Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 at 3:00 pm
As the summer movie season has officially come to a close after the release of Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation, it’s that time once again to give you fine folks out there a list of my top ten movies of 2015, so far. Going over my list, it seems I have seen 49 new movies so far, and once again, this also includes older movies I have seen for the first time. And as I prepare my list, the easiest cut, is getting rid of the older movies, and then the real fun begins.
And so, I bring to you My Top 10 Movies Of 2015 (So Far).
#10 — Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation Now Playing in Theaters
And what do you know, the official end of the summer season came with a bang, and secured a spot in my top ten. 2015 was a year that gave us a few actioners that really showed us that great action movies are possible, and possible without relying on too much CGI, with more practical than computer. That might be a little tease of another movie on my top ten list. But this Mission: Impossible gives us another great installment in the series, some great action scenes (that car chase that leads to a motorcycle chase is awesome), and of course, the lovely femme fatale Rebecca Ferguson, who stole the scene more than a few times with her beauty and butt-kicking.
#9 — Dope Coming Soon to DVD/Blu-ray
A movie that I went into expecting one thing, and was surprised it was a little different than expected. It follows a group of high schoolers who are obsessed with 90’s hip hop and nerdy things. And with those two things, this one speaks to me personally. The story is a little weird at times, but there is also a great message behind this one, which they drop at the end of the film. Some great performances from Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, and Kiersey Clemons; some classic hip hop tracks on the soundtrack; and with Pharrell Williams involved, some new tracks as well. Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa, this one will have you nodding your head in your seats, and laughing your butt off as well.
#8 — Creep Available on Netflix Instant
A nice advantage to my top ten movies is that a few of them are available to watch right now, and with my #8 movie, Creep, you can watch it now via Netflix Instant. It’s a found footage film, sort of, about a guy (Patrick Brice) who is hired to film a guy (Mark Duplass), who is dying and wants to leave something for his son. But as the title suggests, not all is right, and what follows is a creepy movie, so creepy you will want to take a shower to wash the creep off of you, much like Compliance did a few years ago. It’s amazing that a movie that has a cast of two and pretty much one setting, stood out amongst many other horror flicks that came out this year, although not all of them, but more on that later.
#7 — The Wolfpack Now Playing in Limited Release
A documentary I went into with very little info about it, other than the fact it’s about a group of siblings who like to re-enact scenes from their favorite movies. But a few minutes into the film, you realize that that is not the full story, and that’s where things get really interesting. And I don’t want to spoil that for you, so I will leave you with just a high recommendation to check this one out.
#6 — It Follows Available on Blu-ray Now
I saw this in a theater and I can remember spending much of my time leaning forward in my seat, and my heart racing a few times. It’s one of those movies that pays you for paying attention to the background, and that just increases the tension in the movie. Top that off with a great score from Rich Vreeland, and some great performances from the cast, including our leading lady, Maika Monroe. I always appreciate a horror movie that doesn’t rely on jump scares to make you scared and tense. I will say that I can understand if you don’t like this one, it seems the likes and dislikes are about even, but for me, this one lies on the like side. And hey, as an added bonus, it could be a great educational movie about the horrors of STDs.
#5 — Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Coming Soon to DVD/Blu-ray
The movie festival darling has made its way into my heart and also on my top ten films of this year. A great movie about friendship and relationships, and for you movie fanatics out there, a great pasttime from our friends, as they like to remake classic movies, with a twist. That seems to be a common theme in my top ten list this year, as there seems to be a lot of those. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is full of indie film tropes, but for me, I love those and this one hit all the right marks. It’s going to take you on a journey of all kinds of emotion, with teary eyes and laughs aplenty. A great friendship between Greg (Thomas Mann) and Earl (RJ Cyler) and add in the dying girl, Rachel (Olivia Cooke), and it adds up to a great coming of age movie, about the trials and tribulations of being in high school and trying to find where you fit in.
#4 — Ex-Machina Available on Blu-ray Now
A study in AI and if it can pass as human. And when that AI takes a female form, does that influence the decision. Those are just some of the questions this Ex-Machina tackles. Domhnall Gleeson wins a contest through his company and gets the chance to spend some time with his eccentric and rich boss, played by Oscar Isaac. (FYI – both actors will be in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens.) And the AI in question is played by the alluring Alicia Vikander, who has a nice range of playing innocent, but perhaps there is more behind those wires and mesh. A great visual masterpiece for your eyes, and another movie that is set in one basic location, with a very small cast. It seems this year is filled with movies who are willing to keep things basic and prove that you don’t need to spend millions to make great movies.
#3 — Batkid Begins Now Playing in Limited Release
With all the bad things going on in the world, it’s always nice to know that there is also plenty of good in people, and this movie shows us that. I have seen Batkid Begins and I can’t help tearing up a little just watching the trailer. It’s the story about the wish of one kid, to be his favorite superhero, Batman, for one day. What started out as a small project turned into something big that conquered social media and our hearts.
#2 — Inside Out Now Playing in Theaters
And another movie that is all about the emotions, and one that proved that Pixar is back to being Pixar. After a few so-so offerings, I was happy to say that Pixar is back with Inside Out. A great story about a little girl and her family, who make an unexpected move, and the effect of that move on the family. With this animation studio there should be no surprise the great choice in the voice cast for each emotion, Amy Poehler as Joy, Phyllis Smith as Sadness, Bill Hader as Fear, Lewis Black as Anger, and Mindy Kaling as Disgust. I wanted to point out one more person, but that would be a spoiler for a great emotional part of the movie and I don’t want to ruin that for you. A sign of a great movie and one of the reasons this was at the top of my list, I saw this one a few times in theaters, a nice 3D movie as well. A great film that has a little something for everyone no matter your age, and you can’t help to fall in “lava” with this one. I think this could be my #1 movie as well, and I went back and forth before putting this one at #2. I would be surprised if it ends up being at #1 by the time I get to my full year-end list.
#1 — Mad Max: Fury Road Still Playing in Theaters
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the year, and what a great surprise that was, is Mad Max: Fury Road. No one expected this one to make such a huge impact on the summer movie season. Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron hit theaters a few weeks before and once Mad Max opened, we all forgot about Age of Ultron, as we got a non-stop action movie that gives you a few seconds to catch your breath, before the action starts up once again. There is just so much awesome in this movie, if you are a fan of action movies, this one is going to blow your mind. And some huge kudos for Charlize Theron, who pretty much kicks all kinds of ass in this one and steals the show, and was also part of the controversy with the film that followed. After all these years, George Miller set the bar for the rest of Hollywood when it comes to action movies, with a great visual style that will leave you with one question after you see this: When can I see it again? And I saw it in 3D and it was even more amazing, so if you can still check it out in 3D, please do yourself a favor and do so.
And there you have it, the top movies of 2015 at this point. As I was compiling this list I changed my ranks a few times and realized that I might have missed a few movies, which means I am going to have to revisit a few before the final list is compiled at the end of the year. I hope that maybe I spotlighted a few movies you will check out that were not on your radar before reading this. No matter if you agree or disagree with my list, the great things about movies, we each have our opinions and what some consider gold, other consider to be trash.