50 Best Summer Movies To Watch This Summer

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With temperatures rising and summer vacation upon us, it’s time to celebrate with the perfect beach reads, summer playlists, and movies. Whether you’re looking for action-packed adventures, thought-provoking dramas, or classic comedies, you’ll find something to enjoy. But with so many movies to choose from, it can take time to pick the perfect one. So, what are the best summer flicks to get you in the summer spirit?

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best summer movies to watch during the summer months. From blockbuster franchises like Jaws to classics like Stand By Me and The Sandlot, you’ll find something to watch no matter your mood. So, grab your popcorn, fire up the TV, and get ready to experience the best summer movies to watch during the season.


The Sandlot (1993)

If you’re in the mood for a classic coming-of-age story to warm your heart this summer, then The Sandlot (1993) is the perfect choice. This beloved film follows a group of young boys as they spend their summer days playing baseball and getting into mischief in their neighborhood sandlot. Along the way, they learn important lessons about friendship, perseverance, and growing up.


Jaws (1975)

Jaws is a must-watch for those seeking a thrilling, suspenseful summer experience. This classic film, directed by Steven Spielberg, follows a group of characters trying to hunt down a great white shark terrorizing a beach town. The tension builds throughout the movie, with the famous musical score adding to the suspense. Even though the film was made in 1975, it still holds up as a top-notch thriller that will have you biting your nails until the end.


Stand By Me (1986)

Stand By Me (1986) is another summer movie that epitomizes the magic of growing up and friendship. Adapted from a Stephen King novella, the film follows four boys as they embark on a journey to find the body of a missing boy. Along the way, they confront their fears, and through their shared experiences, they strengthen their bond and come to understand each other on a deeper level.


The Parent Trap (1998)

The Parent Trap (1998) is a heartwarming family movie about twin sisters who switch places to reunite their divorced parents. It has a perfect blend of comedy, romance, and drama and features a captivating performance by a young Lindsay Lohan in a dual role.


I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

I Know What You Did Last Summer is a classic slasher film that sets the perfect mood for a summer night-in. This 1997 movie follows a group of high school friends who accidentally hit a pedestrian while driving home from a party. After deciding to dump the body and go on as if nothing happened, they soon find themselves terrorized by a mysterious killer who knows their darkest secret. With heart-stopping suspense and a haunting soundtrack, I Know What You Did Last Summer will have you on the edge of your seat until the end. Don’t forget to check your locks before hitting play on this one.


How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)

Another classic summer romance film is How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998). The movie is based on Terry McMillan’s novel and features a powerhouse cast, including Angela Bassett and Taye Diggs. The story follows Stella, a successful but burnt-out middle-aged woman who travels to Jamaica for a much-needed vacation. While there, she meets Winston, a younger man, and the two embark on a steamy love affair. Stella rediscovers her passion for life through their relationship and learns to let go of her insecurities.


Dirty Dancing (1987)

If you’re looking for a different kind of summer movie that will sweep you off your feet, then Dirty Dancing is the perfect choice. This 1987 classic follows the story of Frances “Baby” Houseman as she falls in love with her dance instructor, Johnny Castle, during a summer vacation in the Catskill Mountains. The film is a wonderful mix of romance and coming-of-age drama, with show-stopping dance numbers that will leave you wanting to get up and dance along.


Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) is a charming exploration of one woman’s journey of self-discovery as she navigates new beginnings in a foreign land. From stunning vistas of the Tuscan countryside to the hustle and bustle of local markets, Under the Tuscan Sun immerses you in the sights and sounds of Italy. But beyond its picturesque setting, the movie is a poignant reminder of the power of taking risks and seizing life’s opportunities. 


Dazed and Confused (1993)

As we continue our list of must-watch summer movies, it’s time to take a trip back to the 1970s with Dazed and Confused (1993). This coming-of-age film brilliantly captures the essence of teenage life, exploring the themes of friendship, rebellion, and identity. The movie is a raw, unfiltered snapshot of adolescence that will transport you back to your youth and leave you feeling nostalgic for days gone by.


