July Movies: Camp Outs

Sweet, silly summer—not exactly the time Oscar-contending movies are released, right?

Kick back and relax with a flick that’s all about the season of camp.



Meatballs (PG, 1979)
Bill Murray, Harvey Atkin

With a nod to Wilmette’s native son, “Meatballs” is one of the funniest movies in the summer-camp-coming-of-age genre. “Are you ready for the summer?” Yes!


Moonrise Kingdom (PG-13, 2012)
Bruce Willis, Bill Murray

In this sleeper hit released last summer, a decidedly more adult Murray plays Dad to a discontented runaway Scout. This isn’t summer camp hijinks, but it does bring to mind those innocent summer days we spent as kids…sitting in our underwear.


The Great Outdoors (PG, 1988)
John Candy, Dan Ackroyd

Camp comedies aren’t always high art, and this family-oriented flick doesn’t pretend to be. But it has its moments; and Candy was always game for the gag, including trying to chow down a 96-ounce steak.


Indian Summer (PG-13, 1993)
Diane Lane, Bill Paxton

This one’s for the nostalgic set. When adults go back to summer camp to try to figure their lives out, you just know someone is going to break down and buy the property. Get ready for some soapy fun.


SpaceCamp (PG, 1986)
Kate Capshaw, Kelly Preston, Tate Donovan

Cheese alert! But fun cheese. It’s chock full of familiar faces, with Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston, Kate Capshaw and Tate Donovan leading the way. My favorite? A very young Joaquin Phoenix. I bet he doesn’t even remember making this movie—or he won’t admit to it!