10 Best “Summer” Movies on Netflix

10 Summer Movies on Netflix

The whole concept of a “summer” movie is inherently light. We do not offer this list as movies that should have won Oscars or even as a list of all time greats. It is simply a list of movies that suit the time of the year. Some are even quite good! We really think that as you languish in the air conditioning, if you’re lucky enough to have it, you won’t want to be taxed by heavy duty thinky movies. See how you get on with our suggestions.


10. Camp Cool Kids – 2017

Camp Cool Kids - 2017Directed by: Lisa Arnold
Starring: Connor Rosen, Logan Shroyer, Michael Gross
Runningtime: 1h 44min

Let’s start with a feel good family movie. There’s a religious undercurrent in this movie which you can safely ignore. It’s all about moral guidance, facing your fears, the importance of family. Revenge is not the option. Ho hum. It’s unlikely that adults will get much from this movie but the kids will watch and learn; and you won’t have to spend a llot of time explaining it.


9. Ibiza – 2018 Netflix Original

Ibiza - 2018Directed by: Alex Richanbach
Starring:: Gwen Elizabeth Duchon, Gillian Jacobs, Michaela Watkins
Runningtime: 1h 34min

Ibiza is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean famous for all sorts of summer shenanigans and techno music. Why then wouldn’t three American girls not want to go in search of a DJ? It’s a funny movie with no great depth and that’s what a summer movie is all about: parties, sun, a laugh or two, a drink or two, some added colorings and flavorings and then more partying.


8. #REALITYHIGH – 2017 Netflix Original

#REALITYHIGH - 2018Directed by: Fernando Lebrija
Starring:: Nesta Cooper, Keith Powers, Alicia Sanz
Runningtime: 1h 39min

This is another movie that isn’t going to test the brain cells; which is what you want on a long hot summer night of course. In a throwback to the teen movies of the 1980s, we are asked to follow a social message that we already know. Not a problem. The balance between comedy and drama is pretty good and the end result is teenage cute.


7. Spring Breakers – 2012

Spring Breakers - 2012Directed by: Harmony Korine
Starring: Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson
Runningtime: 1h 34min

Spring? Summer? What’s the difference? We don’t do seasons. Well not the equinox and solstice type anyway. Spring Breakers is an underestimated movie that is worth far more than some of the soft porn accusations that have been levelled at it. This is dark crime drama and it keeps you nervously on the edge of your chair. Your thrill and excitement is very different to that of the four girls.


6. Staten Island Summer – 2015

Staten Island Summer - 2015Directed by: Rhys Thomas
Starring:: Graham Phillips, Zack Pearlman, Ashley Greene
Runningtime: 1h 48min

And we go again with teen sex comedy. We do so love a recurring theme. This time we follow life guards at a beach club who want to have a party. The cast is largely lifted from Saturday Night Live which is a pretty good source of young comedic talent. Is this a homage to or a rip off of great SNL derivates like Caddyshack? You decide.


5. Good Kids – 2016

Good Kids - 2016Directed by: Chris McCoy
Starring: Nicholas Braun, Zoey Deutch, Mateo Arias
Runningtime: 1h 26min

You can’t beat a bit of strong language, sex, drugs and alcohol when there are teenagers about. Four of them this time and trying to find theie identities after high school. The premise of the movie is good and that is to do some of the things you’ve always wanted to do but being good has stopped you. The execution could have been better but this is still a watchable movie.


4. Spanglish – 2004

Spanglish - 2004Directed by: James L. Brooks
Starring:: Adam Sandler, Téa Leoni, Paz Vega
Runningtime: 2h 11min

Spanglish received a nomination for a Golden Globe. There are elements of comedy, drama and romance in a movie that pushes the challenges of langauge barriers in a clever and moving way. This is probably not a movie for kids as there are some naughty words and a naughty scene (work it out). Sandler, for a comedy actor, does a very good job.


3. Mamma Mia! – 2008

Mamma Mia! - 2008Directed by: Phyllida Lloyd
Starring: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried
Runningtime: 1h 48min

On top of the totally spurious celebration of the music of the glorious ABBA steamrollered into a movie, there is something completely surreal about watching James Bond as a song and dance man. The story is, frankly, wafer thin. And that’s only because we can’t spell graphene. But Mamma Mia is and always will be one of the finest musical feel good movies. And the sequel is now in the cinemas.


2. Wet Hot American Summer – 2001

Wet Hot American Summer - 2001Directed by: David Wain
Starring: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter
Runningtime: 1h 37min

Wet Hot American Summer crams a summers worth of unfinished business into 24 hours in a romcom that really does help you with a suspension of reality. We’re talking Talking Vegetable Can suspension of reality. This is a parody spoof of many many summer camp movies from the 70s and 80s and mirrors some of the finer moments. And look out for the Netflix Original spinoffs.


1. Cruel Intentions – 1999

Cruel Intentions - 1999Directed by: Roger Kumble
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon
Runningtime: 1h 37min

A winner of many awards, Cruel Intentions is an unashamed reworking of the classic Dangerous liaisons. While it is aimed at the teen market, it works perfectly for adults as well. Buffy and Elle, sorry Sarah and Reese put in excellent performances and even manage to pull some unexpected humor out of the essentially dark subject matter.

Tim Colman

Tim helped co-found What's on Netflix with Kasey back in 2013 after a career in publishing covering both the skiing and the scuba diving sectors. Tim loves the older movies and cult classics which shines through in his features and top movies list. Tim also maintains the central database for What's on Netflix driving the A-Z library. Tim resides in Norwich, UK.