Top 10 Favourite Movies of 2015

Posted: December 31, 2015 in Movie reviews, Top 10s
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

So it’s that time of year again where I look back on all the films I saw then make a top 10 of my favourites from that year. Same rules as before apply, this list is entirely my opinion and these are only movies I’ve seen. So if I miss out popular ones chances are I haven’t seen it or I felt differently about it. So without further ado:JW Banner

10. Cinderella

Cinderella

Starting with one of the year’s earlier releases the live action adaptation of Cinderella. After last year’s Maleficent left a bad taste in my mouth Cinderella plays things safer, a move that is ultimately for the best. This movie attempts to add more backstory to Cinderella’s childhood as well as the step mother. Whether or not you cared about it, it was still a nice addition. Both Lily James and Richard Madden are enjoyable as the romantic leads as well as Cate Blanchet (though admittedly she can be OTT). The area where this movie shines the most though is in it’s visual presentation, from the landscapes to the effects, it’s all around just a beautiful movie to look at. This movie may not break new grounds but it doesn’t butcher it’s source material the way Maleficent did.

9. The Shaun the Sheep Movie

Shaun the Sheep

I’ve always liked Aardman animated movies, be it Wallace and Gromit or the excellent Chicken Run. I wasn’t sure how something like Shaun the Sheep would translate to a movie, but the end result left me happy. A lot like Wallace and Gromit it relies a lot on visual storytelling (except this time there’s really no dialogue), yet children should have no trouble following the story. Once again the animation is top-notch by Aardman standards and there’s plenty of visual gags and moments of comedy to keep you laughing. Whilst it’s not my favourite Aardman animated film it still manages to be an ambitious and colourful feature for the whole family.

8. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers age of Ultron

Some may be surprised to see Avengers: Age of Ultron so low on the list, but that still doesn’t stop this from being a very fun superhero movie. Much like the first Avengers the character interactions are just as enjoyable as ever and the action is very impressive. The area where this movie falters is that it sometimes tries to cram in too much. New characters are introduced as well as new plot threads for the cinematic universe, it ends up being a bit overcrowded. Joss Whedon however writes these characters very well and his sure-handled direction ensures that this movie stays afloat. It wasn’t as good as the first Avengers, but considering that was a tough act to follow I think Age of Ultron is still a worthy followup.

7. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Mockingjay Part 2

Overall the Hunger Games series has not been the most consistent in quality. The first two were good, but Mockingjay Part 1 was slow and barely anything happened. In the finale however I’m glad to say we got a satisfying conclusion. This is the movie where I felt like everything was at stake, it’s a full on war and is definitely the darkest in tone. The acting is great all across the board (J-Law as usual is great), and as this is the finale in the series expect to see some main characters die (I’m not saying who though). I don’t know how much better or worse this movie is if you’ve read the books beforehand, but for now I’d say Mockingjay Part 2 ranks up with Catching Fire.

6. Ant-Man

Ant Man

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe going from strength to strength and growing ever bigger, sometimes it’s a good idea to go a bit smaller, and Ant-Man does that in more ways than one. In a way that’s what I appreciate most about Ant-Man, it doesn’t try to be something grand and epic, it just wants to be a fun action romp, and it succeeds. Paul Rudd is great here and brings his usual wise-cracking charm to proceedings. Rather than being an origin story (which we’ve seen plenty of) this goes for more of a “Passing down the torch to a newer generation” story. Oh and that climax. Not to spoil anything but let’s just say Thomas the Tank Engine plays a prominent role. Ant-Man is a great way to end phase 2 of the MCU and is the best superhero movie released this year.

5. Jurassic World

Jurassic World

If you saw my review of this film then you already know what I think about it. Out of all the Jurassic Park sequels this one feels closest to the first movie in tone. There is a plot but at heart the movie knows what it wants to be, a big, fun and exciting dinosaur action movie, and that’s what we got. It has some of the most fast paced and exciting action in the series, and Chris Pratt makes for one of the franchise’s most likeable leads. It also pays more homage to the first movie as well as echoing how we viewed dinosaurs back then and how we see them now. Here’s the deal, if you’re expecting this to be as good as the first movie you’ll be disappointed, but if you just want a fun time with plenty of thrills then this movie more than delivers.

Oh and anyone who wants to bash on this movie for being “Sexist”, two words. Shut up!

4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars the Force Awakens

I don’t consider myself to be a big Star Wars fan, but I can still appreciate what the films have to offer. The originals are classics, the prequels (Revenge of the Sith aside) are crap, and this new one? I’m glad to say it leans more towards the originals. It goes more for the simplistic storyline but with the memorable characters. Old favourites such as Han Solo and Chewbacca return and new characters are great (in particular the female lead Rey). The special effects and production values are once again great. Essentially this movie’s goal was to introduce a newer generation of people to the Star Wars universe and what was so great about the original movies, and in that regard it was a rousing success (especially considering it’s now in the top 10 highest grossing films of all time).

3. The Martian

The Martian

It seems that every year there’s some big, scientific space movie (i.e. Gravity and Interstellar). This year it’s about an astronaut who is stranded on Mars and has to use his limited resources and his scientific knowledge to survive. What really helps this movie is how likeable the main character is. Matt Damon is able to bring enough humanity to his character and can also be genuinely funny. With further development of potential life on Mars it’s interesting to see our main character try and survive in such conditions. Whilst I’m not sure how scientifically accurate the movie is (might need to get Dr Neil Degrasse Tyson in on that) you as the audience are willing to buy it. The Martian stands as one of the year’s cleverest, most intriguing and funniest movies.

2. Whiplash

Whiplash

I’m normally quite hesitant on putting holdovers from last year on this list, however this year had some good holdovers (like Birdman and The Theory of Everything). But if I had to choose just one it would definitely be Whiplash. The story centred around a young jazz drummer who wants to be one of the greats is simple in concept, but excelled by the conflict between the two leads. Miles Teller gives a confident performance but it’s J.K. Simmons who is the star here as the heavily abusive jazz teacher Terrence Fletcher (winning a very well deserved Oscar for his performance). The musical scenes are all very well shot and the movie is very tense. Also you may feel bad for laughing at Terrence’s cruel but creative insults. While some may find the movie too mean spirited to sit through they’ll be missing out on a raw, intense and fulfilling cinema experience.

Now for some honourable mentions before number 1:

  • Furious 7
  • Spectre
  • Steve Jobs
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • The Theory of Everything
  • X+Y

 

1.Inside Out

Inside Out

After Toy Story 3 Pixar were less consistent with quality. From the rubbish Cars 2 to the average Brave to the enjoyable Monsters University they finally craft another masterpiece in the form of Inside out. The movie takes place inside the head of a young girl and shows how the various emotions (such as Joy, Anger and Sadness) control her. What Inside out does is take a concept that’s been done before and totally runs wild with it (I really don’t want to spoil it but let’s just say it’s very clever). Offering fun and unique characters, a lot of energy, inventive scenarios and emotional moments that really hit home Inside out is the perfect example of a movie for everyone and shows that animated movies can be just as good as live action ones.

So those were my favourites from this year, and if you’re wondering I will do a worst of the year sometime soon. What were your favourites this year?

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