Movies I Watched This Summer

Nellie Shih, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Movies I Watched This Summer

Nellie Shih ‘19


The movies each have a ranking of 1-5 stars.


Solo: A Star Wars Story

Synopsis: The story of how Han Solo became Han Solo.

Review: This movie is far from the best Star Wars movie, but it’s still a fun one. I thought that Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover each deliver solid performances as Han and Lando respectively, and that Enfys Nest was a great character.



Avengers: Infinity War

Synopsis: The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy must team up against the greatest threat in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet: Thanos.

Review: I thought this movie was going to be absolute garbage, but I was pleasantly surprised. When Marvel wasn’t rushing to compete with DC’s Batman vs. Superman (see Captain America: Civil War), they were able to work with a large ensemble of characters as well as to create a well-written villain.



The Lego Batman Movie

Synopsis: Batman must once again stop the Joker, but with help from where he least expects it.

Review: Who says DC can’t make a good superhero movie?



Ocean’s 8

Synopsis: Danny Ocean’s estranged sister puts together a team of women to rob the Met Gala.

Review: Although the comedic timing left something to be desired, the main eight actresses did a great job individually and together to create an enjoyable and fun film.



Incredibles 2

Synopsis: Picking up where the first movie left off, Incredibles 2 shift the spotlight to Elastigirl, leaving Mr. Incredible at home with the kids.

Review: This movie is both fun and funny, keeps the spirit of the first movie while adding new elements, and is one of Disney/Pixar’s strongest sequels. If you haven’t seen it yet, what could you possibly be doing that’s more important than watching it?



Synopsis: Having been raised in a family that has banned all music, Miguel travels to the Land of the Dead to discover his true family history.

Review: Coco is creative, unique, beautifully animated, heartwarming, and available on Netflix.



Moonrise Kingdom

Synopsis: With a storm quickly approaching, a group of quirky adults set off to find two twelve-year-olds who have fallen in love and run away together.

Review: This film is very much a love letter to the spirit, independence, heart, and imagination of children. It follows two kids as they learn to navigate and find their place in a world that tells them who they are and what role they occupy in it.



Black Panther

Synopsis: The new king of the hidden country of Wakanda must deal with a new threat with ties to the country and what that means for him and his nation going forward.

Review: It only took Marvel ten years to prove they can create a memorable villain and more than one well-written female character.



Spider-Man: Homecoming

Synopsis: After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker returns home where he juggles school, being Spider-Man, and proving to Tony Stark that he should be an Avenger.

Review: Why is the Staten Island Ferry scene so long? Why is the plane scene so long? Wasn’t it too easy for Peter to hack into Tony Stark’s multi-million-dollar Spider-Man suit? Why did Tony Stark have little to no security on his plane? How did nobody at school see him leap over that fence like that? Why did the Science Decathlon chaperone decide the team should leave without Peter when they couldn’t find him? Why have I watched this movie five times?



Thor: Ragnarok

Synopsis: Thor’s back, and with another villainous sibling to deal with!

Review: Marvel finally made a good Thor movie when they decided to stop taking him so seriously.



Iron Man

Synopsis: After being kidnapped by terrorists, Tony Stark sees the ramifications of weapons manufacturing and seeks to hold himself accountable in saving those in danger because of him.

Review: As someone who has watched the Iron Man trilogy every summer since the summer before eighth grade, I think I am the most credible source to tell you Iron Man singlehandedly revolutionized the superhero movie genre. The rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe would not exist without it, and it differs from the rest of the MCU because it’s still good after ten years and will continue to still be good.



Peter Rabbit

Synopsis: Rabbits vs. humans.

Review: My brother has been obsessed with watching James Corden’s Late Late Show and everything else James Corden recently, but I’ll admit I enjoyed this movie with James Corden as the titular rabbit.




Synopsis: A former soldier turned cellular biology professor joins a team of scientists to explore the mysterious Shimmer, out of which her husband is the only person to have emerged alive.

