The summer months are known for great opportunities for fun in the sun with friends and family. There is another thing that they are known for, however, a far more unpleasant thing: intense heat. Some people, like me, see summer’s heat waves as a good reason to stay inside for a day. On those days there are still plenty of fun things to do, like hosting a Game Night, or watching a movie. For the latter, I have prepared a list of the top 10 best movies to watch (or re-watch) this summer. Here they are, in no particular order, starting with:
1. How to Train Your Dragon
How to Train Your Dragon is a relatively new movie about a Viking village that has an animal problem: dragons. These dragons plague the village, attacking the town and hauling off livestock. The Vikings have adapted throughout the years to learn the dragons’ weaknesses and take them down. Now the Vikings have grown tired of fending off the dragons, and want to end the epic struggle once and for all.
This movie is a wonderful movie to watch with the family. It’s main character, Hiccup, is an awkward teenage boy who simply doesn’t fit the typical Viking mold of big, beefy, and ready to kill. The movie does a great job of depicting his journey as he confronts a dragon and eventually learns to tame the beast, rather than fight it.
It is an inspiring story presented in a beautiful fashion. The colors are bright, the dragons are all unique creatures with their own quirky, cute, and cat-like habits, and the adventures of Hiccup and his peers are both hilarious and exciting. All in all, it is a great movie to watch this summer, especially if you haven’t already seen it. It’s one of those movies I can watch time and time again, which is perfect for escaping the summer sun.
2. Kung Fu Panda
Kung Fu Panda is a hilarious movie about the wildly comical antics of a panda named Poe who has always dreamed of being a martial arts master. Jack Black does a great job of giving this movie his own personal comic flare, truly the perfect voice for Poe as he struggles to be a warrior instead of an overeating, noodle salesman.
This movie just has such a great appeal, it is one of my absolute favorite animated features. It is funny, cute, and full of flippy-spinny kung-fu fight scenes. It is a great summer pick, a movie that will if nothing else improve your mood. The story is intense, and the follow-through is extremely amusing. A must-watch for those lazy summer days.
3. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
This one is re-watched in my household constantly, and it never loses its unique appeal. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is about a Greek woman and her relationship with a non-Greek man. The movie follows her as she struggles to keep the relationship a secret, and then as she tries to plan the wedding.
This movie is another uplifting comedy, which I think is great for the sunny summer months. The main character’s family consists of many different members who are all funny in their own way. The crazy ways her family operates is genuinely funny, and her constant attempts to muffle their craziness for her new fiancee are comic gold.
4. Finding Nemo
If you can’t already tell, I am a big fan of animated films. I would definitely recommend Finding Nemo as a great movie to pop into the DVD player if you are looking for something to watch this summer. It’s perfect for the summer season, just seeing the many tropical fish, the vast, deep ocean, and of course the radical sea turtles makes me think of being on the beach.
If you haven’t seen it already, Finding Nemo is about a young clownfish named Nemo who is stolen away by a scuba diver. His father, Marlin, is a severely shy and careful fish and has been since Nemo’s mother was killed when Nemo was still an egg. Finding Nemo is both touching and funny as it shows Marlin frantically scouring the ocean for his son with a forgetful fish named Dory. This movie is full of fun and depicts a great picture of a dedicated father searching for his son.
Tangled is one of Disney’s newest animated films, but I think it already deserves to be one of the top 10 movies for this summer. The movie stars Rapunzel, the fairy tale princess known for having obscenely long hair that her mother uses to climb into the tower where Rapunzel has lived her entire life. Tangled tells the story of Rapunzel’s hair having magical healing qualities that the woman she thinks is her mother uses to stay young.
This movie is all about character. Personality wise, Rapunzel is possibly the most developed Disney princess yet, she is socially awkward, clumsy, and down right cute. Her chameleon companion, Pascal, is awesomely cool. Flynn Rider is the “prince” of the movie, a thief gone good for Rapunzel, and even the horse, Maximus, has a developed character. This movie is funny and compelling, like the others I have listed, and deserves to be on anyone’s summer movie list.
6. Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
The first installment of the Pirates of the Carribean series had a truly epic story. The Black Pearl, sailed by the undead pirates, cursed by the aztec treasure to linger in an empty state between life and death forever. Orlando Bloom and Kierra Knightely bring us a complicated romance that I just can’t get enough of, and Johnny Depp brings us the beloved character of Captain Jack Sparrow at its freshest.
This movie features some of Hollywood’s best actors as they go on a swashbuckling, eye-patch wearing adventure that is full of suspense and action. It is a great first installment for a great series of movies, and lets face it, nothing says summer like the Carribean, especially if there are pirates involved.
7. 50 First Dates
Now I know that summer movies are often times going to be a family affair, so maybe an Adam Sandler film doesn’t seem like the perfect fit, but this one just screams summer (and it’s pretty family friendly in my opinion). 50 First Dates is about the main character, played by Adam Sandler, and when his life as a two-timing lady’s man gets turned upside down.
This movie is set in Hawaii, which is pretty much the perfect setting for a summer movie. There are tons of scenes on the beach, or in the water on a boat. There’s always something that reminds you the movie is in a tropical paradise, which is great when you want to enjoy the summer spirit while sitting inside. The movie has a very quirky sense of humor, as to be expected of an Adam Sandler movie, and is about his character trying to get a girl to love him who just happens to forget the previous day every time she goes to sleep. It makes for quite a hilarious adventure, so give it a watch!
8. Shark Tale
It’s a movie about Will Smith as a fish that pretends to kill sharks. It’s pretty self-explanatory. But if that doesn’t convince you, I’ll dig a little deeper.
In Shark Tale, the main character’s name is Oscar (voiced by Will Smith). Oscar is an ambitious fish, but his schemes to make it big always end up backfiring and getting him in trouble. So, naturally, he comes up with an even bigger scheme in which circumstances lead the public to believe that Oscar is a town-protecting shark slayer. Obviously the sharks don’t take kindly to this, and lots of wonderfully amusing things happen.
This movie is a lot less touchy-feely than Finding Nemo, and a lot more focused on comedy. But comedy is never a bad thing, and it feels very good to watch in the summer for a lot of the reasons that Finding Nemo does, namely that it features tropical fish, the ocean, and coral reefs, all of which remind me of the summer.
9. The Little Mermaid
We all know the story of Ariel and her desires to escape her fins and grow a pair of human legs so that she can live amongst the humans, dancing and running and doing all the things she couldn’t do as a fish. The Little Mermaid is a classic. Songs like Under the Sea are awesome summer songs, and again the ocean shows itself as a huge part of the summer feeling. This is a great family film and a hugely nostalgic movie guaranteed to cause singing and desires to head to the beach.
Yes, Jaws. If The Little Mermaid is a classic, then Jaws is a legend. I know it doesn’t really fit with the rest of my top 10, but I couldn’t avoid adding it because “Best Movies to Watch (or Re-watch) This Summer” is pretty much the genre of Jaws.
Jaws is a horror film, but not one of the hacky slashy, blood-and-gore-everywhere-you-look horror movies. Instead, it is an enticing film about a real life monster, the shark, every beach-goers worst nightmare. Jaws is scary because you don’t see the beast until it’s already killed several people and a dog. It is old, it is fake looking, and it is corny, but it still somehow keeps people on the edge of their seats, waiting to hear that infamous music. That is why it is the perfect way to end my list of the best movies to watch this summer.