30 Must-Watch Movies To Brighten Your Summer Season

When the sun is shining high in the sky and the days are full of possibilities, there’s no better way to enjoy the spirit of summer than with a selection of captivating films that transport you to new locations, arouse your emotions, and give a hint of enchantment to your seasonal travels.

This carefully selected list features 30 films, that range from explosive blockbusters to beloved classics, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy this summer.

Must-Watch Movies To Brighten Your Summer Season

30 Movies You Can’t Miss This Summer Season

The Sandlot
image from Wikipedia

1. The Sandlot

Start your summer movie marathon with “The Sandlot’s” charming nostalgia. A group of friends go on incredible adventures focused on baseball, friendship, and the pleasures of summers in this timeless coming-of-age tale.

Among summertime films, “The Sandlot” is a timeless classic that perfectly captures the spirit of adventure, companionship, and the limitless possibilities of youthful summers. The 1993 film, which was directed by David Mickey Evans, transports viewers to the summer of 1962 and follows a group of young boys as they go on amazing adventures that revolve around baseball, camaraderie, and the fabled neighborhood sandlot.

Mamma Mia!
image from Amazon

2. Mamma Mia!

Take a trip to the Greek Isles with the energetic and melodic “Mamma Mia!” With its gorgeous setting of blue seas and sun-kissed scenery, this feel-good movie is ideal for a summertime sing-along.

“Mamma Mia!” is the ideal summertime film, a bright and exuberant celebration of friendship, love, and the timeless music of ABBA. The 2008 film, which was directed by Phyllida Lloyd, transports viewers to the charming Greek island of Kalokairi, where the crystal-clear waters and sun-kissed scenery create the perfect backdrop for a fantastic summertime journey.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
image from Film fix

3. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Embark on a visually stunning journey with Walter Mitty, played by Ben Stiller, as he escapes his mundane reality for a series of breathtaking adventures. This film encourages viewers to embrace the extraordinary possibilities that life has to offer.

Image from The Brattle

4. Jaws

While it may not be suitable for beachgoers with a fear of sharks, “Jaws” is a thrilling classic that perfectly captures the essence of summer. Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece will keep you on the edge of your seat and make you think twice before taking a midnight swim.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off
image from Facts.net

5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Join Ferris Bueller in his epic day of playing hooky in the city of Chicago. This ’80s classic is a lighthearted, feel-good comedy that captures the carefree spirit of summer and the importance of embracing spontaneity.

Dirty Dancing
image from London Theatre Direct

6. Dirty Dancing

For a dose of romance and dance, “Dirty Dancing” is an absolute must. Set in the summer of 1963, this iconic film brings together love, music, and unforgettable dance sequences that will have you longing for warm summer nights.

Stand by Me
image from Rotten Tomatoes

7. Stand by Me

Based on a Stephen King novella, “Stand by Me” takes viewers on a nostalgic journey through the summer of 1959, as a group of friends embarks on a life-changing adventure to find a missing boy’s body. It’s a poignant coming-of-age tale that beautifully captures the essence of friendship.

image from Disney Plus

8. Moana

Transport yourself to the South Pacific with the animated gem “Moana.” This Disney film celebrates the spirit of adventure and self-discovery, making it an uplifting choice for a summer movie night with the family.

The Parent Trap
image from IMDb

9. The Parent Trap

Double the fun with “The Parent Trap,” a heartwarming tale of twin sisters who meet at summer camp and conspire to reunite their long-lost parents. This classic family film is filled with humor, love, and the magic of summertime.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Part 1
image from Best Buy

10. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Part 1

Follow the lives of four best friends as they navigate their first summer apart with the help of a magical pair of jeans that somehow fits them all perfectly. This coming-of-age film is a celebration of friendship, self-discovery, and the transformative power of summer adventures.

