Posted by: themoviecheese | June 11, 2015

Top Ten Films of 2015…So Far

Top 10 Movies of 2015…So Far (Mid-year review)

10. Maggie

AHNULD rises to the challenge in his most dramatic role yet in a film that has divided audiences down the middle. It is an admittedly slow paced film, but that was always the point. Instead of showing us the carnage, Maggie instead chooses to build on the tragic relationship of its two leads. Schwarzenegger really does act his absolute bollocks off, and this makes the film admirable if only for its ability to bring out the “actor” in him.

9. Ex Machina

Alex Garland’s directorial debut is a beautiful sci-fi that depends more on it’s intellect that its visual effects.  The visual effects are great, but that’s not what this film is about. Absolutely guaranteed to make you think, Ex Machina’s only downfall is that there’s not really anything that doesn’t feel familiar.

8. Big Hero 6

You’re not likely to have as much fun with a recent animated film as you are with Big Hero 6. I approached this film with trepidation, but my god I was wrong. It really is an animated child-friendly version of The Avengers (it’s even based on a Marvel comic book), but don’t let that put you off. Like most recent Disney outings, there is plenty here for adult and child alike in terms of comedy, action and heartfelt emotion.

7. John Wick

Keanu Reeves’ big comeback film is a sheer roller-coaster of expertly choreographed action sequences and a simplistic yet surprisingly effective plot. The gun-play in this film is insane, and a diverse supporting cast adds some brilliant characterization, including one of the very best on-screen deliveries of the word “Oh” ever.

6. Kingsman: The Secret Service

Matthew Vaughan’s relentless addiction to cartoon violence continues with Kingsman, a film that gives the most unlikeliest of actors (Colin Firth) one of the most badass roles in recent memory. Killer dialogue, great soundtrack and superb action sequences; Kingsman isn’t just stylized, it builds itself on the very idea of style. That church scene though…

5. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

This year’s ‘Let The Right One In’, Iran’s first ever vampire film is strikingly original combining several slow-burning horror tropes with that of the western genre. Not necessarily scary, but will crawl under your skin and pitch a tent there all the same. Ana Lily Amirpour is certainly a director to watch.

4. Spring

Spring is a rare beauty that I didn’t know what to expect from. Directed by one of the “VHS: Viral” peeps, I certainly wasn’t expecting what I eventually saw – one of the most unique and engaging films of the year. 2015 really has been a year for innovative horror films (I’ve no doubt It Follows falls under this category, but unfortunately I’ve yet to see it), and Spring is no exception to the rule. It’s spellbinding romantic yet haunting tale that will have you utterly engaged from the get go.

3. Whiplash

The word “tense” is thrown around a lot when reviewing a film. But, fuck me, Whiplash epitomizes the word! Simmons’ performance is terrifying and the pacing is breakneck stuff. Whiplash is incredibly taut stuff and doesn’t let up for a second. Whenever you think it’s going to allow you catch a breather, Simmons goes off on one all over again, and you begin squeezing your armchair all over again.

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

George Miller is 70 years old. He’s 70 years old and yet he’s directed one of the most visceral and brutally entertaining action films of the past decade. Some people started to doubt it during the marketing, but here it is and it is better than any of us could have even imagined. Hardy may struggle with the accent at times, but talking was never a necessity to playing Max anyway (he has, what, 16 lines in Road Warrior?). Theron’s Furiosa is a great new addition to Max’s world and the villains are as colourful as ever. The whole thing is just stunning as well, with most of the action being *real* as opposed to an overabundance of CGI. CGI is used very sparingly and only when absolutely necessary, and the action sequences are a lot more entertaining because of this. Did i mention the director is fucking 70 years old?

1. White God

White God is essentially Rise of the Planet of the Dogs, but I can’t help but feel like I’m cheapening the film somewhat by saying that…it’s so much more than that. For starters, its the most tense and hard-to-watch film of the year, but it’s also the most satisfying and deliriously entertaining. Watching a group of some of the nastiest humans get what’s coming to them by an army of “man’s best friends” is more fun than you could think. Imagine a version of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, where the bird are replaced with dogs and you root for them instead of the humans. You don’t even have to be a dog lover to like this film. Even if you hate dogs, you’ll fucking *love* the dogs in White God. It’s a carefully plotted and paced film with the absolute best payoff/climax of the year (yes, even better than Fury Road’s)

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