5 top summer movies to see




the sandlot

Thank you for participating, friends. The winner of our movie giveaway is #108, Amelie. 

Please contact us with in 48 hours, Amelie. Congrats! A summer of movies headed your way!

I love movies.  I mean I really, really love movies.  I spent my childhood watching offbeat comedies with my siblings, all the John Wayne classics with my dad, Masterpiece Theater productions and every Doris Day movie ever with my mom.  Movies, I’m all about that business.  Summer movies especially.  There’s nothing like sitting inside a freezing air-conditioned movie theater with good friends, all hopped up on sugary candy and buttery over-salted popcorn sipping a cold bubbly drink while being transported by the latest Summer blockbuster.  I’m not the only one with a lifetime of those blissful summer memories, am I?

the endless summer originalOkay, so maybe I am.

I want my kids to have their own Summer movie memories so I’m currently compiling a huge list of movies for my children to see before I leave the nest (*SOB*).  It’s unbelievable to me sometimes the stuff they haven’t seen (shut up, I know they’re still little).  I’ve got an arsenal of amazing movies up my sleeve for them, and while this list isn’t for kids, it is for you.  (Unless you’re a kid, in which case ask your parents before you go getting me in trouble.)  Now that it’s almost Summer I want to share my 5 top summer movies to see.  This list is far from comprehensive.  Think of this as a jumping off point in your cinematic Summer education.

5 Top Summer Movies to See (ASAP)

1. Top Gun

2. Grease

3. Stand By Me

4. The Sandlot

5. The Endless Summer

(I couldn’t stop, so here are a bonus 5 movies!)

6. E.T.

7. Jaws

8. Field of Dreams

9. What About Bob

10. Dirty Dancing

(Okay, okay, just 3 more.  And then I’m done. Pinky promise!)

11. Tommy Boy

12. Point Break

13. The Graduate

Now that I’ve got you all excited for movie season, I have a giveaway for you!  A movie giveaway!  Because movies! Are! Awesome!

Have you seen the lineup for the Summer 2013 movie season?  You guys!  I’ll be in the theater all summer if you need me.  The Great Gatsby comes out in two days, then the new Star Trek (it looks so good!), Man of Steel (Henry Cavill, swoon), Monsters University, Despicable Me 2 … I could go on an on.  So many good movies coming out this season.

Fandango + Visa Gift Card Giveaway Details:

  • $30 Fandango gift card
  • $50 Visa gift card

To enter:

  • Leave a comment below (not email) telling me your favorite movie, summer or otherwise.  I’d love to hear about your favorite movies!
  • Giveaway runs today May 8th-Wednesday May 15th, Midnight MST.
  • Please include your email address so we can get in touch with you if you win.
  • Winner will be announced at the top of this post.
  • If you win you will have 48 hours to claim the prize before a new winner is chosen.

Check out Fandango’s Weekend Ticket to help you find the best movie fit for you.

“Whether it’s finding the ultimate date movie or a film the whole family will enjoy, Dave Karger – Fandango’s Chief Correspondent and one of the country’s most highly-regarded movie experts – will help consumers find the perfect movie on “Weekend Ticket.”  The weekly series will offer movie reviews, celebrity guests, and movie fan buzz fueled by Fanticipation – a first-of-its-kind tool to measure moviegoer excitement based on Fandango’s proprietary data collected from its online and mobile traffic, the social media engagement of its fans, and its advance ticket sales.”

summer movies to see

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Giveaway sponsored by Fandango.

The Endless Summer movie poster, The Sandlot movie poster.



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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Emily :

    I adore grease!

  2. Betty :

    Favorite movie; Pretty Woman. I can never tire of that movie!

  3. girlsmama :

    My fall backs are always Beach Blanket Bingo and of course Princess Bride.

  4. Mami2jcn :

    I love “An Officer and a Gentleman”. I know it’s super corny but I love the last scene when he carries her out of that factory.

  5. Donna :

    Love all the James Bond movies; some more than others. Especially the ones with Sean Connery & Daniel Craig. sigh

  6. GEO :

    I just have to walk by a movie theater and smell the popcorn-I am transported back to the thrill of anticipation, walking into the dark theater with a bucket of popcorn! I just watched “ET” with my kids. They were in awe and demanded to know why they hadn’t seen it before.

  7. KarenK :

    Princess Bride! Our kids are still too little to appreciate it but my husband and I are always quoting from it.

  8. Heather ODell :

    I used to love The Goonies. I just showed it to my son last week and he loves it. What’s not to love, a treasure hunt and pirates.

