Best films to stream in summer 2024: movies streaming now in Australia

Beat the summer heat (and boredom) with a film you can stream at home – from kid-friendly flicks to hilarious romcoms.

Your guide to the best summer films available on streaming right now, from kid-friendly favourites and swoon-worthy romcoms, to spine-tingling thrillers and thoughtful indie flicks.

Read: Free films: where to stream movies and TV shows without paying

A kid-friendly summer

My Neighbour Totoro

Satsuke and her younger sister, Mei, settle into an old country house with their father and wait for their mother to recover from an illness. As the sisters explore their new home, they encounter and befriend playful spirits in the nearby forest, most notably the massive creature known as Totoro.

Stream it on: Netflix.


Luca, a sea monster, befriends Alberto, another one of his kind who takes him on a land adventure. He experiences an exciting summer while keeping his parents in the dark.

Stream it on: Disney+.

Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday

When the hapless Monsieur Hulot decides to vacation at a seaside resort, rest and relaxation don’t last long. While simply out to enjoy himself, the well-meaning Hulot inevitably stumbles into numerous misadventures, including a disastrous attempt at playing tennis.

Stream it on: Beamafilm.

Whale Rider

Paikea, a young Maori girl, struggles to fulfil her destiny and prove to her grandfather that she is in fact the next leader of her tribe.

Stream it on: SBS on Demand.

For older kids


Barbie and Ken are having the time of their lives in the colorful and seemingly perfect world of Barbie Land. However, when they get a chance to go to the real world, they soon discover the joys and perils of living among humans.

Stream it on: Apple TV+.

Read: Barbie review – this Barbie will bust the block

Stand By Me

After learning that a stranger has been accidentally killed near their rural homes, four Oregon boys decide to see the body. On the way, Gordie Lachance, Vern Tessio, Chris Chambers and Teddy Duchamp learn more about one another and their very different home lives.

Streaming on: Binge.

A romantic summer

Moonrise Kingdom

The year is 1965, and the residents of New Penzance inhabit a community that seems untouched by the rest of the world. Twelve-year-olds Sam and Suzy have fallen in love and decide to run away. But a violent storm is approaching the island.

Stream it on: Paramount+.

Call Me By Your Name

Precocious 17-year-old Elio Perlman is spending the days with his family at their 17th-century villa in Italy. He soon meets Oliver, a doctoral student working as an intern for Elio’s father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of the villa, Elio and Oliver discover the beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.

Stream it on: Binge/Stan.

Under the Tuscan Sun

Frances Mayes, a 35-year-old San Francisco writer, gets a divorce that leaves her with terminal writer’s block and depression. Later, she decides to buy a house in Tuscany in order to change her life.

Stream it on: Disney+.

Roman Holiday

Stuck with boredom in her luxurious confinement, a princess escapes from her guardians and falls in love with an American news reporter in Rome.

Stream it on: Paramount+.

Mamma Mia!

Donna, an independent hotelier in the Greek islands, is preparing for her daughter’s wedding with the help of two old friends. Meanwhile Sophie, the spirited bride, has a plan. She secretly invites three men from her mother’s past in hope of meeting her real father and having him escort her down the aisle on the big day.

Stream it on: Prime.

Before Sunrise

While travelling on a train in Europe, Jesse, an American man, meets Celine, a French woman. On his last day in Europe before returning to the US, he decides to spend his remaining hours with her.

Stream it on: Binge/Netflix.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Lara Jean writes secret, soul-baring letters to her five crushes, but never meant to send them. Now they are out and wreaking havoc on her life.

Stream it on: Netflix.


In order to pay for a course, James takes up a job at an amusement Park. He meets Emily, a co-worker, and falls in love with her. But due to some circumstances and misunderstandings, they face issues.

Stream it on: Stan.

A bone-chilling summer


A couple travel to Sweden to visit their friend’s rural hometown for its fabled midsummer festival, but what begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.

Stream it on: Netflix.

The Royal Hotel

Americans Hanna and Liv are backpacking in Australia and take a temporary live-in job in a remote Outback mining town. Soon, they find themselves trapped in an unnerving situation that grows rapidly out of their control.

Stream it on: Binge.

Read: The Royal Hotel Review: a dead-set Australian classic

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Appleyard College, a girls’ private school, plans a summer picnic to Hanging Rock in Victoria. However, things turn bad when a few students and a teacher go missing at the picnic.

Stream it on: Apple TV+.


When a woman is killed by a shark near Amity Island, police chief Martin Brody wants to close the beaches, but mayor Larry Vaugh overrules him. Ichthyologist Matt Hooper and grizzled ship captain Quint offer to help Brody capture the killer beast, and the trio engage in an epic battle of man vs. nature.

Stream it on: Prime.

An unconventional summer


Twenty years after their last holiday at a fading vacation resort, Sophie reflects on the rare time spent with her loving and idealistic father Calum. Sophie’s recollections become a powerful and heartrending portrait of their relationship, as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t.

Stream it on: Binge.

Read: Aftersun review: memories linger as all else fades

Eternal Summer

Inseparable childhood friends Shou-heng and Cheng-shing, who grew up in a seaside town together, have their world thrown into chaos when a new girl arrives and falls for the former.

Stream it on: Netflix.

Do The Right Thing

Sal Fragione is the Italian owner of a pizzeria in Brooklyn. A neighborhood local, Buggin’ Out, becomes upset when he sees that the pizzeria’s ‘Wall of Fame’ exhibits only Italian actors. Buggin’ Out believes a pizzeria in a black neighborhood should showcase black actors. The wall becomes a symbol of racism to Buggin’ Out and others in the neighborhood, and tensions rise.

Stream it on: Apple TV+.

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Tom Ripley travels to Venice to convince Dickie Greenleaf, a wealthy heir, to return to the US. However, he gets obsessed with Dickie’s lavish lifestyle and resorts to extreme measures to impersonate him.

Stream it on: Binge.

Bosch & Rockit

A young father goes on the run for dealing drugs with his surfing gang, towing along his son who believes he’s on a magical holiday.

Stream it on: Netflix.

Paris, Texas

A man wanders out of the desert not knowing who he is until one day his brother finds him and cures him of his sickness. As his memory returns, he makes contact with various ghosts from his past, including his wife.

Stream it on: Apple TV+.

The Scent of Green Papaya

Mui, an orphan child, starts working as a maid at a very young age. Years later, she is employed under a young pianist and his fiancee. He soon finds himself growing fond of Mui, more than he should.

Stream it on: SBS on Demand.

Mystery Train

The lives of a few individuals collide when they all check into a sleazy Memphis hotel, including a couple, a gang of robbers, a night clerk and the spirit of Elvis.

Stream it on: Fetch/Mubi.

A laugh-out-loud summer

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Two drag queens and a transgender woman travel across the Australian desert in a tour bus to take their cabaret show to a remote town. Along the way, they encounter various interesting characters.

Stream it on: Prime.

Barb & Star go to Vista Del Mar

Lifelong friends Barb and Star embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they decide to leave their small Midwestern town for the first time ever.

Stream it on: Apple TV+.

Palm Springs

Stuck in a time loop, two wedding guests develop a budding romance while living the same day over and over again.

Stream it on: Prime.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports