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The 25 greatest summer movies

Which movies good captivate the holiday season? Observer film commentators elect their sizzling-hot favourites

1. The Talented Mr Ripley

Anthony Minghella( 1999 )

Theres a certain kind of sunshine that caresses everything with amber. And Anthony Minghellas slick modification of the Patricia Highsmith thriller captures it perfectly that gilded easy-going privilege of the in-crowd, slumming it during a long, languid summertime on the Italian seashore. Beguiled by nights hopping with jazz electric, alive conman Tom Ripley( Matt Damon) obtains himself exquisitely tortured by the fickle devotions and casual savagery of Dickie Greenleaf( Jude Law ). Perhaps not even Tom can unpick the mess of emotions he appears 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. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo

2. Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee( 1989 )

Whoo-ee, its gonna be a scorcher today! During the most wonderful period of the summer, tensions come to the steam in a pressure-cooker Brooklyn neighbourhood. When first exhausted, Spike Lees electrifying drama fright some conservative commentators, who shrieked that the movie was an provocation to rampage a claim previously made of such recognised classics as The Blackboard Jungle ( 1955 ). Brilliantly captivating the scorching sky of a Bedford-Stuyvesant district heatwave, Do the Right Thing is as thrillingly edgy today as it was nearly 30 years ago. It earned Lee his first Oscar nomination, for excellent original screenplay. Mark Kermode

Zo
Zo Heran in Tomboy.

3. Tomboy

Cline Sciamma( 2011 )

New to a leafy outskirt of Paris, 10 -year-old Laure( Zo Hran) instantly falls in with the neighbourhood kids who invest the endless summer vacations hanging out in the timbers. But she establishes herself as Mikael , not Laure. With her cropped hair and loose-limbed skater posture, she is accepted by everyone as a boy, even starting a tentative flirtation with an elderly girl. With this sensitive, understated analyze of a transgender child, Cline Sciamma beautifully captures the suspended actuality of summertime. No school , no routine, 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 exclusively casually acquainted with the work of Ingmar Bergman wouldnt think about him as an specially summery film-maker: chilly despair may seem the characteristic temperature of his oeuvre, until you get to the spry, glimmering warmth of Smiles of a Summer Night ( 1955 ), the stillnes of Summer Interlude ( 1951 ), and, good of all, this airy, tender and finally bittersweet seasonal romance between two beautiful working-class teenagers, which still tingles with the kind of open sensuality that stunned 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. Photo: Alamy

5. Unrelated

Joanna Hogg( 2007 )

The eventual Brits-abroad nightmare-holiday film, in which a middle-aged wife( Kathryn Worth) joins her posh pals at their Tuscany recede. Arriving alone, she is not simply seems increasingly like a spare part, but risks her glory as she tries to attract a young alpha male a first big-screen sighting of Tom Hiddleston. If this subtly painful humor of forms isnt teeth-grinding enough for you, try the male counterpart Suntan ( Argyris Papadimitropoulos, 2016) in which a doctor on a Greek island falls horribly in love with a carefree Lolita among the Euro-vacationers. Both films should come prefaced by admonishes for witness of either fornication aged over, pronounce, 35. Jonathan Romney

Watch a trailer for Adventureland .

6. Adventureland

Greg Mottola( 2009 )

This 1980 s-set teen movie takes situate in a shitty theme park that touts Giant Ass Pandas as unwinnable prizes and honks Falcos Rock Me Amadeus on curve from its tinny speakers. Jesse Eisenbergs James is remain there for the summer deserving coin for college while his sidekicks travel Europe; he assembles the quiet, endlessly jug Em( Kristen Stewart ); the two fall in love as fireworks explosion across the sky to the tone of Crowded Houses Dont Dream Its Over. A hangout slapstick that speaks to the teenagerish appreciation of longing known during a dull summertime spent at home its perfect. Simran Hans

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

7. Morvern Callar

Lynne Ramsay( 2002 )

Full of sweat and sangria and stolen fixes with strangers, Morvern Callars hedonistic Ibiza trip is the kind of summer break that changes the path you relate to the world for ever. For Morvern( a mesmerising Samantha Morton ), counted by the suicide of her lover and a lifetime spent in a dour Scottish dead-end municipality, its official holidays that opens her seeings. On a whim, she and her friend Lanna hire a car to take them high-pitched into the hills. They find their way blocked by a neighbourhood festival. Morvern simply hauls her suitcase from the car and assembles in. At that minute, she scorns the expectations that anchor to her residence township and decides to follow her inclinations 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, sour bouquet of swimming-pool chlorine that most vividly stimulates summer, and no film not even its more famous near-contemporary The Graduate ( 1967) carries it quite as pungently as Frank Perrys woozy, mournful adaptation of a John Cheever story. Proving up at a friends reserve party one perfect weekend, a strapping Burt Lancaster resolves to swim his lane home through the backyards and blue-blooded oceans of suburban Connecticut, his unhappy past drench through with every stop. The sunkissed perfection and freezing void of the American Dream have rarely been explored in such simultaneous item. GL

