The 14 best beach movies you can stream right now



Slide 1 of 15: When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.Though many beaches have opened for the season, those with COVID-related concerns are looking for summer entertainment from the safety of their homes, including films available for streaming.We compiled a list of award-winning and cult-favorite movies from a diverse range of directors and actors to replicate the experience of visiting the beach and inspire new bucket list travel destinations.Picks include coming-of-age dramas, queer love stories, and family-friendly animated films set on beaches and coasts around the world, all available for streaming across Amazon, Disney Plus, Hulu, and more.For more streaming recommendations, check out our guide to the best streaming services you can sign up for online.With strict travel guidelines and the continued need for social distancing, planning a relaxing vacation is a daunting task. Now, more than ever, there are considerable risks to enjoying normal summer activities, like dining out, traveling, and even going to the beach. If your summer getaway has been cancelled and you've been longing to feel the cool ocean breeze again, consider simulating the experience through film.Our picks for the best international beach movies will allow you to marvel at some of the most alluring shorelines in the world from the comfort and safety of your home. Buckle up for a road trip to a secluded Mexican beach with a young Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal in "Y Tu Mamá También," or sing along to an ABBA tune in Greece with the cast of "Mamma Mia!" These beloved and award-winning features are sure to impress with coastal sites you'll soon add to your own travel bucket list.Aesthetics aside, some of the beaches and coastal settings in our top picks also help represent central themes, reflect emotional states, and even personify their own characters. With a mix of comedy and drama, including important work from queer and BIPOC storytellers, these lively narratives deliver strong performances while transporting us to different corners of the globe. Whatever your preference, we recommend you make a refreshing drink to enjoy as you watch and let your mind drift to one of these on-screen oases.Note: Mild spoilers ahead.For more armchair travel, check out these additional articles:The best travel movies to stream right nowThe best travel TV shows to stream right now18 travel books to take a global voyage without ever leaving home, including coffee table books, fiction and nonfiction reads, cookbooks, and coloring books18 hotels and Airbnbs around the world are currently offering virtual classes in lieu of their usual on-site activities and events — almost all of them are freeElevate your next Zoom video call by transporting yourself, and colleagues, to these 11 stunning hotels and destinations around the world for freeHere are the best international beach movies to stream right now:Read the original article on Business Insider
Slide 2 of 15: A staple in queer cinema, "Call Me by Your Name" follows the secretive but passionate affair between 17-year-old Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) and an American grad student named Oliver (Armie Hammer) who is studying and living with Elio's parents during the summer of 1983. Their ethereal romance plays out in Crema, a small Northern Italian city where the Perlmans reside, stimulated by picturesque foliage and historic architecture. The beautiful Italian landscapes showcased throughout the film include the crystal blue waters in Sirmione, Italy on Jamaica Beach, where an intimate dialogue between Chalamet and Hammer takes place.A quintessential summer romance film, this coming-of-age story explores sexuality, love, and discovery with the surrounding Italian scenery serving as the perfect backdrop to capture the intense emotional currents Elio experiences both alone and when he is with Oliver. "Call Me by Your Name" received several international nominations and awards, including winning the 2017 Academy Award for best adapted screenplay, and the movie earned Chalamet his first-ever nomination for best actor.Stream "Call Me by Your Name" or sign up for Amazon Prime here
Slide 3 of 15: Working-class pianist Tom Ripley (played by Matt Damon) becomes embroiled in sex, lies, and murder as he travels to Italy in order to retrieve the playboy son (played by Jude Law) of a New York magnate. A majority of the film was shot in Italy, with the fictional Southern Italian town "Mongibello," where Damon first meets Law and Gwyneth Paltrow's character, actually identifiable as Ischia and Procida, sunny islands that are part of the Bay of Naples.Along with filming on Bagno Antonio beach, the coastal roads, open piazzas, and narrow cobblestone paths showcase Southern Italy's allure as Damon's character becomes captivated by the extravagantly lavish lifestyle he now finds himself living. As Damon jet-sets through the Italian islands throughout this psychological thriller, the audience is spoiled by displays of Italy's charm and glamour, demonstrating why its coast remains such a popular vacation destination to this day.Stream "The Talented Mr. Ripley" or sign up for Hulu here
Slide 4 of 15: "Moana" is an easy choice for a family-friendly movie that both children and adults can enjoy. In order to restore balance within her community, the titular heroine embarks on a life changing journey in search of a slighted demigod voiced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.Though Moana hails from the fictional Polynesian island Montunui, the animated tropical landscapes from the film were inspired by actual islands, like Tahiti, Samoa, Hawaii, and Fiji. These influences are apparent throughout the film's visuals including the tropical foliage, distinct rock formations, and crystal clear waters. Auli'i Cravalho, the Hawaiian native who voices Moana, has also noted that the creators of "Moana" spent five years researching in order to make the film as authentic as possible and aptly convey a deep cultural respect for the land and ocean on-screen.Stream "Moana" or sign up for Disney Plus here

