Josh Eversole, Marketing Intern
If there is one inherent truth about me, it is that I love movies. I’m a complete cinephile and I don’t care who knows it. One thing cinephiles love to do is rank their favorite movies by certain directors, genres, etc. Without further ado, here are my top ten summer-themed movies of all time.
Adventureland was released in 2009, which makes it more recent than almost every other movie on this list. Regardless, it is one of the best summer-themed movies because of its ability to convey relatable human emotions including the despair of a horrible summer job. The movie details love triangles, betrayal, and joy all rolled into a coming-of-age film where the characters band together in spite of all the problems in their jobs and lives. Adventureland really nails the message that no matter what your background, everyone feels the same emotions and has similar fears and goals.
9. Dirty Dancing
I know I will catch some flack for having this on my list, but I don’t care. Dirty Dancing rules. Growing up with three sisters, I have seen Dirty Dancing more than probably any other man in America. What makes Dirty Dancing one of my top ten summer-themed movies are its amazing soundtrack and the fact that it is one of the cheesiest movies ever made. The only way this movie could be more 1980’s and cheesy is if John Hughes had directed it, and that is exactly why it is great. Plus, nobody puts Baby in a corner.
8. Do the Right Thing
Arguably Director Spike Lee’s greatest film, Do the Right Thing follows the events in one neighborhood on the hottest day of the year in Brooklyn, New York. This film is a social commentary on race relations and people’s actions. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people and sometimes, those same good people do bad things. Do the Right Thing was edgy when it came out in 1989, and would still be considered edgy if it were released today, which is one of it’s true markings as a timeless film.
7. Caddy Shack
Caddy Shack is one of my favorite summer movies because it doesn’t follow the formula of beaches or a summer camp for its setting. Instead, it’s set on a golf course. What could be more boring than a golf course, right? Wrong. Caddy Shack is full of comedic legends like Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray, all bringing their best stuff to tell the story of a caddy saving money for college. This movie is an absolute classic and one of the greatest comedies of all time.
6. Wet Hot American Summer
What I love about Wet Hot American Summer is that it totally lampoons every 80’s summer camp movie. This film is absolutely hilarious and includes actors like Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper, before they became the huge stars they are today. This film takes place during the last few days of camp at Camp Firewood and everyone is gearing up for a talent show and trying to close the deal with their summer flings. This movie is hysterical (especially the town montage) and is definitely worth a watch.
5. Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson’s latest film, Moonrise Kingdom, is a romantic-comedy about young love in the 1960’s. This stylized film is just as fun to watch, as it would be to experience. Full of the regular quirky characters that Anderson is so well known for, Moonrise Kingdom is a great movie for any audience, be it a group of friends or your significant other on movie night.
4. Dazed and Confused
Everyone’s favorite day of school is the last day, and Dazed and Confused shows why. With everyone preparing for the big field party that night, the story follows every type of person you ever met in high school. From jock to nerd, all types are focused on in this movie that gives all characters a voice and ultimately makes for an extremely nostalgic movie, even if you didn’t grow up in the 1970’s.
Jaws is one of the scariest movies of all time, largely because of the implied scares of a shark lurking nearby. It has made people scared to go in the water for decades after its release. Jaws is a great summer movie because the shark terrorizes Amity Island, which is one of the most popular vacation spots in New England. Jaws also provides us with some of the most iconic lines and scenes in movie history. Whether it is the shark biting the naked night swimmer, or Brody’s famous improvised line “We’re going to need a bigger boat,” Jaws is an excellent summer movie.
2. Stand By Me
Based on Stephen King’s The Body and directed by Rob Reiner, Stand By Me is one of the quintessential summer movies, if not one of the best movies ever made. Stand By Me is about a writer reminiscing about an adventure he took with his childhood friends, after the death of one of his compatriots. The way he tells the story is what makes the movie so great. All of us have had a time in our lives where we reflect on our past, and how it shaped who we are today, and Stand By Me does just that. With wonderful performances by child actors Wil Wheaton, Jerry O’Connell, Corey Feldman and River Phoenix, Stand By Me is worth a watch.
1. The Sandlot
While this may not be the “best” movie on this list, it is absolutely my favorite summer movie. The movie is a modern depiction of the endless summer that so many children crave. The Sandlot is one of the most beloved children’s movies of all time and has so many iconic scenes, characters and lines that it really needs no more explanation, which is why it tops my favorites list.