Another year and another slew of movies. Although, this year, more than others, I wish that we could make a worst movie list of 2015. I’m looking at you The Last Five Years, which was the biggest film let down for me since The Matrix sequels. BUT I digress… here are my picks for the BEST films of the year:
Starting the list off with some female power, this Judd Apatow film was both written by and stars America’s newest foul mouthed sweetheart, Amy Schumer. Schumer plays a woman who is not only a commitment-phobe, but also is as promiscuous as they come. That is, until she meets a sports medicine doctor, played by the hilarious Bill Hader. The film was not everything that I wanted it to be and more, but I did laugh my butt off and have the best time. Think of this as an even more uncomfortably hilarious Bridesmaids.
Speaking of infamous Amy, number 9 on my list the the documentary about the late songstress, Amy Winehouse. Directed by Asif Kapadia, Amy strays from the typical “footage and sit down interview style” of a typical documentary. Rather, it focuses on a lot of found footage of Miss Winehouse in her everyday life. Sure, some of the footage is beyond pixilated and so old that it’s difficult to tell what’s going on in the story, but you get so sucked into her story, that the pixilation becomes second nature. The film is gritty and heart breaking. I myself, being a HUGE Winehouse fan, knew her life story, but I have loads of friends who, for the first time, really felt for Amy and the tragic and charmed life that she led.
8. Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation
So… I’ll admit it now. I’ve not seen one Mission Impossible movie before this one. I REALLY don’t like Tom Cruise. But it seems that lately, he just keeps churning out box office smashes. My most recent favorite being Edge of Tomorrow. I also have to admit that it wasn’t really my doing in watching this film. It was date night, and this was one of the only movies that my boyfriend and I could agree upon, and it was a good choice. From the beginning of the film, we were riveted to the exquisite action sequences and snappy dialogue. We both really dig Simon Pegg, and his goofy Benji was the perfect juxtaposition to Tom’s cool Ethan. Not to mention Rebecca Ferguson, who was one of the most bad ass women that I’ve seen in a while. The one scene where she’s in the long yellow dress will forever haunt my memory and my dream wardrobe!
Another film that I was kind of dragged into, but ended up loving was Twinsters. One night while at my house, my sister told me that I HAD to watch this documentary because it will, “make you feel better about life.” And so, we started Twinsters, and I ate my words. The documentary about twin girls from South Korea reuniting in their young adulthood is funny, sweet, and really does give you hope about the condition of the world. You will be on the edge of your seat and rejoice with the “twinsters” the entire film.
6. Jurassic World
One of the most anticipated films of the entire year most certainly lived up to it’s hype. Jurassic World was thrilling, hilarious, and fun… as only a Jurassic Park sequel can be. Here’s the thing, we can’t recreate the original thrill of the original Jurassic Park, all that we can do is create the fun. And so what do you do? You put it in IMAX 3D with bigger and badder dinosaurs. Oh, and casting Chris Pratt as a Velociraptor wrangler, who’s kind of like an American Crocodile Dundee, can’t hurt either…
5. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Back for the second time, the Avengers came back… with a vengeance? Bad joke I know, but either way, this film was honestly better than the first. With more of a twisted story line, and a bit more character development, Avengers blurs the lines between a character study and superhero movie. Also, Ultron is so freaking cool! Just a really fun ride.
4. Love and Mercy
I can’t remember the last time I walked out of a movie and wanted to express how I felt, but literally could not formulate words. Love and Mercy tells the story of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. The film depicts both his life while creating Pet Sounds, which is one of the best pop albums of ALL time, and his life in the 1980’s while his controlling manager/ psychiatrist forces him to make another album. Although John Cuzack (older Wilson) and Elizabeth Banks (Wilson’s later love interest) are good in the movie, the real star is Paul Dano, whom I knew as the Silent Brother from Little Miss Sunshine. I did not even recognize him! His transformation was incredible as he sang and played for himself, and transformed himself into the tortured musical genius that is Brian Wilson. I would have placed the film higher, but I wish that the portion that took place in the 1980’s was as compelling as the 1960’s portion.
3. The Martian
One of my most anticipated movies of this year clearly did not disappoint. The novel, The Martian, became not only a page turner for me but a recommendation for anyone looking for a good read. Seriously, Mark Watney is one of the best written characters of all time. An astronaut in the near future, Watney (played by Matt Damon), is stranded on Mars after a freak storm. The story is all about Watney and Mission Control back on Earth defying the odds to bring Watney home. Directed by Ridley Scott, the film is breath-takingly beautiful and heartfelt. This film could have been my number one, but honestly, I felt that, although Damon won the Golden Globe for the role, that he might have been the weakest part of an otherwise stellar movie. Good performance, but not the Watney I was dreaming of…
2. Inside Out
Despite this film being Pixar, I was rather reluctant to watch. I mean, Pixar hasn’t had the best track record lately, and I had heard mixed reviews. But BOY, am I glad that I finally took the plunge. Starring a grand cavalcade of my favorite comedic actors, including my hero Amy Poeler, Inside Out had lots of laughter and lots of heart. Not only was I snorting as the cute and quippy jokes, but I found myself crying… seriously guys beware. This one will get you!
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Now this was EVERYONE’S most anticipated movie of the year. Everyone was waiting to see if The Force Awakens would harken back to the Golden Age of the Original Star Wars movies or the Dark Age of the dreaded Prequel Days. I myself, saw it opening night in IMAX 3D, and it was TOTALLY worth it! Just for the fandom alone of seeing so many dressed up for the newest installment, and hearing cheers in the theater as if it was a live event. BUT onto the film. The film itself is, as fellow contributor Nicholas Qualls, a nostalgia bomb. From the overly dramatized dialogue to the trademark swipe transitions. It looked like the old Star Wars, but better than that, this one had an edge to it. No cute-sy BS (except for BB8, but I think that EVERYONE can agree, he is the COOLEST little robot EVER!). I did enjoy Daisey Ridley’s bad ass Rey and Adam Driver’s evil Kylo Ren, but more than those was John Boyega as Finn. Boyega’s portrayal of a… how do we say this without getting spoiler-y… tortured soldier, was venerable, heroic, and sweet. You can’t help but fall for him. Also, Han Solo. Han FRICKIN’ Solo.