  9. Alison :

    My favorite movie is Dead Poets Society!

  10. Kat :

    Labrynth, Legend, Practical Magic, Princess Bride (hubby and I used the wedding scene from PB for our wedding ‘vows’!)… there are many more…

  11. Holly Wert :

    Roman Holiday

  12. Dee :

    I absolutely adore Gidget! It is not summer till I pop in (yes it is VHS) Gidget :)

  13. Susan :

    I loved that you mentioned Grease. It came out the summer of my 16th year (lets you know how old I am). There were no VHS or DVDs so if we wanted to see something relatively new, you went to see the movie again. My friends and I went 7 times. I didn’t tell my folks about the last 2 times. I just don’t think they would understand. I also love Rookie of the Year. It was one of my children’s favorites and being a life long Cubbies fan, it is a nice fantasy,

  14. Heidi F. :

    One of my favorites (I have a few) is Arsenic and Old Lace. I watch it every Halloween!

  15. traci v. :

    Grease…hands down!

  16. Kathleen :

    Great list! I second Dirty Dancing, which takes me back to my youth. Another good one is A Walk on the Moon with Diane Lane, which evokes summer memories for me.

  17. Lori VW :

    I love your list and I can’t wait for Gatsby. The first time I went to the Drive-In, my family saw Adventures in Babysitting. I can’t help but think of summer when it comes on TBS. I love that movie and think it should always be watched outside under a blanket.

  18. Elizabeth :

    Love old musicals like Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story and The Sound of Music. I really love seeing my kids love old movies like that. :)

  19. Jen M :

    I love Sweet Home Alabama!

  20. Maria :

    Goonies is a summer or anytime favorite. The first star wars trilogy, raiders of the lost ark, first Harry potter, and on any day…Pride and Prejudice.

    Can’t wait for summer movie time!

  21. Jennie :

    So not a kid’s movie WHATSOEVER, but my all-time fav is Pulp Fiction. Tarantino is the man.

  22. Melisa Crane :

    The question isn’t “what are we going to do,” the question is “what aren’t we going to do?”
    100% Ferris Bueller’s Day Off!!
    And I love movies just as much as you! :)

  23. Alison :

    Dirty Dancing! Always a favorite!

  24. Kylie :

    Wet Hot American Summer

  25. Laura :

    The Breakfast Club.
    Hands down.
    We’re the same age. (:

  26. Janet White :

    My fave Summer movie is BEACH BLANKET BINGO with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello :)

  27. Meagan :

    Is it bad that the popcorn is half the reason I go? Its super hard to decide on a favorite movie but one that I could watch over and over is the original willy wonka, such a classic!

  28. jenny :

    The Sandlot is the best summer movie, in my opinion. But Jaws and The Great Outdoors are inextricably linked to my childhood memories of summer.

  29. Aarika :

    Quiz Show is still my favorite – love Ralph Fiennes!

  30. Kathleen :

    It’s so hard to pick just one… but when I was growing up I would watch Camp Nowhere again and again and wish that I could have such a fun summer camp experience. OOH and the Babysitter’s Club. Can’t forget that one.

  31. Marion :

    My favorite actual movie is You’ve Got Mail. But my favorite TV movie is the Scarlet Pimpernel, so there you go. My favorite movies when I was a kid were Pollyanna and The Parent Trap. I love movies! I am very excited to go see Epic with my kids.

  32. Harmony B :

    My favorite summer movie is One Crazy. Its silly but I love it

  33. Sarah Kimmel {Tech4Moms} :

    I have SO many “favorite” movies, but the one I can watch over and over and over and over again is Crazy. Stupid. Love

  34. Stacey @ Tree, Root, and Twig :

    I happen to think Toy Story is the most perfect movie ever made. And I don’t mean in animation, I mean period. Love, love, love it!

  35. Robyn :

    We have a tradition of going to the movies every 4th of July. This year we are planning on Despicable Me 2. My all time favorite movie is “Some Kind of Wonderful”

  36. ~j. :

    The Breakfast Club. That’s my immediate answer. (But there are so, so many favorites.)

  37. TIFFANY :

    My all-time favorite movie is Amélie

  38. Kai :

    Forrest Gump. Gets me EVERY time.

  39. Lindsay L :

    I love Nora Ephron movies, “You’ve Got Mail” is one of my all time favorites!

