Best of SNO

‘A Quiet Place’ is full of uproaring twists

‘A Quiet Place’ is full of uproaring twists

By Shaye Holladay McCarthy, Clark Magnet High School

June 1, 2018

Set in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, "A Quiet Place" shows a family working together to survive on an Earth that has been completely overrun by blind predators that are attracted by man-made sounds. The film is tense, suspenseful and intriguing, causing the audience to think ahead and predict...

This is ‘It’, the horror triumph of the year

This is 'It', the horror triumph of the year

By Nick Stephan, Linganore High School

October 5, 2017

The 2017 adaptation of Stephen King’s classic blood-soaked thriller novel 'It' hit theaters on September 8th, its opening day box office record, devouring even Deadpool’s for an R-rated movie. As a young child, I was always fascinated by book’s like King’s. It follows seven kids in the Losers...

“Mockingjay: Part 2′ hits mark

“Mockingjay: Part 2′ hits mark

By Callie Boren, Canyon High School

December 3, 2015

'The emotional turmoil caused by “Mockingjay: Part II” works similarly to a bomb designed by Beetee: an explosion, just enough time to calm down, and a follow-up explosion. Against hovering warcraft-high expectations set by Part 1, the finale of the “Hunger Games” series reigns the victor. Before...

Lean mean streaming machines

Lean mean streaming machines

By Taylor Wood, Granite Hills High School

November 13, 2015

I know why you’re here. You read the headline and you’re checking to see if the NSA or the internet police is on your tail. Face it, we’ve all done it. According to a Variety article, the rate at which movies are illegally streamed via the internet, also known as “pirating,” has increased tremendously...

Movie Review: The Martian “Bring Him Home”

Movie Review: The Martian

By Ryan Bond, Linganore High School

October 28, 2015

Space: the final frontier. Wait, that’s not right. That’s Star Trek. While Captain Picard and his crew are off exploring the vast corners of the known universe, astronaut and botanist Mark Watney is stuck on Mars, fending for himself in the vastly deserted wasteland of the Red Planet. Twentieth...

‘The Gift’ that keeps on taking

'The Gift' that keeps on taking

By Sophie Haddad, Carlmont High School

October 27, 2015

Gatorade drips enigmatically. The shutters slap each other aggressively. The hallway stretches excessively. On the spectrum of horror, "The Gift" (R) is hard to place. It is incomparable to other thrillers because of its ultimately tame screenplay, lacking blood and gore. And yet, it is widely unsettling....

‘Straight Outta Compton’ is good, but it’s missing something

'Straight Outta Compton' is good, but it's missing something

By Ivy Nguyen

September 21, 2015

This isn't a movie just for rap aficionados. It's a movie that tells the story of five talented men in the 1980s trying to make it big as a rap collective. And people are listening. For the second week in a row, Straight Outta Compton (R) is the most-watched movie in the United States. Since it was r...

A summer blockbuster with heart

A summer blockbuster with heart

By Chris Bower

May 22, 2015

Three years ago, The Avengers came out, and it was one of the greatest cinematic spectacles the world had seen. Now, as Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in theaters, people wonder what the sequel holds for Marvel’s leading team. The answer: More action, more characters and, most importantly, more humanity. ...

‘Furious 7′ drives itself off a cliff

‘Furious 7′ drives itself off a cliff

By Sophie Haddad

April 6, 2015

It's just not enough. Seven movies, $819 million, a martial artist, a pop star, a helicopter destroying a skyscraper. None of it is enough to satiate my hunger for directionless, gratuitous car chases. Denounced by some as just another wasteful addition to an unnecessarily extended franchise, "Fast...

Why “The Interview” is exactly what the world does not need

Why “The Interview” is exactly what the world does not need

By Yasmim

March 25, 2015

On January 26 SNO published the article “Why The Interview is exactly what the world needs.” The title is self-explanatory, but the article basically portrays the newest James Franco and Seth Rogen movie as the epitome of Western freedom. I’ll admit, I’m a James Franco fan. I’m a Seth ...

Fifty shades of abuse

Fifty shades of abuse

By Katrina Hatami

March 23, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James has been a hotbed of controversy in the literary world since the novel’s release in 2011. The book, described as an “erotic novel,” traces the story of 21-year-old college student and journalist named Anastasia Steele, and the 27-year-old allusive business mogul Ch...

