Summer Nostalgia Movie List

Summer Nostalgia Movie List

Film has the power to shape our experiences and become quintessential parts of our lives. We watch and re-watch our faves until they ultimately end up becoming part of our personal histories. Here is a list of a few summer classics that are sure to bring back some memories.


Back before Steven Spielberg was Spielberg, he came out with Jaws”, the OG horror movie that scared your parent’s generation from swimming in the ocean. Don’t be quick to judge this ’70s gem by its dated mechanical shark—that’s only part of the fun—and give this classic a watch. Jaws has risen to become one of the most well-known cult classics in American film, thanks to the eerie possibility that there really might be a giant, blood-thirsty shark chilling under the waves. Be sure to watch this before your next night swim. Or, you know, watch it in the water for the full experience.

“Dirty Dancing”

“Dirty Dancing” follows the now-cliched story of two young (ish) adults finding love at a summer camp. Complete with a forbidden romance, intricately choreographed dance routines and an inspiring ’80s soundtrack, “Dirty Dancing” is a feel-good summer film that will make you wistful of your past summer camp fling with the most mysterious camper there. That was all of us, right?

“The Sandlot”

It’s safe to say that The Sandlot” played a part in everyone’s childhood. Whether you watched it young or old, you know the story: Scotty Smalls moves to L.A., the resident baseball prodigy, Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez, takes him in and Smalls gets into harmless fun with the neighborhood boys, climaxing at the end of the summer with a showdown between the neighbor’s beast of a dog and Small’s crew. If it weren’t for “The Sandlot,” we wouldn’t have the classic “you’re killing me, Smalls” and the timeless insult, “L7 weenie.”

“I Know What You Did Last Summer”

Falling into the category of cheesy horror films, I Know What You Did Last Summer” is as cheesy as it gets. It follows the story of four friends who are enjoying their summer partying until they get into an accident that changes the course of their summer. They come to find that they can’t leave the past behind them as a mysterious stranger begins to blackmail them with the refrain, “I know what you did last summer.” And yes, there was a sequel which you can watch the trailer for here.

“The Parent Trap”

I invested way too much time in this movie as a child. I knew it line for line and you probably did, too. In case you haven’t seen The Parent Trap”, it’s about two identical twins Hallie Parker and Annie James, who were separated at birth by their parent’s divorce. In a (totally) believable twist, the twins meet at a summer camp and plot their parent’s reunion. Between the underground poker tournaments, DIY ear piercings and battles between cabinsThe Parent Trap makes all of your past summers look bad.

“The Even Stevens Movie”

If you grew up in the 2000s, you’ll recognize this movie. The Stevens family, of Even Stevens” fame, win a trip to an island resort but unbeknownst to them, they are the subjects of a reality show. Disney Channel played reruns every summer but it never gets old because young Shia LaBeouf was literally the best thing to happen in the early 2000s. A trailer doesn’t exist for this one, but something even better does—a video of Shia LaBeouf reacting to “The Even Stevens Movie”.

“Hot Rod”

“Hot Rod” is a cinematic gift from Saturday Night Live” alum, Andy Samberg, following the story of a wannabe stuntman who just wants to pull off his biggest stunt yet at the end of the summer. You root for him through his multiple stunt failures, his general awkwardness and his repeated attempts to out-fight his step-father, making this a classic summer underdog story for our generation.


“Adventureland” is on this list because it depicts a very real struggle for post-grads: what’s next? A recent college grad (Jesse Eisenberg) deals with the anxiety of living in the post-college, pre-career limbo. To support himself during this time he picks up a dead-end job at a rickety amusement park, falls in love and learns more about interpersonal relationships and personal growth than he ever learned as a privileged university student.

“Moonrise Kingdom”

As with any Wes Anderson film, prepare to swoon over pastel color palettes, vintage clothing and quirky lead characters. Moonrise Kingdom” focuses on a runaway summer camp romance between two pre-teens which causes panic among their camp leaders. This movie is so sweet and charming, it may even out-Anderson the rest of his recent films given its sepia-tinted storybook feel.

Did we forget any of your summertime favorites? Share your favorite summer films with us using the hashtag, #CampusCropChat on FacebookTwitter and InstagramDon’t forget to follow us on Snapchat @asicpp!