The summer is passing so quickly — and with so little worth remembering, movie-wise. Has there been even one A-level popcorn movie all summer? My top picks would probably be The Shallows and The BFG or Finding Dory (see 60-second reviews of all three below), but these are all B-level films.
When was the last summer without a single terrific summer movie? Let’s take a quick look back at the last ten years:
2013 — okay, that was a terrible summer too. Some people loved World War Z, Iron Man 3 or Pacific Rim, but I didn’t. My top picks were The Wolverine and either Planes or Monsters University, all B-level films.
2009: Up. Remember when Pixar could be counted on to release a great film every year?
2006: Hm. At first I thought that I could include Casino Royale, but no, it was released in November. The best I can do this year is Superman Returns, which I gave an A- and which I think was and is better than many people remember it. (This was also the year of Pixar’s Cars, their first not-great film since A Bug’s Life.)
So, at least one A-level summer film every year except 2013. This summer’s dearth isn’t unprecedented, then, but it’s still pretty bad.
Still, even when the movies aren’t great, I have fun reviewing them. Here’s the latest crop of 60-second reviews. (Are you watching “Reel Faith”?)
The Shallows (SDG)
“Blake Lively versus shark” is definitely one of the better pitches of this summer.
The BFG (DD)
I’m sorry to see family audiences flocking to The Secret Life of Pets and skipping this far better film from Steven Spielberg. (I may have liked it even better than David.)
Independence Day: Resurgence (SDG)
We had 20 years to prepare. I would have liked more time.
Free State of Jones (DD)
I didn’t see this, but David’s take seems pretty typical.
The Innocents (DD)
Here’s my full review of this powerful film.
Central Intelligence (SDG)
Dwayne Johnson is amazingly good in this.
Me Before You (DD)
This year’s euthanasia movie? Here’s David’s take.
Finding Dory (SDG)
Here’s my full review of this summer’s best Hollywood animated film.
This may be the first movie I’ve ever seen where I got more out of reading the Wikipedia entry afterwards.More 60-second reviews