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The 25 greatest summer films

Which movies better captivate the vacation season? Observer film pundits choose their sizzling-hot favourites

1. The Talented Mr Ripley

Anthony Minghella( 1999 )

Theres a certain kind of sunshine that kisses everything with gold. And Anthony Minghellas slick adjustment of the Patricia Highsmith thriller captivates it perfectly that gilded easy-going privilege of the in-crowd, slumming it during a long, languid summertime on the Italian coast. Beguiled by nights hopping with jazz electrical, alive conman Tom Ripley( Matt Damon) determines himself exquisitely tortured by the fickle exuberances and casual brutality of Dickie Greenleaf( Jude Law ). Perhaps not even Tom can unpick the mess of feelings he feels for Dickie does he want to have him? Or to be him? He opts for the latter. Wendy Ide

Do
Electrifying: Do the Right Thing. Image: Alamy Stock Photo

2. Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee( 1989 )

Whoo-ee, its gonna be a scorcher today! During the hottest period of the summer, tensions come to the steam in a pressure-cooker Brooklyn neighbourhood. When first liberated, Spike Lees electrifying drama feared some conservative commentators, who cried that the cinema was an provocation to riot specific claims previously made of such agreed classics as The Blackboard Jungle ( 1955 ). Brilliantly captivating the scorching flavor of a Bedford-Stuyvesant district heatwave, Do the Right Thing is as thrillingly edgy today as it was nearly 30 years ago. It payed Lee his first Oscar nomination, for best original screenplay. Mark Kermode

Zo
Zo Heran in Tomboy.

3. Tomboy

Cline Sciamma( 2011 )

New to a leafy suburb of Paris, 10 -year-old Laure( Zo Hran) immediately descends in with the neighbourhood boys who expend the endless summer vacations hanging out in the woods. But she interposes herself as Mikael , not Laure. With her cropped whisker and loose-limbed skater slouch, she is accepted by everyone as a son, even starting a tentative flirtation with an older girl. With this sensitive, understated subject of a transgender offspring, Cline Sciamma beautifully captivates the suspended world of summer. No school , no procedure, new friends. For a few short months, Laure/ Mikael is perfectly free. WI

Harriet
Harriet Andersson and Lars Ekborg in Bergmans Summer with Monika. Picture: Alamy

4. Summer With Monika

Ingmar Bergman( 1953 )

People merely casually acquainted with the work of Ingmar Bergman wouldnt think of him as an specially summery film-maker: chilly despair may seem the characteristic temperature of his oeuvre, until you get to the spry, glistening cheerfulnes of Smiles of a Summer Night ( 1955 ), the composure of Summer Interlude ( 1951 ), and, best of all, this airy, tender and finally bittersweet seasonal intrigue between two beautiful working-class kids, which continues to be tingles with the kind of open sensuality that appalled non-Swedish gatherings back in 1953. To watch it is akin to feeling a late-summer breeze on the back of your neck. Guy Lodge

Kathryn
Kathryn Worth, Tom Hiddleston and Mary Roscoe in Joanna Hoggs Unrelated. Picture: Alamy

5. Unrelated

Joanna Hogg( 2007 )

The ultimate Brits-abroad nightmare-holiday film, in which a middle-aged dame( Kathryn Worth) joins her ritzy pals at their Tuscany retreat. Arriving alone, she not only detects increasingly like a spare part, but gambles her dignity as she tries to attract a young alpha male a first big-screen sighting of Tom Hiddleston. If this subtly painful comedy of behaviours isnt teeth-grinding enough for you, try the male equivalent Suntan ( Argyris Papadimitropoulos, 2016) in which a medical doctor on a Greek island descends horribly in love with a carefree Lolita among the Euro-vacationers. Both films should be pursued prefaced by tells for observers of either sex aged above, reply, 35. Jonathan Romney

Watch a trailer for Adventureland .

