Every summer day spent inside is a summer day wasted.
So don’t do it often.
But some summer days are rainy. Some just too damn hot. Some involve especially acute hangovers.
And for those days, you need a good movie or two. Herein, 10 summer flicks you can watch right now. Criteria: We narrowed the list down to movies on major streaming/subscription sites — Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, etc. — that didn’t require an extra spend for rental. We used Can I Stream It? and Just Watch to find these films, but do your own research … titles change providers and status frequently, and the two sites didn’t catch every available film.
(So just remember that if you wonder why, say, Point Break or American Graffiti isn’t on this list).
For remembering the end of summer: Wet Hot American Summer
It’s the last day of summer in 1981 at Camp Firewood, which means every major comedic actor from the last 15 years (Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper) is falling in love, turning into talking vegetable cans or trying to save the world from a falling Skylab. (Netflix, Crackle)
For channeling your inner awkward summer camper: Meatballs
For Rudy (Chris Makepeace), camp is a lonely, scary place (“You must be the short depressed kid we ordered”) filled with unstable adult supervisors (hi, Bill Murray). Not as funny as you remember, but IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER. (Showtime)
For surfing porn: The Endless Summer
Follow expert surfers around the globe in this classic ‘60s doc as they chase the perfect wave and, as the title suggests, a neverending season of fun. (Netflix, YouTube)
For reminding yourself you should have studied: Summer School
The jokes don’t age well (Siskel and Ebert digs, a horny dork named Chainsaw), but otherwise this misfit-teacher-teaches-misfit-students comedy is still mindless fun — as summer comedies should be. (Hulu Plus, Epix)
In honor of your first summer job (and summer crush): Adventureland
A rather sweet love story between two amusement park hourlies, with the sometimes polarizing Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart at their very best. (Netflix)
In place of taking an actual summer road trip: Vacation
Completely hilarious and underrated update to the National Lampoon classic. Great cameos (from Norman Reedus to half the cast of It’s Always Sunny...) and Ed Helms is the perfect try-hard, always-flustered dad. Also: might be the first film to joke about this. (HBO)
For reminding yourself winter isn’t that bad: Summer of Sam
Spike Lee’s dissertation on New York’s blackout summer of 1977 follows a real-life serial killer and the city’s nascent punk rock scene. Because it’s Spike Lee, let’s say tempers, uh, boil over. (Showtime)
For remembering your childhood friends: The Sandlot
Seemingly a story about a a baseball team and a MacGuffin plot device involving a junkyard dog and a missing Babe Ruth-autographed baseball, The Sandlot is really the story of every kid’s first best friendships. (Netflix)
For retro thrills/laughs: Top Gun
The end of the Cold War. Tom Cruise. Unironic homoeroticism. A soundtrack full of Kenny Loggins, Berlin and Steve Stevens. Yours truly hated this Tony Scott blockbuster back in 1986, because it made buzzcuts and group singalongs to “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” cool. Now? Those fight scenes are kind of great. (Amazon Prime, Hulu, EPIX)
For a not-so-brainless summer outing: Y Tu Mamá También
Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar-nominated road movie has its fill of sex, drugs and beaches, but it’s really a story about a historical moment in Mexican political history and sexual identity. (Netflix, Hulu Plus)
This is but one installment of 37 Things a Man's Gotta Do This Summer, our annual compendium of everything worth seeing, doing, eating, drinking and generally making time for in your neck of the woods between now and September
Main image via Paramount Pictures