10. Inside Out
- I think the best kinds of kids movies are the kind that don't talk down to them. Ones that both kids and adults can enjoy. Inside Out is one of those movies. A wonderful story with a great message. I'm not afraid to admit I cried several times.
9. Straight Outta Compton
- A well made, very relevant movie chronicling the rise and fall of legendary hip hop group NWA. A few moments where it falls into the category of your typical biopic but it's definitely worth seeing. Especially for the great performances.
8. The Martian
- Unlike Gravity, this movie is surprisingly funny. And you don't spend the whole time with Matt Damon. You get to see what else is going on as they try to rescue him after a mission on Mars goes wrong and he's left stranded. It's nice to see Ridley Scott back to making good movies.
7. Steve Jobs
- Yes I know Michael Fassbender doesn't look a thing like the real Steve Jobs and that the movie probably isn't 100% accurate but so what? Still well made and fascinating to watch.
- Make sure you have plenty of tissues for this powerful drama about a 5 year old boy named Jack (played by talented young actor named Jacob Tremblay) who has spent his whole life in a 10 by 10 foot shed with his mother (Brie Larson, who's my pick to win Best Actress). 7 years earlier she had been kidnapped and put in the shed, Jack the result of being raped repeatedly by her kidnapper. They escape eventually and face their biggest challenge yet- adjusting to the outside world.
- The more I think about it, I should've rated this movie even higher in my initial review. I think this stands a good chance at winning Best Picture, Great acting, directing, etc.
4. Mad Max: Fury Road
- This should come as no surprise to anyone that Mad Max is on my list. Even if Tom Hardy (who was perfectly cast as Max and did an amazing job as usual) hadn't been in the movie I still would have loved it. Director George Miller has created one of the best action movies I've seen in years. I had so much fun watching this. Major props to Charlize Theron as well for her bad ass performance. It's just as much her movie as it is Tom Hardy's.
3. The Gift
- The directorial debut of Joel Edgerton. He also acts in it and wrote the script. I can't recommend this movie enough. It could've easily fallen into the category of your typical thriller but it didn't. Yes it has some jump scares but they actually worked. The best thriller I've ever seen. I hope Joel Edgerton continues to direct. He's really good at it.
2. Beasts of No Nation
- For the longest time, this was my number one movie of the year. Now it's a VERY close second. I know I never did an actual review for this and I saw it on Netflix instead of in a theater. But I just had to put it on my list. It stars Abraham Attah (who judging from this performance has a bright future ahead of him) as Agu, a child soldier in Africa fighting in a civil war under the leadership of the Commandent (Idris Elba). Much like 12 Years a Slave, it's a movie I feel everyone needs to see but you'll only watch it once because it's so damn depressing.
- Being such a huge Rocky fan, I was skeptical when I first heard they were making this. Seemed unnecessary. It turns out I had nothing to worry about. Director Ryan Coogler has created a wonderful movie that perfectly fits into the Rocky universe but at the same time does its own thing. Stars Michael B. Jordan as Adomis, the son of boxing legend Apollo Creed. He's also a fighter but is determined to make a name for himself. Needing a trainer, he goes to Apollo's friend and former rival Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone, who gives his best performance in a long time). One of the best theater experiences I've ever had. Everyone was on the edge of their seats cheering and clapping. It really is the feel good movie of the year.
Here are a few more movies that I loved this year and are worth checking out. The only reason they didn't make the list is because I simply ran out of room-
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Labyrinth of Lies
- Black Mass
- Kingsman: The Secret Service