Top 10 Best Films of 2015
So the year is almost at an end and that means the obligatory Top 10 lists of the year. We’re not going to pretend our lists are going to be much different to a lot of the others barring the simple fact that they’ll be correct and everyone else’s won’t be.
So without further ado, here’s Average Joes Blog’s Top 10 films of 2015 which might just feature dinosaurs, a 2 hour long car chase across the desert and a galaxy far, far away!
10. Bridge of Spies
One of the more modest of the year, for us Bridge of Spies was one of the best thrillers of the year. Set during the cold war, Tom Hanks’ New York lawyer James Donovan is trusted with trading a Soviet spy (Mark Rylance) for an American pilot who’s been shot down following a routine flight over Russia. It might be a bit too low key for some but we loved the performances from Hanks and Rylance as well as Steven Spielberg’s storytelling and his immaculate eye for a picture.
9. Furious 7
The Fast and Furious franchise is always sure to get us on board with girls, action and some of the best cars in the world guaranteed. While the seventh instalment still packed the ridiculous set pieces to keep your adrenaline up, it also bought an unexpected lump to our throats with a genuinely moving tribute to Paul Walker following his untimely death half way through filming.
8. The Martian
The Martian sees everyone’s favourite Matt Damon play an astronaut stranded on Mars after his team take off without him presuming he’s dead following a badass dust storm. It’s a great premise and essentially means the whole film is set up to be a waiting game. But The Martian is much, much more than that with a film that explores vast ideas on what it is to be human. It stays true to science with no aliens, no monsters and no galactic shoot-outs. The Martian is funny, at times very moving and is a real return to form for Ridley Scott following a few years of mediocrity.
7. Steve Jobs
If we’re honest, we were always going to love Steve Jobs. With Danny Boyle on directing duty and an incredible script from Aaron Sorkin, the biopic of the Apple icon was always going to be onto a winner. Michael Fassbender is mesmerising and does well to keep Sorkin’s script in check. In what is essentially a three scene film, Boyle similarly does a masterful job at keeping Jobs cinematic with cameras roaming down corridors and flashback dialogue expertly intertwined with present arguments.
6. Jurassic World
The relaunching of the Jurassic Park franchise had us split here at Average Joes Towers. The excitement at seeing John Hammond’s vision restored to the big screen was always accompanied by the nagging feeling that some things are just plain sacred. While Jurassic World could never replicate the inventiveness and awe of the original, it did manage to give us something exciting, funny – mainly thanks to the always brilliant Chris Pratt – and ridiculous in exactly the right way. The fact Jurassic World doesn’t even make our Top 5 shows just what a good year it was for the blockbuster.
While it’s technically a 2014 film and was shown at Sundance as early as January that year, UK cinema goers weren’t treated to Whiplash until this Jan. The film follows a young jazz student at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory as he’s – excuse the pun – whipped into shape by famed conductor Terence Fletcher played by JK Simmons. It’s frantic, superbly acted with JK Simmons picking up Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars and as intense as anything you’ll see for a long time!
The surprise of the year came from Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve and his dark thriller Sicario. From the gruesome opening scene of Sicario, you know you’re in for something special. It pulls no punches and deals with them so expertly, you’re not really sure who or where they’re aimed. Emily Blunt is incredible as the almost unwilling heroine and Benicio Del Toro somehow attracts empathy to his character where none should really be given. For our money, the two – along with Villeneuve – should both be in the Oscars running.
3. Ex Machina
If you’re into your sci-fi, you’ll know how hard it is to find a genuinely original movie in the genre in the current climate. They often lack originality rehashing out old ideas with not-so-subtle nods to old school classics. But it seems we sci-fi fans do get one cracker a year; last year saw the excellent Under the Skin with Scarlett Johansson hit our screens and this year saw Ex Machina, a tale of a programmer and his infatuation with a beautiful humanoid made by a slightly unhinged scientist. Sounds rehashed? It’s anything but with a nuanced piece that’s heavier on ideas than it is effects. It also features our film scene of the 2015 with an impromptu disco dance. And who doesn’t love one of those!?
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
With every other film in Hollywood being either a sequel or a remake, it’s hard to catch the paying punters off-guard in the cinema nowadays. But somehow, despite knowing roughly what to expect, Mad Max: Fury Road did just that! The remake to the much loved late 70s classic could have easily gone the way of other pointless remakes but instead delivered a full throttle perfectly bonkers road epic which, in our humble opinion, smashes the original out of the park! It also gave us the best character of the year with a psycho in a red jump suit playing a flame-throwing guitar while chained to a speeding lorry and one million tons of booming amp. Genius.
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Well, what else could it be? Rarely does a film come with more expectation and emotion attached to its release. It’s even rarer that said film actually lives up to that gigantic expectation. But my word, Star Wars Ep. 7 lives up to the billing and delivers even more with a funny, action packed and heartfelt love letter to A New Hope that has made us all thankfully forget the prequels and Jar Jar bloody Binks. The new characters fit seamlessly into the Warsy universe and the balance between the grandeur of epic battles and the subtlety of intimate relationships is nailed like only Star Wars can. Thank you, JJ Abrams. Thank you.
Annoyed at the lack of SPECTRE? Wanted some Avengers? Argue with us in the comments below!