Top 5 Movies of Summer 2017


Allison Boyce, Social Media Director

This summer, moviegoers were treated to a deluge of exciting new releases. From the long-awaited Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to surprise success stories like Girls Trip and the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean, theaters were packed. While some new films like Baywatch and The Emoji Movie were huge flops, plenty of movies surpassed even the toughest critics’ expectations.  Here’s the Hustler’s rundown of the five best releases from summer 2017:      


In this bizarre yet triumphant mashup of action thriller and romantic comedy, Ansel Elgort stars as a young criminal getaway driver while simultaneously caring for his foster dad and pursuing the girl of his dreams.  The soundtrack is far more noteworthy than the dialogue. Its car chases, gunshots, door slamming, and walking sequences are brilliantly synchronized in rhythm and tone to specific songs from Baby’s iPod.  The action scenes set to Queen songs or “Tequila” by The Champs give the movie a melodramatic, completely fresh flavor.  Elgort is sweet and believable as Baby, proving that he can be more than just a second-tier Divergent character.  Overall, Baby Driver earns itself a spot as a multifaceted, new hit.  


Christopher Nolan’s historical World War II movie chronicles the events of the evacuation at Dunkirk. The film is one long take that alternates between the perspectives of the soldiers on the beaches, the pilots involved in the air battle, and a small group of civilians who travel to help in the evacuation. These artistic choices structure the film and are key elements in making it excellent and original. However, don’t see Dunkirk if you have a headache; there’s a constant drone in the background throughout the film and a pulsing ticking of a clock that crescendos and fades as the danger does.  The perspectives alternate jerkily, without warning, especially during the most intense moments.  These effects make the watcher feel on edge for all one hundred and six minutes… until the final moment when the clock stops.  


In yet another retelling of the story we all know and love, Marvel is still able to bring a new twist to the table.  The deliberate step back towards Peter Parker’s youthfulness and innocence makes this film different and arguably better than previous versions of Spider-Man. Tom Holland, who plays Parker, expertly captures the character of a fifteen-year-old boy navigating high school crushes, driving lessons, and superpowers with a refreshing authenticity and relatability that Toby McGuire and Andrew Garfield didn’t even attempt to tackle. The genuine, sometimes awkward moments of high school paired with the action scenes made this movie not just entertaining, but endearing.  


Kumail Nanjiani’s homemade romantic comedy about a Pakistani man’s relationship with an American woman tells the true story of how he and his wife met and dealt with family disapproval during her battle with a serious lung infection.  Going into summer, I was looking forward to this movie but soon realized that a lot of the most impactful moments were revealed in the two minute trailer. However, Nanjiani has a heartwarming artistic touch that carries the film with his insight and charm as he navigates tense cultural discussions with his family and slowly bonds with Emily’s parents.  There were a few dead moments in some of the scenes and some spacey dialogue, but this movie is still a positive force that captures an honest journey of acceptance, tolerance, and real-life love.  


Coming from a long line of underwhelming DC productions, Wonder Woman is an unexpected breath of fresh air.  Gal Gadot slays as the story’s fierce heroine, combining depth and emotion with unrelenting strength and power.  DC successfully avoids the one-dimensional and insulting “hot chick who kills people” trope of past superhero movies.  While the storyline and the antagonist’s character were at times weak or a little too cheesy, Wonder Woman makes up for it with Diana’s warmth, her and Steve’s (Chris Pine) easy chemistry, and the electrifying action scenes.