It was a season so front loaded that, by August, audiences had already forgotten it was supposed to be a Summer of popcorn fun. Things really did fade fast after Avengers: Age of Ultron and Jurassic World promised a billion-dollar payoff at the box office. Of course, both film did breakthrough to that new blockbuster barrier, but did so not with superior filmmaking and entertainment value, but with a renewed focus on the foreign markets. Instead of providing outstanding creativity, Hollywood has just perfected the art of selling eye candy to the world.
This doesn’t mean that there weren’t great films this summer. It just means that the mediocrity outshined the few masterworks. It was the same with the worst. Something like The Gallows should definitely be present here, but a choice like that (lame found footage horror film) would be like celebrating one of those fish that we always seem to be hunting in barrels. Instead, the 11 films below (an honorary mention and choice of five for both categories) were a true test of filmmaking tolerances. Both pro and con, they all wanted to be part of your May to August fun. Some were. Most weren’t.