Slide 5 of 15: In this drama, Leonardo DiCaprio plays an American backpacker drifting from place-to-place in search of paradise. After the backpacker befriends a French couple during his travels, the vagabond trio embark on a journey to Southern Asia in search of a hidden oasis that promises to fulfill all their desires. The beautiful Maya Bay on Southern Thailand's Koh Phi Phi Leh Island is the actual location of the movie's fabled utopia, where tropical foliage, clear ocean waters, and imposing rock formations make for an idyllic hideaway.While "The Beach" received unfavorable reviews from critics, the film serves as a powerful and important warning about the dangerous side effects of ecotourism. Maya Bay was closed by government officials in 2018 after the two decades of ecological havoc that ensued from both the movie's filming as well as tourists flocking to the destination to follow in young Leo's footsteps. As a result, Maya Bay's once pristine waters have now been closed to the public for more than two years in order for the ecosystem to peacefully restore itself. Until it reopens, "The Beach" serves as a proxy to enjoy the bay's beauty.Stream "The Beach" or sign up for Amazon Prime here
Slide 6 of 15: Laughter, love and the music of ABBA make "Mama Mia!" a great summer pick for movie night with friends. The film, set in fictitious Kalokairi, was actually shot in Skopelos, a Greek Island with lively beaches and cliff sides lined with charming homes.Glisteri Beach was close to where Hotel Villa Donna was located, and its sweeping bay and surrounding areas served as the ideal spot to shoot key scenes, like when Sophie is reading Donna's diary singing "Honey, Honey," and when Bill, Harry, Sam, and Sophie reminisce crooning "Our Last Summer" together. Kastani Beach on the southwest coast also provided ideal acoustics to film musical numbers like Sophie and Sky's duet of "Lay All Your Love On Me," and Tanya's rendition of "Does Your Mother Know."If you're in the mood for a double feature, follow up with the movie's sequel, "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again," which focuses on Donna's life as a young woman. The sequel was filmed predominantly on the equally impressive Croatian island of Vis.Stream "Mama Mia!" or sign up for Hulu here
Slide 7 of 15: Shot on the East Coast of New Zealand's North Island, "Whale Rider" explores a young Maori girl's desire to become the leader of her tribe while struggling with her community's long held patriarchal conventions. Both the film and the book are set in Whangarei, a small community historically populated by Maori, with the choice to film on-location culturally significant in maintaining the narrative's authenticity.The ocean and aquatic wildlife play important roles in the story and several key scenes showcase the Whangarei coast's distinct geographical features such as its whale-shaped island and crescent bay. At the time of release, "Whale Rider" won multiple international awards and the film's star, Keisha Castle-Hughes, even became the youngest best actress nominee in Oscar history at the 2003 Academy Awards.Stream "Whale Rider" or sign up for Amazon Prime here
Slide 8 of 15: This love story with commentary on sexual freedom and the tradition of marriage follows a newlywed couple played by Saorise Ronan and Billy Howle as they realize the deep seated implications their different socioeconomic backgrounds have on their union. Told in flashbacks of the pair's initial meeting as well as in the present where the young couple are spending their honeymoon, "On Chesil Beach" demonstrates that not all love stories are happy.As its title suggest, this film's beach scenes were filmed on Chesil Beach's pebbled coast in Dorset, England. While the beginning sequences show still shots of the area's vibrantly colored landscapes and windy atmosphere, Chesil Beach truly shines as the couple have their climactic argument in which they decide to part ways. While the pair dispute on the seemingly desolate beach, the camera also captures beautiful shots of the tides running up and down the rocky shore as well as a visible sunset peaking from behind the cloudy sky.Stream "On Chesil Beach" or sign up for Amazon Prime here
Slide 9 of 15: "Portrait of a Lady on Fire" is a historical French drama that follows the secret romance between Marianne, a French artist, and Héloïse, the young aristocrat whose portrait she is commissioned to paint. Hired by Héloïse's mother and assuming the guise of a walking companion, Marianne accompanies Héloïse on intimate beachside strolls that were filmed in Saint-Pierre Quiberon, Morbihan, a North Western French commune in Brittany."Portrait of a Lady on Fire" prominently features the region's rocky cliffs, crashing waves, and Pointe Du Percho's distinct natural archway, providing a serene setting for the budding love that ensues. Throughout the film, the beach serves as the young couple's escape from eighteenth century society's constraints, and director Céline Sciamma uses the ocean's sometimes calm, sometimes violent tides to reflect the characters' inner turmoil.Stream "Portrait of a Lady on Fire" or sign up for Hulu here

