School’s out for the summer, which means time for the family to kick their shoes off and watch some summer movies on Amazon Prime over a bowl of popcorn. Keep reading to find out more.
In this article:
7 Best Summer Movies You Can Watch on Amazon Prime
Best Summer Movies for Kids
1. Finding Nemo
Director: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould
This award-winning film features Nemo (Gould), a young clownfish who lives with his overprotective dad Marlin (Brooks) in the Great Barrier Reef. One day, Nemo swam a little too close to the ocean and ends up being captured by deep sea divers and sent to a dentist office’s fish tank in Sydney.
It’s now up to Marlin, with the help of an absent-minded blue tang Dory (DeGeneres) to tread dangerous waters and rescue his son before he becomes a new pet.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 99% approval rating based on 263 reviews. It’s also a smash hit in the box office, earning as much as $940.3 million worldwide.
It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film in 2004.
“The humor bubbling through Finding Nemo is so fresh, sure of itself and devoid of the cutesy, saccharine condescension that drips through so many family comedies that you have to wonder what it is about the Pixar technology that inspires the creators to be so endlessly inventive.” – Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Director: John Musker, Ron Clements
Starring: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House
Moana (Cravalho) is a strong-willed teenager stuck in a tug-of-war between her duties as the chief’s daughter, and the ocean’s call. Suddenly, she was thrust to the mission of her lifetime when a blight plagued their tiny Polynesian island.
During her journey to save the island from the blight, she meets the demigod Maui (Johnson), who was key to answering why the blight happened. Together, they embark on the quest to save the island and discover themselves in the process
The film received a 95% approval rating from review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and grossed approximately $643.3 million worldwide. It also garnered many rave reviews for its animation, music score, and its expansive exploration of Polynesian mythology and tradition.
This engaging adventure triumphs because of its empowering storyline, which pays tribute to Polynesian culture, and because of its feel-good music, courtesy of Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. – Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
3. The Parent Trap
Director: Nancy Meyers
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Lindsay Lohan, Natasha Richardson
This charming 1998 film is a remake of the 1961 classic of the same name, and is one of the most iconic summer camp movies of all time. It tells the story of identical twins Hallie and Annie (Lohan), who were separated at a young age when their parents got a divorce.
Eleven years later, the twins cross paths during summer camp. Upon finding out the truth after a prank war gone wrong, they agree to switch places at the end of camp to meet the parent they never met.
A series of hijinks and mishaps color their quest to encourage their parents to get back together and unite the family once more.
The film grossed $11,148,497 during its opening weekend, ending its run with $92,108,518 worldwide.
“An engaging, family-oriented romantic comedy that should appeal as much to fans of the original movie as to viewers unfamiliar with the 1961 Hayley Mills version.” – Jean Oppenheimer, Dallas Observer
Best Summer Movies for the Family
4. The Sandlot
Director: David Mickey Evans
Starring: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Art LaFleur
It’s summer of 1962, Scotty Smalls (Guiry) just moved to San Fernando Valley and is desperate to fit in. And all he wanted to do to fit in was learn how to play baseball.
The neighborhood baseball coach Rodriguez (Vitar) takes Smalls under his wing, and soon, he becomes part of the local baseball team. Just when things were starting to look up, Smalls knocks a particularly special ball out of the sandlot and into the clutches of notorious guard dog “The Beast.”
This film has been dubbed as the quintessential summer film. If you watch it, it’s easy to see why.
There was a moment in the film when Rodriguez hit a line drive directly at the pitcher’s mound, and I ducked and held up my mitt, and then I realized I didn’t have a mitt, and it was then I also realized how completely this movie had seduced me with its memories of what really matters when you are 12. – Roger Ebert, RogerEbert.com
5. Wonder Woman
Director: Patty Jenkins
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chis Pine, Connie Nielsen
Diana Prince (Gadot) is an Amazon princess who lives in a mysterious island inhabited only by female warriors. As a child, she always wanted to become a great warrior like her mother the queen (Nielsen).
Under the guidance of her aunt played by Robin Wright, she secretly trains for years until she grows to be the perfect warrior and eventually discovers she possesses superhuman powers. Her idyllic life is interrupted when a pilot (Pine) crash-lands on her island.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 93% approval rating based on 427 reviews. It grossed over $821 million worldwide, making it the tenth highest-grossing film of 2017.
It also helped the DC Extended Universe to push past $3 billion at the worldwide box office, making it the fourteenth-highest-grossing film franchise of all time.
The final big action sequence, as now seems always to be the case, is a messy and overwrought CGI extravaganza. But at least the movie that precedes it involves actual characters-likeable ones, even!-exhibiting recognizable human emotions. – Christopher Orr, The Atlantic
6. Monte Carlo
Director: Thomas Bezucha
Starring: Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, Katie Cassidy
Grace (Gomez), her uptight step-sister Meg (Meester), and her best friend Emma (Cassidy) quit their waitress jobs in a small Texan town and booked a trip to Paris expecting the adventure of their dreams, only to have that dream end up crashing the very same day. After taking a break inside a posh hotel lobby, Grace gets mistaken for a British heiress and they find themselves whisked away to Monte Carlo.
This summer adventure film is especially good to watch with older kids or tweens.
The actresses are appealing, the settings photogenic (Budapest doubles for Monte Carlo), and the clothes ideal for a triple-Cinderella fantasy. It’s not art, but it is entertaining. – Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
7. Mamma Mia!
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Starring: Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan
Donna (Streep), owner of a small hotel in a remote Greek island, is preparing for her daughter’s wedding with the help of two friends. Meanwhile, her daughter Sophie (Seyfried) is hatching a secret plan of inviting three men from her mother’s past in the hopes that her father is one of them, and that he’d escort her down the aisle on her big day.
Kids will appreciate the colorful visuals, while the adults will enjoy singing along to the ABBA music, which serves as the film’s backdrop.
It’s a delightful piece of filmmaking with a marvelous cast topped by Meryl Streep in one of her smartest and most entertaining performances ever. – Ray Bennett, The Hollywood Reporter
Watch this video from GammaRAy for the top favorite summer movies of all time:
Make the most of the summer break to spend time with the kids through family movie nights. Add any of these to your Amazon Watchlist now so you can save time scrolling through movie lists later on.
What are the best summer movies for you? Share your recommendations with us in the comments section below.
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