Review: I had no idea what was happening for most of the movie and I thought it was really weird, but the special effects are very well done. Overall, I enjoyed it and the discussion about the stages of grief that has come out of it.



Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Synopsis: The previously dormant volcano on Jurassic World is about to erupt any second. Should the dinosaurs be treated how any other endangered species is, or should they be left to die?

Review: This movie is aggressively average. There’s nothing groundbreaking about it. On a side note, Chris Pratt’s character is every character he’s ever played but with less jokes and more flexing.



Ant-Man and the Wasp

Synopsis: Taking place before the events of Infinity War, this film focuses on Paul Rudd on house arrest after the events of Civil War.

Review: This movie is light-hearted, fun, hilarious, and heartfelt. Surprisingly, the villain of this movie stood out to me the most. I found her story and motivations to be compelling. Although she isn’t the only Marvel villain to see herself as the good guy doing something right, I found her easier to sympathize with.



Mamma Mia!

Synopsis: A young bride-to-be invites all three of her possible fathers to her wedding, much to the horror of her mother.

Review: I’m not a fan of jukebox musicals because unrelated, existing songs have to somehow be worked together into a coherent story. But, if not taken too seriously, Mamma Mia! can be an exception.



Ingrid Goes West

Synopsis: Ingrid becomes obsessed with an Instagram celebrity named Taylor and moves to California to become her friend.

Review: Often described as a dark comedy or a psychological thriller, this movie is also a commentary on the obsession with social media as well as the artificiality of it. The movie may seem exaggerated at times, but it’s justified as it’s very much a parody and overall not bad.



Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Synopsis: Thomas must save his friends and find the answers to the questions that have been haunting him since he woke up in the maze (and they also have to save humanity???).

Review: Not to be that person but the book was better.




Synopsis: Adapted from Robert Graysmith’s novel of the same name, Zodiac follows the investigation of the Zodiac Killer, who was active in the 60s and 70s in the San Francisco Bay Area and taunted various newspapers with handwritten letters that he demanded be published. The film follows the careers of a cartoonist, two investigators, and a reporter as they become involved and even obsessed with the case.

Review: This was admittedly a very long movie. But, it was engaging, intense, well-directed, well-written, and well-acted – and it managed to avoid becoming overly dramatic and exaggerated.


Ex Machina

Synopsis: A coder working at the world’s largest internet company wins a competition to help the CEO of the company. There, he and the CEO perform the Turing Test – a determination of a machine’s ability to exhibit behavior equivalent to or indistinguishable from human behavior.

Review: The fact that this film is a directorial debut is astounding. Alex Garland expertly directs the main three actors, the storyline was engaging and well-executed, and the special effects team deserved its Oscar win in 2014.



Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Synopsis: Sophie prepares to reopen her mother’s hotel while reflecting on how her mother met her fathers in 1979.

Review: I hate this movie because I don’t understand how movie musicals work and I refuse to have fun.




Synopsis: In a dystopian LA, Theodore Twombly purchases a new operating system designed to be customized to every user’s needs. He begins to develop a romantic relationship with his OS, Samantha.

Review: I like the concept of the movie, but it felt like the director didn’t know how to end the movie.



The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Synopsis: In order to claim the crown of Genovia, Mia Thermopolis must first marry within the month.

Review: I love Chris Pine.



Iron Man 2

Synopsis: After revealing he is Iron Man, Tony Stark is reluctant to share his technology with the US Military, afraid of his tech falling into the wrong hands.




Iron Man 3

Synopsis: Ever since the attack on New York in The Avengers (2012), Tony Stark, ridden with anxiety, is more dependent on his suits than ever, but his dependency begins to take a toll on the people close to him. Meanwhile, a new threat is looming.

Review: I love this movie. We see Tony Stark vulnerable, without his suit, but we simultaneously see him prove over and over again that he’s more than a suit.



To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Synopsis: Lara Jean writes love letters. She’s never intended on sending them, but one day the letters get out.

Review: The small percentage of the world’s population that think The Kissing Booth is a better movie is entitled to its wrong opinion.