What’s Worth the Watch? Five of the Summer’s Best Films Through Nonnewaug’s Eyes


Image by Zoie Cole

Fan favorites and family fun returns as the film industry comes out of the pandemic in full swing.

Zoie Cole, Reporter

WOODBURY — The theater lights dim, burying the pale walls and hushed voices under shadows and sudden silence. The occupants filling the rows of red-wrapped seats go still, pausing the crinkling of sweet and salty snacks as all eyes turn towards the screen.

The anticipation of the booming theater speakers is a familiar feeling to many. For some, visiting the movies means the revival of classics. For others, it may mean something a little less conventional. This summer, there was something in theaters for everyone to enjoy. Let’s hear it from Nonnewaug first – what’s worth the watch?

Top Gun: Maverick

A promising revival of its beloved predecessor, Top Gun: Maverick hit theaters in late May, soaring to  claim its place as the summer’s highest grossing film and bringing in $250 million on opening weekend. 

The high-flying sequel offered a fresh cast alongside some familiar faces, gathering the pieces for an enjoyable film for those of all ages.

“I loved the vibes,” says Nonnewaug senior Kayla Cote. “It had a lot of likable characters and fun movements. Normally sequels suck, but Maverick was definitely worth the watch.”

Jurassic World: Dominion

When the old and the new come together, what can go wrong (besides dinosaurs)? Jurassic World: Dominion played on the hearts of longtime fans as well, bringing in the original cast to close out the classic franchise with a nostalgic roar. On opening weekend in early June, the colossal film raked in over $142 million. 

Jurassic World: Dominion also earned an audience score of 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 29% critic score. “It’s probably time to let this franchise rest,” viewers on the website said. “Between some entertaining action and the fun of seeing members of the original cast…Jurassic World: Dominion is a decent enough sequel.”

Minions: The Rise of Gru

With a release date early in July, Minions: The Rise of Gru is the fifth entry into the Despicable Me franchise. It promised boatloads of family fun, sparked internet trends that were simply “bananas,” and performed well financially across multiple demographics with a $125 million opening weekend.

Minions movies are always cute,” senior Megi Gorka proclaims. “They’re entertaining, and they’re fun for the whole family. If that’s what you’re looking for, Minions is the perfect choice!”

[left to right] Talan Wilkas, Jarret Young, Rubie Lombardi, Cole Wenis, Ellie Mansfield, and Elliot Yakavonis prepare to see this summer’s Minions film. (Talan Wilkas)
Thor: Love and Thunder

Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi returns with a colorful promise of endless comic-inspired action. One of the most beloved characters in phase four of the Marvel cinematic universe, the god of thunder struck the theaters like lightning, generating over $144 million on opening weekend in early July.

“It offers enough fast-paced fun to make this a worthy addition to the MCU,” was the general consensus from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. 


Biopic films always offer a unique angle on the lives of stars and celebrities, and Elvis did just that. The film slid into theaters in mid-June, a flashy recollection of the King of Rock and Roll’s dazzling life. Opening weekend left it with sales over $30 million, and a nice perch in the overall summer box office.

Elvis was definitely worth seeing,” argues Ava Witte, Nonnewaug Senior. “Austin Butler portrayed Elvis really well. He practiced for years to get the role correct, and he did an amazing job. Plus, the music was really good.”