Filmhash List: 8 Quintessential Summer Movies

A list from the esoteric brains behind Filmhash. If you have a list topic, let us know, and we’ll…come up with something!

As the summer movie season kicks off, we’re sharing our favorite movies about summer!

Dazed and Confused (1993)

This is a great way to kick off summer, as it takes place entirely on May 28, 1976, the last day of school. Featuring a cast brimming with future stars, including Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Parker Posey, and Joey Lauren Adams, it takes a meandering, anthropological view of high school kids. This approach actually works in the film’s favor, giving it a unique sense of realism compared with other high school comedies.

The Sandlot (1993)

I’ve never seen another film capture the feeling of being a kid (other than perhaps A Christmas Story) as well as this film, which is about the most important things to a 12 year old: friends and their love of playing baseball. They do so while crushing on Wendy Peffercorn, and avoiding the jaws of The Beast, a giant English mastiff who guards the yard of Mr. Mertle. And it teaches a valuable lesson: “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”

Jaws (1975)

The original summer blockbuster also happens to be a great movie about the summer. It’s an all-time classic film, proving a great balance between thrills and character. As long as you don’t go in the water, and remember to bring a bigger boat.

Meatballs (1979)

The original summer camp classic, Meatballs also launched the film career of Bill Murray. The film follows one summer at Camp North Star, the camp we all went to, and their rivalry with Camp Mohawk, the camp we all wished we went to. It’s a heartwarming, funny film about having the confidence to be yourself and give it your all.

Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

The second summer camp movie on this list probably has the most broadly successful cast of any film I’ve ever seen. Besides Janeane Garofalo and David Hyde Pierce, it also features Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Michael Ian Black, and Michael Showalter. I can also see exactly why Ken Marino was cast for his role in Party Down. But enough about the cast. This film is great, and one of the best satires I have ever seen. It plays with the conventions of the genre while also being a loving entry. While the movie is at times absurd and over the top, the relationships between the characters are what make this a classic. If you’re a fan of the TV show Community, this should be a home run for you.

Adventureland (2009)

The best movie ever made about a crappy summer job, it features James (Jesse Eisenberg) working at a local amusement park while saving for a trip to Europe. James treads the familiar territory of being home from school, trying to avoid high school friends you’ve moved on from, and getting caught up in relationship drama at a crappy part-time job. Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig almost steal the film as an eccentric husband and wife who manage the park.

Heavyweights (1995)

The third entry on this list about summer camps features Ben Stiller as a psychotic fat camp director, a similar character to his future Dodgeball role. It’s a rare kids movie that utilizes the humor styling of Judd Apatow, and I loved this film as a kid. Doesn’t exactly hold up well, though.

Splash (1984)

The Ron Howard-Tom Hanks double threat can simply not be beat, and this Darryl Hannah comedy is a classic. Not only was Hannah’s mermaid costume fully-functional, but according to the book Freakonomics, it is the origin of “Madison” being a popular name for girls.

What are your favorite movies about no school, no plans, and no supervision?