Short films serve as creative outlets, exploratory forms

Short films serve as creative outlets, exploratory forms

By Eva Perez-Greene

March 20, 2015

Artistic inspiration is everywhere, yet few feel bold enough to take the plunge and create something unique with it when they find it. Junior Karsten Runquist, a self-taught filmmaker, has challenged himself this year to produce one original short film per month. From his more mature horror short Yum to his y...

Alan Turing: a gay hero convicted by his own

Alan Turing: a gay hero convicted by his own

By Aparna Verma

March 16, 2015

People expect heroes to be perfect and charismatic. They should have superpowers, like Superman, or amazing agility, like Batman. Sure, they have their demons--everyone has skeletons in their closet--but heroes are supposed to overcome them. That’s what makes a hero, right? Wrong. Welcome to...

Senior Luepke leaves children ‘Frozen’ with delight

Senior Luepke leaves children 'Frozen' with delight

By Mackenzie Lee

March 12, 2015

With spring weather right around the corner, it seems that "Elsa’s" reign of terror consisting of snow and ice storms is finally drawing to a close. Although the winter weather is ending, Elsa – star of Disney’s Frozen – is far from gone. In fact, you can find her walking down the hallway right he...

ReelPeople, ReelOpportunities, ReelAbilities

ReelPeople, ReelOpportunities, ReelAbilities

By Tori Swart

March 9, 2015

Both verbal and nonverbal students with disabilities gather in this student-made short introductory film for the ReelAbilities Film Festival school outreach program. The festival invites people to come together to celebrate the lives, stories and art of people with disabilities. ReelAbilities is...

Spider-Man catches Marvel in web

Spider-Man catches Marvel in web

By Claire Lefton

February 26, 2015

Marvel’s most recognizable character, Spider-Man, is swinging over to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the past, the web-slinger was solely owned by Sony; he could not interact with any other properties like the Avengers. President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, announced the deal with Sony...

Mr. Grey will see you now

Mr. Grey will see you now

By Caroline Purtle

February 17, 2015

The book. That book. Maybe you saw it when you were sitting on your scratchy blue sun chair at the beach as you glanced to your right, only to raise a brow at the conga line of older women proudly turning its pages. Selling more than 100 million copies worldwide, that book, Fifty Shades of Gr...

American Sniper: patriotism or propaganda?

<i>American Sniper</i>: patriotism or propaganda?

By Claire Lefton, Sycamore High School

February 12, 2015

“In the latest Hunger Games movie, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s "Plutarch" views propaganda footage… and says, 'It’s a little on the nose, but of course so is war.' He could be talking about American Sniper,” film critic David Edelstein wrote in New York Magazine. Clint Eastwood’s extremely success...

Why The Interview is exactly what the world needs

Why <i>The Interview</i> is exactly what the world needs

By Hannah Sutherland, El Modena High School

January 26, 2015

I’m not a fan of James Franco. I’m not a fan of Seth Rogen. I’m not a fan of raunchy buddy-comedies. I’m not really even a fan of world news. The recent Sony Pictures production The Interview, starring Franco and Rogen, has received both backlash and support for its depiction of the murd...

Marco Polo: A Netflix wonder

<i>Marco Polo</i>: A Netflix wonder

By Aparna Verma, Catonsville High School

January 13, 2015

Recently, Netflix has shown a creative streak, producing rather spectacular shows that have garnered many fans from around the world. For example, the infamous House of Cards is well-known throughout the US for its legendary spin on politics and snarky dialogue. Orange is the New Black has haunted viewe...

The Gambler travels to unforeseen depths

<i>The Gambler</i> travels to unforeseen depths

By Sophie Haddad, Carlmont High School

January 12, 2015

I’m feeling lucky. All on black. From the tell-all trailer and typecast-able title, we may think we know all there is to know about The Gambler. Some idiot loses everything at a poker table and then spends the rest of the movie running from unforgiving headhunters to whom he owes money. To ou...

Katniss returns to Mockingjay Part 1

Katniss returns to Mockingjay Part 1

By Abbey Branco, Dartmouth High School

December 17, 2014

While The Maze Runner (2014) failed to pull through in the world of young adult dystopia, Director Francis Lawrence's adaptation of Suzanne Collins’s Mockingjay is triumphant. Carrying on from where Catching Fire (2013) left off, we see the weathered Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) strugg...

