Top 10 Films of 2015

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Jurassic World:

Years after the failed opening of Jurassic Park, the park is now open and is a major attraction. In order bring in more guests, a bigger, badder, and smarter dinosaur is created. When it breaks loose, it is up to Claire, the new manager of the park, and raptor trainer Owen to stop it and save the guests. This is the Jurassic Park everyone has been waiting for, the park up and running, a new and badder dinosaur, and plenty of excellent action scenes and likable characters. Chris Pratt plays an excellent bad ass with charm, and he shares the screen well with his co-stars. I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t my favorite of the series. Pure fun and thrills throughout.

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Room:

After spending his whole life trapped in a small room, a young boy and his mother finally step out into the world. Everything he experiences is for the first time and is a whole new thing for him. The two must now adjust to their new way of life and the people in it. This film is entirely gripping from beginning to end. The drama and characters grab a hold of you and never lets go. Brie Larson is phenomenal in her role as the young mother. She expresses the characters struggle as a mother and also as someone who is starting life over again with great heart and grit. Newcomer Jacob Tremblay is astounding and it’s unbelievable how an actor so young can so easily get into this character that has so many emotions and sides to him and how easily he adjusts to the character’s changes.

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It Follows:

After Jay has a strange sexual encounter, she learns that she was passed on a curse as a result. She begins to see people following her everywhere she goes. People only she can see and they won’t stop until she’s dead. It Follows is a perfect throwback to subtle horror. It doesn’t rely on gore to be scary. It relies on the score, the camerawork, the characters, and the simple sense of paranoia to get under the viewer’s skin. It also helps that the characters look and feel realistic, and the cast does an amazing job.

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Crimson Peak:

Following the mysterious death of her father, a young woman moves in with her new husband and his odd sister in their old family mansion. While there she begins to experience weird visions and begins to unlock new secrets that put her in danger. Guillermo del Toro provides his best film yet with a film that has beautiful visuals, an amazing set, a story that keeps you engaged from beginning to end, and very well-developed characters that the cast portrays very well on the screen. A perfect blend of mystery and horror.

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Southpaw:

Following a tragedy, a pro boxer lets his life go downhill. In the process he loses custody of his daughter and loses his home. In an effort to get back on his feet and get his daughter back he works to re-train and compete in the ultimate fight of his life. Jake Gyllenhaal provides an amazing performance in this powerful drama that sets itself apart from other fighting films (this is coming from someone who doesn’t like boxing movies). Everything about the film feels real and gritty. Gyllenhaal brings his character to life and makes it very easy to feel the suffering he is going through and we can really feel the growth of his character as the story progresses. Rachel McAdams provides one of her best performances as Gyllenhaal’s wife in the film with a lot of heart and as much realism to her character as Gyllenhaal’s Also worth noting is Oona Laurence as the lead’s daughter, likewise to her on-screen parents, Laurence clearly knows the situation her character is in and the world she finds herself and plays it with great strength.

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Joy:

A woman who gave up her dreams of inventing to help provide for her family gets her inspiration back and works to bring her latest idea to light. The film depicts the struggles she faces with not only the business industry, but also the struggles she faces with her family life. Joy is a great film about not giving up on your dreams even when times are tough and others try to stop you. Jennifer Lawrence provides her greatest performance yet as the title character. It’s no surprise by now that Lawrence bring a strong sense of authenticity to her roles, and Joy just sets it in stone. This is a character we can believe existing in real life and Lawrence nails this role. Robert De Niro is hilarious as Joy’s needy and cynical father and they have great chemistry together in their scenes as father and daughter. The story is great, but it’s the well-written characters that really help push it all along.

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Love & Mercy:

Brian Wilson, the lead singer and writer of The Beach Boys, is haunted by his troubled past and his under watch by his controlling and abusive therapist around the clock. When Wilson meets the woman of his dreams, she is the inspiration and strength he needs to gain control back of his life and turn things around. With a dramatic and often romantic story, an amazing soundtrack, and perfect performances, Love & Mercy stands as my favorite biopic currently. John Cusack turns in his best performance as Brian Wilson and Paul Dano as younger Wilson. Both actors are on the same wave-length as far as playing the same character with the right amount of emotions and their styles of bringing this character to life. Paul Giamatti knocks it out of the park with capability of Wilson’s unstable therapist, you hate and fear him at the same time and this is purely thanks to Giamatti. Finally there is Elizabeth Banks as Cusack’s love interest. We fall just as much in love with her as Wilson’s character with the earnestness, genuineness, and just her overall strong will.

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Paper Towns:

Quentin has loved Margo from afar, ever since childhood, and even when they grew apart. One night after Margo gives Quentin a night of his life and giving him the opportunity feel free, she suddenly disappears. When he discovers clues that Margo left behind, he thinks he’s determined to find her. With the help of his two pals, and Margo’s best friend, they work together to help Quentin find and win the girl of his dreams. Don’t be fooled by this plot description. It isn’t the love story it sounds like. In fact, it is more real than any teen romance film you’ve seen. To further explain would bring about spoilers, but that aside, it also consists of very real situations teen face when they’re on the verge of entering the real world. The cast has excellent chemistry together. The relationships feel genuine and just natural. Cara Delevingne shines as Margo and has the right amount of charm and mystery to make us love her character. If this is one thing to love most about it, it is definitely the chemistry between the characters that make this worth seeing.

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The Intern:

A elderly man leaves retirement and gets an internship working for a ball-busting young woman. During his time with the company he begins to live the life of the younger crowd and gains a close relationship with his new boss that will change him and her in ways they never expected. I admit I never expected to love this film as much as I did. It’s an excellent story filled with good laughs and a great amount of heart. The chemistry between Robert De Niro and Anne Hathway is fantastic and they really bring the heart of the story to life and watching their relationship build is very much engaging.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens:

Years after Darth Vader was defeated, the Jedi and now only a thing of the past and considered a myth. When a young woman finds herself trapped in a new war, she discovers that the Jedi and the force is real and that she may be the one who can defeat the new evil of the galaxy. I admit I’ve never understood the love and craze for Star Wars. I still don’t in honesty. But The Force Awakens is an excellent and action packed reboot of the series that brings in beloved characters from the original trilogy as well as memorable new characters.

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