By: Sean Gardner
While the theaters are filling up with potential Oscar contenders, I thought it would be a good time for me to take a look back at my favorite films of 2015 so far. This list is in no particular order, but here are my top 5 films of this year so far:
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Rogue Nation is the best Mission: Impossible movie in my opinion. I could not believe that Tom Cruise was actually strapped to the side of that airplane when it took off. I thought that they had ruined the surprise by putting it in the trailer, but the fact that it was at the beginning, made me excited for what was coming next. The action sequences were not muddled with annoying “shaky-cam” editing, especially during the fantastic motorcycle chase scene.
I was a little disappointed by Inside Out to be completely honest. I had heard that the people at Pixar thought that this was like their Mona Lisa or something, so I had extremely high expectations going in. I thought it would be more funny than it was, but what it lacked in laughs, it made up for in heart.Being a student of psychology, I loved the concept from the start. This is probably one of the most “true to life” stories Pixar has ever done. It goes deep into the mind of a child and flawlessly explains how it works.
Mad Max: Fury Road
There are certain landmark films in my life: The Phantom Menace (don’t judge. I was 9 when it came out and it’s more nostalgic for me than anything else), Back to the Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Dark Knight, and now Mad Max: Fury Road joins that list. This is by far the best action movie of the year and deserves to be in the discussion for the best action movie at least for the last decade. I will not spoil the plot because there is no plot to spoil. What they show in the trailers is what happens in the movie. It is no joke a two hour chase scene in the Australian desert. There are guys on polls swinging around, explosions, fist fights, revving engines and fuels spewing war boys hanging from wires playing flame throwing guitars. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like my kind of action flick.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
This film came out of nowhere for me. I had no idea it was coming out until I saw a trailer for it and I thought, “that looks pretty good.” I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. It is self-aware in the sense that it is a spy movie that spoofs the spy movie genre. It is similar to Scream in that, while funny at times, it is not a comedy. Both films kind of poke fun at their respective cliches and tropes while following them at the same time.
Ex Machina one of the best sci-fi films I’ve seen in a long time. It is a minimalist picture with essentially only three characters. It has deep rooted themes of what it means to be human. It came out earlier in the year and I hope that the Academy does not forget about this refreshingly originally thriller come Oscar nomination time.
Some honorable mentions are Southpaw, Jurassic World, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Some movies that have been released and I have yet to see are The Visit, Black Mass, Furious 7, and The Martian. I am also anticipating movies like In the Heart of the Sea and The Revenant to be on my Best of the Year list.