The 13 best movies of the summer, according to critics

Focus Features

There were more good movies than bad in theatres this summer, and that’s exemplified in the diverse range of movies that were available to audiences from May to August.

The best-reviewed movies of the summer are short on the typical summer blockbuster fare, save for Pixar and Tom Cruise-starring sequels. But there were plenty of smaller films that captured the attention of audiences and critics alike, whether they be a Spike Lee joint or a touching documentary.

We rounded up the best movies of summer 2018 according to critic scores, and ranked them based on this list from review-aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

Below are the 13 best movies of the summer, according to critics:


13. “Blindspotting”

Summit Entertainment

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 93%

Release date: July 27

What critics said: “Carlos López Estrada’s directorial debut ‘Blindspotting’ is a lot of things-it’s an anarchic buddy comedy, a sly satire of gentrification, and a sober drama about an African American man trying to carve out a life after being released from prison. But more than anything, it’s a deeply earnest work, written by its two stars Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal as both a love letter to their hometown of Oakland and as an anguished cry over the state of race relations there.” – David Sims, The Atlantic


12. “First Reformed”

A24

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 93%

Release date: May 18

What critics said: “At once ruminative and shocking, godwardly inclined and repellently graphic, ‘First Reformed’ is indisputably the finest film [Paul] Schrader has directed since his sensitive adaptation of Russell Banks’s novel ‘Affliction,’ the summa of a career spent dwelling on the most hidden dualities of an essential human character that the filmmaker sees as continually torn between its loftiest aspirations and earthiest impulses.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post


11. “Incredibles 2”

Disney

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 93%

Release date: June 15

What critics said: “‘Incredibles 2,’ which continues the story of the first film quite literally, does not – and realistically cannot – feel as bracing, as miraculous, as exquisitely wrought as the first film. But all of that film’s charming particulars are on hand – the design, the music, the characters.” – Glen Weldon, NPR


10. “RBG”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 94%

Release date: May 4

What critics said: “‘RBG’s’ talking heads – with the exception of Donald Trump (and what an exception) – are affectionate bordering on worshipful. When Ginsburg is shown being interviewed onstage, audiences (particularly young women) are visibly overwhelmed, seeming to lean back in awe even as they lean forward to hear their superhero (Gloria Steinem’s word) answer questions and read from her momentous arguments, majority opinions, and dissents.” – David Edelstein, Vulture


9. “Beast”

30West

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 95%

Release date: May 11

What critics said: “In the sense that there’s a serial killer at large in it, it’s a thriller, but Beast takes more of its cues from fairytales, throwing in moments of gothic horror and the odd dead bunny along the way. Just when you think you’ve got it pinned down, it hairpins off in a new direction.” – Phil De Semlyen,Time Out


8. “Crazy Rich Asians”

Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 93%

Release date: August 15

What critics said: “‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is remarkable largely because it is a swoony, sumptuous fantasy, a movie made with the underlying assumption that people will see it not just because they should, because of its importance, but because they will want to, because of the pleasure and the emotional journey it offers. It is a good time.” – Alison Willmore, Buzzfeed


7. “Sorry to Bother You”

Annapurna

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 94%

Release date: July 13

What critics said: “[Director Boots] Riley mixes comedy and an important social message to deliver a movie that gets more fascinating and outlandish the deeper you go. And it’s the incredible talents of [actor Lakeith] Stanfield – whose ability to go from perfect comedic timing to heartfelt emotional pain at the turn of a switch – that makes Riley’s insane story work on the screen.” – Jason Guerrasio, Business Insider


6. “Three Identical Strangers”

Neon

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 97%

Release date: June 29

What critics said: “‘Three Identical Strangers’ starts off as a seemingly lighthearted recounting of a happy reunion tale, and then the edges of the frame turn dark, and the darkness moves in. It’s a documentary that will inspire lots of reflection and wonder.” – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle


5. “BlacKkKlansman”

Focus Features

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 95%

Release date: August 10

What critics said: “[Director Spike Lee’s] fearless embrace of contradiction gives ‘BlacKkKlansman’ its velocity and heft. It is worth pausing to admire its sheer, dazzling craft, the deftness of its tonal shifts – from polemical to playful, from humorous to horrific, from blaxploitation to Classical Hollywood and back again – and the quality of its portraiture.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times


4. “Mission: Impossible — Fallout”

Paramount

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 97%

Release date: July 27

What critics said: “‘Fallout’ is great because it fulfils a promise that its star [Tom Cruise] made to moviegoers back in the last millennium, and – with only a handful of exceptions – hasn’t reneged on since. It’s a promise that’s made him the last movie star of his kind, a one-man supernova who’s yet to burn out a time when audiences only seem to care about brands.” – David Ehrlich,Indiewire


3. “Won’t You Be My Neighbour?”

Focus Features

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 99%

Release date: June 29

What critics said: “In the fifteen years since his death, the absence of Mr. Rogers in the world only seems to grow more tear-jerkingly apparent. Not just because he was quiet and soothing and patient, but because he was ferocious and brave and radical. As Oscar winner Morgan Neville’s timely, tear-duct lubricating documentary ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbour?’ makes clear, the easily parodied, often underestimated icon of children’s television was a total bada–.” – Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon


2. “McQueen”

Bleecker Street

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 100%

Release date: July 20

What critics said: “Directors Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui make a compelling case that fashion design icon Lee Alexander McQueen was more than the enfant terrible persona that the media slapped onto him and that he at first reveled in, then began to despise.” – Kyle Turner, Village Voice


1. “Leave No Trace”

Bleecker Street

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 100%

Release date: June 29

What critics said: “There’s no such thing as perfect love in families; often it’s the fine threads of tension that actually hold things together. [Director Debra] Granik’s ‘Winter’s Bone’ was greatly admired for the way it presented ‘ordinary people’ of the Ozarks. But ‘Leave No Trace’ is better.” – Stephanie Zacharek,Time

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