Let’s begin by stating most on this list will not be contenders for Oscars, unless the Academy believes nerd-loving sci-fi and action deserves its own category (or at least recognition)
This year reality beat fiction in the drama genre and this list reflects that. Pure, unadulterated escapism. 2015 brought great action flicks with stunning visuals and stories, some of which will return to delight us further in the years to come. Dramas may have better year in 2016 (but we already have T.V. for that!)
Star Wars The Force Awakens
Hands down, one of the best releases of 2015. This was also one of the most anticipating releases of 2015 and luckily, it did not disappoint.
“J.J. Abrams has done well. The creative team for this one (which of course includes George Lucas) has come up with a good story that ties in well with all previous installments, yet fresh enough to appeal to new audiences. I have a very strong feeling (the Force, maybe?) that you could follow and and enjoy this movie, even without having watched all previous installments.” Full review here
This one was a pleasant surprise and without a doubt the best comedy of the year. We’ve known for a while the comedic powerhouse that is Melissa McCarthy and this movie is one of its best showcases.
“This film is proof that if you put Melissa McCarthy and director Paul Feig, movie magic is bound to happen. Comedy gold, more like it.(…) McCarthy definitely is a force to be reckon with in Hollywood and partnerships with Feig make her truly shine. Spy will be a very tough contender to beat in the comedy category this year!” Full review here
Avengers Age of Ultron
As one would always expect, a Marvel Studios movie had to make the cut, and it is, unsurprisingly, the latest Avengers installment. The film was a tad less exciting than its predecessor, but still incredibly satisfying for fans of the first one (a very tough act to follow). Special effects and action scenes were outstanding; performances were top-notch, both from the recurrent characters (Captain America, Iron Man, Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and my boyfriend Thor) and new additions (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch). Although at times over the top action scenes took away from the storyline, the latter was still interesting enough to keep wanting more from franchise. Full synopsis and credits here
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
No one ever thought yet another Mission Impossible would be this good, and yet here we are!
“There is never a tedious moment in this movie and it will keep you at the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next. And then you’ll remember this is a Tom Cruise franchise and as such, it’ll all end well. Need I say Cruise did his own stunts on this one, too? That includes high-speed car and motorcycle chases (with crashes included), hanging off a plane during takeoff, and holding his breath underwater for an amount of time that’s almost not humanly possible. But, of course, you already knew that.” Full review here
This documentary about British singer and overall pop icon, Amy Winehouse is a sad and devastating account of her rise to fame and the demons that plague her throughout her journey to the top, which eventually cause her untimely demise. Her story shows some of the troubles she faced growing up and how it was music her refuge when nothing else seemed to be going well. And in a very ironic twist it was the music (or more the notoriety that came with it) that paved the way to her downfall, a road marred by addiction and terrible male figures in her life. This film is proff that reality can be sometimes more dramatic than fiction. Full synopsis and credits here
Mad Max: Fury Road
Of all the releases of 2015, no one saw this one coming. Sure, there was some anticipation being the latest installment of the original 1980s Mad Max saga, but it was not even close to say, Star Wars madness. And yet, when released it was met with incredible praise. The visuals and action scenes are quite impressive and although some have called it a long car-chase movie with no story behind it, much of the plot is implied in the fast-paced action. I sense that a lot of those who disliked the movie do so because the title role of Max Rockatansky played by Tom Hardy doesn’t seem to be as much a protagonist as does Charlize Theron’s character, Imperator Furiosa. I’m perfectly happy with female badassery, though! Full synopsis and credits here
The day a Pixar movie doesn’t make it on a list of “best movies” is the day where I become Tom Cruise’s number 1 fan (I don’t care how many good movies he puts out. That should never happen).
“As usual Pixar delivers an amazing story that touches a nerve, no matter who you are. You will laugh and you will cry (or at the very least get a little choked up). The animation is top not h and the cast is ridiculously good. Amy Poehler plays Joy, Bill Hader is Fear, Lewis Black is Anger, Mindy Kaling is Disgust, and Phillys Smith is Sadness. Seriously spot on casting choices!” Full review here
What We Do In The Shadows
Fans of the HBO series Flight of the Concords
probably never doubted the work from the guys behind the series, Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi would be anything less than hilarious. The movie follows the lives of 4 vampire roommates living in Wellington, New Zealand, in a mockumentary style plot. This one was my second favority comedy of the year. The low budget special effects and imagery add to the comedic allure of the story, but it is of course the quirky script and some of the deadpan performances that make this a hilarious, highly recommendd flick. Full synopsis and credits here
Oh yes, you are reading well. A fairy tale adaptation is amongst one of my best of the year. This adaptation is proof that you can make a good movie out of even that sugary sweet tale we’ve all come to know (and some of you, love). Director Kenneth Branagh has delivered a beautifully told interpretation; the story has a lot of realism to it, while still providing plenty of magic to go around. The cast is key in the success of the movie. Lily James as Cinderella is most certainly the breakthrough performance, with the ever so charming
Richard Madden playing the Prince, Helena Bonham-Carter as the Fairy Godmother, and the always outstanding Cate Blanchett in her most villanous role as Lady Tremaine. Full synopsis and credits here
Whether it’s time for Hollywood to stop putting Matt Damon in situations where he’ll most likely need rescuing, there no doubt this movie was a great one in 2015.
“The Martian is a very good movie. It continues the recent trend of devoting most of the plotline to a single character in an extreme situation of solutide. The story is fun, thrilling, at times predictable, but overall, quite enjoyable. Considering how most of the plot is driven by Damon’s character, and since we’ve already established the guy has had plenty of experience playing “stranded”, one could expect no less.” Full review here