Slide 10 of 15: Cary Grant and Grace Kelly make a memorable duo in this 1950s thriller about a cat burglar (Grant) looking to clear his name of a crime he didn't commit. "To Catch a Thief" was filmed in Cannes, Nice, and the surrounding countryside along the French Riviera, with scenes featuring several historic landmarks in France's southern coast, such as the Hotel Carlton in Cannes and Boulevard Jean Jaurès in Nice.One of the film's most iconic scenes shows Grant and Kelly driving a powder blue convertible in Beausoleil on the Cote d'Azur. As Kelly' character zips through the winding roads, the camera captures a wide shot overlooking Monaco's coast and the Mediterranean ocean. La Croix des Gardes, where the couple stop to have a picnic, still has public trails where visitors can hike today, but watch the film to experience what the area looked like in the 1950s, or if you're in the mood to add some old-school glamour to your life.Stream "To Catch a Thief" or sign up for Amazon Prime here
Slide 11 of 15: Set in Western Australia during the 1970's, "Breath" follows two childhood best friends who pick up an interest in surfing when they meet and form a connection with an older, retired professional surfer. As this mysterious local begins to encourage the boys to take risks, like surfing in shark-infested waters, the teenagers begin experiencing new emotions and ultimately find themselves at a loss of innocence in this coming-of-age tale.The film was shot in Denmark, a popular area for surfing along the coast of Western Australia, and the movie's opening sequence and several surf scenes throughout prominently feature Crusoe beach. The visibly gentle waters, open skies, and scenic mountain peaks captured on-screen help demonstrate precisely why Denmark would be any surfer's paradise.Stream "Breath" on Amazon Prime or Netflix
Slide 12 of 15: If your Hawaiian getaway was cancelled, this Disney classic might serve as an upbeat substitute for the real thing. When precocious Lilo accidentally adopts an alien fugitive disguised as a dog, the two misfits develop a heartwarming friendship neither knew they were searching for.The movie's charming depictions of beachside living, which include surfing, shaved ice, and an Elvis-heavy soundtrack, make the film quintessentially Hawaiian. This animated children's film also celebrates Hawaiian culture by incorporating historic Island traditions into the narrative, like hula as well as the deep-rooted importance of family. While not a popular tourist destination, the relaxed town of Hanapepe on Kauai is said to be the inspiration for "Lilo and Stitch," though the community's only nod to the movie seems to be a mural on the side of a local cinema, the Aloha Theatre.Stream "Lilo and Stitch" or sign up for Disney Plus here
Slide 13 of 15: Alfonso Cuarón's "Y Tu Mama Tambien" follows Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael García Bernal), a pair of best friends who embark on a summer road trip with Luisa, the sick wife of Tenoch's cousin whom they meet at a wedding. After boasting to Luisa about knowledge of a beautiful unknown beach, the duo are shocked when she takes up the boys' invitation to accompany them to the fictional paradise, "Heaven's Mouth."Though the group does make it to the shore, the movie's stunning beach scene where the trio frolic in the ocean was filmed at Playa Cacaluta in Huatulco, Oaxaca. Though Cacaluta is noted as not the easiest beach to access, many say the secluded bay's white sands and clear waters are well-worth the trek. "Y Tu Mamá También" was praised for its powerful depictions of love and intimacy as well as interesting narrative structure, plus the film actually had a hand in changing Mexican censorship laws when it was released in 2001. Stream "Y Tu Mama Tambien" on Amazon Prime or Netflix
Slide 14 of 15: In the fifth installment of the "Fast & Furious" franchise, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) returns with his team of highly skilled auto thieves to pull off a job that will financially set all of them for life. Set in Rio de Janeiro, though filmed in both Brazil and Puerto Rico, the movie is able to incorporate stunning aerial footage of the city that includes iconic sites, like Sugarloaf Mountain, the Copacabana Fortress, Ipanema Beach, and the Christ the Redeemer statue.In addition to capturing some of Rio's impressive landmarks, one of the film's key scenes finds Gal Gadot and Sung Kang's characters staking out a luxurious Brazilian beach club while swaying palms and sparkling waters are visible in the distance. Along with its visually impressive components, the film's action-packed race sequences and fast-paced fight scenes make "Fast Five" the perfect escape from a drab day indoors.Stream "Fast Five" or sign up for Hulu here

Slide 15 of 15: Based on the bestselling novel, "Crazy Rich Asians" follows the protagonist, Rachel Chu, as she travels to Asia to meet her boyfriend Nick's family for the first time who, unbeknownst to her, is extremely wealthy. While the history-making movie captures Singapore's impressive grandeur and advanced modern architecture, the scenes where Colin and Araminta's bachelor and bachelorette parties take place also showcase Malaysia's stunning beaches.Though the couple's parties supposedly take place on different beaches in the film, Langkawi, which is made up of over 100 islands on Malaysia's west coast, serves as the location for both pre-wedding celebrations. Araminta's festivities were filmed at the Four Seasons Langkawi along the Andaman Sea, while the remote spot where Nick tells Colin he plans to propose was actually built and shot on a separate part of Langkawi. According to director Jon M. Chu, the cast and crew felt spoiled while filming with the island's coastal mangrove trees, boat rides, and sunsets.Stream "Crazy Rich Asians" or sign up for Amazon Prime here

The 14 best beach movies you can stream right now

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

With strict travel guidelines and the continued need for social distancing, planning a relaxing vacation is a daunting task. Now, more than ever, there are considerable risks to enjoying normal summer activities, like dining out, traveling, and even going to the beach. If your summer getaway has been cancelled and you’ve been longing to feel the cool ocean breeze again, consider simulating the experience through film.

Our picks for the best international beach movies will allow you to marvel at some of the most alluring shorelines in the world from the comfort and safety of your home. Buckle up for a road trip to a secluded Mexican beach with a young Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal in “Y Tu Mamá También,” or sing along to an ABBA tune in Greece with the cast of “Mamma Mia!” These beloved and award-winning features are sure to impress with coastal sites you’ll soon add to your own travel bucket list.

Aesthetics aside, some of the beaches and coastal settings in our top picks also help represent central themes, reflect emotional states, and even personify their own characters. With a mix of comedy and drama, including important work from queer and BIPOC storytellers, these lively narratives deliver strong performances while transporting us to different corners of the globe. Whatever your preference, we recommend you make a refreshing drink to enjoy as you watch and let your mind drift to one of these on-screen oases.

Note: Mild spoilers ahead.

For more armchair travel, check out these additional articles:

Here are the best international beach movies to stream right now:

“Call Me by Your Name”

A staple in queer cinema, “Call Me by Your Name” follows the secretive but passionate affair between 17-year-old Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) and an American grad student named Oliver (Armie Hammer) who is studying and living with Elio’s parents during the summer of 1983. Their ethereal romance plays out in Crema, a small Northern Italian city where the Perlmans reside, stimulated by picturesque foliage and historic architecture. The beautiful Italian landscapes showcased throughout the film include the crystal blue waters in Sirmione, Italy on Jamaica Beach, where an intimate dialogue between Chalamet and Hammer takes place.