6. Adventureland

Greg Mottola( 2009 )

This 1980 s-set teenage movie takes place in a shitty theme park that touts Giant Ass Pandas as unwinnable trophies and wails Falcos Rock Me Amadeus on loop from its tinny talkers. Jesse Eisenbergs James is remain there for the summer earning fund for college while his friends circulate Europe; he matches the quiet, infinitely jug Em( Kristen Stewart ); the two fall in love as fireworks explode across the sky to the sound of Crowded Houses Dont Dream Its Over. A hangout humor that speaks to the teenagerish feel of longing known during a dull summer invested at home its perfect. Simran Hans

Samantha
Samantha Morton in Lynne Ramsays Morvern Callar. Photo: www.ronaldgrantarchive.com

7. Morvern Callar

Lynne Ramsay( 2002 )

Full of sweat and sangria and plagiarized secures with strangers, Morvern Callars hedonistic Ibiza trip is the kind of summer break that changes the route you relate to the world for ever. For Morvern( a mesmerising Samantha Morton ), counted by the suicide of her boyfriend and a lifetime spent in a dour Scottish dead-end town, its a holiday that opens her attentions. On a whim, she and her friend Lanna hire a auto to take them high into the hills. They find their way locked by a neighbourhood celebration. Morvern simply hauls her suitcase from the car and assembles in. At that instant, she spurns the expectations that fix to her residence municipality and decides to follow her compulsions instead. WI

Janet
Janet Landguard and Burt Lancaster in The Swimmer. Image: Moviestore

8. The Swimmer

Frank Perry( 1968 )

Forget the beach for a minute. For some of us, its the sharp-witted, sour bouquet of swimming-pool chlorine that most vividly conjures summertime, and no movie not even its most famous near-contemporary The Graduate ( 1967) carries it quite as pungently as Frank Perrys woozy, mournful modification of a John Cheever story. Evidencing up at a friends puddle party one perfect weekend, a strapping Burt Lancaster resolves to swim his style home through the backyards and blue-blooded liquids of suburban Connecticut, his sad past soaking through with every stop. The sunkissed perfection and solidifying void of the American Dream have rarely been explored in such simultaneous detail. GL

Apichatpong
Apichatpong Weerasethakuls Blissfully Yours: an oblique, dreamy fable. Picture: Alamy

9. Blissfully Yours

Apichatpong Weerasethakul( 2002 )

Not strictly a summertime movie, but a carol to the exhilaration of sweat, copulation and daydream in a luxuriant grove determine. Thai auteur Apichatpong sees movies( 2010 s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives , Cemetery of Splendor from 2015) that send the onlooker into a confused nation of parallel consciousness nowhere more so than in this oblique, dreamy anecdote. Thats partly thanks to a sound motif rich with birdsong, insect chirps and the rustle of foliage. Two women and a being get away from their everyday troubles for a jungle flout and some graphically depicted intimacy. Steamy in every feel, but also intensely strange and beautiful. JR

Vincent
Vincent Gauthier and Marie Rivire in ric Rohmers The Green Ray. Picture: Alamy

10. The Green Ray

ric Rohmer( 1986 )

Lets face it. Summer can be shit. Like New Years Eve, the annual vacation comes with such an possibility of amusement that a bad epoch feels like a personal default. For Delphine( a largely improvised achievement by Marie Rivire ), evicted from her friends holiday schemes and miserably adrift on the periphery of other folks journeys, the summer vacation is the cause of acute feeling. Shot on super 16 mm, the film appears as grainy as a beach picnic on a breezy era. It has an unflinching naturalism and authenticity which acquires this ambling, unfocused quest for an elusive good time into painfully addictive consider. WI

William
William Hurt and Kathleen Hurt in Lawrence Kasdans Body Heat. Picture: Allstar

11. Body Heat

Lawrence Kasdan( 1981 )

Literally and figuratively one of the hottest movies Ive considered, Body Heat is an updated riff on Billy Wilders classic noir Double Indemnity ( 1944 ). A southern gothic sexual thriller with a B-movie style saxophone on the soundtrack, it stars Kathleen Turner( before she became the spokesperson of Jessica Rabbit) and a mustachioed William Hurt as a duet of devotees flogged into a sweaty, enthusiastic hysterium by the dizzying Florida heat. The chemistry between the pair is electric, “but hes” Turners film; a hot, conniving seductress, iconic in the white-hot blouse and red pencil skirt that stirs Hurts Ned contact boiling point. SH

