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The 25 best summer movies to watch at the beach... er, well, maybe not

5. Rear Window (1954)

The movie: L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries (James Stewart) is holed up in his Greenwich Village apartment with a broken leg. Always looking on the bright side, he soon discovers there's an awful lot of things for a voyeur - with a rather nice telescope - to look at in the height of summer. Namely? His neighbours.

Hottest moment: As part of a plan to uncover the truth about his neighbour Thorwald, Jeff sends Lisa (Grace Kelly) to find out if the man really did kill a local dog. Finding nothing in the yard, Lisa improvises and enters Thorwald's apartment... and then he arrives home early.

4. Dazed And Confused (1993)

The movie: Richard Linklater's ode to the last day of school in the early 1970s. School is well and truly out in Austin, Texas, so the high school kids shoot some pool, share a toke and head to the Moontower for a beer bust. A simmering, sultry summer flick that introduced us to the brilliance of Matthew McConaughey. Alright, alright, alright...

Hottest moment: Freshman Mitch Kramer (Wiley Wiggins) has the night of his life: first spliff, first purchase of underage beer, first snog and sweet revenge against paddle bully O'Bannion (Ben Affleck).

3. Do The Right Thing (1989)

The movie: Fire hydrants are blasting water onto the sidewalk, the old guys won't leave their curbside chairs, and the last thing anybody wants is any aggro. Arguably, Spike Lee's finest film, Do The Right Thing cranks up the heat in a Brooklyn neighbourhood during a blistering New York summer.  

Hottest moment: Racial tension explodes as Mookie (Spike Lee) throws a trash can through the window of Sal's Pizzeria. I predict a riot.

2. Stand By Me (1986)

The movie: This '80s rite-of-passage classic follows four pals as they hike to see a dead body. It yanks at the heartstrings, reminding you of the carefree days of childhood when being an adult seemed a lifetime away and all that mattered was adventuring with your best friends.

Hottest moment: Vern (Jerry O'Connell) and Gordie (Wil Wheaton) narrowly avoid being mown down by a train crossing a bridge.

1. Jaws (1975)

The movie: The summer movie to end all summer movies. The seaside community on Amity Island is preparing for its busy 4th July weekend, and no Great White is going to get the beach closed. Right? With Spielberg's mid-seventies shark flick, the modern blockbuster was born along with a global fear of beach swimming.  

Hottest moment: Brody lobs chum into the water in the hopes of tempting the beast. He does. 

Gem Seddon
Gem is GR+'s west coast entertainment news reporter. She’s a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator.