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A calendar tells us that summer runs from June 21 to September 21. Most of us ignore that calendar and kinda pencil summer in between Memorial Day and Labor Day. But if you’re in the movie biz, summer runs from the beginning of May to just about … now.

With the release of The Dark Tower this weekend, I think we can practically close the book on moviedom’s summer season, and what a strange one it’s been—filled with apes and capes, animated cars and baby drivers. And man, what a great summer it’s been.

Oh, sure, not everything’s been a winner. I can’t say that I’ll remember Kidnap much longer than it takes to write this paragraph. The Transformers franchise is now officially five movies too long. And the less we say about The Mummy, the better.

But from my perspective, the summer’s been remarkably strong in terms of its cinematic output. The season’s biggest blockbusters were also really good movies, for a change. If you looked beyond the studio’s tent poles, you found some great independent gems, too. And even though it’s only August, we’ve already seen what may be some Oscars contenders slip into the mix. And many boast a surprising level of spirituality, too.

So what’s still worth seeing? What’s worth remembering? Click on, my friend, and see the bounty the summer has given us, in a countdown of the summer’s eight best movies.



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