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

9. Blissfully Yours

Apichatpong Weerasethakul( 2002 )

Not strictly a summertime movie, but a carol to the elation of sweat, sexuality and reverie in a luxuriant woodland fixed. Thai auteur Apichatpong constructs cinemas( 2010 s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives , Cemetery of Splendor from 2015) that send the viewer into a distracted district of parallel consciousness nowhere more so than in this oblique, languorous anecdote. Thats partly thanks to a tone designing rich with birdsong, insect chirps and the swish of foliage. Two women and a man get away from their daily troubles for a jungle breach and some graphically depicted intimacy. Steamy in every appreciation, but also intensely strange and beautiful. JR

Vincent
Vincent Gauthier and Marie Rivire in ric Rohmers The Green Ray. Image: 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 apprehension of delight that a bad day feels like a personal omission. For Delphine( a largely improvised concert by Marie Rivire ), evicted from her friends holiday projects and miserably adrift on the periphery of other families trip-ups, the summer vacation is a source of acute nervousnes. Shot on super 16 mm, the movie searches as grainy as a beach picnic on a stormy daytime. It has an unflinching naturalism and authenticity which realizes this ambling, unfocused quest for an elusive good time into painfully compulsive view. WI

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

11. Body Heat

Lawrence Kasdan( 1981 )

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

Roy
Roy Scheider in Spielbergs classic Jaws. Picture: Allstar

12. Jaws

Steven Spielberg( 1975 )

Steven Spielbergs visceral modification of Peter Benchleys voracious best-seller intimidated a generation out of the irrigate and into the cinema. The floor a cross between Melvilles Moby-Dick and Ibsens An Adversary of the People discovers a seaside resort terrorised by a great white-hot 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 ensues. With its sunny vistas and bloody-minded seas, Jaws ate modern cinema whole; four years thereafter, its hopeless to go for a summertime swimming without hearing John Williamss threatening topic. MK

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

13. Y Tu Mam Tambin

Alfonso Cuarn( 2001 )

A vibrant accomplishment by Maribel Verd drives this rip-roaring road movie. Abandoned by their lovers for the summer, two hot-headed youths( Gael Garca Bernal and Diego Luna) team up with Verds more worldly Luisa on an often chaotic tour of finding. The enormous humanist critic Roger Ebert famously quoth Y Tu Mam Tambin as highlighting everything that was wrong with the US ratings system, describing the film as realistic about sexuality, which is to say, franker and healthier than the racy evasions pressured on American movies by the R rating. MK

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

14. Summertime

David Lean( 1955 )

Crammed with waddling sightseers and appalling knockoff circu disguises, the canals of Venice in midsummer are about as feasible a plaza to find love these days as the gardening-tools aisle of B& Q. Sixty-odd years ago, however, David Lean painted a far more swoonsome situation, with this iridescent Technicolor tale of an impermanent holiday fiction every bit as lovely and as heart-stirring as his more routinely celebrated Brief Encounter ( 1945 ). Katharine Hepburn, in one of her better screen characters, is the buttoned-up Ohio singleton who temporarily gets to live her good life under the Venetian sun, in the weapons of languorous antique trader Rossano Brazzi. The perfume of gardenias essentially drift 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 later hand-drawn animations has anarchic power to ignite. Stitch is a genetically engineered life anatomy from seat, something between a koala and a Boston terrier in a evocative tint of blue-blooded. Lilo is the evenly disorderly Hawaiian girlfriend who borrows him as her hound and teams up with him to escape extraterrestrials and social workers alike. Elvis digits and surfing pratfalls abound. Not without tinges 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. Image: Allstar

16. The Parent Trap

Nancy Meyers( 1998 )

Nancy Meyers is Americas greatest working classicist. Best known for her nostalgic slapsticks( and her detailed attention to middle-class interior design ), her family-friendly remake of The Parent Trap ( 1961) doesnt abandon that format solely. The film star Lindsay Lohan as a duo of twinneds disconnected at birth who assembled on holiday at Camp Walden aged 11, and swap live in a entreat to reunite their divorced parents( the late Natasha Richardson, and my favourite vineyard-owning red-hot daddy, Dennis Quaid ). Lohan is a elation as both rascal Cali Girl Hallie and the hilariously plummy, tweed skirt-suited Brit Annie. SH

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