Top 10 Movies of 2015

Let’s do this.

10.) Project Almanac
There are teen movies, and then there are teen movies. This one pretty much perfectly captures the spirit of today’s youth, with a mix of gritty realism and a heavy coating of young, fun, thirsty-af vigor. Not to mention the whole time travel part of it is pretty well done.project-almanac.jpg

9.) Victor Frankenstein
The soundtrack, the snazzy editing, the great lead actors, the overall design and just the fun of it all made this movie for me. It was magnificent, and I don’t care what any highbrow rottentomatoes armchair critic has to say about it (won’t be the last time I say that on this list).Victor_Frankenstein_2015

8.) The Martian
The one time 3D has ever been kind-of sort-of worth it. And the best space-flick ever, in my opinion. Not that that’s saying much as I don’t think the genre’s really been tapped to its full potential, but still. A noble award.The_Martian_film_poster

7.) Everest
It’s a harrowing movie about a harrowing true story, and the final pictures after the credits roll still give me goosebumps when put side-by-side with the identical shots in the movie. Baltasar Kormákur nailed it.Everest_poster

6.) The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
It’s the snazziest, sexiest cold war movie I’ve ever seen. Do you know the plot beats before you go in? Sure. Have you ever seen them delivered with this much raw panache and style? Probably not. Plus, the soundtrack is sick.sM6KRdy

5.) Ex Machina
It’s a movie that makes you think about why sex with robots could but won’t be the future. Need I say more? It’s REALLY thought-provoking and just all-around fantastic.ex-machina-poster

4.) Mad Max: Fury Road
Good soundtracks are a reoccurring theme on this list, and Mad Max is no exception. Great soundtrack, great action, fun plot, kick-ass leads.mad-max-fury-road

3.) Ant-Man
After the travesty that was Age of Ultron, I thought I was going to have to boycott Marvel. And I just might, if Civil War sucks too, but for now, Ant-Man has reminded me just how much fun the comic book movie genre can be.Ant-Man_poster

2.) Fantastic Four
Read my two reviews of this movie (I went to see it twice in theatres and bought it on DVD, as well, just to make sure I wasn’t being subconsciously contrarian for the hell of it) if you want the juicy details. Basically, it’s a better version of Interstellar with a comic book twist at the end. And I love that. Plus, great soundtrack.images

1.) Kingsmen: The Secret Service
It’s a 2015 release in the U.S., so, deal with it. This might just be my favorite straight-up action movie of all time. It’s so fun and visceral and playful but thoughtful at the same time, while dancing with meta-humor but never so much as to break the immersion. Basically, it’s as close to perfect as I think I’ll see in this lifetime. Aaaaaaand… it has a great soundtrack. In no world did I expect to hear Dizzie Rascal’s Bonkers in a movie theatre. But it happened.Kingsman_The_Secret_Service_poster.jpg

Review of “Mad Max: Fury Road”

“Oh what a day. What a lovely day!” That’s one of Nux’s quotes in the movie, and it’s also how you’ll feel after exiting the theatre. mad-max-fury-road

Mad Max: Fury Road is an hour and a half car chase with an extra half hour of character interaction tossed in there for sake of story. But even with such an emphasis on high-octane action, I actually found myself caring about the characters more in Fury Road than any other movie this year, even though they all had the least development. It was amazing. I went from looking at Nux as nothing more than a crazy asshole to eventually learning to love him for what he was. And Max, well, he’s a side character in his own movie, but with only about thirty words of dialogue over the course of two hours, you can’t help but love him. As always, Charlize Theron is pro, not much to say there. And Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is in this too, surprisingly. Remember her? From Transformers: Dark of the Moon? No? Well, okay, point is she was good here.

The action is wonderful. There was a relatively tame action sequence (when compared to the others in this movie) about a third of the way into the film involving a squad of motorcycles, and it’s just about the coolest thing ever. I mean, the way the sand looks in the midst of all this fighting and driving is just so bad-ass, it’s like oceans of orange dirt spiraling out of control around off-road vehicular death-derbies.

Then there’s another sequence, during the big finale (super minor spoiler, barely even qualifies as one) where Max gets an arrow shot through his hand, and he just slams it against the side of his car door, effectively pushing the arrow out. While that might seem small, it’s something I’ve always wanted to see done in a movie (curious that it’s taken this long), and it just looked so bad-ass. That pretty much sums up all of Fury Road.

While the stuff I’m gushing over might seem relatively small-scale, fear not, the movie has TONS of larger action. I just liked the smaller, more tight sequences. But the bits with the storm and the pole-vaulters (teased in trailers) are amazing scenes as well.

In short, Mad Max: Fury Road is growing on me with every passing second. It’s definitely my second favorite movie of the year, maybe even starting to encroach on that prized first-place spot. Needless to say, it is a MUST SEE. Do not let this one leave you in the dust.