25 Best Summer Movies to Enjoy This Season


A great way to get in the mood for Summer and welcome the sunshine is to get inspired by a good Summertime movie! Here are the 25 best Summer movies to get you ready for the season!

best summer movies

It’s that time of year – the sun is shining, we’re going on vacations and the beach is calling. Finally, SUMMER is here!

A great way to get in the mood for Summer and welcome the sunshine season is to get inspired by a good Summertime movie! Cuddle up with a loved one, gather with friends or go it alone. But be sure to checkout this list when you’re in the mood for Summer.

If you’re planning a family movie night, be sure to download our FREE Summer Movies checklist to use for future reference.

There is a FREE movie checklist you can download to keep track of what you want to see.

Links included below to the where the movies are streaming FREE (where available).

Read to the end for BONUS movies streaming FREE

The 25 Best Summer Movies to Get You In the Mood for Summer

1. Point Break (1991)

  • Director: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Actors: Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary Busey
  • Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • IMDB: Point Break on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

Keanu Reeves plays an FBI agent who goes undercover to infiltrate a gang of adrenaline junkie surfers led by Patrick Swayze. As he gets deeper into the surfing culture, he forms a bond with Swayze’s character, blurring the lines between his duty and his newfound passion. With surfing, skydiving, and high stakes heists, this is a perfect summer movie choice.

2. Soul Surfer (2011)

  • Director: Sean McNamara
  • Actors: AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid
  • Genre: Biographical, Drama, Sports
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • IMDb: Soul Surfer on IMDb

Based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a teenage surfer from Hawaii, Soul Surfer follows her journey after a shark attack leaves her without her left arm. Determined to return to the water, Bethany’s unwavering faith and determination inspire those around her. An inspirational summer movie for family movie night.

3. Adventureland (2009)

  • Director: Greg Mottola
  • Actors: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Martin Starr
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • IMDbAdventureland on IMDb

Set in the summer of 1987, Adventureland follows recent college graduate James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) as he takes a job at a run down amusement park. His dreams of a European vacation are dashed, but he discovers unexpected connections and life lessons amidst the roller coasters and cotton candy. 

4. The Sandlot (1993)

  • Director: David Mickey Evans
  • Actors: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Patrick Renna
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • IMDB: The Sandlot on IMDb

“The Sandlot” is a nostalgic coming of age film that follows a group of young boys during one memorable summer in the 1960s. They bond over their shared love of baseball and their adventures on the local sandlot field. It really captures the essence of summer freedom and childhood innocence, making it a beloved classic for all ages.

5. Now and Then (1995)

  • Director: Lesli Linka Glatter
  • Actors: Christina Ricci, Thora Birch, Rosie O’Donnell
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • IMDB: Now and Then on IMDb

“Now and Then” follows a group of four childhood friends who reunite during one eventful summer in their small town. As they reminisce about their past adventures and navigate the challenges of growing up, they confront issues of friendship, family, and love. Its a feel good film that celebrates the enduring bonds of friendship and the magic of summer.

6. Dazed and Confused (1993)

  • Director: Richard Linklater
  • Actors: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Matthew McConaughey
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • IMDB: Dazed and Confused on IMDb

Set on the last day of high school in 1976, “Dazed and Confused” follows a group of teenagers as they navigate the complexities of adolescence, rebellion, and partying. With its ensemble cast, iconic soundtrack, and authentic portrayal of teenage life, the film captures the spirit of the ’70s and the carefree atmosphere of summer. “Dazed and Confused” is a cult classic that perfectly captures the essence of youth and the timeless pursuit of freedom and fun.

7. The Kings of Summer (2013)

  • Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
  • Actors: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • IMDB: The Kings of Summer on IMDb

“The Kings of Summer” follows three teenage friends who decide to escape their overbearing parents and spend the summer building a house in the woods, living off the land, and asserting their independence. As they navigate the challenges of friendship, family, and adolescence, they discover the true meaning of freedom and responsibility. With its heartfelt humor and picturesque setting, “The Kings of Summer” is a charming and refreshing take on the summer movie genre.

8. The Beach (2000)

  • Director: Danny Boyle
  • Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tilda Swinton, Virginie Ledoyen
  • Genre: Adventure, Drama, Thriller
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • IMDB: The Beach on IMDb

“The Beach” follows an adventurous young traveler, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who discovers a secret paradise island in Thailand. Seduced by the promise of utopia, he joins a community of fellow backpackers living off the grid. However, paradise soon turns into a nightmare as tensions rise and the dark side of human nature is revealed. Directed by Danny Boyle and featuring stunning cinematography, “The Beach” is a gripping exploration of paradise lost and the search for authenticity.

