The magic of cinema allows us to go on virtual trips to faraway cities, and even through time. When it comes to film, the summer season is often used to frame nostalgic and very human stories: ones of growing up, finding oneself, letting go, and intense, wistful romance. They unfold on-screen with vivid colors and stylish imagery, making you feel as though you’re actually there, living the experience yourself.

So this year, let the holiday come to you—we’ve rounded up six movies that capture the true essence of summer.

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)


Adapted from the Patricia Highsmith novel and with alluring and languid 1950s Italy as its backdrop, The Talented Mr. Ripley introduces title character Tom Ripley as an affable young man who is sent by a shipbuilder to bring his playboy son, Dickie, back home to New York. What begins as a carefree errand becomes a dangerous game of deception and manipulation when Tom’s ruthless ambition is revealed, along with the lengths to which he’ll go to adopt Dickie and Marge’s lifestyle.


The Kings of Summer (2013)

Reminiscent of Stand By Me and its strong foundation of friendship (not to mention ability to make us laugh as hard as it makes us cry), coming-of-age comedy-drama The Kings of Summer centers on three teenagers who decide to leave behind their less-than-ideal home lives and run away to live out a fantasy we all had as kids: building a house in the woods and living with total freedom and independence.


Lost in Translation (2003)


An aging movie star and a recently married young woman chance upon one another at a hotel bar in Tokyo. Grappling with their mutual loneliness and the nagging feeling of being out of their element, the two strangers find comfort and understanding in each other. The result is a brief but intimate bond that, no matter how unlikely, is something that will affect them for the rest of their lives.


The Tribes of Palos Verdes (2017)

When teenager Medina’s family moves to sunny, idyllic Palos Verdes, California, it was supposed to be a new beginning, a chance at a better life. But her father grows distant, her mother feels out of place, and her brother becomes a stranger. Bored and lonely, Medina begins to take up surfing—the waves offering stability and solace as her family threatens to fall completely apart.


Moonrise Kingdom (2012)


True to director Wes Anderson’s penchant for precocious, deadpan-snarker children and the quaint kitsch of offbeat locations, Moonrise Kingdom is a dreamy, feel-good throwback flick. In 1965, Suzy Bishop runs off with fellow 12-year-old Sam Shakusky, with whom she is madly in love. A storm happens to be fast approach their hometown, a small island just off New England, and in the ensuing chaos, the adults concerned must scramble to find them and get them to safety.


Sakaling Hindi Makarating (2016)

Smarting from a recent breakup, a woman becomes withdrawn and cynical as she figures out how to live on her own and what to do next. When a series of illustrated postcards signed with her ex-boyfriend’s initial begin arriving at her doorstep, she sets out on a solo journey across the Philippines in search of answers.


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