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Top 5 Movies of the Summer

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Seth Montpelier: Arts & Leisure Editor

More stories from Seth Montpelier

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Photo Courtesy of iMDb.

Photo Courtesy of iMDb.

Photo Courtesy of iMDb.

 

 1. Dunkirk: Christopher Nolan’s sweeping war epic is the best movie of the year [so far]. He managed to take a devastating [although unknown to many] defeat in history and make his best film since The Dark Knight. He does this by telling his story–about retrieving the English soldiers abandoned on the beaches of Dunkirk after a crippling loss in World War II–with intimate detail. This is the work of an assured director at the height of his career.

2. Detroit: Kathryn Bigelow’s long-awaited follow-up to Zero Dark Thirty doesn’t disappoint. Like Nolan, she takes an important event hidden in history [with a script from Mark Boal] and brings it to the forefront. Focusing on the Algiers Motel incident during the 1967 riots in Detroit–in which a handful of police officers held the people in the motel hostage, killing several–the film is tense and horrifying. However, no one is reduced to one dimension, and the film often feels like a documentary. It’s even scarier when thinking about its relevance today.

3. Logan Lucky: Steven Soderbergh’s retirement announcement was bought by virtually no one, but it is a relief to have him back. He returns with a heist film taking place at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Working with an airtight script from Rebecca Blunt, Logan Lucky is gripping, but also sidesplitting. It could have coasted by on its humor alone, but luckily Blunt has something to back-up her jokes. Daniel Craig steals the show in a very rare comedic performance.

4. Baby Driver: Edgar Wright has long been hailed one of the greatest directors working today. Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead are evidence enough. While Baby Driver doesn’t live up to those titles, it’s still a thrilling, often funny, action movie, directed by a fan of movies rather than an auteur. Ansel Elgort is irritating, and this movie doesn’t do much to change that, but the slick script and direction transcend him. Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Hamm also pick up the slack.

5. The Big Sick: Kumail Nanjiani often steals the show on Silicon Valley. However, The Big Sick–co-written with his wife Emily V. Gordon and directed by Michael Showalter–shows us a different side to him. An accomplished stand-up, the movie stars Nanjiani himself, autobiographically telling his story as a struggling comedian in Chicago from Pakistan. When he meets his future wife [portrayed by Zoe Kazan], he is forced to choose between her and his traditional Muslim parents. When she suddenly goes into a medically-induced coma, Kumail goes through an emotional rollercoaster with her parents, played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano.  Nanjiani and Gordon’s chemistry is apparent, making this a touching comedy.

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Top 5 Movies of the Summer