9. Hot Rod (2007)

  • Director: Akiva Schaffer
  • Actors: Andy Samberg, Isla Fisher, Jorma Taccone
  • Genre: Comedy
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • IMDB: Hot Rod on IMDb

Rod Kimble is an aspiring stuntman who dreams of following in his deceased father’s footsteps who he thinks is Evil Knievels backup. He decided to perform a daring motorcycle jump to raise money for his abusive stepfather’s heart surgery. It has offbeat humor, ridiculous stunts, and quirky characters, making this a summer movie night filled with laughs and outrageous antics.

10. Hot Summer Nights (2017)

  • Director: Elijah Bynum
  • Actors: Timothée Chalamet, Maika Monroe, Alex Roe
  • Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • IMDB: Hot Summer Nights on IMDb

“Hot Summer Nights” is set in the summer of 1991 and follows a teenage boy who gets involved in the drug trade while spending the season on Cape Cod. As he navigates romance, friendship, and danger, he discovers the complexities of adulthood and the consequences of his choices.

11. The Florida Project (2017)

  • Director: Sean Baker
  • Actors: Brooklynn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Willem Dafoe
  • Genre: Drama
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • IMDB: The Florida Project on IMDb

“The Florida Project” follows the lives of a precocious six year old girl and her friends as they spend a summer living in the shadow of Disney World in a budget motel. Through their innocent adventures and struggles, the film offers a poignant and empathetic glimpse into the lives of those on the margins of society.

12. American Honey (2016)

  • Director: Andrea Arnold
  • Actors: Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough
  • Genre: Drama
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • IMDB: American Honey on IMDb

“American Honey” follows a teenage girl who joins a traveling sales crew that crisscrosses the American Midwest, selling magazine subscriptions door to door. On this journey, she forms unexpected connections, experiences freedom, and confronts the harsh realities of life on the road. It captures the restless spirit of youth and the showcases the vast landscapes of America.

13. The Great Outdoors (1988)

  • Director: Howard Deutch
  • Actors: John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, Annette Bening
  • Genre: Comedy
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • IMDB: The Great Outdoors on IMDb

“The Great Outdoors” is a classic comedy that follows a family’s vacation in a cabin by a lake. Their peaceful retreat is interrupted when they encounter unexpected guests, leading to a series of hilarious mishaps and misadventures. “The Great Outdoors” is a perfect summer movie for the whole family to enjoy.

14. One Crazy Summer (1986)

  • Director: Savage Steve Holland
  • Actors: John Cusack, Demi Moore, Bobcat Goldthwait
  • Genre: Comedy, Romance
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • IMDB: One Crazy Summer on IMDb
  • Streamng FREE on Tubi

“One Crazy Summer” follows a recent high school graduate who spends his summer on Nantucket Island, where he encounters eccentric locals, falls in love, and gets entangled in wacky adventures. With its quirky humor, memorable characters, and ’80s nostalgia, “One Crazy Summer” is a lighthearted and entertaining comedy that captures the carefree spirit of summer vacation.

15. Aquamarine (2006)

  • Director: Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum
  • Actors: Emma Roberts, Joanna ‘JoJo’ Levesque, Sara Paxton
  • Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • IMDB: Aquamarine on IMDb

“Aquamarine” tells the story of two teenage girls who discover a mermaid named Aquamarine in their beach club’s swimming pool. As they help Aquamarine navigate life on land and search for love, they embark on a magical and unforgettable summer adventure.

16. Luca (2021)

  • Director: Enrico Casarosa
  • Actors: Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman
  • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • IMDB: Luca on IMDb

“Luca” is a charming animated film set on the Italian Riviera, following the adventures of a young sea monster named Luca who experiences an unforgettable summer filled with friendship, excitement, and gelato. Alongside his new friend Alberto, Luca explores the surface world and discovers the wonders of friendship and self discovery.

17. Into the Blue (2005)

  • Director: John Stockwell
  • Actors: Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • IMDB: Into the Blue on IMDb

A group of friends stumble upon a sunken plane filled with drugs while diving off the coast of the Bahamas. Tempted by the promise of riches, they find themselves caught in a dangerous game of greed and betrayal as they try to keep their discovery a secret.

