Throughout the summer I took in as many movies as I had time for. The range of films I saw this summer was huge, with every genre being represented. Here are the best five movies I watched this summer. Some of them are new, others are from years before I was born.
First, I’d like to give out my honorable mentions. These movies didn’t miss by much:
Counting from fifth best to first, I’ll begin with a movie that really exceeded my expectations. The Dark Knight Rises is the final film in an amazing series that I personally feel could benefit from future films. Still, if you’re going to go out, go out like this. Great performances were given by Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, and a huge list of other familiar faces. In addition to great acting, this movie had great action and a wonderful story to base it on. In my mind, this movie had to be incredible to avoid being overshadowed forever by the macabre legend of The Dark Knight and the death of actor Heath Ledger. I think this movie was a major success, not only in the box office, but in the artistic sense as well. Another dark and powerful look at Batman.
#4 – Warrior
When it comes to surprises, this movie caught me off guard in every sense. I’ll be honest and tell you right up front that I only saw this movie because it features Tom Hardy, and I was high off of his work in The Dark Knight Rises. What I was met with was an amazing movie with a depth I had not expected when I read the plot summary. The three actors at the front of this film, Nick Nolte, Tom Hardy, and Joel Edgerton, all managed to be individually great while sharing the screen with one another. I was also impressed with the fight scenes, which I was afraid might come off as over-violent or too fake. Neither of these things happened. If you liked The Fighter, this should be on your list of films to see.
#3 – Dog Day Afternoon
This was a movie I just never seemed to get around to. Finally this summer I was able to sit down and see what all the fuss was about. I was already a fan of Al Pacino and John Cazale and this movie only fortified those feelings. The work of Sidney Lumet is wonderful to watch, even 37 years later. The acting is so powerful and filled with emotions, it really sucked me in quickly. I love it when a movie gives me a sympathetic villain, someone who is perhaps misunderstood. Pacino is that character for me. Cazale is equally good, his short career produced some wonderful performances, this being one of them. Overall, a great movie to see if you haven’t already.
#2 – Capote
I have a slight man-crush on Philip Seymour Hoffman. He’s the kind of actor I would like to be. He takes on his work with energy and devotion to the character that makes things so real. This movie really captures him at his best. As the Truman Capote, Hoffman brings to life a very important period in the author’s life. The movie follows a number of intertwining stories that blend together nicely, making this one of my new favorite movies of all-time. The rest of the cast is also amazing, creating the characters and the time-frame so perfectly.
This almost feels like I’m taking the easy way out. This movie is one of my all-time favorites. Even so, it feels fresh and wonderful very time I see it. This movie succeeds largely because of a wonderful pair of young actors. Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio are so great in this movie. I could gush forever about this movie, but I’ll keep it simple. If you haven’t seen this movie you’re missing out on something special. I think movies like this only come around once in a while.
So now that I’ve told you what my favorites of this summer were, tell me yours.