Summer Movies: What’s Hot and What’s Not?

“The Big Sick” is a hip romantic comedy that follows the origin and development of stand-up comic Kumail Nanjiani’s real-life romance with his current wife Emily Gordon. (Amazon Studios / Lionsgate)“The Big Sick” is a hip romantic comedy that follows the origin and development of stand-up comic Kumail Nanjiani’s real-life romance with his current wife Emily Gordon. (Amazon Studios / Lionsgate)

As August approaches, so does the inevitable end of summer—but there’s still plenty of time to catch this season’s hottest films.

And what better way to escape the sweltering heat than hunkering down with some popcorn in a chilly, air-conditioned movie theater?

From superheroes to war heroes, getaway drivers to girls’ trips, several summer movies earned big box office dollars while also captivating critics.

In his WWII film “Dunkirk,” director Christopher Nolan vividly portrays the visceral chaos and commotion of an extensive effort to rescue hundreds of thousands of Allied troops stranded in northern France and targeted by German airstrikes.

The fast-paced and action-packed “Baby Driver” casts Ansel Elgort as a young, stylish getaway driver who relies on his soundtrack to navigate daring car chases on behalf of his domineering crime boss Doc, played by Kevin Spacey.

And like every year, this summer brought its share of commercial and critical flops, like the modern-day reboot of “The Mummy” and the fifth installment in the “Transformers” live-action series.

So which summer movies should you see and which should you shun? Joining host Eddie Arruza with their professional opinions are three Chicago film critics: Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, Andrew Lapin of NPR and Allison Shoemaker of Consequence of Sound.

Follow Evan Garcia on Twitter: @EvanRGarcia


Related stories:

WTTW’s ‘Weekend in Havana’ a Look Beyond City’s Vintage Glamour

July 18: In his new PBS special, Geoffrey Baer is immersed in the city’s vibrant culture—architecture, music, dance and history—with three native Cubans as his guides.


‘Unbroken Glass’ A Personal Journey for Local Filmmaker

May 18: When he was just 6 years old, Dinesh Sabu lost both of his parents. His documentary, “Unbroken Glass,” delves into his family history and how the trauma of loss shaped his own life and that of his siblings.


Hollywood Plot Twist: Epic Mix-Up Makes Oscars History

Feb. 27: Hollywood produced its biggest plot twist ever at the Academy Awards featuring a best picture winner with Chicago ties.