1. Fruitvale Station– The compassionate, heart wrenching true story of Oscar Grant's (Michael B. Jordan) last day on Earth plays out dreamily on screen. In spite of its dismal beginning, something incredibly tangible can be grasped from this powerful film. Oscar Grant is by no means a perfect individual; in fact, he is quite flawed by modern society's standards. He has been to prison, he smokes, and he has cheated on his girlfriend, Sophina (Melonie Diaz). However, despite all of this, Oscar is a good person. His high hopes for changing his life are tragically cut short in a muddied and violent turn of events on the platform of Fruitvale Station that takes the oxygen right out of the theater.
2. Blue Jasmine– Woody Allen presents his newest work through a deeply troubled but strikingly contemporary protagonist, Jasmine (Cate Blanchett). Jasmine has no concept of what it is to be "normal," at least financially speaking. She spent much of her life pampered and doted on by her husband Hal (Alec Baldwin), who had numerous extramarital affairs, but because of the naivety or blissful ignorance of Jasmine, they went on undetected. Jasmine must rely on her family, who she considers to be beneath her. Although conceptually this story seems hackneyed, Allen tells a brilliant modern tale through quirky and witty sequences.
3. This is the End– In most instances, a star studded comedic blockbuster would be a flop, but directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg walk the line between tiresome and hysterical. An apocalyptic doomsday brings a self-portraying cast together at a wild party set in the mansion of James Franco. They must prove themselves selfless in order to be brought up to heaven, but as the movie progresses, it is revealed that this task is not as simple as it seems. Outshining all of the other comedies released this past summer, this film has a strong cast, great script, and fresh material that can be appreciated by an assortment of viewers.
4. Monsters University– The much anticipated prequel of the animated feature "Monsters, Inc." enhances the original, which is a treasured rarity in Hollywood. Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) are the best of friends in the original film; however, in the prequel they have rocky beginnings due to their fraternity rivalry. Through mutual interest of not being thrown out of the university, Mike and Sully must come together with an unlikely group of monsters to win the Scare Games in order to remain enrolled. Many key aspects of the first film are highlighted in the prequel, most importantly the relationship between the two main characters, but also the concept of doors leading to the human world and the importance that plays in other facets of monster life. "Monsters University" is a roaring success in the hearts of kids and the kids at heart who grew up with the original.
5. Man of Steel– A reboot film about the most esteemed and famous superhuman powers its way onto the big screen hoping to call itself the best Superman adaptation of all time. The handsome Henry Cavill, fittingly donning the cape and tights, delivers a respectable performance in the box office hit. Superman must defeat one of the few remaining survivors of his home planet, General Zod, played by the brooding and electric Michael Shannon. The film does admirable justice to the roots of Superman by including well known aspects such as his romantic involvement with Lois Lane (Amy Adams), the destruction of his home planet, and the discovery by his earthling parents portrayed by Diane Lane and Kevin Costner. The film provides excellent foundation for DC sequels and molds to what an entertaining blockbuster should be.