The NYT opens by saying it "isn’t among the best known or most representative works of Ingmar Bergman, but it may be his most influential." Slant Magazine gives it 4 out of 5 stars and explores the plot. Senses of Cinema opens a positive review by calling the film "a standout early film in the massive oeuvre of Ingmar Bergman, surely the 20th century’s quintessential ‘art cinema’ filmmaker."
DVD Talk describes it:
An early feat of probing observation into human interrelationship and emotion in an oeuvre that would come to cast a very long shadow over the cinematic treatment of those matters, Bergman's Summer with Monika is an unsparing but not unpitying look at life as an arc from defiance to escape and freedom to inevitable submission in a world that grinds away the idyllic hopes of the young.Rotten Tomatoes has a critics rating of 100%.