I watched almost 125-odd English Movies in 2015, some of them actually released in previous years though. Without doubt, this was another good year for English Cinema. 688 films got released and collectively grossed $10.9 billion, which was a slight increase from the $10.3 billion the 702 movies from 2014 brought in.
I was fortunate enough to watch many brilliant movies this year and some of them on the Big Screen! Infact I watched 2 movies from this list back-to-back on the big screen (Creed and Bridge of Lies). It was also the first time I watched any 2 movies back-to-back!
Here is the final selection of my top 10 English films of the year: (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
For somebody who grew up watching Rocky movies with his elder brothers, this movie was a definite must-watch the day it was announced and for lots of good reasons – Ryan Coogler, the Director who made the brilliant Fruitvale Station, the return of Sylvester Stallone to the big screen and Michael B. Jordan as the lead! And this movie delivered on all my expectations! The brilliantly shot boxing scenes, the exciting training program scenes and that run to the top of the Philly landmark by the 2 leads! Yes it doesn’t have lots of slam-bam boxing action and an unpredictable ending but it still is a definite must-watch for everybody.
Bridge of Spies
This one is a historical drama-espionage thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg based on real life incidents. What made this film brilliant was the fast pace and the outstanding work of Tom Hanks & Mark Rylance (the Soviet spy). It is a perfect combo of thriller, courtroom drama and history lesson genres and one which is highly entertaining too. I was fully engaged & engrossed throughout the 141 minutes and even though the ending was an inevitability but still the build-up to that exciting finale was incredibly awesome. I loved this one and recommend it to everybody! And am sure you would also say “does it help?”
The Revenant is a visual spectacle spread over the icy highs of America in the 1820s. Based on a real life story, this movie is about tracker and fur trapper Hugh Glass played by Leonardo DiCaprio who almost single-handedly carries the entire film on its shoulders. His grunts, the famous Bear fight, the self-medicated treatments and his unflinching determination for revenge drives this superb movie. The Cinematography of this movie is a star attraction in itself (movie was shot across USA, Canada and Argentina). The director Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Amores perros, 21 Grams, Babel, Biutiful & Birdman) had to fight not just harsh weather but much more for this raw & badass epic drama. Tom Hardy has done a brilliant job too and is menacing throughout. LDC has left no stone unturned in playing the lead character; he ate real Bison Liver, slept in a horse carcass and ate minimal quantities of food during the shooting! Watch this movie for the brilliance of the entire crew and the breathtaking locales.
The Hateful Eight
It is a known fact that I am crazy about Quentin Tarantino’s movies so when The Hateful Eight was announced just after Django Unchained, I was both intrigued and excited because it was a same genre movie. The wait finally ended and I was able to witness his magic unfold all over again! If DU taught me “rambunctious”, this movie movie taught me another new word “Haberdashery”; forever indebted to QT! This movie is about eight strangers who seek refuge from a blizzard in a stagecoach stopover and go through all sort of whacky things before the glorious ending! The kickass dialogues keep flowing amidst the snowstorm and I was thoroughly entertained throughout this crazy ride. Tarantino in his imitable style has put all his usual flavours in this film too; multiple characters, long monolgues, a brilliant background score, attention to details, out of the blue gunshots plus lots of bloodshed! Samuel L. Jackson has done a simply fantabulous job and his performance stands out amongst the 7 other characters. Jennifer Jason Leigh is also magnificent. This movie is an experience in itself and is a must watch for every film lover. I had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed the 2 hours and 45 minutes of Tarantino magic!
This one is an American action crime thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve. It is about a principled FBI agent who is enlisted by a government task force to bring down the leader of a powerful and brutal Mexican drug cartel and aid in the escalating war against drugs. The plot makes at a fast pace throughout and kept me engaged all the way through. The tense moments have been directed very well and I was on the edge of my seat many a times. The climax is one of the best you would ever see; once again Denis Villeneuve has kept it open and lets the viewer decide on his/her own! He has directed some simply brilliant movies in the past (Maelström, Polytechnique, Incendies, Prisoners and Enemy) and this one adds to his already spectacular list! Benicio del Toro has done an amazing job and so has Emily Blunt. This movie just can’t be missed! Watch it ASAP if you haven’t so far.
