by Nathan Robertson
This summer provided many strong movie options. We saw the return (albeit 12 years too late) of the adored superhero family in “Incredibles 2.” Action movies were strong with the latest movies in the Mission Impossible, Marvel, and Jurassic World series. This summer also had a surprisingly healthy showing of documentaries, two of which are featured in this list. So without further ado, these are my top five movies of summer 2018.
No movies with an “R” rating are included in this list.
5. Three Identical Strangers (PG-13)
Imagine going to college to begin your freshman year. You arrive on campus and people begin waving to you, asking about your summer as if they already know you. Through a series of events, you come to find out that those people were mistaking you for someone else, someone who looked a lot like you. Imagine then that you find out you have two identical brothers that you never knew about.
“Three Identical Strangers” tells the true story of identical triplets, Robert, Eddy, and David, who were separated at birth but reunited after almost 20 years. All of this information is covered in the first five minutes of the movie. The real plot kicks in when they discover why they were separated. This documentary is not only a fascinating look at an almost unbelievable story, but it also serves as a compelling prompt to consider what it is that makes us who we are. Where do morals come into play when attempting to understand the strange ways that humans function and develop? How much influence does family have in dictating the person a child will become? Does anyone have a right to tamper with a human life? All of these questions are explored in this riveting story of three brothers searching for answers.
Currently in theaters / Available online Oct. 2
4. Ant-Man and the Wasp (PG-13)Every kid who said, “I want to see Ant-Man!” when it came out was met with a fairly unanimous response from parents: “What the heck is Ant-Man?” While Ant-Man is an incredibly important character in Marvel Comics history, not many people would jump to say they were on “Team Ant-Man.”
Earlier this year, “Thor: Ragnarok” set a precedent for the kind of high spectacle humor and action Marvel is moving toward, and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” continues on that same track. Somehow, Marvel manages to succeed with every film, no matter how offbeat or obscure the heroes are. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is no exception. Now that some familiarity has been built in the previous “Ant-Man” movie, Paul Rudd returns as the quick-witted thief-turned-hero, thanks to the brilliant mind of Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglass) who created a suit with the ability to shrink to microscopic size. Pym’s daughter, Hope, (Evangeline Lily) has now joined the list of heroes with a suit of her own. The chemistry between Rudd and Lily is a joy to watch, and with an already established character, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” doesn’t get weighed down trying to explain an origin story.
Currently in theaters / Available on Netflix and online soon
3. Incredibles 2 (PG)
The first Incredibles movie ended on a perfect note: a new villain threatening the world, now facing off against the united Parr family. Fans were excited for the sequel a couple years later.
14 years later.
With other Pixar sequels coming out left and right, some people were upset it took so long (myself included), while others were just glad it was finally here. However, because Pixar waited so long, they had 14 years worth of hype to live up to. The end result does not disappoint. “Incredibles 2” finds the Parr’s facing a new challenge, living a life in hiding. After saving the world in the previous film, the Parr family is outlawed by the government because of their powers and the threat they bring to humanity. From that obstacle springs a movie all about family, and what it means to make sacrifices to protect and care for those you truly love. Along with the unique storyline, the movie offers an incredible display of animation technique and voice talent. “Incredibles 2” is a great summer movie for the entire family.
Currently in theaters / Available online Oct. 23
2.Mission Impossible: Fallout (PG-13)
The Impossible Mission Force is back, this time on their greatest mission yet. Watching this movie warrants a series of “how in the world did they do that?” reactions. From the HALO jump in a lightning storm, to mustached Henry Cavill feeling the need to “reload” his arms during a fist fight, to an insane helicopter sequence, “Mission Impossible: Fallout” offers a unique movie experience that is a joy to watch.
Like the “Fast and Furious” series, the “Mission Impossible” movies have never been as much about plot as they are spectacle. But what does “Mission Impossible” have that other action franchises don’t? The answer: Tom Cruise and his never-ending over-the-top stunts. While other well known Hollywood faces sometimes look for opportunities to help out smaller independent projects, Cruise has always been a part of the huge multi-million dollar blockbusters. What’s even more impressive is the fact that he performs his own stunts. Many people thought Cruise had reached his peak after “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” when he scaled the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. To him however, that just meant another challenge. In this movie alone, Cruise performed a HALO jump, broke his ankle and learned to fly a helicopter just for the movie. That’s dedication.
If nothing else, “Mission Impossible: Fallout” serves as a fun ride and a mind-blowing display of incredible stunt work.
Currently in theaters / Available online in Nov.
1. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (PG-13)
It’s difficult to put into words how powerful this documentary is. Mr. Rogers and his show “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” is fairly well known among past and current generations. What many people don’t realize, though, is why.
“Won’t You be My Neighbor” explores the life of Mr. Rogers and what made him and his show so special. From arguing in court for the continued existence of public television, to breaking racial barriers in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, Mr. Rogers cared about people and found beauty in the opportunity to help children find their value. The documentary examines how Mr. Rogers incorporated pieces of himself in his show, while simultaneously encouraging kids and adults alike that they are special in their own way. This documentary is an opportunity to start a conversation about the way we treat others and what it really means to have a life well lived.
Currently available on Amazon Video and iTunes
Nathan Robertson is a senior broadcasting and digital media major and a writer for Cedars. He is an avid film watcher, an open-minded music lover and a devoted Netflix binger.