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10 Classic Summer Movies Every Guy Should See

10 Classic Summer Movies Every Guy Should See

Depending on where you live in the Northern Hemisphere, in between the cold and rainy days, you’re probably enjoying a few sunny, unseasonably warm days. That’s really all it takes to get the summer vibes started, which means it’s time to watch a classic summer movie (or 10).

And there’s a lot to choose from. From summer blockbusters to slapstick comedies, to poignant coming-of-age tales–the best summer movies have everything you could want. From man-eating sharks, to ill-fated family vacations, to the last day of school, to sleepover camp, to a journey of self-reflection, these movies have everything you could need to prepare for an epic summer.



On-demand: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV
Are there any summer movies more famous than Jaws? The first summer blockbuster tells the story of Amity Island, a popular tourist destination that is under siege from a blood-thirsty shark. It’s up to the chief of police, a scientist, and a brawny, grizzled Narragansett beer-chugging sea caption to find it and kill it. Jaws was the first-ever summer blockbuster. It paved the way for every big-budget summer movie after it.

summer rental

Summer Rental

Stream: Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+
This might not be one of John Candy’s more well-known comedies, but it’s no less hilarious. Candy plays an air traffic controller who loses track of a plane and is forced to take a vacation he didn’t intend for. He tries his best to give his family a great vacation, but the cottage they rented wasn’t exactly what he and his family expected. This is just the start of a trip that includes a brutal sunburn, random people taking over the house, and a lot of awkward moments pulled off perfectly by the late John Candy.

wet hot american summer

Wet Hot American Summer

On-demand: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV
Technically, Wet Hot American Summer is a parody of ’80s sleepaway camp movies like Meatballs, but it’s so much more than that. Drenched in nostalgia, classic cliched tropes, and one-liners, the cast features comedy greats like Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Janeane Garofalo, Ken Marino, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Elizabeth Banks, Molly Shannon, and even Christopher Meloni.

dazed and confused

Dazed and Confused

Stream: Amazon Prime Video
This iconic film takes place on the last day of school before summer vacation in Austin, Texas in 1976. It follows a group of teenagers of various ages. Some are graduating seniors, others are soon-to-be-freshman attempting to stop from getting hazed by overzealous seniors (the worst being played by a young Ben Affleck), and everyone is going to the party at the Moon Tower. It’s poignant and nostalgic about days gone by regardless of when you attended high school.

stand by me

Stand By Me

Stream: Amazon Prime Video
This coming-of-age movie from the short story The Body by Stephen King follows a group of friends on a journey through the Oregon (the book takes place in Maine) wilderness in an attempt to locate the body of a boy named Ray Brower who was hit by a train. Clearly, the story isn’t quite that simple, and along the way, the group learns more about themselves than they ever thought they would.

point break

Point Break

On-demand: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, YouTube
You might say that this isn’t a summer movie, but that’s probably because you’ve never watched it on a hot July day. It’s the story of an undercover police officer played by Keanu Reeves who infiltrates a group of bank robbers who are well-known for wearing masks of former presidents. Oh yeah, and they’re addicted to speed and like to surf a lot. That sure sounds like an exciting summer.

national lampoons vacation

National Lampoon’s Vacation

Stream: HBO Max
There might be no better summer movie than National Lampoon’s Vacation. The story follows Clark Griswold and his family as they drive cross country from Chicago to California in an effort to reconnect with his children and visit an amusement park called Walley World. Crazy events happen throughout their ill-fated trip and they learn that the journey might be more important than the final destination. The moose out front should have told you that.

one crazy summer

One Crazy Summer

Stream: YouTube
With a name like One Crazy Summer, you should have a pretty good idea about what you’re in for with this movie. John Cusack stars as a recent high school graduate with dreams of being a professional cartoonist who, instead of filling out his art school application, decides to go to Nantucket with his friend. It’s a madcap summer with memorable characters including Bobcat Goldthwaite as a unique character named Egg Stork. Also, no island summer movie is complete without an over-the-top boat race.

the sandlot

The Sandlot

Stream: Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Roku
If you haven’t seen this movie in years, you might think it’s a children’s movie. But, like The Goonies, it’s more of a story about the nostalgia of youth than anything. It all centers around a group of friends playing sandlot baseball in the summer of 1962. It features a (possibly) man-eating (or at least baseball-eating) dog and a memorable performance from James Earl Jones. It’s the kind of movie that just feels like summer.

what about bob

What About Bob?

On-demand: Amazon Prime Video, YouTube
What About Bob? is the story of a psychiatrist named Dr. Leo Marvin (played by an actually angry in real-life Richard Dreyfuss) who simply wants to go on summer vacation with his family at their cottage at Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. An extremely clingy, needy, new patient named Bob Wiley (played with childlike wonder by Bill Murray) decides to invade his family’s personal space, and much to his chagrin, the rest of the family loves Wiley.

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