Welcome to another episode of moviemanMDG’s Movie Talk, where I talk about everything film-related, whether it’s news, trailers, or my thoughts on a specific film. The year 2015 is drawing to a close and as we look forward to the films that are coming out in 2016, it’s time for me to look back at the films that inspired me and the films that are mostly relatable to every part of our lives. 2015 has delivered the good and the not-so-good moments when it comes to film, but for this episode, I’m sticking to the positive side of life as I count down the top ten favorite films of 2015. Just so you know, this list is based on my personal opinions, so if you got a problem with that, I suggest you read no further. With that said, let’s get to it.
The boys in the hood know how to rock! “Straight Outta Compton” is one of Universal’s surprise hits of the year and it shows. Director F. Gary Gray did a fantastic job at showcasing the harsh reality of the late 80’s/early 90’s thanks to some strong performances, some well-shot rapping sequences and a worthy screenplay. This is a perfect way of explaining how the N.W.A. came to be and how music reflects how we see life.
Some people just don’t know the consequences of creating technology we can’t control. “Ex Machina” successfully defined science fiction cinema. The performances were great, the originality was well-handled, and the development around the characters was directed flawlessly. Definitely worth a watch if you haven’t already.
“Sicario” is a haunting, realistic, and gripping film that takes audiences into the violent world of Mexico and never lets go until the very end. If you thought Prisoners was dark and disturbing, just you wait until you see this film. This movie’s got it all: mesmerizing performances by Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro, amazing cinematography that deserves an Oscar nomination, and its disturbing sense of realism. A fantastic piece of work from director Denis Villeneuve.
“Grandma” is one of those films where mean-spiritness and heart go perfectly well together. Lily Tomlin delivered a humorous performance as a lesbian poet that could earn her an Oscar nomination. Along with some great use of humor, a solid screenplay, and a simple storyline, this film is as satisfying as any other indie film should be.
Max is back! “Mad Max: Fury Road” is the long-awaited fourth installment of the Mad Max franchise, and it doesn’t disappoint. Director George Miller took what worked in the Mad Max trilogy and made it into an action-packed experience that will impress both old and new fans of the franchise. Filled with stunning action sequences, practical effects, and flawless cinematography, this film took action to a whole new level.
Quentin Tarantino is known for telling engaging stories that involve heavy violence and foul language. “The Hateful Eight” is no different. I loved just about everything from this film: the performances, the cinematography, the direction, the violence, and the mystery. A fantastic tribute to the classic 60s westerns and the early days of roadshow presentations.
This film gives me the chills every time I think about it. “The Walk” is one of the best 3D experiences of the year since Gravity back in 2013. Not only that, but its themes of following your dreams still ring true in life because I’m following my dreams of becoming a professional movie critic. Joseph Gordon-Levitt mastered his role as Philippe Petit perfectly and the 3D was extraordinary, especially during the third act. I’m really disappointed that not a lot of people are seeing this wonderful film from Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis.
Star Wars fans rejoice! After years of anticipation and speculation, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has finally arrived and guess what? It’s awesome! Like Mad Max, this seventh installment took what people loved about the original trilogy and made it into something special. Filled with characters old and new, astounding visuals, and a sense of fantasy and adventure, this film is worth watching for Star Wars fans young and old.
“Steve Jobs” is pure brilliance from start to finish thanks to some Oscar-worthy performances, an engaging screenplay, and Boyle’s direction. This film not only showcases how technology improved over the years, but also shows the human side of the Apple co-founder.
Before we get to my absolute favorite film of 2015, here are some honorable mentions that didn’t make the cut.
-It Follows: A haunting and disturbing tale that seemed to blow the other cheesy horror films out of the water.
-The Diary of a Teenage Girl: Although its concept is disturbing for some, this indie flick knows what it is without playing it too safe.
-Shaun the Sheep Movie: Aardman has returned to form with this sweet, harmless and cuddly animated gem from the makers of Wallace and Gromit.
-Furious 7: The high-octane franchise isn’t slowing down anytime soon. With its entertaining action sequences and an emotional tribute to the late Paul Walker, the seventh installment to the Fast and Furious franchise is fun, fast, and most of all, furious.
-Bridge of Spies: Despite some slow parts in the second act, director Steven Spielberg delivered another well-acted historic drama in the form of Tom Hanks’ astounding performance.
-The Martian: With some strong performances (mostly from Matt Damon), its visual landscapes, and an engaging screenplay filled with drama and humor, “The Martian” is a worthy adaptation of the best-selling novel.
-Mr. Holmes: A brilliant and well-told tale of the elderly Sherlock Holmes and the case that lead him to his retirement.
-Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: Beautiful, well-directed, and emotional.
-The Peanuts Movie: A gorgeous and heartwarming reintroduction of the Peanuts gang to a new generation of fans.
All right, everyone, are you ready for this? My number one favorite film of the year is...
After a few years of bad luck, Pixar has finally returned to form with a little help from some emotions, of course. “Inside Out” is not only one of my favorite animated films ever, but also one of my favorite films of all time. Filled with fantastic animation, memorable characters, and some heartwarming themes that are relatable to both kids and adults alike, this film is a definite must-see for all ages. I loved this movie so much that I managed to see it in the theater seven times.
What’s your top ten favorite films of 2015? Let me know in the comments section and stay tuned for my top ten least favorite films of 2015. Here’s to another year filled with magical movie experiences.