‘Mockingjay Part 1′ shifts series’ tone, keeps books’ integrity

'Mockingjay Part 1' shifts series' tone, keeps books' integrity

By Abby White, Shaker Heights HS, Shaker Heights, Ohio

November 26, 2014

Spoiler alert, but not about the movie: I devour books like potato chips. “The Hunger Games” trilogy has not escaped my appetite. I read Suzanne Collins’ books in spring 2010, at the height of their popularity. Even in France, where I lived at the time, everywhere I turned I saw posters for...

Indie comedy ‘In A World…’ shines and challenges

Indie comedy 'In A World…' shines and challenges

By Meghan Bennett, Normal Community HS, Normal, Ill.

November 17, 2014

"In A World…" stars Lake Bell, who wrote and directed the film, as Carol Solomon, a vocal coach hoping to break into the male-dominated Hollywood niche industry of voice-overs. She competes with her egotistical father, played brilliantly by Fred Melamed, and his protege (Ken Marino), for a sought-...

‘Dracula Untold’ leaves thirst for blood unquenched

'Dracula Untold' leaves thirst for blood unquenched

By Izzy Peterson, Linganore HS, Frederick, Md.

October 30, 2014

"Dracula Untold" pledged to enthrall and fascinate its audience with the historical and fictional mash-up of Vlad the Impaler and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. While it wasn't a terrible film, cheesy acting and iffy plot holes left me unsatisfied and craving something more.

Movie from 2014 grads wins at film festival

Ryan Huang and Maureen Gleason pose on the red carpet at the Catalina Film Festival with their award for Best Student Film.

By Madelyn Kelling, Owatonna HS, Owatonna, Minn.

October 2, 2014

It is a dream come true for former Owatonna High School students Ryan Huang and Maureen Gleason. The two University of Minnesota-Twin Cities freshmen have had a whirlwind summer with their film "The Root of Evil." Over the weekend of Sept. 27-28 the two attended the Catalina Film Festival and won the...

‘Maze Runner’ brings novel to life

'Maze Runner' brings novel to life

By Josh Mesick, St. Louis Park HS, St. Louis Park, Minn.

September 26, 2014

The only thing with more twists and turns than Wes Ball’s “The Maze Runner” is the labyrinth itself.

Wait – my Tanakh teacher is a singing astronaut?

Wait – my Tanakh teacher is a singing astronaut?

By Maayan Waldman, Shalhevet High School, Los Angeles

September 15, 2014

A member of the Maccabeats -- the famous Yeshiva University singing group -- is working part-time at Shalhevet this year while he creates his own solo music album in Los Angeles.

‘The Normal Heart’ is an AIDS story that resonates

'The Normal Heart' is an AIDS story that resonates

By Aparna Verma, Catonsville HS, Catonsville, Md.

June 4, 2014

Back in '80s, the HIV/AIDS crisis was rising in New York City. More people, notably gay men, were afflicted by this terrible disease, and, in a time where there was little medical knowledge about this virus, the ordeal was quite frightening. Young men were dying, and the people just didn’t know why....

‘Brick Mansions’ proves to be yet another wasted opportunity in the action genre

'Brick Mansions' proves to be yet another wasted opportunity in the action genre

By Colby Shoup, Homestead HS, Fort Wayne, Ind.

May 27, 2014

The recent resurgence in popularity of the dystopian film in the past five years thanks to “The Hunger Games” would be a welcome and healthy change in Hollywood, if any of the screenwriters behind these movies truly had anything interesting or new to say. Because of this unoriginality in the sub-genre,...

‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is a grand slam movie

'The Grand Budapest Hotel' is a grand slam movie

By James Mason, Boyertown Area Senior HS, Boyertown, Pa.

May 2, 2014

I’ve been looking forward to seeing "The Grand Budapest Hotel" for nearly two years now, ever since I saw "Moonrise Kingdom," also written and directed by Wes Anderson. Moonrise Kingdom was in my opinion the best movie of 2012, and immediately after seeing it I wanted to see what Anderson (who also c...

