Summer Movie Recap

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of

Rachel Seo, Editor-in-Chief

In typical fashion, the major movie studios rolled out their projected mass-appeal movies for a summer lineup that included Finding Dory, Suicide Squad, The Secret Life of Pets, The BFG, Tarzan, and Ghostbusters. From animated animal movies to action-packed sequels to superhero movies, the movies of summer 2016 certainly covered the bases in standard summer fare, providing a lighter lead-up to the more anticipated films of the fall and winter.


Finding Dory

The much-anticipated sequel to 2003’s Finding Nemo was released on June seventeenth of this year at the start of the season. The thirteen-year waiting and development period seems to have paid off: Finding Dory garnered a 94% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes as well as a 77% on Metacritic. Directed by Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane and starring seasoned entertainers like Ellen DeGeneres (The Ellen Show) and Ty Burrell (Modern Family), the movie grossed $915.7 million and gained fairly favorable reviews from critics.


Suicide Squad

Such reception was not so for the highly anticipated comic-book adaptation that is Suicide Squad. Riding on much hype, Suicide Squad released in early August, only to flop miserably in terms of critical appeal: Christopher Orr, critic for The Atlantic and perhaps representative of most of the reviews, stated that “…the storytelling that brings all these characters together so quickly is lazy to the point of professional negligence.” Other reviews mimicked his message, culminating in the a now-infamous 26% Rotten Tomatoes rating that undoubtedly affected the total box office revenue ($572.7 million).


The Secret Life of Pets

Following a trend set by Zootopia and Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets debuted in the movie theater on July 8th. Following the adventures of various animal characters (foremost of which are Max, Duke, and Snowball), the movie starred Louis C.K., Lake Bell, Eric Stonestreet, and Kevin Hart. Despite the fact that it did fairly well in the box office, “the movie wasn’t that great. All of the gags were in the trailer, and the plot was weak,” stated Isaiah Seo (10). Critics agree that the plotline was vaguely unoriginal, but the movie’s 78% Rotten Tomatoes rating testified to the stability of the formula set in place and accrued $674.5 million at the box office.



Based on the famous children’s books by Roald Dahl and directed by

Steven Spielberg), The BFG debuted to lukewarm reviews reminiscent of reception directed towards The Secret Life of Pets. Though still certified “Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes with a 73% rating, The BFG was criticized as being a “children’s fable that’s more likely than not to bore kids to sleep” (so said by David Sims of The Atlantic), grossing only $141.5 million at the box office.



A live-action remake of the original tale, Tarzan opened in late June to less-than-average critic reviews and a 36% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Critics’ complaints about the film included “visual effects that are astonishingly subpar” (Peter Debruge, of Variety) and that “Alexander Skarsgard is more abs than actor as the ape man” (Stephen Whitty, New York Daily News). Despite the critical disregard, Tarzan managed to gross $347.5 million in U.S. dollars.
With the summer nearing to a close after a lukewarm season and the fall one beginning, moviegoers can ready their winter palates for a new slew of films that will be arriving in theaters shortly. Be on the lookout for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (September 30), The Magnificent Seven (September 23), Sully (September 9), and Trolls (November 4).