Ah, summer – a time for long, lazy days, sun-kissed skin, and ice-cold lemonade (with some gin or vodka in it if you’re an adult). It’s also the perfect season for kicking back and watching some classic films that take you back to a simpler time. Whether you’re looking for a trip down memory lane or just a chance to escape the heat, these timeless movies are sure to make your summer unforgettable.
From beach parties to road trips, from first loves to summer jobs, these films capture the essence of the season with all its ups and downs. So grab your popcorn, settle into your favourite spot, and get ready to relive the best summers of your life. Here are our top picks for the best summer classic films – guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and a warm glow to your heart along with some thrills and scares down the line.
Over 40 years down the line and this film still surprises the audience with its practical special effects. Jaws is a classic summer movie that is sure to get your heart racing. The film tells the story of a great white shark that terrorizes a beach community. It is a perfect film to watch on a hot summer day, as it captures the excitement and danger of being near the ocean.
The Sandlot (1993)
The Sandlot is a coming-of-age film that takes place during the summer of 1962. It follows a group of kids who spend their days playing baseball on a vacant lot. The film is a nostalgic look at summer days spent with friends and captures the feeling of endless possibility that comes with the season.
Dirty Dancing (1987)
Time of My Life is a song that still sits at an honorary position in my playlist. One can easily call it the summer romance film which defined a cinematic generation. Dirty Dancing is a classic summer romance that takes place at a resort in the Catskills. It follows the story of a young woman who falls in love with a dance instructor. The film captures the spirit of summer love and the thrill of trying new things.
The Parent Trap (1998)
The Parent Trap is a fun and lighthearted film about two identical twins who were separated at birth and reunite at summer camp. The film captures the magic of summer camp and the joy of making new friends. It is a great film to watch with the whole family.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a coming-of-age film that follows four friends who spend their summer apart but stay connected through a pair of magical pants. The film captures the joy of summer adventures and the power of friendship.
Independence Day (1996)
The film that made Will Smith a household name! Independence Day is a classic summer blockbuster that takes place on the 4th of July. It follows the story of a group of people who band together to save the world from an alien invasion. The film captures the excitement and patriotism of the holiday and is a great film to watch with friends. Too bad, its legacy sequel titled Independence Day: Resurgence could not recreate the same magic on screen and at the box office!
Stand by Me (1986)
Stand by Me is a classic coming-of-age film that takes place during the summer of 1959. It follows a group of friends who set out on a journey to find a dead body. While the synopsis might sound a little off-putting, the film charms the audience with its whole friendship values.
The Great Outdoors (1988)
Family vacations are only fun when you are a kid, but are a hassle when you’re an adult due to added responsibilities. The Great Outdoors is a classic summer comedy that captures the essence of a crazy family holiday as it follows a family on a vacation to a lake resort. The film captures the chaos and hilarity that can come with family vacations and is a great film to watch with the whole family.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Matthew McConaughey ‘Alright, Alright, Alright!’ his way into our hearts with this film! Dazed and Confused is a classic film that takes place on the last day of high school in 1976. It follows a group of students as they celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. The film captures the excitement and rebelliousness of youth and is a great film to watch with friends.
National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
Another classic family vacation movie! National Lampoon’s Vacation is a classic summer comedy that follows the Griswold family on a cross-country road trip to a theme park. The film captures the chaos and mishaps that can happen on family vacations and is a great film to watch with the whole family.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a classic comedy that takes place on a sunny spring day in Chicago. It follows Ferris Bueller, a high school student who fakes an illness to skip school and spend the day exploring the city with his best friend and girlfriend. The film captures the sense of freedom and adventure that comes with skipping school and enjoying the sunshine.
The Way, Way Back (2013)
The Way, Way Back is a coming-of-age comedy-drama that takes place during a summer vacation at a beach house. It follows 14-year-old Duncan, who feels out of place among his family and finds refuge at a water park where he meets a new friend and gains confidence. The film captures the feeling of being an outsider and the joy of discovering oneself during a summer vacation.