Beasts of No Nation
This one is a war drama film about a young boy named Agu who survives, as his country goes through a horrific Civil war in a West African country. The movie was shot in Ghana and stars Idris Elba (who plays the evil commandant of a rogue faction), Abraham Attah (who plays Agu) and Ama K. Abebrese (Agu’s Mother) in lead roles. Agu’s life is shattered when his father is slaughtered in a civil war and he is inscripted as a child soldier into a mercenary unit led by Alba. The movie is relentelss, brutal, in the face and a very honest assessment about how innocent lives are being destroyed in multiple countries of Africa. It is about power is abused by a handful of people for greed or revenge and the majority suffers. Idris Elba has done a fabulous job and is one of his best performances till date. Young Abraham shines all the way through and is one for the future. The movie has been very well shot and directed too. I am reading the novel of the same name on which this movie is based and loving it! This movie just can’t be missed at all.
Mad Max: Fury Road
This Movie re-defined the word “non-stop action” in my books! If I have to use this term then I would say “Let’s do some Mad Max action”! This is a raw, unadulterated and crazy 2 hours ride without any emotional crap or relationship dilemmas! It is all about slam-bam mayhem throughout with people & vehicles flying, dying and what not and the craziest adrenaline rush I have ever experienced!Just don’t miss it for anything… After this, all the recent action movies would almost feel like cartoon films! Get ready to get mind-blown forever! Watch the trailer if you haven’t to get a taste before you go for the main-course!
This one is a Canadian-Irish drama film about a a woman (Brie Larson in another brilliant performance) and her 5-year-old son (Jacob Tremblay who made his debut) who are held captive for years in an enclosed space, finally gain their freedom, allowing the boy to experience the outside world for the first time. This is a highly suspenseful, deeply emotional and very engaging film and captures the emotions of the trapped mother-son perfectly. Almost half the movie is shot inside a small room but it never gets dark or gloomy; on the contrary I was always looking forward to that special moment when they would finally break out! It is one of those movies where a simple plot has been directed very deftly keeping the viewers engaged throughout. Brie Larson once again stands out and adds this to her already shining list of acting brilliance! And we would see much more of Jacob Tremblay in the coming years!
This one is a period romantic drama film set in 1952, it tells the story of a young Irish woman’s immigration to Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within them for her. It was premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and has got rave reviews across the board. Saoirse Ronan has done an absolutely brilliant job; no doubt she is considered one of the most talented young actresses of the current times. The movie is engaging, entertaining, emotional and exquisitely crafted. At one point of time I started to hate the lead female character but by the time the movie ended my feelings changed completely! This one is a definite must-watch for all die-hard romantics and also for those who enjoy the romantic genre! I loved the movie immensely.
This one is a fabulous animation film with such an innovative yet simple concept! The film is set in the mind of a young girl, Riley , where five personified emotions—Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear, and Sadness try to lead her through life as she moves with her parents to a new city. And it is based on the Director Pete Docter’s own experiences after noticing changes in his daughter’s personality as she grew older. The film’s producers consulted numerous psychologists and researched the mind in preparation for building its story. And the effort, dedication and focus shines throughout the film! Definitely one of the most intelligent, joyous and a highly entertaining animation movies I have ever watched…this is a must-watch for everybody…adults and kids alike!
Hope you have watched these 10 movies and some of them would surely be in your list too. For those who haven’t watched any of these movies so far, all I can say is find some time and watch them ASAP! I had a wonderful time watching them and am sure you would enjoy them too.
I would also post my Oscar predictions BlogPost in the coming few days which I have been posting during this time of the year since the last 3-4 years now!
My other “Top 5 of 2015 Movie Posts”:
So till the time we meet again…
Cheers to life…
Till then ride safe and have safe sex…
Hasta la Victoria Siempre…