Bummer beach movies to watch instead of going out this weekend
Sad that nearly all public pools and waterfronts are closed this holiday weekend? Stay home instead to watch these worst-case beach scenarios, and be grateful you're on dry land.
The Shallows (2016)
A burnt-out medical student (Blake Lively) just wants to catch a solo surf break in Mexico; a hangry shark has other plans. Come for the rotting whale carcass, schools of stinging jellyfish, and mounting dread; stay for the free tutorials on improvised tourniquets.
One chomp to rule them all. The movie that essentially invented the summer blockbuster also succeeded at keeping millions off of America’s beaches — not just by parking them in multiplex seats to see Steven Spielberg’s epic take on cold-blooded vertebrates, but because literally no one ever wanted to go in the water again.
Weekend at Bernies (1989)
Sunburns, sand fleas, having to drag the corpse of your dead CEO across the Hamptons for an entire holiday weekend so nobody knows he’s been whacked by the mob. See? Sometimes it’s just easier to stay home.
Rough Night (2017)
What could possibly go wrong over a cocaine-and-tequila fueled bachelorette weekend in Miami? Besides the dead male strippers, crumbling friendships, and aggressive Jet Skis, obviously.
The Meg (2018)
Meet the Megalodon: just another toothy 170-ton “living fossil” who likes long swims on the shore, bisecting giant squids for sport, and slurping down humans like they’re the tapioca balls in her bubble tea. (Though she's no match, of course, for Jason Statham’s steely gaze.)
The Beach (2000)
Oh to be as free as young Leonardo DiCaprio, an American backpacker in search of the ultimate Lonely Planet high. It looks like he’s found his island paradise — led by Tilda Swinton, no less — in the white-sugar sands of Thailand, until the movie pivots from Blue Lagoon to something more like Midnight Express meets Lord of the Flies.
Related: Leonardo DiCaprio through the years
The Beach Bum (2019)
Ask not why Moondog (Matthew McConaughey) looks like a sunburnt apricot who stole Blanche Devereaux’s wardrobe, or exactly how a part-time Beat poet affords his South Beach mansion and a houseboat in the Florida Keys; ask whether he just gave you HPV.
It’s all fun, friendship, and under-the-boardwalk games until somebody (Barbara Hershey) gets terminally ill and somebody else (Bette Midler) has to turn her tragedy into a slow-death ballad about wind and wings.
On Chesil Beach (2017)
Ian McEwan’s acclaimed novella about a terrible misunderstanding between two newlyweds becomes a deeply depressing movie starring Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, and the bleakest, most British shorefront since Broadchurch’s opening scenes.
The Descendants (2011)
For countless tourists, Hawaii is a hibiscus dreamland of sand and surf and endless cocktails; for George Clooney’s cuckolded Honolulu attorney, it’s just the tropical-shirt backdrop for the utter shambles his midlife has become.
Spring Breakers (2012)
Girls (including Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Benson) just wanna have fun, so they rob a restaurant to bankroll a week of unhinged hedonism and James Franco’s gold teeth in St. Petersburg, Fla. Nearly every moment of Harmony Korine’s 2012 crime-spree jubilee — the beer pong, the group sex, the petri-dish pool parties — is like a slow-motion PSA in How to Get Covid.