Mamma Mia! (2008)

Set on a breathtaking Greek island, Mamma Mia! tells the story of a young woman named Sophie as she prepares for her wedding. The catch? She doesn’t know who her father is, so she invites three men from her mother’s past to the wedding in hopes of discovering the truth.

The film is a joyous celebration of love, family, and, of course, ABBA’s catchy tunes. Meryl Streep stands out as Sophie’s mother, Donna, and the supporting cast, including Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth, brings humor and heart to the film.


Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

As the summer heat beats down, why not cool off with a heartwarming comedy? Little Miss Sunshine (2006) is a charming film that follows the quirky Hoover family as they take a road trip to California for their daughter’s beauty pageant. With a standout performance by Abigail Breslin as Olive, the film explores themes of family, perseverance, and the importance of staying true to oneself.


Mystic Pizza (1988)

Mystic Pizza (1988) is a charming coming-of-age film that takes place in a seaside town in Connecticut. It follows three best friends, Daisy, Kat, and Jojo, as they navigate their relationships, careers, and dreams.


Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Another unique coming-of-age story that will captivate you this summer is Moonrise Kingdom (2012). This whimsical film follows the adventures of two preteens who fall in love and run away from their small New England town. As they explore the wilderness and their feelings, they face obstacles and challenges that test their young love and individual identities. If you’re looking for a summer movie that’s equal parts charming, playful, and poignant, then Moonrise Kingdom is a must-watch.


The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)

Another summer movie that captures the essence of self-discovery and young love is The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005). Based on the popular novel by Ann Brashares, the movie follows four best friends as they embark on separate summer adventures, each taking turns wearing a magical pair of jeans that miraculously fits each of their distinct body types. As the girls discover new passions, confront personal challenges, and fall in and out of love, the pants serve as a symbol of their unbreakable bond and the transformative power of their shared experiences.


The Goonies (1985)

If you’re looking for a classic adventure film to add to your summer movie list, look no further than The Goonies (1985). This cult classic follows a group of misfit friends on a treasure hunt to save their neighborhood from being turned into a golf course. Filled with humor, suspense, and heartwarming moments, The Goonies is the perfect movie to watch with friends or family.


Grease (1978)

Grease (1978) is the quintessential summer movie that will take you on a nostalgic journey back to the 1950s. The film revolves around the love story between Danny Zuko, played by John Travolta, and Sandy Olsson, played by Olivia Newton-John. This musical extravaganza is a fun-filled ride that captures the essence of teenage love, friendship, and rebellion. 

Filled with laughter, drama, and romance, Grease is a timeless classic that has earned its place in the pantheon of great summer movies. So, if you’re looking for a film that will make you laugh, sing, and dance, add Grease to your queue. 


Adventureland (2009)

Adventureland (2009) is a coming-of-age comedy-drama that chronicles the summer adventures of recent college graduate James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg). Set in the summer of 1987, James takes a job at a dilapidated amusement park to save money for graduate school. There, he befriends Joel (Martin Starr), a cynical and seasoned park veteran, and falls for Em (Kristen Stewart), a troubled co-worker with whom he shares a love for rock music.


The Endless Summer (1966)

If you’re a fan of surfing, then The Endless Summer (1966) is a must-watch movie for you this summer. Directed by Bruce Brown, this documentary follows two surfers, Mike Hynson, and Robert August, on their journey around the world in search of the perfect wave. With stunning visuals and a catchy soundtrack, this movie is a feast for the senses. The movie’s laid-back vibe and adventurous spirit make it a great choice for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and embrace the carefree attitude of summer.


The Way, Way Back (2013)

The Way, Way Back (2013) is a heartwarming coming-of-age story that perfectly captures the joys and struggles of summer vacation. Duncan (Liam James) is a shy and awkward 14-year-old who reluctantly goes on vacation with his mother (Toni Collette) and her obnoxious boyfriend (Steve Carell). But his life changes when he befriends an eccentric water park manager (Sam Rockwell) who helps him come out of his shell and find his place in the world.


Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

Wet Hot American Summer (2001) is a raunchy comedy that takes place at a summer camp in the 1980s. With an all-star cast that includes Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, and Bradley Cooper, the movie pokes fun at the cliches and tropes of typical summer camp movies. From the nerdy camp counselor, played by Michael Showalter, to the weirdo cook, played by Christopher Meloni, the characters are all absurd and over-the-top. The film’s humor is often crass and juvenile, but it’s hard not to laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of it all.


Call Me By Your Name (2018)

Call Me By Your Name (2017) provides a stunning portrayal of summer romance that will leave you breathless. Set in Italy during the early 1980s, the film follows the story of Elio, a seventeen-year-old boy who falls in love with Oliver, a twenty-four-year-old graduate student. As the summer days go by, the two develop an intense bond that ultimately leads to heartbreak. The film’s poignant themes of first love, coming of age, and the summer season make it a must-watch for anyone looking to add some depth to their summer movie list.


E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) is a movie that strikes a chord with viewers of all ages. Widely considered one of Steven Spielberg’s greatest works, this movie tells the story of a stranded alien who befriends a young boy and his siblings. With dazzling special effects, heartwarming moments, and a memorable score, E.T. is a movie that will take your breath away.


Vicky Christina Barcelona (2008)

Another movie that can transport you to the sultry summer days is Woody Allen’s Vicky Christina Barcelona (2008). Set in the gorgeous city of Barcelona, the movie revolves around two American women, Vicky and Christina, who visit the city for the summer. They meet a captivating artist, Juan Antonio, who takes them on a whirlwind journey of love, passion, and self-discovery.


Thelma & Louise (1991)

Thelma & Louise (1991) is a classic that has not lost its charm over the years. It’s a movie that makes you laugh, cry, and ultimately root for the two protagonists, who are on the run from the law. From the eye-catching vistas of the Grand Canyon to the high-speed car chases, the movie keeps you on the edge of your seat. But it’s not just mindless entertainment – the movie also tackles issues of gender, identity, and the nature of freedom. 


A League of Their Own (1992)

A League of Their Own (1992) is a movie that celebrates the determination and grit of women athletes. With an all-star cast, including Geena Davis, Madonna, and Tom Hanks, the movie is a heartwarming tribute to the power of teamwork and resilience. 


Dope (2015)

Next on our list is Dope (2015), a movie that blends humor, heart, and social commentary into a coming-of-age story. The film follows a group of high school friends in a tough Los Angeles neighborhood who are into ’90s hip-hop culture and computer coding. When one of them accidentally gets caught up in a drug dealer’s affairs, they must find a way to clear his name and save themselves from danger. 


Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)

For those who loved the iconic Mamma Mia! film released in 2008, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is a must-watch summer movie. With flashbacks to the past, we see a young Donna (Lily James) navigate relationships and the challenges of motherhood. 


Palm Springs (2020)

For those in the mood for a contemporary romantic comedy, Palm Springs (2020) is a definite must-watch this summer. The film offers a refreshing take on the classic time loop trope and features dynamic performances from Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti. Set against the idyllic backdrop of Palm Springs, their chemistry shines as they navigate their way out of the loop while simultaneously falling for each other.


The Seven Year Itch (1955)

While modern-day rom-coms are great, there’s just something about the classics. The Seven Year Itch (1955) may be over 65 years old, but it still manages to capture the essence of summer love with its charming storyline and iconic scene of Marilyn Monroe standing over a subway grate. The film follows a man named Richard Sherman (played by Tom Ewell) who finds himself alone in New York City for the summer while his wife and son are away. He soon meets his seductive neighbor (Monroe) and begins to fantasize about having an affair with her.


Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Crazy Rich Asians (2018) tells the story of a New Yorker named Rachel who ventures to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family. What she discovers is a world of extreme wealth and privilege, one that is drastically different from the life she knows. 

For those who love a good romance, Crazy Rich Asians will not disappoint. Based on the bestselling novel by Kevin Kwan, the film is the perfect combination of comedy, drama, and romance. It’s a feel-good movie that will leave you smiling and inspired.


The Notebook (2004) 

With Crazy Rich Asians leaving you with a warm fuzzy feeling, it’s time to dive into another classic romance that will tug at your heartstrings. Enter The Notebook (2004), a film that has become a staple in the romantic movie genre. Adapted from the novel by Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook follows the love story of Noah and Allie as they navigate the challenges of their relationship.


Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

But if you’re looking for something with more action and excitement, Top Gun: Maverick (2022) is the movie for you. This highly anticipated sequel to the 1986 classic Top Gun promises to be a thrilling ride with plenty of aerial stunts and heart-pumping moments. Starring Tom Cruise and Miles Teller, the movie centers around Maverick as he trains a new generation of pilots while facing the ghosts of his past. Top Gun: Maverick is a must-see movie that will get your adrenaline pumping and leave you cheering for the heroes.


Clueless (1995)

If you’re looking for a lighter movie to balance out the romantic dramas on your list, Clueless (1995) is a perfect pick. This cult classic follows the hilarious antics of Cher and her friends as they navigate the complicated social hierarchy of their high school. With its clever references and iconic fashion choices, Clueless is a fun and entertaining watch for anyone in need of a good laugh.


Aquamarine (2006)

Escape to a world of fantasy and adventure with Aquamarine, the beloved summer rom-com that’s sure to make you laugh, warm your heart, and set your imagination on fire. Join Emma Roberts, JoJo, and Sara Paxton as they explore the depths of friendship and true love – complete with mermaids galore! A great pick to share with your friends, it’s an absolute blast that’ll leave you laughing and feeling inspired.


Something’s Gotta Give (2003)

With all the romantic dramas on this list, you might be looking for a lighter movie to balance them out. Something’s Gotta Give (2003) is the perfect pick for those wanting a romantic comedy with a mix of heart and humor. Directed by Nancy Meyers, this film stars Diane Keaton as Erica Barry, a successful playwright who finds love unexpectedly with Harry Sanborn, played by Jack Nicholson. Their relationship starts off as a fling but quickly evolves into something deeper, with plenty of funny and heartwarming moments along the way.


Summertime (1955)

In the mood for a classic romance after Something’s Gotta Give? Look no further than Summertime (1955). This film tells the story of Jane (Katharine Hepburn), an American secretary on the trip of a lifetime in Venice. As she explores the city, she meets Renato (Rossano Brazzi), a charming local who shows her the sights and steals her heart.


Fire Island (2022)

If you’re a fan of summer movies with a beautiful beach backdrop, then Fire Island (2022) is a film you shouldn’t miss. Set on the idyllic Fire Island off the coast of Long Island, the movie follows a group of friends as they reunite for a weekend getaway filled with sun, sand, and plenty of drama. With stunning visuals and a talented cast, Fire Island is sure to transport you to a world of blue skies, sparkling waters, and carefree fun.


The River Wild (1994)

If you’re looking for a summer movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat, The River Wild (1994) is a must-watch. Starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon, the film follows a family’s white-water rafting trip that quickly turns into a fight for survival when they encounter two dangerous criminals. 

Not only does the movie offer heart-pumping action sequences, but it also delivers strong performances from the entire cast. Streep shines as a mother trying to protect her family while navigating the treacherous rapids. And Bacon’s portrayal of a charming but sinister criminal adds an extra layer of tension to the already nerve-wracking plot.


American Graffiti (1973)

Taking a step back from the heart-thumping action and suspenseful thrillers, American Graffiti (1973) is a summer classic that will make you feel nostalgic for a bygone era. The film follows a group of high school graduates who spend one last night cruising around their small town before going to college or starting their adult lives. 

American Graffiti captures the essence of a time before cell phones and social media, where teenagers relied on each other and their cars for entertainment. The film’s soundtrack is filled with classic rock ‘n’ roll hits from the era, adding to the overall feeling of nostalgia. 


The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

If you’ve had your fill of rom-coms and need a thrill, The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) is the movie for you. Adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s novel, the film follows Tom Ripley as he embarks on a mission to convince a wealthy playboy to return to America. But as Tom gets closer to his target, things take a dark turn. Matt Damon’s compelling portrayal of Ripley will keep you guessing until the very end of this psychological thriller.


Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Following The Talented Mr. Ripley, if you’re up for some superhero action, Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) is the movie for you. The movie features Peter Parker on a school trip to Europe, trying to escape his superhero responsibilities. However, his plans are derailed by the arrival of a new villain, Mysterio, who can manipulate reality. Tom Holland’s charming performance as Spider-Man combined with the mind-boggling special effects will keep you entertained until the end.


Caddyshack (1980)

Caddyshack (1980) is a classic comedy revolving around an exclusive golf course and the eccentric characters who inhabit it. Starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, and Bill Murray, this film is filled with memorable one-liners and absurd situations that will have you laughing out loud. From the gopher who wreaks havoc on the greens to the golf tournament that descends into chaos, Caddyshack is a lighthearted and entertaining summer flick.


National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) is a quintessential summer movie that captures the spirit of family road trips. Chevy Chase stars as the bumbling patriarch, Clark Griswold, who plans a cross-country adventure to the fictional amusement park, Walley World. Along the way, the Griswold family encounters a series of mishaps, from getting lost on the highway to encountering a hostile hotel clerk. 

But despite the comedic hijinks, National Lampoon’s Vacation also touches on relatable themes of family bonding and the pressures of work-life balance. The film serves as a reminder that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.


Point Break (1991)

If you’re ready to switch gears and indulge in some adrenaline-fueled action, the next summer movie on our list is bound to get your heart racing. Point Break (1991) takes surfing and bank robbery to a new level in this classic action flick. Starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves, the film follows an FBI agent who goes undercover to investigate a group of surfers suspected of robbing banks. With breathtaking surfing scenes and thrilling chases, Point Break is a must-watch for any action movie fan.


High School Musical 2 (2007)

If you’re looking for a summer movie that’s sure to brighten your day, High School Musical 2 (2007) is a great choice. This Disney Channel classic is perfect for a fun, lighthearted watch that will have you singing and dancing along. Set at a country club during summer break, the film follows the high school friends we all know and love as they navigate young love, drama, and the ups and downs of working summer jobs. With catchy musical numbers and energetic dance routines, this movie is sure to get you in the summer spirit.


Blue Crush (2002)

When you’re in the mood for a movie that perfectly encapsulates the carefree spirit of summer, Blue Crush is the perfect choice. The film follows surfer Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) as she trains for a big competition while juggling relationships, friendships, and family obligations.

Set in Hawaii, Blue Crush showcases the state’s breathtaking beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it a feast for the eyes. But the film is also a heartfelt tale about the bonds of female friendship and the determination that drives us to pursue our dreams.


Cheaper By The Dozen 2 (2005)

If you’re looking for a family-friendly film to enjoy with the kids this summer, Cheaper By The Dozen 2 (2005) is a great choice. Starring Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt, this comedy follows the Baker family as they reunite with their former rivals, the Murtaughs, for a summer vacation. The antics of the two families as they compete in various activities and try to one-up each other are both hilarious and heartwarming.


Before Sunrise (1995)

Before Sunrise (1995) is a romantic drama that explores the fleeting nature of relationships and the power of human connection. The film follows Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) as they spend a night walking around Vienna, getting to know each other and contemplating the nature of life and love. It’s a poignant and thought-provoking film that will leave you longing for your own chance encounter with a stranger.


Independence Day (1996)

For those who want to add some excitement to their summer movie lineup, Independence Day (1996) is the perfect choice. This sci-fi disaster film follows a group of humans as they band together to fight off an alien invasion threatening the world. With epic action sequences and iconic one-liners, this blockbuster movie will have you cheering for humanity as a whole.


Twister (1996)

Nothing is more unpredictable than Mother Nature and tornados are a prime example of that unpredictability. Luckily, with Twister (1996), you can safely witness the immense power of these frightening storms from the safety of your home.

We’ve reached the end of our exploration of the very best summer movies for this year. From heartwarming comedies to jaw-dropping animations, we’ve unearthed some top-notch titles that will delight viewers of any age. Whether you’re looking to laugh with your family, be surrounded by friends while watching a classic, or explore new releases, the films on this list won’t let you down. So go ahead, pop some popcorn, and enjoy the movies that make summer the best season of the year.