500 Days of Summer
image from Moviepedia

11. 500 Days of Summer

Not your typical love story, “500 Days of Summer” explores the highs and lows of a relationship over, you guessed it, 500 days. This indie gem is a perfect blend of romance, humor, and reflection, making it an ideal choice for a summer evening.

image from Orange County Register

12. Caddyshack

For a hearty laugh, look no further than “Caddyshack.” This iconic comedy set in a golf club during the summer features memorable characters, hilarious moments, and a gopher causing all sorts of trouble.

The Great Outdoors
image from Shat Podcast

13. The Great Outdoors

Embrace the silliness of summer vacations with “The Great Outdoors,” a family comedy that follows two families as they navigate the challenges of a lakeside getaway. John Candy’s comedic brilliance adds to the enjoyment of this classic.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
image from Rotten Tomatoes

14. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Spielberg strikes again with the heartwarming tale of a young boy befriending a stranded alien. “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” captures the magic of friendship and adventure, creating an unforgettable summer experience.

image from Wikipedia

15. Adventureland

Set in the summer of 1987, “Adventureland” is a coming-of-age comedy-drama that follows a college graduate’s summer spent working at an amusement park. It’s a nostalgic trip filled with humor, romance, and self-discovery.

The Notebook
image from Dymocks

16. The Notebook

Take a plunge into the epic love story of Noah and Allie in “The Notebook.” Set against the backdrop of a beautiful Southern summer, this tearjerker is a timeless romantic classic.

Little Miss Sunshine
image from Wikipedia

17. Little Miss Sunshine

Join the dysfunctional Hoover family on a road trip to support their young daughter as she competes in the “Little Miss Sunshine” beauty pageant. This indie gem is both heartwarming and hilarious, making it a perfect summer watch.

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Forgetting Sarah Marshall
image from Amazon

18. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Laugh your way through a breakup with “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” Set against the backdrop of a Hawaiian vacation, this comedy is both hilarious and heartfelt, making it an excellent choice for a summer evening.

Moonrise Kingdom
image from Rotten Tomatoes

19. Moonrise Kingdom

Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” is a whimsical and visually stunning tale of young love. Set on an island in the summer of 1965, it follows two preteens who run away together, creating a charming and nostalgic story.

La La Land
image from Golden Globes

20. La La Land

Escape to the sunny streets of Los Angeles with the enchanting musical “La La Land.” This visually stunning film is a celebration of love, dreams, and the vibrant spirit of summertime.

Roman Holiday
image from Paramount Movies

21. Roman Holiday

Journey back to 1950s Rome with “Roman Holiday,” a classic romantic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. The film beautifully captures the essence of adventure, romance, and the magic of a summer holiday.

Now and Then
image from TV Guide

22. Now and Then

With the adorable movie “Now and Then,” which examines the enduring bonds of childhood friendship, take a trip back in time.

The endearing coming-of-age movie “Now and Then” beautifully conveys the sentimentality, friendship, and life-changing moments of a summer spent with friends. The 1995 film, which was directed by Lesli Linka Glatter, interweaves the past and present as four childhood friends gather together to consider how the summer of 1970 altered their lives forever.

The Goonies
image from Movie Anywhere

23. The Goonies

Join a group of misfit kids on a treasure hunt in the beloved adventure film “The Goonies.” Filled with excitement, friendship, and the thrill of discovery, it’s a perfect choice for a summer movie night.

A popular summertime classic, “The Goonies” captivates audiences with its enduring story of friendship, adventure, and the power of a child’s imagination.

The 1985 film, directed by Richard Donner, follows a bunch of misfit teenagers from Astoria, Oregon’s Goon Docks neighborhood as they go out on a risky mission to uncover hidden wealth and prevent their homes from going into foreclosure.

Wet Hot American Summer
image from Cox On Demand

24. Wet Hot American Summer

“Wet Hot American Summer,” an enjoyable creation of summer camp movies, is sure to make you giggle. With an all-star cast and a ton of ridiculous humor, it’s a summer comedy unlike any other.

