It's already an industry phrase for the stuff that comes out between Memorial Day and Independence Day - and a few of those are on this list. But there's more.
These are the movies for all summer, every summer, for every occasion. Tis the season for kids' stuff, action stuff, 80s stuff, Tom Hanks stuff, 80s Tom Hanks stuff.
But there's more.
As we get older - and you do too - a lot of these populate our respective Top 100s, so those areas have been drilled. Hopefully we can showcase some of the other other stuff that gives us a reason to stay inside for all five seconds of summer.
10 categories. 5 from each of us. The vacation is over.
The Paul list
S P O R T S
Major League (1989)
The romantic/Rene Russo subplot is a lead balloon, but it's otherwise a pitch perfect "guys on a mission" movie.
Broad caricatures mixed with grownup slapstick - funnier and more adult than anything by the Farrellys.
WE ALSO LIKE: The Natural (1984), The Swinging Cheerleaders (1974), The Sandlot (1993)
V A C A T I O N
Summer Rental (1985)
The most honest and realistic depiction of a lower middle class American family beach trip.
Also, it's a utopian fairytale in which the power of summer and recreation can overcome malice and greed.
WE ALSO LIKE: Captain Ron (1992), The River Wild (1994), What About Bob? (1991)
T H R I L L E R
Miami Vice (2006)
The aesthetics of the season as mood, mood as narrative: sunshine, humidity, blue stars, orange roads.
Sweltering without being sweaty.
Veritably in the air tonight.
WE ALSO LIKE: The Devil's Rejects (2005), At Close Range (1986), Maximum Overdrive (1986)
F A M I L Y
3 Ninjas (1992)
It's implicitly flawed, both as a children's movie and as a movie-movie. In fact, it's a wreck.
And perhaps that's why it's hard to look away.
With its karate, basketball, pizza, rock/hip-hop Turtles-meets-Home Alone early 1990s experiment, it is proof that sometimes the box can be as collectable as the toy.
WE ALSO LIKE: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), House Arrest (1996), Blank Check (1994)
R O M A N T I C T H R I L L E R
Slumber Party Massacre II (1987)
Gore, comedy, nudity, musical numbers.
You can keep your Evil Deads and Re-Animators -- this is the Friday night, xtra large, xtra cheese pizza movie.
WE ALSO LIKE: Skyscraper (1996), Body Double (1984), Poison Ivy (1992)
The Jess list
C A M P I N G
Camp Nowhere (1994)
Not every situation involving children being left on their own for a significant amount of time leads to a Lord of the Flies scenario. Sometimes it can be balls-out hilarious with campfire overeating/food fights and unfortunate coming of age teen lessons.
Did I mention Christopher Lloyd, guys?
WE ALSO LIKE: Deliverance (1972), Wet Hot American Summer (2001), Heavyweights (1995)
S M A L L B U D G E T
Little Children (2006)
In my opinion, no other movie has so beautifully illustrated the danger, excitement, and complete misery of an affair. The steamy summer atmosphere just adds a layer of glistening sweat and sleaze to their situation. You can really hear their bodies sticking together.
WE ALSO LIKE: Adventureland (2009), The Place Beyond the Pines (2012), The Neon Demon (2016)
B I G B U D G E T
Last Action Hero (1993)
I say this with the utmost conviction: No film ever made has been more for the likes of Paul and I (and all you geeks out there.) It came out when Paul and I were just the right age to love and relate to these characters as well as wish something this fucking magical and awesome could happen to us!
I still wish it could happen to us.
WE ALSO LIKE: Jurassic Park (1993), Demolition Man (1993), Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995)
T H E B E A C H
The Lost Boys (1987)
This is my favorite summer movie of all time and actually just recently slipped into my top 100. The perfect eighties score and soundtrack coupled with nightly beach horror creates a perfect time machine.
When I was little I was truly terrified of the music and when I hear it now I am instantaneously five years old again. My mom and I used to watch it with white rice from the Chinese restaurant. You can't do it any other way.
WE ALSO LIKE: Weekend at Bernie's/Weekend at Bernie's II (1989/1993), Point Break (1991), Mud (2012)
S E A S O N A L
Don't Tell Mom the Babysitters Dead (1991)
The theme of any summer family-oriented film should always be: Kids left on their own to take care of themselves and fuck shit up. Then you add an element of death and you have one great morbid summer blast. Because what's funnier than a stranger dying in your home?
I wish Christina Applegate was in charge of me!
WE ALSO LIKE: JFK (1991), American Graffiti (1973), Uncle Sam (1996)