The Definitive Summer Movie List - A Letterboxd Community Survey

If you're like me, summer and movies are inextricably linked. For us, it's hard to think of summers past without thinking of trips to the movies. It's hard to watch a certain movie on DVD without thinking of the theater where you first saw it or of the people with whom you saw it. It's hard to hear a certain song from a movie soundtrack without being to transported to the summer it was released.

So, what is your favorite summer-released movie? What is THE film that takes you back and holds your most significant, summer movie-going memory and why? These may not be the best movies ever made, but they stand out to you.

Let's build a list, shall we? I'll pick the first one. You guys help me with the rest!

Read notes
  • Back to the Future
  • Jaws
  • The Dark Knight
  • Independence Day
  • Jurassic Park
  • Batman
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  • Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
  • The X Files
  • Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
  • Wayne's World
  • Armageddon
  • The Goonies
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Stand by Me
  • Shrek 2
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • The Sandlot
  • Inception


  • I see the Goonies is already there.

    I think, because I was about the same age as the characters, and my group of neighbourhood friends were all able to fit into the personality of the characters; (we had someone who was the Data, someone who fit into the Mickey, etc) it just really became a movie that connected for me.
    It was also the first time, the group of us were allowed to go to a movie together without parents.

  • That first movie without the parents is a huge deal! Thanks for sharing your experience.

    If I hadn't put "Back to the Future" up there for me, I might have put "Goonies." It's a complete summer adventure.

  • Not going to lie I can only remember the most recent ones. But the first part of the harry potter conclusion and shrek 2. My childhood revolved around Harry Potter and I am still a bit of a fanatic haha, also I absolutely LOVED shrek so when the sequel came out my whole family went to see it on the first day!

  • Shrek 2 is going on the list!

    Deathly Hallows Part 1 was theatrically released in the late fall; did you mean Part 2?

  • Oh yes part 2 haha, kept thinking it was 2010 but it was last year!!

  • That's on! They blur together for me too! (I still haven't seen DH2.)

  • For me, it has to be The Sandlot. A funny and nostalgia filled misadventure.

  • I've never seen "The Sandlot" either. Thanks for the contribution, Patrick.

  • Of my movie-going life, I'd have to say Inception. My brother and I saw it in theaters on July 28, 2010 and I knew I was going to enjoy it, but I didn't expect to be blown away. And usually I'm bummed if I don't get a back-row seat, so the fact that we were forced to sit maybe five rows from the back and I still enjoyed it so much really says a lot. I remember anticipating so much when it opened and, prior to seeing it, I talked to this girl at Barnes & Noble who had seen it three times already in its first week, and was planning on going to see a fourth time the same night we talked. Anyway, that's probably the greatest summer movie-going event of my life... so far.

  • This list hasn't seen any action in two years. Thank you for reviving it, Ken!

    Thanks for recounting that great memory, too! I saw "Inception" with my mom that summer and loved it.


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