A quintessential summer romance film, this coming-of-age story explores sexuality, love, and discovery with the surrounding Italian scenery serving as the perfect backdrop to capture the intense emotional currents Elio experiences both alone and when he is with Oliver. “Call Me by Your Name” received several international nominations and awards, including winning the 2017 Academy Award for best adapted screenplay, and the movie earned Chalamet his first-ever nomination for best actor.

Stream “Call Me by Your Name” or sign up for Amazon Prime here

“The Talented Mr. Ripley”

Working-class pianist Tom Ripley (played by Matt Damon) becomes embroiled in sex, lies, and murder as he travels to Italy in order to retrieve the playboy son (played by Jude Law) of a New York magnate. A majority of the film was shot in Italy, with the fictional Southern Italian town “Mongibello,” where Damon first meets Law and Gwyneth Paltrow’s character, actually identifiable as Ischia and Procida, sunny islands that are part of the Bay of Naples.

Along with filming on Bagno Antonio beach, the coastal roads, open piazzas, and narrow cobblestone paths showcase Southern Italy’s allure as Damon’s character becomes captivated by the extravagantly lavish lifestyle he now finds himself living. As Damon jet-sets through the Italian islands throughout this psychological thriller, the audience is spoiled by displays of Italy’s charm and glamour, demonstrating why its coast remains such a popular vacation destination to this day.

Stream “The Talented Mr. Ripley” or sign up for Hulu here

“Moana”

“Moana” is an easy choice for a family-friendly movie that both children and adults can enjoy. In order to restore balance within her community, the titular heroine embarks on a life changing journey in search of a slighted demigod voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Though Moana hails from the fictional Polynesian island Montunui, the animated tropical landscapes from the film were inspired by actual islands, like Tahiti, Samoa, Hawaii, and Fiji. These influences are apparent throughout the film’s visuals including the tropical foliage, distinct rock formations, and crystal clear waters. Auli’i Cravalho, the Hawaiian native who voices Moana, has also noted that the creators of “Moana” spent five years researching in order to make the film as authentic as possible and aptly convey a deep cultural respect for the land and ocean on-screen.

Stream “Moana” or sign up for Disney Plus here

“The Beach”

In this drama, Leonardo DiCaprio plays an American backpacker drifting from place-to-place in search of paradise. After the backpacker befriends a French couple during his travels, the vagabond trio embark on a journey to Southern Asia in search of a hidden oasis that promises to fulfill all their desires. The beautiful Maya Bay on Southern Thailand’s Koh Phi Phi Leh Island is the actual location of the movie’s fabled utopia, where tropical foliage, clear ocean waters, and imposing rock formations make for an idyllic hideaway.

While “The Beach” received unfavorable reviews from critics, the film serves as a powerful and important warning about the dangerous side effects of ecotourism. Maya Bay was closed by government officials in 2018 after the two decades of ecological havoc that ensued from both the movie’s filming as well as tourists flocking to the destination to follow in young Leo’s footsteps. As a result, Maya Bay’s once pristine waters have now been closed to the public for more than two years in order for the ecosystem to peacefully restore itself. Until it reopens, “The Beach” serves as a proxy to enjoy the bay’s beauty.

Stream “The Beach” or sign up for Amazon Prime here

“Mama Mia!”

Laughter, love and the music of ABBA make “Mama Mia!” a great summer pick for movie night with friends. The film, set in fictitious Kalokairi, was actually shot in Skopelos, a Greek Island with lively beaches and cliff sides lined with charming homes.

Glisteri Beach was close to where Hotel Villa Donna was located, and its sweeping bay and surrounding areas served as the ideal spot to shoot key scenes, like when Sophie is reading Donna’s diary singing “Honey, Honey,” and when Bill, Harry, Sam, and Sophie reminisce crooning “Our Last Summer” together. Kastani Beach on the southwest coast also provided ideal acoustics to film musical numbers like Sophie and Sky’s duet of “Lay All Your Love On Me,” and Tanya’s rendition of “Does Your Mother Know.”