  40. Evonne :

    My all time favorite movie is Annie. BUT can anyone really narrow a favorite down to one when it comes to movies! :)

    sellbabyphat at gmail

  41. Cristin Vosburgh :

    My favorite summers were when I was little and we would drive to the Oregon coast every year. I LOVED it and have great memories from those summers!
    Hope I win! We could use a little break and have a little fun!!!


  42. Monica Powell :

    My favorite movie is Forest Gump!!! I will never get tired of watching this movie!

  43. Heidi R. :

    my best friends wedding! i can watch that over and over :)

  44. Alison :

    My favorite movie of all time is True Romance. Badass love story right there!

  45. Lauren Pogue :

    I absolutely love Under the Tuscan Sun!!

  46. Bobbi :

    Wow, to pick just one movie. I would probably go with VIbes.

  47. Miriam :

    I will always watch Steel Magnolias. Whenever, whereever.

  48. Tina :

    One that I want to re-watch is V for Vendetta. It was the movie my husband and I watched on our first date. We just celebrated our first anniversary together a week ago :)

  49. Blythe :

    I think my current favorite movie is The Proposal! Very funny and that’s the kind of thing I’m into for summer: light-hearted and touching.

  50. cabesh :

    I’m a Judy Garland disciple, and my most favorite movie of hers is Meet Me in St. Louise.

  51. Becka :

    My favorite summer movie is the Notebook.. Summer fling turned life long romance <3

  52. roxanne r :

    Lord of the rings is hands down my favorite set of movies. This summer, however, I am most excited for star trek this weekend!!!

  53. Kristin A. :

    Favorite summer movie?? Hmmm… I dont really have a favorite. Ok well maybe Indian Summer because I never ever went to camp (except the girl scouts kind) and watching that movie makes me wish I would have, at least once.

  54. nova c. :

    I love the summer movie “Something’s Gotta Give”. It has Diane Keaton, and Jack Nicholson! so funny.

  55. Sky :

    Favorite movie, hands down is Sixteen Candles. Jake Ryan is such a cutie!

  56. Cathy :

    Too many to choose. I love E.T. I saw it in the theater when I was 8. I was so embarrassed that I cried at the ending though.

  57. Vanessa :

    O Brother Where Art Thou……. and countless others!

  58. Jennifer McBroom :

    I would have to say The Italian Job! All time favorite!

  59. Leah S :

    My favorite is probably either Father of the Bride, Sweet Home Alabama, Ferris Buellers Day Off, My Best Friend’s Wedding or Beaches… sorry I couldn’t pick just one :)

  60. Betsey Karako :

    I’m always a sucker for James Bond. Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye is my favorite one, although Daniel Craig does a pretty good job as well.

  61. Melissa :

    I love The Little Mermaid!

  62. Alissa C. :

    I have three little kids so we’re really into kids’ movies. We especially love Monsters, Inc (my daughter calls it Inc Monsters :)) – it’s fun for the whole family!

  63. Joy c. :

    Oceans eleven, twelve and thirteen. I could watch them everyday.

  64. Amy Emm :

    I love love love Say Anything for a summer movie. Perfect summer/high school romance!

  65. Jamie :

    Hard question!!! Breakfast at Tiffany’s

  66. Janie :

    I love girly teen movies! I know, I know! I cant live without the Breakfast Club, She’s All Thant, The sweetest Thing.

  67. Gini :

    Wow, I have SO many favorites, don’t really have just one. But I’ll say O Brother Where Art Thou just since it’s the first to come to mind. :)

  68. Bridgit :

    My top 5 Summer movies that I love to watch (usually with my kids):
    Now and Then
    10 Things I Hate About You
    Blue Hawaii

  69. Aja H. :

    My favorite movie is “Now&Then,” it used to be a sick-day treat from the library, but once I got older, I just had to have it!

  70. Samantha :

    Favorite movie is Finding Nemo!! I can probably quote 72% of the movie. :-)

  71. Veronica Sampson :

    My favorite movie so far this summer has been Great Gatsby, it was a phenomenal movie! But, movies of all time it has to be Pride and Prejudice.

  72. Whitney P :

    My favorite movie would have to be Anchorman…lots of fun quotes from that one and can’t wait for #2 to come out!

  73. Cecily Garcia :

    I love the movie the Count of Monte Cristo. Who doesn’t love a movie about justice and revenge? I love classic novels turned movies!

  74. Jenny :

    I’m gonna have to go with the classic “Princess Bride”…it’s my go to movie when I need a good laugh and love story all at the same time. Transports me back to my childhood instantly!

  75. Shannon :

    I love Where the boys are? Such a funny serious movie!