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is strong stuff

'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' is strong stuff

By Charlotte Vitti, Watertown HS, Watertown, Mass.

April 9, 2014

To the relief of fans everywhere “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” destroys the precedent set by its rather lackluster predecessor, “The First Avenger.” The characters are well-developed, the plot is intriguing, and the CGI is spectacular. It all comes together in a wonderful blend of dram...

Just ‘Let It Go,’ you guys: Why new Disney princesses are better

Just 'Let It Go,' you guys: Why new Disney princesses are better

By Manola Secaira, Bellarmine Preparatory School, Tacoma, Wash.

April 4, 2014

Nostalgia can be blinding. Having grown up with all the older Disney princess movies—for the purposes of this article, defined as any princess movie made before 2000 — it’s really tempting for me to think of them as the best ones. And don’t get me wrong, they are pretty awesome. The songs, the...

‘The Hinterlands’ musical has underlying positive message

'The Hinterlands' musical has underlying positive message

By Keegan Nicholas, Great Falls HS, Great Falls, Mont.

March 31, 2014

Due to a few structural differences that make it part of its own genre, "The Hinterlands" is unlike many other series that seem to run rampant on YouTube. Set up as a segmented chronicle of a high school misfit, "The Hinterlands" acts as a mini-drama with a positive underlying message. Additionally...

More than just okay

More than just okay

By Hannah Beckman, Francis Howell Central High School, St. Charles, Mo.

March 26, 2014

There are some stories that stick with you long after you’ve turned the last page. There are some stories that affect you in ways you never thought that printed words could. There are some stories that teach you how to love, how to live, and how to truly appreciate the world around you. And then there...

‘Jayhawkers’ movie shows how Chamberlain changed more than basketball

'Jayhawkers' movie shows how Chamberlain changed more than basketball

By Ryan Liston, Free State HS, Lawrence, Kan.

March 19, 2014

After a long drive from Philadelphia, Wilt Chamberlain sat down in a restaurant just outside of Lawrence. A waitress comes to his table and tells him he must eat in the kitchen or leave. At first, Chamberlain thinks his height is intimidating other customers, but he soon learns he can’t eat there...

‘Frozen’ thaws the hearts of adults and children alike

'Frozen' thaws the hearts of adults and children alike

By Karly Horn, John Carroll School, Bel Air, Md.

February 26, 2014

With the holiday season in my rear-view mirror, my one regret is that I didn’t see enough of this year’s holiday release films. Namely, the top box office hit of the season, “Frozen." I simply could not let this animated movie-musical go unwatched before it left theaters, and I am glad I didn’t. The...

Which movie will win Best Picture? Reviews of three nominees

Which movie will win Best Picture? Reviews of three nominees

By Aparna Verma, Catonsville HS, Catonsville, Md.

February 24, 2014

The Academy Awards will be presented March 2. Here are excerpts of reviews of three of the nine nominees for Best Picture in 2013. A review of a fourth movie, "Her," is in another post. "American Hustle" "American Hustle" is a crime, comedy-drama film set in the late 1970s to the early 1980s. Directed by David O. Russell, this f...

‘Her’ — Guy meets gadget

'Her' -- Guy meets gadget

By Lydia Johnson, Puyallup HS, Puyallup, Wash.

February 20, 2014

Technology has immersed itself so fully into the world that it is normal to have an entire relationship through a phone or a computer. We can talk to somebody in Australia, Boston or Singapore. The internet has brought a new medium of communication and has proven time and time again that physical tou...

“The Lego Movie” not missing any pieces

“The Lego Movie” not missing any pieces

By Sam Winter, San Dieguito Academy, Encinitas, Calif.

February 18, 2014

Where can the Justice League meet the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, Gandalf, Dumbledore, and Chewbacca? When can social commentary, partial nudity, and several on-screen decapitations pass with just a PG rating? How can I have fallen so in love with a two-hour toy commercial? "The Lego Movie" was really made for lovers...

Too young for R?

Too young for R?

By Zion Douglass, Catonsville HS, Catonsville, Md.

October 15, 2013

With the recent release of movies catering to “young adults” such as "The Hunger Games," "Beautiful Creatures," and "The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones," Hollywood has been steadily roping in a teenage audience. That being said, there has been an ongoing controversy in the industry over movies...