If you’re in the mood for a double feature, follow up with the movie’s sequel, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” which focuses on Donna’s life as a young woman. The sequel was filmed predominantly on the equally impressive Croatian island of Vis.

Stream “Mama Mia!” or sign up for Hulu here

“Whale Rider”

Shot on the East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island, “Whale Rider” explores a young Maori girl’s desire to become the leader of her tribe while struggling with her community’s long held patriarchal conventions. Both the film and the book are set in Whangarei, a small community historically populated by Maori, with the choice to film on-location culturally significant in maintaining the narrative’s authenticity.

The ocean and aquatic wildlife play important roles in the story and several key scenes showcase the Whangarei coast’s distinct geographical features such as its whale-shaped island and crescent bay. At the time of release, “Whale Rider” won multiple international awards and the film’s star, Keisha Castle-Hughes, even became the youngest best actress nominee in Oscar history at the 2003 Academy Awards.

Stream “Whale Rider” or sign up for Amazon Prime here

“On Chesil Beach”

This love story with commentary on sexual freedom and the tradition of marriage follows a newlywed couple played by Saorise Ronan and Billy Howle as they realize the deep seated implications their different socioeconomic backgrounds have on their union. Told in flashbacks of the pair’s initial meeting as well as in the present where the young couple are spending their honeymoon, “On Chesil Beach” demonstrates that not all love stories are happy.

As its title suggest, this film’s beach scenes were filmed on Chesil Beach’s pebbled coast in Dorset, England. While the beginning sequences show still shots of the area’s vibrantly colored landscapes and windy atmosphere, Chesil Beach truly shines as the couple have their climactic argument in which they decide to part ways. While the pair dispute on the seemingly desolate beach, the camera also captures beautiful shots of the tides running up and down the rocky shore as well as a visible sunset peaking from behind the cloudy sky.

Stream “On Chesil Beach” or sign up for Amazon Prime here

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” is a historical French drama that follows the secret romance between Marianne, a French artist, and Héloïse, the young aristocrat whose portrait she is commissioned to paint. Hired by Héloïse’s mother and assuming the guise of a walking companion, Marianne accompanies Héloïse on intimate beachside strolls that were filmed in Saint-Pierre Quiberon, Morbihan, a North Western French commune in Brittany.

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” prominently features the region’s rocky cliffs, crashing waves, and Pointe Du Percho’s distinct natural archway, providing a serene setting for the budding love that ensues. Throughout the film, the beach serves as the young couple’s escape from eighteenth century society’s constraints, and director Céline Sciamma uses the ocean’s sometimes calm, sometimes violent tides to reflect the characters’ inner turmoil.

Stream “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” or sign up for Hulu here

“To Catch a Thief”

Cary Grant and Grace Kelly make a memorable duo in this 1950s thriller about a cat burglar (Grant) looking to clear his name of a crime he didn’t commit. “To Catch a Thief” was filmed in Cannes, Nice, and the surrounding countryside along the French Riviera, with scenes featuring several historic landmarks in France’s southern coast, such as the Hotel Carlton in Cannes and Boulevard Jean Jaurès in Nice.

One of the film’s most iconic scenes shows Grant and Kelly driving a powder blue convertible in Beausoleil on the Cote d’Azur. As Kelly’ character zips through the winding roads, the camera captures a wide shot overlooking Monaco’s coast and the Mediterranean ocean. La Croix des Gardes, where the couple stop to have a picnic, still has public trails where visitors can hike today, but watch the film to experience what the area looked like in the 1950s, or if you’re in the mood to add some old-school glamour to your life.

Stream “To Catch a Thief” or sign up for Amazon Prime here

“Breath”

Set in Western Australia during the 1970’s, “Breath” follows two childhood best friends who pick up an interest in surfing when they meet and form a connection with an older, retired professional surfer. As this mysterious local begins to encourage the boys to take risks, like surfing in shark-infested waters, the teenagers begin experiencing new emotions and ultimately find themselves at a loss of innocence in this coming-of-age tale.