  76. Dawn Mitchell :

    The Notebook, The Last Song…anything based on a Nicolas Sparks book! They are the best! I love Grease & Dirty Dancing too!

  77. Amanda Throckmorton :

    My favorite Movie will be The New Into the Darkness =Startrek because It looks so Awesome and I loved the last one. I just love Science fiction movies. I also enjoyed Die Hard New movie it was great at the movie theatre.

  78. Clint :

    Weekend at Bernie’s! BEST SUMMER MOVIE EVER!!!

  79. Donald Hayes :

    Favorite summer movie (actually seen in the theatre) was The Usual Suspects. Best summer movie ever would be Field of Dreams!

  80. Renee :

    My favorite movie is Joe vs the Volcano.

  81. Sarahviz :

    Favorite movie – Pretty Woman. And there’s nothing better than movie popcorn!

  82. Jackie :

    Serendipity with john cusack

  83. Christa :

    Top Gun!!!

  84. Trisha B :

    Gidget. If you haven’t seem it, find it now! It’s such a cute summer movie. Just the original first one though. MoonDoggy is dreamy ;)

  85. Melissa :

    Point Break is my favorite summer movie. Waves and babes.

  86. Nat :

    We love anything projected onto the garage with a fire pit blazing!

  87. Erica :

    The Sandlot is a great summer movie to watch with your kids! “You’re killin’ me, Smalls!”

  88. La Yen :

    Goonies is a great summer movie to me, and so is Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. But I have loved the super hero blockbusters, lately!

  89. Carina :

    Clueless is a summer favorite! Picking a favorite movie is like picking which child I love more. Cinema Paradisio is my answer today.

  90. april narretto :

    Point break and pretty woman are my faves

  91. lorrie :

    Ps I Love You!!!!

  92. Elizabeth G. :

    My favorite movie is “The Wedding Singer”.

  93. Tabitha :

    Rocky Horror Picture Show, I will love that movie forever!

  94. Mel :

    Love “Little Miss Sunshine” just can’t get enough of that movie. Oh, and “Pitch Perfect”

  95. Linda :


  96. BrieAnn :

    “pitch perfect” is the current favorite in our house. It’s practically become the go-to movie. The orginal “Arthur” is also a family favorite.

  97. Amanda :

    I really love “How to Steal a Million” and “American Dreamer” in the summertime. Your list is fab, Of course!

  98. Michelle Moore :

    My favorite movie of all time is “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid” with Paul Newman and Robert Redford!

  99. Rakesh Raki Arora :

    My fav all time movies Shawshank Redemption. Thx

  100. Nicole S :

    I love love love Tommy Boy!

  101. Carli :

    Little Women!

  102. kendall t :

    Fave movie is the devil wears prada! Love it!


    Titanic has always been one of my favorite movies along with Private Eyes with Don Knotts and Tim Conway….that movie makes me laugh every time I watch it!!!!!

  104. Kendra K. :

    Pretty in Pink. I cant give up what my adolescent self loved.

  105. Melisa :

    I’m a James Dean girl. Giant is my fave.

  106. Amélie :

    French Kiss!

  107. Suzanne B :

    I am excited to go and see the new Star Trek movie!!

  108. Katelyn :

    Gosh, I love all kinds of movies and it’s hard to narrow my favorite – how about our favorite movie we watched this month? Check out “Here comes the boom” for a great laugh.

  109. Cora :

    Pride and Prejudice makes me feel warm no matter what the season.

  110. Melissa Frances :

    My favorite movie is Family Man with Nicholas Cage…

    WOW…thanks for an opportunity to win!

  111. Michelle :

    Favorite summer movie is anything we can watch outside. I miss drive in movie theaters SO much. Good times!

  112. Indie Danielle :

    Amelie is my all-time favorite, any time of the year movie. I’m glad that someone said Now & Then! I could watch it a hundred times and not get tired of it. To me, it’s the girl’s equivelent of The Sandlot (also a fav!). Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The War (filmed in my hometown of Beaufort, SC), Princess Bride, Forrest Gump… So many good movies!

  113. Lindsey MacMurray :

    Breakin’ or Footloose….Oh wait, I did love Labyrinth and The Neverending Story. I loved summer movies- still do!!

  114. Brandy :

    Like you, I don’t think I could pick only one movie as my favorite, but one of my favorite movies is The Outsiders, a wonderful movie and I highly recommend watching it to anyone who hasn’t seen it! Thank you .. And enjoy your movies this summer!! I’ve seen all of your picks and love them all as well!