths children will go to in order to make the best out of a horrific situation called "Tideland," and the other is a popcorn movie where the men who collected fairy tales for publication actually encounter the creatures from the stories called "Brothers Grimm." While Tideland is closer in tone to Gilliam's surreal work, "Brothers Grimm" has the kind of wild and zany spectacle you would have seen in his earlier work like "Time Bandits" and "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" without the same sense of joy.

In the film, the brothers are played by Heath Ledger and Matt Damon. They're depicted as unsavory monster hunters characters who con people out of their money before they wind up having to face off against an actual witch (played by Monica Bellucci). The film is lush with a wonderful atmosphere and some innovative visuals and should serve as a fun experience for anyone hoping to watch a fantasy adventure film not solely aimed at young audiences.


Before Disney was content to simply remake their classic animated movies practically verbatim, they explored the stories from different points of view. For instance, "Alice in Wonderland" serves more as a sequel to the animated film rather than a remake. With "Maleficent," the decision was made to retell the story of "Sleeping Beauty" from the point of view of the film's villain, the eponymous Maleficent.

The 2014 film posits that the witch is more than she seems. Instead of a straightforward evil character, she is an outcast who has been scorned by society and betrayed by the king who was her friend when they were children. She curses princess Aurora to fall into an eternal sleep after pricking her finger on a spindle on her 16th birthday in an act of revenge but eventually grows to love the child and sees her as the one person who can heal the rift between the kingdom of man and the faerie realm she watches over.

It got a sequel called "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" in 2019, and the 2021 film "Cruella" seems to have taken up the baton of retelling Disney films from the point of view of the antagonist by focusing on the future puppy fur-wearing menace from "101 Dalmatians."