The film was shot in Denmark, a popular area for surfing along the coast of Western Australia, and the movie’s opening sequence and several surf scenes throughout prominently feature Crusoe beach. The visibly gentle waters, open skies, and scenic mountain peaks captured on-screen help demonstrate precisely why Denmark would be any surfer’s paradise.

Stream “Breath” on Amazon Prime or Netflix

“Lilo and Stitch”

If your Hawaiian getaway was cancelled, this Disney classic might serve as an upbeat substitute for the real thing. When precocious Lilo accidentally adopts an alien fugitive disguised as a dog, the two misfits develop a heartwarming friendship neither knew they were searching for.

The movie’s charming depictions of beachside living, which include surfing, shaved ice, and an Elvis-heavy soundtrack, make the film quintessentially Hawaiian. This animated children’s film also celebrates Hawaiian culture by incorporating historic Island traditions into the narrative, like hula as well as the deep-rooted importance of family. While not a popular tourist destination, the relaxed town of Hanapepe on Kauai is said to be the inspiration for “Lilo and Stitch,” though the community’s only nod to the movie seems to be a mural on the side of a local cinema, the Aloha Theatre.

Stream “Lilo and Stitch” or sign up for Disney Plus here

“Y Tu Mamá También”

Alfonso Cuarón’s “Y Tu Mama Tambien” follows Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael García Bernal), a pair of best friends who embark on a summer road trip with Luisa, the sick wife of Tenoch’s cousin whom they meet at a wedding. After boasting to Luisa about knowledge of a beautiful unknown beach, the duo are shocked when she takes up the boys’ invitation to accompany them to the fictional paradise, “Heaven’s Mouth.”

Though the group does make it to the shore, the movie’s stunning beach scene where the trio frolic in the ocean was filmed at Playa Cacaluta in Huatulco, Oaxaca. Though Cacaluta is noted as not the easiest beach to access, many say the secluded bay’s white sands and clear waters are well-worth the trek. “Y Tu Mamá También” was praised for its powerful depictions of love and intimacy as well as interesting narrative structure, plus the film actually had a hand in changing Mexican censorship laws when it was released in 2001. 

Stream “Y Tu Mama Tambien” on Amazon Prime or Netflix

“Fast Five”

In the fifth installment of the “Fast & Furious” franchise, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) returns with his team of highly skilled auto thieves to pull off a job that will financially set all of them for life. Set in Rio de Janeiro, though filmed in both Brazil and Puerto Rico, the movie is able to incorporate stunning aerial footage of the city that includes iconic sites, like Sugarloaf Mountain, the Copacabana Fortress, Ipanema Beach, and the Christ the Redeemer statue.

In addition to capturing some of Rio’s impressive landmarks, one of the film’s key scenes finds Gal Gadot and Sung Kang’s characters staking out a luxurious Brazilian beach club while swaying palms and sparkling waters are visible in the distance. Along with its visually impressive components, the film’s action-packed race sequences and fast-paced fight scenes make “Fast Five” the perfect escape from a drab day indoors.

Stream “Fast Five” or sign up for Hulu here

“Crazy Rich Asians”

Based on the bestselling novel, “Crazy Rich Asians” follows the protagonist, Rachel Chu, as she travels to Asia to meet her boyfriend Nick’s family for the first time who, unbeknownst to her, is extremely wealthy. While the history-making movie captures Singapore’s impressive grandeur and advanced modern architecture, the scenes where Colin and Araminta’s bachelor and bachelorette parties take place also showcase Malaysia’s stunning beaches.

Though the couple’s parties supposedly take place on different beaches in the film, Langkawi, which is made up of over 100 islands on Malaysia’s west coast, serves as the location for both pre-wedding celebrations. Araminta’s festivities were filmed at the Four Seasons Langkawi along the Andaman Sea, while the remote spot where Nick tells Colin he plans to propose was actually built and shot on a separate part of Langkawi. According to director Jon M. Chu, the cast and crew felt spoiled while filming with the island’s coastal mangrove trees, boat rides, and sunsets.

Stream “Crazy Rich Asians” or sign up for Amazon Prime here

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