We’re about half-way through 2015 and, as such, have been presented with plenty of films. Early-year diamonds in the rough and breakout summer blockbusters have surfaced. Here are my favorite movies of 2015 as of June 21 (in order of their respective release dates).
It Follows (Dir. David Robert Mitchell)
This supernatural slasher presents a throwback to a simpler time for the horror genre. Scores were eerie. Killers were unstoppable forces. Sex was strictly off-limits. Jump scares were few and far between (and certainly didn’t make or break the fear factor). It Follows encapsulates these elements, making a modern look at an old favorite. The film is also an allegory about the constant forward force of aging, and that works for me, too.
You can read my full review of It Follows here.
You can buy It Follows through Amazon, too:
It Follows (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Includes download card) (It really is an amazing score. I have it on my iPod.)
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Dir. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon)
It may not have the ending that I want, but Me & Earl & The Dying Girl is still a smart young adult dramedy that is worth a watch. The young acting talent from the title roles (Thomas Mann, R.J. Cyler, and Olivia Cooke, respectively) shines, and the convention-breaking setup is refreshing (even if the conventions are reinstated in the final act). My full review of this film may sound like harsh criticism for a movie that I am putting on a best-of list, but it is a better YA movie than I could have ever expected it to be.
You can buy the book on which this movie is based on Amazon:
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Revised Edition)
Ex Machina (Dir. Alex Garland)
This quiet sci-fi thriller is enjoyable on a lot of fronts. Great acting and great writing combine to keep the pace quick despite the contained atmosphere of the setting. Oscar Isaac is lost in the drunk and wrecked genius of Nathan. Alicia Vikander plays her A.I. character with depth while avoiding falling into the cliches of the archetype. The increasing perturbation of Domhnall Gleeson’s Caleb is painted heavy on his face, the desperation of his character slowly becoming realized through Gleeson’s performance as the climax approaches.
You can own Ex Machina today through Amazon:
Mad Max: Fury Road (Dir. George Miller)
Two hours. One long car chase. This visually stunning, high octane action romp is nonstop. Sure this means an essential abandonment of narrative, but with the manic action and a badass Charlize Theron to boot, who cares? Fury Road might be the best action movie of the last decade.
You can read my full review of Mad Max: Fury Road here.
You can pre-order a copy of the film today:
Mad Max: Fury Road (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD +UltraViolet)
The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road [Book]
Inside Out (Dir. Pete Docter)
Pixar’s new project comes from Pete Docter, director of two of my favorite Pixar films: Monsters, Inc. and Up. The film has the visuals we’ve come to expect from Pixar. It has voice acting that is great across the board (particularly from Phyllis Smith and Lewis Black). And it is a children’s movie that does not depend on childish humor to succeed. Inside Out has quickly become one of my favorite Pixar films.
You can pre-order a copy of Inside Out on Amazon:
Inside Out (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack + Digital Copy)
What do you think? What are your favorite movies of the year thus far? Let me know in the comments!
As always, thanks for reading!
This article had a lot of links to Amazon products. That’s because Amazon provides great prices and is an awesome place to find and watch movies. Their Amazon Prime Instant Video service offers thousands upon thousands of movies and TV shows for you to watch. It’s like Netflix but a lot less red (which is such an aggressive color, don’t you think?). Through this site, you can get a 30 day FREE trial of Amazon Prime service, which includes access to this huge library of visual content. Sign up for the trial, watch all the movies that you want for a month, and then cancel the membership at no cost to you. Or, subscribe for a full year of Amazon Prime and get all the movies you could ever want. Click the link below to start your trial, it doesn’t cost you a dime and it lets me continue making this website a reality.
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–Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)