Dozens of movies are produced each year but only a few are worthy of your time and even fewer which merit money to be spent by watching them in cinemas. 2015 is a year of sequels in many ways. From the successful Hunger Games second installment to the return of the Terminator series after 6 years. From the fifth installment of Mission Impossible to the seventh installment of the popular Fast and Furious saga and so many more, 2015 has also seen the return of many popular movie franchises. Here, we take a look at the 17 best movies of 2015 that had to offer and which should definitely make it to your movies-to-watch list:
17. Slow West
Brilliantly shot by Robbie Ryan, Slow West is John Maclean’s idea of a Western. The Scottish musician has used New Zealand’s landscape to depict the 1800s Colorado when guns ruled and there was little regard for human life.
The hard-featured German, Michael Fassbender, plays Silas who is a bounty hunter disguised as a protector of the young Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Jay is in pursuit of his love Rose (Caren Pistorius) and her father (Rory McCann, famous as The Hound in Game of Thrones), who are both outlaws.
16. Ex Machina
Artificial intelligence in the form of a hot female body definitely peaks the interest of many. Much like a terminator but without its one-point agenda of Kill-John-Conner, Ex Machina is much closer to reality and shows the possible danger of artificial intelligence fused with free will.
Winning a coding contest lands Caleb Smith a week at Nathan’s private estate, the company’s CEO that Caleb works. Nathan introduces Caleb to a humanoid, a dashing Ava (Alicia Vikander), in order to test her consciousness. The experiment is successful but with a tragic ending.
After nine years, director Todd Haynes is back in business with an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel, The Price of Salt. Having a knack for making movies that show the hidden desires of humans, Carol was certainly a good pick.
Set in the 1950s, a time when American society was much less tolerant and the subject was taboo, Carol is about two lesbian lovers who give in to their attraction. It shows the emotional battle of desires versus the shackles of society and marriage.
14. Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
For any rock music fan, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is an evergreen song. A treat for rock fans, Brett Morgen has done a splendid job to produce an authorized music documentary on the celebrated Kurt Cobain, lead singer and guitarist in the rock band, Nirvana.
It follows Cobain’s early childhood, his rise to success in the music industry followed by his early demise. The director has used material from Cobain’s personal archives.
13. Shaun the Sheep
The growing trend of the animation genre and its rising popularity is matched by an increase in animated movies. Produced by Aardman Animations, Shaun the Sheep is a comedy that uses character expressions and situations to entertain the audience rather than dialogues.
A sheep that walks on two legs, Shaun, along with its flock looks to set things right after their plan of putting their master to sleep and getting out of work backfires.
Asif Kapadia has produced an emotional roller coaster for Amy Winehouse fans. A look into Amy’s personal life in her own words, archival footage, family interviews, and more, it is heart-rending to see her sing her struggles away and die so young.
With the depth behind the lyrics and a family oblivious to her emotional traumas, Amy shies away from society and finds solace in drugs, a side unexplored here. Love is a game will feel more like a lament than a song after watching Amy.
11. The Martian
Matt Damon has become an astronaut figure lately, The Martian being his third adventure in space. We have seen movies with survival themes like Into the Wild and Robinson Crusoe, but survival on a hostile and foreign planet is however new.
Assumed dead and left alone on Mars with no supplies, Mark Watney (Matt Damon) must contact NASA on Earth and find means to stay alive. Predictable and yet captivating, Ridley Scott has produced another sci-fi that has already made it to IMDb’s top 250 movies of all time.
10. Son of Saul
Set in WWII time in a concentration camp, Auschwitz, Son of Saul is director Laszlo Nemes’ debut. Nemes has given a physical form to the heinous inhumanity conceived by Nazis, making Hungarian Jews kill their own by putting them in gas chambers.
Saul is one such Sonderkommando member whose moral awakening forces him to find a rabbi to bury a child against all odds.
9. Taxi Tehran
What do you do when your government bans you from film-making? If you are anything like the Iranian director Jafar Panahi, you defy the authorities and continue making movies covertly.
Panahi’s third clandestine venture, after This Is Not A Film and Closed Curtain, is shot from a taxi’s dashboard featuring the passengers he picks up as he drives around Tehran. It is an honest attempt by Panahi to show his own predicament and present-day Iran.
8. 45 Years
Most romantic flicks feature pre-marriage young love. Andrew Haigh however has produced here a movie on a couple married for almost half a century, all set to celebrate their 45th anniversary when a letter reminding Geoff Mercer (Tom Courtenay) of his first love arrives and builds a wall of resentment between him and his wife Kate Mercer (Charlotte Rampling).
It is no comedy but a serious reality check, a splash of water to wake up the happily ever after believers of marriage.