A season of cinema

The summer movies of 2018



Disney’s “Incredibles 2” started off with the fight between the Parr family and the Underminer, which was teased at the end of “Incredibles” fourteen years ago. Amid all of summer’s new features, this film was one of the raging successes.

Ian Fertig, A&E Editor

The summer season was packed with new movies, and with them came the usual influx of flops, hits, and unseen critical successes. For everyone who didn’t get around to the movies during break, here’s an overview of the best and worst movies of June and July 2018.

In today’s movie culture, most new films fall into one of several categories: there’ll be big blockbusters that make boatloads of money, C-listers that no one cares about, promising blockbusters that flop, movies that make money but don’t deserve it at all, and the critically-acclaimed films that don’t quite reach stardom. This summer saw a little bit of each.

To start off, the worthy and unworthy successes:


“Incredibles 2”

Disney/Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” kicked off a summer of sequels with its release on June 15. This film followed the Parr family as they attempted to live normal lives while re-establishing public faith in superheroes. This film drew in families around the globe as well as hordes of teenagers who grew up watching the first “Incredibles.” As expected, the Disney movie-making machine cranked out another box office success.

“Incredibles 2” was a fun, funny, action-packed superhero flick, but it stood apart from the scores of fun, funny, action-packed superhero flicks of our day and age by focusing on family. With Mrs. Incredible taking on a new job, Mr. Incredible struggles to cope with the responsibility of being a stay-at-home dad. After nearly losing his mind, he opens up to his kids in a scene that’s far more impactful than anything else in the movie. The bad guy-punching and day-saving was fun, but the heartfelt moments really made the movie.

Not even the bland backstory of the villain Screenslaver could ruin the experience. “Incredibles 2” lived up to its hype and reminded us that genuine quality and high box office earnings are not independent.

Marvel Studios

“Ant-Man and the Wasp”

Sadly, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” was the lesser of the two superhero sequels this summer. It lacked the emotional aspect that “Incredibles 2” provided, leaving just the usual fun, funny, action-packed superhero flick.

That being said, it was an extremely fun movie, providing about two hours of simple, hilarious entertainment. The cast was clearly hand-picked for their comedic ability. Paul Rudd, Michael Peña, and Randall Park were the source of almost all of the movie’s laughs. Following the tragic events of “Infinity War,” this was a well-timed, happy-go-lucky filler film.

Universal Studios

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”

The last of our successes was the least deserving. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is worse than the sum of its parts. It grossed over $400 million domestically for having big crowd-drawing factors: Chris Pratt, dinosaurs, explosions, lava, and even some commentary on the rights of genetically modified creatures thrown in to make audiences think a little. Sadly, the final picture was a bland mess that didn’t exceed the quality of any of its predecessors.

“Fallen Kingdom” was plagued by many action-movie problems, including a convoluted storyline, uninteresting characters, and a major twist that was spoiled in the trailers. It wasn’t all bad, though: Director J.A. Bayon was able to give the movie some impressive horror-esque suspense, and a certain brachiosaurus dock scene ripped out viewer’s hearts while calling back to the first dinosaur appearance in the original “Jurassic Park.”

Next, the failures:

Legendary Pictures


Dwayne Johnson starred in this cheap-thrills film about a father whose family is endangered at the top of the world’s tallest tower. If a family at risk being saved by their dad was a new concept to audiences, then this CGI-intensive film would probably have been successful. Sadly, it pieced together a forgettable experience from the tropes of previous action movies, without providing any fresh entertainment.

Universal Studios

“The First Purge”

With the Purge franchise getting more desperate, they resorted to doing a prequel about the origin of the annual crime festival. For this kind-of-horror movie franchise, viewers might have expected real scares or thrills for most of the film. They didn’t get any. What they got instead was a sloppy attempt to involve commentary about present-day America. There was little suspense throughout, and the buildup to the movie’s so-called “climax” was nonexistent. At the end, people dressed up as Nazis and KKK members and ran around lawlessly trying to kill the black protagonists (in the movie, just to clarify), but this not-so-subtle winking at the audience couldn’t save this film from failure.

Lastly, the critically loved (but hardly seen):


“Eighth Grade”

Bo Burnham attacked major issues regarding today’s youth in his directorial debut “Eighth Grade.” The movie is a sometimes funny, sometimes uncomfortable close-up examination of Generation Z, but without the derogatory tone this generation is usually addressed with. Instead, “Eighth Grade” is made with care, designed to be charming and empathetic without forfeiting the uncomfortable details.

“Eighth Grade” has been described as the most accurate portrayal of middle school culture ever. It tells the story of a young girl in her last week of eighth grade. True to real life, she struggles to be liked amidst the harsh climate of social media. A lesser director would have turned the movie into an attack on those horrible, self-obsessed youngsters, but Bo Burnham crafted a kind, critically-acclaimed success instead. Who better to depict the social media-laden world of middle school than a former YouTube comedian?

Lionsgate Entertainment


Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal co-wrote and co-starred in this buddy comedy/drama that takes place in their home town of Oakland. Two friends, one a self-destructive and violent white man, and the other a calm and collected black man on his last week of probation, navigate their chaotic friendship and the social issues of today in a hilarious, hardcore movie experience.

“Blindspotting” addressed racially-charged violence, class struggles, and gentrification with the same forwardness that “Eighth Grade” tackled the issues of adolescence. Diggs and Casal play two friends in Oakland with ease because in real life they actually grew up as close friends in Oakland. Their on-screen journey is a memorable experience that viewers should not miss out on.