Best Movies of the Summer

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After a long and academically challenging school year, M-A students visited theaters this summer to watch some of the most exciting releases of 2023. Here are some student reviews of these screenings.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Grade: A- 

Many went to see the sequel of the hit animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Released in early June, the movie follows Miles, a young student bitten by a radioactive spider, across the Multiverse where he finds a group of people who have also been bitten by radioactive spiders: The Spider Society. The group’s role is to protect the multiverse and take care of any threat that comes its way. When a new supervillain emerges, members of the Spider Society disagree on how to respond, forcing Miles into the middle of an intrauniverse conflict.  

“It was revolutionary and interesting. I loved when all the Spider-people tried capturing Miles so he couldn’t get back to Earth,” said sophomore Gabby Medina.

Sophomore Lily Bee enjoyed the movie, but had a few critiques. “It was interesting because it connected back to the first movie, but the plot was too long and they abruptly cut it off at the climax,” she said.


Grade: B 

Oppenheimer follows physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer through his early studies and career, and his later journey as he leads the Manhattan Project, developing the two atomic bombs used against Japan to end World War II. Throughout the movie, he struggles with deciding whether or not to actually follow through with his plans, and also battles his guilt over the negative impacts that the bombs would later have on the world. 

Sophomore Madeline McHugo described the movie as too long. She said, “Some parts could have been shortened. There was a solid hour that they could have just taken out.” Despite the length of the movie, she enjoyed specific moments, “When the bomb went off, it was cool that they muted the sound,” she said.


Grade: A

Elemental explores the journey of a fire-girl named Ember, along with her friend Wade, a water-boy, as they leave Element City in hopes of saving Ember’s parents’ convenience store which was threatened to be closed down. Throughout their journey together, they begin to learn more about each other, deepening their relationship.

Senior Luca Higgins related to the movie tremendously. He said, “Ember’s family immigrates to Elemental city which I can relate to as both of my grandmothers immigrated here to the Bay Area for a fresh start.” Higgins also said, “I liked the part where Ember’s dad said that she was always the dream. It really showed how the shop wasn’t the dad’s dream, but rather Ember was. I don’t know if I necessarily had a favorite character, but I liked the overall perspective of the movie.” He added, “I would give the movie an A.”

Ultimately, the movies of the summer were a success. M-A students loved the playful and action-packed nature of Elemental and Spider-Man, as well as Oppenheimer’s historical spin.

Micaela is a sophomore at M-A. This is her first year in journalism, and she is excited to write about different issues and events at M-A. In her free time, she likes to dance and spend time with friends and family.

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