Lots of genre pics here in my 2015 list. Of course, there are a tonne of great 2015 films I won’t get to see until this year, so don’t be upset if your favourite isn’t below. Feel free to argue with me in the comments section also!
1. It Follows
Even on a second viewing, this remains terrifying, edge-of-your-seat stuff. The best horror film I’ve seen in years. Simple in premise, brilliant in execution, and with a stand-out performance from Maika Munroe, this is the horror film that proves once again that less is more.
2. Ex Machina
I heart Alex Garland. From 28 Days Later… to Sunshine and Dredd, I’ve loved just about everything he’s written. His directorial debut is stunning. A single location thriller, it’s some of the best sci-fi we’ve seen in years, and with three standout performances.
You know what? I’m just gonna come out and say this is the best Mad Max film so far. Miller’s action film is a thing of beauty. The story is ultra-simple but there’s an incredible depth to all the characters. The outstanding blend of practical and visual effects shows just how films like this should be made.
Unfairly ignored in the cinema, this unusually upbeat science fiction film really impresses. Despite having Clooney’s face all over the advertising, the film actually belongs to Britt Robertson and Raffey Cassidy. Some great, old-school Disney storytelling here. Also, if you were disappointed that the Bioshock movie never happened, check this out.
Released in Australia on 1 July 2015, this film just scrapes over the line even if most people put it in their 2014 list. Bumblebee Humblesnitch is great as always. A well-written thriller that documents a fascinating point in history, this struck an impressive balance.
The Impossible Missions Force have a screening process as bad as the Counter Terrorism Unit. Tom can’t trust his superiors, so he has to run really fast. We’ve seen it all before, but it’s directed with such aplomb that you don’t mind. Plus Rebecca Ferguson is excellent.
7. Inside Out
Pixar are back firing on all cylinders with this one, easily their best since Up. The fact that they finally managed to make a great film with a female lead character isn’t to be overlooked either. It makes the average The Good Dinosaur all the more disappointing.
The film which proves Studio Ghibli shouldn’t give up on feature films, this low key ghost story is a really sweet piece of storytelling. And of course the animation is truly beautiful. One of my favourite Ghibli films now, this will sit proudly on my shelf next to My Neighbour Totoro.
9. The Martian
I hate to be the guy that says “the book was better than the movie”, but…well…the book was better than the movie. It’s just as well the book was extraordinarily amazing then, because Ridley Scott’s movie is great. Matt Damon is perfectly cast and the supporting players are uniformly excellent.
Two films for Alicia Vikander in the top 10 this year! With this and Ex Machina, we see that’s she’s an extraordinary performer (let’s just ignore Seventh Son, yeah?) It’s also great to see a war film from a female perspective for once.