An amusing and irreverent comedy, “Wet Hot American Summer” takes audiences on a crazy, nostalgic journey through the differences of summer camp life. The 2001 film, which was directed by David Wain, is comedy in its interpretation of the coming-of-age genre and features a group of talented comedians.

Blue Crush
image from TV Insider

25. Blue Crush

Catch a wave with “Blue Crush,” a thrilling surf film set in Hawaii. Follow the journey of three female surfers as they navigate love, friendship, and the pursuit of their dreams in the beautiful summer paradise.

“Blue Crush” is a captivating and exhilarating film that perfectly captures the thrill, beauty, and adrenaline of the summer surf scene in Hawaii. Directed by John Stockwell and released in 2002, the movie follows the journey of Anne Marie Chadwick, a talented surfer portrayed by Kate Bosworth, as she navigates the challenges of competitive surfing, personal relationships, and self-discovery.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
image from spotify

26. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

Continue the journey with the four best friends in “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.” This sequel follows the girls as they face new challenges and adventures during their summer break.

The film’s beautiful photography, gorgeous scenery, and themes of development, resiliency, and pursuing aspirations perfectly convey the spirit of summer. “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” encourages viewers to embrace summer and all of its possibilities, whether that means traveling to far-off places, engaging in creative pursuits, or just spending quality time with one another.

Weekend at Bernie's
image from TV Guide

27. Weekend at Bernie’s

Experience the ultimate summer escapade with “Weekend at Bernie’s.” This comedy follows two friends as they try to convince everyone that their deceased boss is still alive, leading to hilarious and outrageous situations.

The beloved comedy “Weekend at Bernie’s” puts a funny and distinctive spin on the classic summer vacation film. The 1989 film, which was directed by Ted Kotcheff, chronicles the experiences of two young workers named Larry Wilson and Richard Parker, who are portrayed by actors Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman, respectively, as they become entangled in an odd and extravagant weekend getaway.

 National lampoon's vacation
image from wikipedia

28. National Lampoon’s Vacation

Take a cross-country road trip with the Griswold family in “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” This timeless comedy is a must-watch for the summer since it’s full of accidents, mayhem, and unforgettable moments.

A timeless option for summer movie viewing, “National Lampoon’s Vacation” is a well-loved comedy classic that perfectly captures the humor and mayhem of the traditional family road vacation. The 1983 film, directed by Harold Ramis, follows the Griswold family as they travel across the nation to visit the made-up amusement park known as Walley World.

Palm Springs
image from Saporta Report

29. Palm Springs

Get caught in a time loop with “Palm Springs,” a refreshing take on the romantic comedy genre. Set against the backdrop of a wedding in the California desert, this film offers humor, heart, and unexpected twists.

With its charming blend of humor, heart, and existential contemplation “Palm Springs” is a delightful and innovative twist on the romantic comedy genre and an ideal summertime film. The 2020 film, directed by Max Barbakow, takes viewers to the sun-drenched paradise of Palm Springs, where a fortuitous meeting at a wedding sparks an odd and unpredictable trip through time.

Palm Springs
image from The Cinema Archives

30. Summer of ’42

Bring yourself back to a bygone era of summer on the island of Nantucket with “Summer of ’42.” This coming-of-age movie centers on a young child’s summertime 1942 voyage of self-discovery and first love.

The movie, which takes place in the summer of 1942, follows Hermie, a perceptive and sensitive 15-year-old, as he struggles with the realities of war and adolescence. Hermie and his friends explore the island, chase girls, and dream of the future while the fighting rages around them.

The central plot point of the narrative, however, is Hermie’s fortuitous meeting with Dorothy—a stunning and mysterious young woman whose husband is serving overseas.


With this diverse selection of 30 movies, your summer is bound to be filled with laughter, tears, adventure, and romance. Whether you’re seeking nostalgia, escapism, or simply a good time, these films offer something for everyone to enjoy during the long, lazy days of summer. So grab your popcorn, kick back, and let the magic of cinema whisk you away on an unforgettable summer escapade.

Movies You Can't Miss This Summer Season

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