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"The Best Movies to Watch Over the Summer" by Breanna Crossman

Over the summer, once you are tired of the beach and pool and sun, a great way to relax is to watch movies. During the hot summer afternoons, curling up on the couch and watching a movie can be far more entertaining and enjoyable than spending time outside (especially during the current heatwave!). Movie night has always been one of my favorite family traditions, especially over the summer. Here is a short list of some of my favorite movies to watch over the summer.

1. Howl’s Moving Castle

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Length: 119 minutes

If you are a fan of romance and fantasy, Howl’s Moving Castle is the perfect summer movie for you. This movie follows the story of 18-year-old Sophie, who is cursed by a witch to take the form of an old woman. Sophie meets Howl, the eponymous wizard, and joins him onboard his magical moving castle. This movie has an incredible soundtrack and beautiful animation that Studio Ghibli movies are known for, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has not seen a Hayao Miyazaki film yet!

2. Mamma Mia!

Director: Phyllida Lloyd

Length: 109 minutes

Mamma Mia is a musical romantic comedy starring Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, and

Christine Baranski. It's well-known for its soundtrack, the bright, cheery music of Swedish pop band ABBA, and its stunning background of a fictional Greek island Kalokairi. It is a sweet, exciting, and aesthetic movie perfect for anyone who likes musicals or romcoms. Mamma Mia! is the perfect movie to watch with your friends during a sleepover over the summer.

3. Midsommar

Director: Ari Aster

Length: 148 minutes

If you prefer horror over romance and comedy, Midsommar is a movie you might enjoy over the summer. The folk horror film is considered one of the best horror films of the past two decades, with performances by lead actors Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor adding to the creepy vibe of the film. Unlike typical horror films, Midsommar does not use haunted houses, evil spirits, or shadows to create a terrifying atmosphere - the use of bright, open, and natural spaces is sharply juxtaposed with the violent and obscure rituals of the Swedish cult. Midsommar is a perfect summer thriller, as long as you are prepared for the nightmares and unrelenting fear of rural Sweden that will follow.

4. E.T.

Director: Steven Spielberg

Length: 120 minutes

Widely considered one of the greatest American films of all time, Steven Spielberg’s E.T. is the perfect summer movie for family get-togethers. It is a science fiction film that follows a group of children who discover an alien who was left behind by his fellow extraterrestrials on Earth. It is a funny, heartwarming, and beautiful film appropriate for all audiences over the summer. There is also a fantastic E.T-themed ride at Universal Studios if you enjoy the movie.

Breanna Crossman is a 17-year-old writer from Orange County, California who currently resides on Long Island. She writes for Neutral Citizen Journalism and runs Spiritus Mundi Review, an interdisciplinary arts magazine. When she is not reading or writing, you can find her drinking coffee, watching Hayao Miyazaki films, and hanging out with her cat. Instagram: @breannacrossman

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