Summer is in full swing! As you scroll through Netflix, Hulu, Apple+, all the other streaming services, and maybe even some old DVDs you still have lying around, here are the best summer movies you NEED to watch—whether it’s for the first time or a rewatch! From the classics to some of the newer releases, we have you covered.
Best summer movies: Call Me by Your Name
The 2017 romance drama is where Timothée Chalamet got his big break as an actor. He starred as 17-year-old Elio in Call Me by Your Name, a film about Elio and his family as they spend the summer of 1983 at their home in the Italian countryside. There he meets his father’s intern Oliver. Over the course of the summer, the two get closer, spending days doing different activities in the area.
You can watch it now on Hulu.
Best summer movies: 500 Days of Summer
The romantic comedy tells the story of Tom, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Summer, played by Zooey Deschanel. 500 Days of Summer is a cinematic tale of loving and losing. After being dumped by his girlfriend of 500 days, Tom reflects on their time together to figure out where things went wrong. In the process, he rediscovers his true passions.
You can watch the movie on Hulu.
Best summer movies: Mamma Mia
The 2008 musical film tells the story of Donna (Meryl Streep) preparing her Greek island hotel for her daughter Sophie’s (Amanda Seyfried) wedding. Donna and her two friends help Sophie through all the troubles of preparing for the big day—like when Sophie invites the three men that might be her dad to her big day.
Through song and dance—including performances by Donna and the Dynamos—the film tells the story of family, through both blood and friendship, as they all prepare for Sophie’s wedding. Plus, if you love the movie, you can watch the sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
You can watch Mamma Mia on Peacock.
Best summer movies: Jaws
“We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” The infamous line comes from the 1975 classic film Jaws, which tells the story of a ship captain, ichthyologists, and police chief who go on a mission to capture a shark that is attacking people at a coastal town in New England. The thriller movie takes the trio on the adventure of their lives as they go head-to-head with a shark to save the people of their town and its summer visitors.
You can watch the classic summer film on Peacock.
Best summer movies: The Notebook
A classic romance film, The Notebook stars Ryan Gosling as Noah and Rachel McAdams as Allie. The 2004 movie takes place in 1940 when Noah, a mill worker, and Allie, a girl from a rich family, meet during the summer in a small town in South Carolina. While her parents don’t approve of their relationship, they have the time of their lives—until Noah goes off to serve in World War II.
The infamous line, “I wrote you every day for a year,” comes into play as Allie’s mother hid all of Noah’s letters to Allie while he was off at war. Years later, Allie comes back to town engage, when she sees Noah living in the house they talked about fixing up and living in. It becomes clear when they finally get to have a conversation that their romance is anything but over.
You can watch and see what happens on HBO Max.
Best summer movies: High School Musical 2
You can’t take a dip in the pool or a trip to the spa without watching High School Musical 2. The Disney film stars Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Lucas Grabeel, Monique Coleman and countless others from the High School Musical series as they spend the summer working at Sharpay’s family resort (while Sharpay and Ryan spend the summer lounging around).
Of course, Sharpay has ulterior motives for hiring Troy and some of the other Wildcats. The fun summer movie showcases the good and bad of working together while also breaking out into song and dance every so often.
You can watch the movie on Disney+.
Best summer movies: The Parent Trap
Whether you want to watch the original 1961 film or the 1998 remake, The Parent Trap is a timeless film. It tells the story of twin sisters of divorced parents who don’t know each other until they end up meeting at the same summer camp. The two decide to swap identities to get to meet the other parent.
In the 1998 film, Lindsay Lohan plays both twins Annie and Hallie. The two girls live on different continents, one in California and the other in London. Their plan: to try and reunite their parents (Natasha Richardson and Dennis Quaid). Will it work? You can find out!
Watch the movie now on Disney+.
Best summer movies: Grown Ups
A star-studded cast makes for a hilarious summer film in Grown Ups. Adam Sandler, Salma Hayek, Kevin James, David Spade, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and Maya Rudolph all play funny, realistic characters. The five guys all play high school best friends who are reunited many years later at their high school basketball coach’s funeral.
After having all gone separate directions post-high school, the friends spend a week at a lake cabin together with their families. The comedy shares the good, the bad, and the ugly of vacation.
You can watch the movie and the sequel, Grown Ups 2, on Peacock.
Best summer movies: Someone Great
The Netflix original film tells the funny and almost too realistic story of a 20-something dumped by her long-term boyfriend after she lands her dream job and has to move to San Francisco. Gina Rodriguez stars as the lead whose two best friends (played by Brittany Snow and DeWanda Wise) help Gina’s character Jenny through the breakup. They go on one last outrageous adventure in the Big Apple before she leaves for the west coast.
From jamming to Lizzo while hungover when they first wake up (which helped elevate “Truth Hurts” to hit status!) to doing anything and everything to get into a party, this film showcases the realities of breakups.
You can watch the movie on Netflix.
Best summer movies: Monte Carlo
After graduating high school, three friends use all of their savings to take the trip of a lifetime to Paris. Grace (played by Selena Gomez), her step-sister Meg (played by Leighton Meester), and her friend Emma (played by Katie Cassidy) get stuck in the rain after being left by their tour at the Eiffel Tower. They go into a very fancy hotel to dry off and clean up when Grace is mistaken for a spoiled British heiress. Before they get the chance to reveal their true identities, they are whisked away on a private jet to Monte Carlo. The adventure-filled film tells the story of the identity switch and all the drama and romance in between.
You can rent or buy the movie on Prime Video.
No matter what you have planned this summer, you can always sit down on the couch with some snacks and watch one of these fun summer movies!
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