I must say, 2015 was the year of the Sci-Fi movies—may it be as horrible as Jupiter Ascending, Terminator Genisys, or The Fantastic Four, or as entertaining as The Avengers: Age Of Ultron or Chappie, or as monumental as the comeback of the Star Wars Saga or the end of The Hunger Games franchise—several movies of this genre reigned supreme in what may be a fantastic year in film.
I know it is a little late for me to post my list of my favourite movies of 2015 (because it’s almost February 2016!), but because I have been doing this in previous years, I have to do it again for your reading pleasure! So, which movies made it to my top 10 favourite movies of 2015?
10 It Follows/The Visit
This is a tie between two of my favourite horror movies of 2015. Some may disagree about these two, but I chose It Follows because it served the audience something terrifying, but a different kind of scare, a good addition to this genre. On the other hand, The Visit, made by now-polarizing director M. Night Shyamalan (who I am still a fan even if he murdered The Last Airbender), is yet another wait-till-you-see-the-plot twist-in-the-end that Shyamalan is well known for. Both films delivered chilling scares and thrilling plotlines good enough for It Follows and The Visit to be identified as instant horror classics.
The first sci-fi film on the list is what they say as the iPhone to Blade Runner’s Walkman. A sophisticated visual feast, Ex-Machina tells the story about computer programmer Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) as he spends a week in a secluded estate of his CEO Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac), and be part of a Turing Test with an experimental A.I. named Ava (Alicia Vikander), whose EQ proves more complicated and deceptive than the two men could have imagined. What I loved about this film is that, apart from the subtle, yet stunningly polished visuals, Ex-Machina is clever, compelling, and disturbing all at the same time, makes you think of the power struggle of being a human.
A film about the son of Apollo Creed, who would do everything to pursue his passion of becoming a boxer, with the help of Rocky Balboa himself, Creed is a surprisingly fresh, funny, and thoughtful movie dedicated to the fans who grew up watching Rocky, and I am happy that they successfully brought back the franchise to its invigorating glory days for the new generation to witness.
– Set in the 1950’s, this John Crowley-Nick Hornsby’s adaptation of Colm Toibin’s novel tells the story of love, loss, and heartbreak of Ellis, a young immigrant who travelled across the sea from Ireland to New York to live a better life. Brooklyn is a beautifully written film that strummed me in the proper heartstrings and made me fall in love like a 16 year old. A fantastic actress even in her younger years, this is Saoirse Ronan’s best performance of her career, a performance that got her an Oscar nomination, and deservedly so.
6 The Martian
It’s obvious that I love Sci-fi films and I should say, Ridley Scott is a genius, probably one of the best when it comes to this genre. He raises the bar yet again with this instant classic, The Martian, a film about an astronaut (played with humour by Matt Damon) who was presumed dead and left on Mars after a failed operation. Apart from the director and Damon who were both excellent, this film is actually very funny and full of hope, thanks firstly to the best-selling Andy Weir-novel which this film was based on, and secondly to the screenwriter Drew Goddard. They all basically scienced the shit out this film.
The premise may sound simple and somewhat b-rated – a mother and child being held captive by a pyscho and the drama of them getting out of this difficult situation—but Room is much more complex and emotionally arduous than that. Told through the perspective of the five-year-old child, this movie is a masterful gem that tells their story of captivity and the wonders of discovering the real world; a world, as a child, never knew existed.
4 Inside Out
Oh well, just when you thought Disney and Pixar have pulled out all the big guns for the past few years, here they are again with by far one of their best works ever. I remembered watching this with my two closest friends and we knew and quite sure from the beginning that Inside Out would be an emotional rollercoaster ride because one, this is Disney-Pixar, and two, the theme of the movie is based upon the notion, “What if our emotions have emotions?” And, lo and behold, when the penultimate Bing-Bong scene came up, we literally and simultaneously leaned back, hands on our faces, and we began bawling. I even thought of doing a foetal position inside the cinema!
Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation, Spotlight is an eye-opening, riveting true story of courage, as a group of investigators exposed the shocking, disreputable truth of abuse indicting the highest level of Boston’s religious sectors – its Catholic Church. Written and directed perfectly by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, this film features an absolutely brilliant cast led by Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams that their believable acting alone will engross you on a sensitive subject that could be difficult to accept as true. One of the most relevant films in recent years, Spotlight has a legitimate chance of winning this year’s Oscars for Best Picture.
2 Star Wars: The Force Awakens
All Star Wars fan would agree, this film is THE highlight of 2015. We have waited long enough to witness this significant event in cinematic history – to unfold a new chapter of this epic journey from a galaxy far, far, away. This is not just an awakening of a new Jedi princess, or a young master of the Knights of Ren, or a new beloved droid, but the true awakening happened deep inside our inner childhood, our inner Force.
1 Mad Max: Fury Road
I am a Star Wars fan, but how come it’s not sitting on top? Well, it’s because of this surprise hit. Director George Miller exceeded all my expectations for an action film when it comes to giving an action-packed, immersive story. Tom Hardy, a naturally amazing actor, played the lead role seamlessly that as soon as he enters the screen as the iconic Max Rockatansky, you know that he will slay it. But add in Charlize Theron in the mix and you have a sure-fire knockout. Her performance as Furiosa may be one of the strongest female characters in recent memory. I think her performance was so ferocious and badass that she actually deserved an Oscar nomination! Ultimately, Mad Max: Fury Road creates a balance between a full-on high-octane adrenaline rush from start to finish, and an in-depth, significant look at the realities of the modern, infertile world, masked by a post-Apocalyptic wasteland.