With the final weeks approaching for the summer of 2023, there’s still time to hit the beaches for sand and surf. But whether you’re staying home to avoid the crowds due to Covid and Monkey Pox, or simply relaxing after a day of fun in the sun, it’s always good to add a few screenings from the top 10 best summer beach movies of all time.
My rules for this list are pretty simple – I wanted movies that are set on and around beaches, with lots of beach-oriented activities, and that take place in the summer or generally summer conditions, so that they feel like a movie you can watch during the summer, even if they weren’t technically made or released in the summer.
I wanted films that offer a variety of experiences, from different eras and perspectives, and that entertain and remind us all why the beach is so popular and can even provide transcendent experiences. And I wanted to make sure it has movies for all different tastes and ages, from drama to action, horror to musical, adult fare to entertainment for all ages.
I know I’ve left out a few titles that are likely to be popular with some audiences, but hopefully I’ve included other photos that viewers haven’t seen yet but will like.
So here they are, dear readers, in no particular order (except the first one is definitely the best) — my picks for the best beach movies to watch as we pass the final weeks of a new summer!
- jaws — The ultimate summer beach movie might just be the ultimate anti-beach movie, depending on who you ask. Especially if you ask Chef Brody. Or Alex Kitner.
- Point break — Then the ultimate surf movie captures everything you want in a summer beach movie, plus everything you want in an action and crime story.
- Sarah Marshall forgot – Rom-com with beach fun it turns out not to be so nice, but wait then maybe it’s real used to be fun, and either way, we sure enjoy it.
- Whale Driver – Did I mention that some movies offer transcendent experiences? Because, spoiler alert, this is what I was talking about right here.
- Put away – Okay, not exactly the ideal beach experience, but it’s a testament to “life is what you make it,” as well as “wait, don’t throw that away, I’ll save it for later!”
- blue crush — The only movie that can compete Point Break like a surf movie, with better surf scenes but slightly less skydiving without parachutes.
- Lords of Dogtown – The mix of summer beach culture and skate culture makes for excellent historical stories, not to mention plenty of great action shots.
- moana — What can I say but “you’re welcome” to this animated shot on the list, because the beach party always has room for families and sing-along.
- The descendants – This one is really about the beach, but it’s also about everything else and the beach is a metaphor. But also seriously one For real beautiful beach.
- Back to the beach — I had to include a classic throwback to the original beach movies, and honestly (pun intended, but ouch) this is the best of the bunch.
And here are five honorable mentions that fit the general spirit of the list, but not quite “beach” enough to qualify as true “summer beach movies” for my list…
- What about Bob?
- Corvette Summer
- Pacific Ocean
- Fast times at Ridgemont High
- Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar
So there you have it, dear readers, my pick for the top 10 best movies to watch for your summer beach entertainment.
I hope you find a few to watch before we hit the end of summer this year, and that you are safe and sound if you choose to visit actual beaches – remember to mask up and social distancing not only for your own protection, but also the protection of others who may be at higher risk.