Roy
Roy Scheider in Spielbergs classic Jaws. Image: Allstar

12. Jaws

Steven Spielberg( 1975 )

Steven Spielbergs visceral adjustment of Peter Benchleys ravenous best-seller fright a generation out of the irrigate and into the cinemas. The narrative a cross between Melvilles Moby-Dick and Ibsens An Antagonist of the People find a seaside used terrorised by a great lily-white shark as the 4 July holiday pump near. Roy Scheider is perfectly threw as the police chief who fails to close the beaches, with terrifying makes. With its sunny vistas and blood irrigates, Jaws consume modern cinema whole; four years thereafter, its hopeless to go for a summertime swim without listening John Williamss threatening theme. MK

Diego
Diego Luna, Maribel Verd and Gael Garci Bernal touched the road in Y Tu Mam Tambin Photograph: Alamy

13. Y Tu Mam Tambin

Alfonso Cuarn( 2001 )

A vibrant conduct by Maribel Verd drives this rip-roaring road movie. Abandoned by their girlfriends for the summer, two hot-headed youths( Gael Garca Bernal and Diego Luna) team up with Verds more worldly Luisa on an often tumultuous pilgrimage of finding. The enormous humanist critic Roger Ebert famously cited Y Tu Mam Tambin as spotlighting everything that was wrong with the US ratings plan, describing the film as realistic about fornication, which is to say, franker and healthier than the ribald deceptions obliged on American movies by the R rating. MK

Katharine
Katharine Hepburn and Rossano Brazzi in David Leans Summertime. Picture: Alamy

14. Summertime

David Lean( 1955 )

Crammed with waddling tourists and abominable knockoff carnival concealments, the canals of Venice in midsummer are about as workable a residence to find love these days as the gardening-tools aisle of B& Q. Sixty-odd years ago, nonetheless, David Lean coated a far more swoonsome photo, with this iridescent Technicolor tale of an impermanent holiday romance every bit as lovely and as heart-stirring as his more routinely celebrated Brief Encounter ( 1945 ). Katharine Hepburn, in one of her best screen capacities, is the buttoned-up Ohio singleton who temporarily gets to live her better life under the Venetian sun, in the arms of languorous antique trader Rossano Brazzi. The smell of gardenias almost float off the screen. GL

Watch a trailer for Lilo& Stitch .

15. Lilo& Stitch

Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois( 2002 )

Perhaps not the best-loved item in the latter-day Disney canon, but this eccentric science-fiction adventure one of the studios subsequently hand-drawn animations has anarchic power to ignite. Stitch is a genetically engineered life shape from infinite, something between a koala and a Boston terrier in a vivid shadow of blue. Lilo is the evenly unruly Hawaiian girlfriend who chooses him as her dog and teams up with him to circumvent extraterrestrials and social workers alike. Elvis figures and surfing pratfalls abound. Not without hues of cuteness, but Stitchs manic mischief will strike a chord with the Tasmanian Devil in all the children. JR

Linday
Linday Lohan doubles up for the lead roles in The Parent Trap. Photo: Allstar

16. The Parent Trap

Nancy Meyers( 1998 )

Nancy Meyers is Americas greatest working classicist. Good known for her romantic humors( and her detailed attention to middle-class interior design ), her family-friendly remake of The Parent Trap ( 1961) doesnt abandon that format alone. The movie star Lindsay Lohan as a duo of twins dispersed at delivery who gratified on holiday at Camp Walden aged 11, and swap lives in a bid to reunite their divorced parents( the late Natasha Richardson, and my favourite vineyard-owning hot dad, Dennis Quaid ). Lohan is a glee as both prankster Cali Girl Hallie and the hilariously plummy, tweed skirt-suited Brit Annie. SH

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