The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

Summer movies you missed because “Barbenheimer” took the spotlight

Molly Parker
Molly’s illustration for the movies overshadowed by Barbenheimer column

There’s no denying that “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” were the movies of the summer, but while we were busy singing “I’m Just Ken,” some other hits were missed.  

“Barbenheimer,” as the double-feature has been colloquially coined, created a phenomenon that took over the media for weeks leading up to its release. Once they hit the screens, the films accounted for the fourth largest box-office grossing weekend in the U.S. according to a July 24, ABC News article

While the movies’ success is nothing to be scoffed at, summer is notorious for being the best season for blockbusters, and no one seemed to be talking about any other summer films.

You may remember the A24 film that dominated the 2022 Oscars, “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” The production company, A24, is widely successful, but through the shadow of the double-feature, their three movies released this summer populated my feed much less. 

To kick off the summer, A24 released You Hurt My Feelings” featuring 1990s Seinfeld star Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Although the film had mixed reviews, it spoke to middle-aged audiences with a very real story about the double-edged sword of total honesty in a marriage.

You Hurt My Feelings” is the story of a writer who accidentally learns her husband’s true opinion of her new book, which is not a positive one, to say the least. The film’s unique comedy might not be for everyone, but it is definitely worth a watch. 

Shortly after, A24 released “Past Lives” in early June. This bittersweet romance follows the story of two childhood sweethearts—Nora and Hae Sung played by Greta Lee and Teo Yoo respectively—who are separated when Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. 

The young lovers reconnect as adults, but it is not without complications, as Nora is married and what feels like a lifetime has passed. This beautiful story was met with great reviews, but once again did not live up to its box office potential due to “Barbenheimer” ruling the summer. 

A24 was not the only studio that lost its audience to the phenomenon. A few highly-anticipated movie sequels also did not receive the hype they deserved, such as “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and “Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1.”

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” came long after the first movie, but it is an incredible continuation of the story. This sequel is packed with fantastic visual effects. My only complaint is that it ends in a cliffhanger, which sets up the third movie, but nevertheless, it’s worth a watch and a testament to the series.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” was my personal favorite of the summer. Harrison Ford did not disappoint, bringing back his timeless charm and cleverness. 

The story follows Indiana Jones continuing on an adventure he started during World War II. The film starts with a short CGI scene that unbelievably brings Ford’s features back to the original Indiana Jones of the 1980s.

Jones teams up with companions from the original trilogy, along with some new ones, on a journey to retrieve a legendary dial. Don’t be fooled by the lackluster preceding film, “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” the newest addition to the series absolutely makes up for it. 

Although not all series that go on and on continue to hold up, “Mission Impossible” continues to prove that some do. The newest addition to the franchise has some twists to the classic formula of these movies, and of course, Tom Cruise gave us everything we wanted. 

Last but not least, a recap of summer hits would not be complete without Jennifer Lawrence’s newest movie “No Hard Feelings.” This movie was certainly not for all audiences with its raunchy, out-there humor, but the premise is absolutely hilarious. 

Lawrence’s character, Maddie, is in danger of losing her childhood home in the Hamptons, so when a wealthy family offers to pay her to date their 19-year-old son to bring him out of his shell before college, she accepts. Despite the provocative humor, it turns out to be a twisted story turned heartwarming. 

Of course, I did not catch every single movie that came out this summer, but I hope I hit some of the highlights you may have missed because of “Barbenheimer.”

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Molly Parker
Molly Parker, Illustrations Editor
(She/her) Molly Parker is a senior studio art and anthropology double major from Hopedale, Mass. She had been a member of the illustrations team since the spring of 2020 before becoming editor of the section in the spring of 2023. Molly also creates prints and zines that she displays in the Burlington area as well as her hometown. Apart from illustrating and creating art, she loves watching horror movies, cooking and crocheting. Email [email protected] to get in contact with Molly.