As we heading into Oscar season, the summer movie season is officially coming to an end. 2018 has been, by far, one of the best summer-seasons there’s ever been, so it’s hard to choose just 5 films that you should check out, if you haven’t already.
5. Eighth Grade (Bo Burnham)
Release Date (Canada): July 20th
Runtime: 94 Minutes
What Is It About? Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school — the end of her thus far disastrous eighth-grade year. (a24)
Why Is It Worth Seeing? It’s hilarious. Bo Burnham is known for his stand up comedy, and so naturally, hit is a hilarious film. Burnham perfectly captures the experience of being in Eighth Grade, which hugely relies on the great performance given by Elsie Fisher. She’s great here, and really deserves some award recognition. It’s uncomfortable, awkward and random; three words that perfectly describe any middle schooler’s life.
4. Hereditary (Ari Aster)
Release Date (Canada): June 8th
Runtime: 127 mins
What Is It About? When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited. (a24)
Why Is It Worth Seeing? The fourth film on this list is the complete opposite of Eighth Grade. It’s scary, suspenseful, and one of the best modern-day horror films ever made. A24 has a knack for picking up great, under-the-radar films, and Ari Aster’s directional debut is no different. With this, The VVitch, and It Comes at Night, A24 has positioned themselves to become a big player in the horror game for years to come.
3. Won’t You Be My Neighbor (Morgan Neville)
Release Date (Canada): June 8th
Runtime: 94 mins
What Is It About?In Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet from Stardom) looks back on the legacy of Fred Rogers, focusing on his radically kind ideas. While the nation changed around him, Fred Rogers stood firm in his beliefs about the importance of protecting childhood. Neville pays tribute to this legacy with the latest in his series of highly engaging, moving documentary portraits of essential American artist. (Focus Features)
Why Is It Worth Seeing? Fred Rogers was a huge inspiration for anyone that had the pleasure of watching him. The way he addressed current events in a way kids would understand, and his advocacy for kindness and acceptance remains unparalleled. Won’t You Be my Neighbor skillfully weaves together the key moments of Mister Rogers’ career, and provides an intimate, honest look into one of America’s biggest icons.
2. Crazy Rich Asians (Jon M. Chu)
Release Date (Canada): August 15th
Runtime: 120 mins
What Is It About? The story follows New Yorker Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Excited about visiting Asia for the first time but nervous about meeting Nick’s family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick has neglected to mention a few key details about his life. Not only is he the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families, but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. Being on Nick’s arm puts a target on Rachel’s back, with jealous socialites and, worse, Nick’s own disapproving mother (Michelle Yeoh) taking aim.
Why Is It Worth Seeing? We don’t see many romantic comedies being made these days. The surge in demand for romcoms has come, and gone. Yet, at the tail end of the summer of 2018, Crazy Rich Asians, one of the best modern-day romcoms, is released. In addition to having an all-asian cast in a major Hollywood film, the first in 25 years, Crazy Rich Asians benefits from the great performances all around, as well as an intriguing story.
1. First Reformed (Paul Schrader)
Release Date (Canada): June 1st
Runtime: 113 mins
What Is It About? A pastor of a small church in upstate New York spirals out of control after a soul-shaking encounter with an unstable environmental activist and his pregnant wife.
Well, those are what I think are the Top 5 films you should see from this summer. Of course, there are a handful that I haven’t seen, or are just a bit lower on the list. Some honourable mentions include: Whitney, Searching, Incredibles 2, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, Christopher Robin and Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot.