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If you must stay inside, celebrate the best movies of summer

Yes, all the best movie action of the summer is happening at the multiplex. But on stifling hot days, who has the energy to put on pants? There are plenty of wonderful summer movies you can watch from the comfort of your couch, with virtually zero concern for sunburn and related cancers. If there are any of these you haven't seen, it's time to hit up Netflix.

BEST SUMMER MOVIE TO RETHINK BLOWING $400 ON SUMMER CAMP

Friday the 13th

Summer camp ain't all panty raids, warm beer, and burnt marshmallows. Sometimes it's a big-ass knife plunged straight through the center of your skull. What Halloween did for candy-centric holidays, Friday the 13th does for bummer summers.

BEST SUMMER MOVIE FOR BONDING WITH DAD

Field of Dreams

Is it a baseball movie with daddy issues? Or is it a family drama with ghosts of our national pastime? Either way, the Kevin Costner diamond classic is one of the few movies scientifically proven to make grown men weep.

BEST SUMMER MOVIE TO START AN INNER-CITY RIOT

Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee's 1989 firebomb, set during the hottest day of the year, explodes in a violent mess of racial unrest. Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" stalks almost every scene, ready to pounce and unleash hell.

BEST SUMMER MOVIE TO BRING BACK HAZY MEMORIES

Dazed and Confused

A group of kids get high, drunk, and laid on the last day of school in 1976. But mostly they hang out and try to hold on to one last summer, which few will remember once they're sober.

BEST SUMMER MOVIE TO MAKE YOU WISH YOU WERE 12 AGAIN

Stand by Me

Life was a lot easier before jobs, girls, and other grown-up hassles took over. Four boys head out one summer day in search of a dead kid, forging friendships and evading a big-league asshole played by Kiefer Sutherland.

BEST SUMMER MOVIE TO MAKE YOU LONG FOR AM RADIO

American Graffiti

Before he made Star Wars, George Lucas wrote and directed this summer-before-college hit starring Ron Howard, who went on to Happy Days, which was inspired by Graffiti. The soundtrack is filled with late-'50s and early-'60s classics, all ushered in by the raspy-voiced Wolfman Jack.

BEST SUMMER MOVIE TO GET YOUR PANTY RAID STARTED RIGHT

Meatballs

Before Stripes and Ghostbusters, Bill Murray and director Ivan Reitman teamed up for this comedy about a summer camp — complete with hot-dog-eating contests, practical jokes, and panty raids — you wish your parents had sent you to when you were a kid.

BEST SUMMER MOVIE FOR SEEING STARS BEFORE THEY WERE FAMOUS

Wet Hot American Summer

Forget the names (Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce) above the title. The real stars of this 2001 summer-camp sleeper — directed and co-written by Shaker Heights native David Wain — were just getting started: Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, and Elizabeth Banks.

BEST SUMMER MOVIE TO KEEP YOU SAFELY ON THE BEACH

Jaws

Nothing like an oversized man-eating shark to ruin your day at the beach. Steven Spielberg's classic, which launched the whole summer-movie phenomenon back in 1975, still makes us think twice about going for a swim every time we put on our Speedos.

BEST SUMMER MOVIE TO INSPIRE A ROAD TRIP

National Lampoon's Vacation

Does anyone really care if the Griswolds ever get to Walley World? Their cross-country drive is all about catching up with hillbilly relatives, flirting with Christie Brinkley, and strapping a dead aunt to the top of a station wagon. Good times.

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More by Michael Gallucci

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