18. Sleepaway Camp (1983)

  • Director: Robert Hiltzik
  • Actors: Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, Karen Fields
  • Genre: Horror
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • IMDB: Sleepaway Camp on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

“Sleepaway Camp” is a cult classic horror film set at a summer camp, where a series of gruesome murders terrorize the campers and counselors. As the body count rises, a dark secret from the past is revealed, leading to a shocking and unforgettable conclusion. “Sleepaway Camp” is a must-watch for horror fans looking for a chilling summer scare.

19. National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

“National Lampoon’s Vacation” follows the Griswold family as they embark on a cross country road trip to the fictional amusement park Walley World. Along the way, they encounter a series of misadventures and obstacles, testing their patience and bond as a family. “National Lampoon’s Vacation” is a classic summer comedy that has stood the test of time.

20. Blue Crush (2002)

  • Director: John Stockwell
  • Actors: Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Matthew Davis
  • Genre: Drama, Romance, Sport
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • IMDB: Blue Crush on IMDb

“Blue Crush” follows Anne Marie, a young woman living in Hawaii who dreams of becoming a professional surfer. As she prepares for a major surfing competition, she navigates relationships, challenges, and personal demons. Its filled with breathtaking surfing scenes, a strong female lead, and themes of determination and perseverance.

21. The Way, Way Back (2013)

  • Director: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
  • Actors: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Liam James
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • IMDB: The Way, Way Back on IMDb

“The Way, Way Back” follows Duncan, a shy and awkward teenager who spends the summer at a beach house with his mother and her overbearing boyfriend. Feeling out of place, Duncan finds refuge and friendship at a nearby water park, where he comes out of his shell and discovers his self confidence. Its a touching and charming summer film that resonates with audiences of all ages.

22. (500) Days of Summer (2009)

  • Director: Marc Webb
  • Actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • IMDB: 500 Days of Summer on IMDb

“(500) Days of Summer” is a romantic comedy that chronicles the nonlinear journey of a young man named Tom as he reflects on his relationship with the free spirited Summer. Through a series of flashbacks, the film explores the highs and lows of their romance, capturing the bittersweet essence of love and heartbreak. It is a refreshingly honest and relatable take on modern romance.

23. Disturbia (2007)

  • Director: D.J. Caruso
  • Actors: Shia LaBeouf, Sarah Roemer, Carrie-Anne Moss
  • Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • IMDB: Disturbia on IMDb

“Disturbia” follows a teenager named Kale who is placed under house arrest and begins to suspect that his neighbor is a serial killer. As he teams up with his friends to investigate, they uncover dark secrets and put themselves in danger. Its an edge of your seat thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.

24. The Endless Summer (1966)

  • Director: Bruce Brown
  • Actors: Michael Hynson, Robert August, Lord ‘Tally Ho’ Blears
  • Genre: Documentary, Sport
  • MPAA Rating: Not Rated
  • IMDB: The Endless Summer on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

“The Endless Summer” is a groundbreaking documentary that follows two surfers as they travel the world in search of the perfect wave. From the shores of California to the beaches of Africa, the film captures the thrill and beauty of surfing and explores the universal appeal of chasing adventure.

25. Crossroads (2002)

  • Director: Tamra Davis
  • Actors: Britney Spears, Anson Mount, Zoe Saldana
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • IMDB: Crossroads on IMDb

“Crossroads” follows three childhood friends who embark on a road trip across the country to fulfill their individual dreams. As they journey together, they confront their pasts, discover new truths about themselves, and strengthen their bond of friendship. Its a feel good movie that captures the essence of adventure and the power of following your dreams. And of course it has a catchy soundtrack featuring Britney Spears!

BONUS Summer Movies Streaming FREE on Tubi

Summer’s Shadow (2014)
The Man In The Moon (1991)
Meatballs (1979)
All Summers End (2017)
Under the Boardwalk (1988)
Beautiful Wave (2011)
Wish You Were Here (2012)
Beach Party (1963)

Thanks for reading this article for Summer movie inspiration!

Checkout our article on The 50 Best Spring Movies for a Springtime Movie Marathon.

If you’re looking for family-friendly movies, than checkout our other articles on family movies!

We also have an article on the 100 Best Family Movies for Movie Night you should checkout next!

Here is a comprehensive list of every animated Disney movie made by Walt Disney Animation Studios, with a FREE interactive checklist.

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best summer movies checklist

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So, what are your thoughts on the movies included in this list? What additional movies would you have included? What movies would you have left off?

We encourage all comments and discussion!

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