Movie Reviews


Izma Shakil

Seminole High's students show their reactions to the newest movies of 2019.

Ritika Vonguru, Reporter

As the award season is quickly approaching, many people are flocking to the theaters to see the best new movies. Seminole Newspaper has you covered for upcoming, independent, youth-oriented, and box office hits. 


Blinded by the Light:

A coming of age film that stars Javed (played by Viveik Kalra), a rebellious Pakistani teenager who is in the process of discovering himself and embracing his youth. Set in England during the 1980s, a time where racial attacks are prevalent and the economy is down, Javed finds himself floundering in British society. Once he stumbles upon Bruce Spingsteen’s record, Javed is immediately swayed by his compelling lyrics. In a dilemma between his Pakistani identity, writing, and rock and roll, Javed finds himself struggling to please his traditional immigrant parents with their dreams and his differing aspirations. 

Rating: PG-13

IMDB Review: 7/10

Rotten Tomatoes Review: 88%

Overall Review: 4/5 


Kalra’s performance was incredible. This film makes you laugh and cry at the same time. Javed’s character shadowed a resemblance to the youth growing up with traditional, conservative immigrant parents. The film is relatable to high schoolers going through the same thing as Javed and having an idol to look up to. Blinded by the Light captures the essence of growing up different from the societal norm and all the obstacles people of color faced during this period. 



Set on the story of famous musician Elton John (played by Taron Egerton), Rocketman recounts John’s story as he travels from his early days as an introverted pianist to becoming one of the most iconic faces in the music industry. The film shows the drastic transformation of John’s personality and distinguished style during his breakthrough in the 1970s. It centers on John’s legacy from receiving racks upon racks of awards and selling out stadium concerts to his harder issues involving sex and drug addiction. 


“It didn’t stay on a superficial level on his life, it went on a deeper level discussing love self esteem and growth,”said Ms. Browne. 


“This is probably one of my favorites. I think the lead did a great job of getting John’s character down. I also like how they included his own music into it all, and I absolutely loved the last scene,” said Senior Caroline Smith.

Rating: R

IMDB Review: 7.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

Overall Review: 4.5/5


Rocketman does an excellent job at capturing Elton John’s legacy. The movie is realistic; it keeps important aspects of John’s personality like his flamboyant costumes and his unique voice. The film does not just stay on the dramatic aspect; it blends comedy and includes the musical element that ties his story together. The film reveals a lot about John’s character that many people would not have known, it gives you a new perspective of him and other musicians– it is not always as it seems. 



Molly (played by Beanie Feldstein), the Valedictorian of her class, a huge feminist, and a Type-A bookworm, and Amy (played by Kaitlyn Dever), an equally huge feminist, an ambitious girl, and a driven student, worked hard in high school. As their senior year is coming to a close, Molly and Amy reminisce of their high school days. Pondering about school, they realize they did not have much “fun” because they were trying to get into prestigious colleges/ universities (like many of us are as well). They also find out that the kids who “partied” also got into good schools. Molly and Amy then reflect and regret the fact that they did not have as many enjoyable moments and decide to embark on the ultimate high school party before graduating. Filled with a little action, drama, and mostly comedy, it will keep you laughing non-stop.


“I’m really excited to watch this movie because I have heard so many great things about it and finding the story very relatable,” said sophomore Neele Lafontaine.

Rating: R

IMDB Review:

Rotten Tomatoes Review:

Overall Rating: 4.5/5


Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut was an ultimate sensation. Booksmart is a film that combines good acting with comedy, something we do not see as often. This film was particularly relatable because of the audience it appealed to– high school students. It keeps the message of friendship and work ethic, but portrays this in a comical way. Feldstein and Dever both execute their roles quite well and portray their characters with exuberance.


Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw:

A Fast and Furious duo, Luke Hobbs (played by Dwane “The Rock” Johnson) and Dekard Shaw (played by ) form an alliance to take down cyber-genetically enhanced villain named Brixton. Brixton gains access to an insidious bio-threat that puts humankind at an unforgettable risk. As they team up with Shaw’s sister, an M16 agent, they must go on a chase to prevent Brixton from getting any further in his mission.

Rating: PG-13

IMDB Review: 6.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes Review: 67%

Overall Review: 2.5/5


The action in this film was executed well, with great CGI and effects that give the illusion of realistic chaos. Johnson, Statham, Elba, and Kirby all do an eloquent job at their stunts and keeping character throughout. Although the performances were decent, the overall plot was not as stunning. The ‘cyber-genetically enhanced villain’ is extremely cliche, overused, and stale. Furthermore, the movie was part of The Fast and the Furious series but excluded all of the important characters in itself, such as Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriquez. The movie did not stay in the theme of fast cars and street racing like the others, it centered on an entirely different storyline and used two not so relevant characters of the franchise in their own movie. It definitely did not live up to the expectations the franchise had provided fans with earlier.


Hobbs and Shaw was less interesting than the past movies in the series; however, it still had a lot of action scenes to make up for that,” said sophomore Malana Grandieri.


Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile:

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile retells the horrific, but true, story of the psychopathic sadist, Ted Bundy (played by Zac Efron). Notorious for his “attractive” face, Bundy was able to convince many people of his innocence. Told from the perspective of Elizabeth Kloepfer (played by Lily Collins), Bundy’s girlfriend, Kloepfer recounts being unaware and in denial of Bundy’s heinous crimes until he confessed to her before being put on death row. 

Rating: R

IMDB Review: 6.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes Review: 55%

Overall Review: 3/5


The movie was great in that it portrayed Bundy’s character as accurate as possible. The audience did not take pity on Bundy. The film did an exceptional job to not let the romanticize the story or let the audience sympathize with Bundy’s character. It simply told the story of his vile acts; it did not sway too far from the real account. Everything down from the design of the building, to the dressing were exactly replicated and can be seen in old photographs. Efron’s performance, on the other hand, simply did not match the rest of the adaptation. The movie that was supposedly supposed to elevate Efron’s status from the Disney heartthrob and a comedic hunk of a star to a method actor/respected thespian was not successful. His performance was overall very mediocre and dry. It seemed that he did not master the art of acting, despite being in the industry for over ten years.


“It’s so twisted and so hard to want to know how it works. His [character] really gave me trust issues. I actually studied Bundy a lot in forensics and watching this movie I learned things I didn’t even know about him, “ said Hernandez.


Mary, Queen of Scots:

Appointed the Queen of France at just sixteen years old, and widowed only two years later, Mary (played by Saorise Ronan) heads back to her home at Scotland to reclaim her throne only to find out that both England and Scotland are appointed under the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (played by Margot Robbie). Set in the 16th century, Mary was urged to remarry and step down from the throne. However, Mary, a determined politician and wise woman, is seeking to form an alliance with her cousin, Elizabeth. Both Queens, jealous and fascinated by one another, rival in power for independence. They both persevere to fight for what they deem is right, despite lies spread, controversy, and backlash.


“I really want to see Mary, Queen of Scots  because I saw Reign on Netflix and Mary is also the main character. [She] is really strong and shows perseverance ; she knows what she’s doing and works really well with what life throws at her and does it with such grace.” said senior Grace Hernandez.

Rating: R

IMDB Review: 6.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes Review: 63%

Overall Review: 3.5/5


It is a detailed retelling of cousins Mary Stuart and Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor. Everything down from the jewels on their necklaces and the fabric of their gowns, is extremely accurate. Robbie and Ronan both wore real corsets to keep the shape and physique of their characters. The set decoration was also extremely detailed and historically realistic and accurate Robbie, of Australlian descent, portrayed Elizabeth’s accent very well and Ronan, a native of Ireland, also portrayed the Scottish tongue of Mary well. One would feel as if they are actually present in the time because of how realistic the movie is. The two characters only hear about one another, but never physically meet till the very end of the film. Robbie and Ronan stayed true to their characters and only interacted at that moment in the film as well. Overall, the film stays true to its early feminsit message. It keeps the eloquence and pois of Mary and Elizabeth, while remaining to keep their demeaning nature and attitude. 


Once upon a time in Hollywood:

Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of Rick Dalton (played by Leonardo Dicaprio) and Cliff Booth (played by Brad Pitt)  in Hollywood during the 1960s. Dalton, an already well established actor, is struggling to find a piece of work in the film industry that is not overused and cliché. Alongside Dalton is his best friend Booth, who also serves as his stunt double.Once they meet, Roman Polanski, a filmmaker, and Sharon Tate, an aspiring actress, their lives are changed as they embark on a journey at the golden age of Hollywood. 

Rating: R
IMDB Review: 8/10

Rotten Tomatoes Review: 85%

Overall Review: 4.5/5


Tarantino’s directing did not disappoint. Dicaprio, as usual, compelled a message through his acting. The film conveyed the realities of the entertainment industry during the golden age of Hollywood that was often put behind closed doors. The set design was also exceptional, it carried a glamourous and bright aesthetic while still capturing the nostalgic 60s elements, making the film so memorable and unique. Although some of the dialogues were quite lengthy, the movie was anything but boring.