December 2, 2015

Pick of the 5 Best Movies of 2015

2015 has seen a wonderfully diverse mix of high quality movies this year. While the best may still be yet to come (yes, we’re thinking of you Star Wars fans!), it is only pretty fair and the right time to give credit for the works that have graced our big screens so far, what with Christmas being just around the corner.

Read on for a personal selection of the year’s best.


The 24th James Bond film may have financially made just short of what Skyfall did but director Sam Mendes crafted another fine outing for the 00 agent. It may not have been as emotionally striking as its predecessor, but fans expecting a more traditional and classical outing will surely be pleased!

Daniel Craig is on fine form as Bond, the action sequences are really good, even if they are not some of the best that the franchise has seen and the overall story, that was initiated in 2006’s Casino Royale, comes to a fitting and satisfying conclusion.

But the feeling that the plot may reinvent itself for “new beginnings” in future outings is hard to shake off.

‘It Follows’

In this writer’s opinion, It Follows is not only this year’s best horror movie, but one of the best at least of the last five years!

The plot is a little on the cheesy side. A sexually transmitted disease, in the form of a relentless entity in human form, stalks Maika Monroe’s Jay and anyone of her friends who chooses to have sex.

While the story is superficial, It Follows incorporates and plays many homages to legendary horror director, John Carpenter and his works, namely Halloween and The Fog. The score is made up of synthesizers and not the typical mesh of heavy metal songs that many films of the genre possess. It’s a little heavy on the jump scare side, but many of them are effective, making them easier to accept.

But the main thing that makes It Follows special is its ability to evoke a heavy sense of paranoia in the viewer, making us wonder when the entity is going to be walking and stalking right behind our beloved characters. This feeling is rarely replicated successfully in other films, making It Follows a movie that stands apart from the rest in it’s own sense of power.

Will there be a sequel? And if there is, would it live up to the original? We have seen the Paranormal Activity and Saw films get run into the ground with each sequel that declined in quality.

Let’s hope that if there is ever a follow up that the filmmakers respect the original source material in it’s approach.


BAFTA award winning actor, Jake Gyllenhaal tries his hand at exploring a really physical and mentally aggressive type of character in Southpaw.

Startlingly accurate in it’s portrayal of the fight game, Southpaw follows boxer Billy Hope’s journey that falls wayward, only for him to manage to pick himself back up and recover his former glory, as well as the love of those around him.

Do not expect another Rocky film here. Southpaw is pretty realistic in its fight sequences. Not only that, we are taken through Hope’s tremendous physical pain as he contends with the after effects of his battles and the emotional pain that his family and friends are forced to go through when they want him desperately to seek salvation. Billy Hope isn’t a character that is very likeable, however. The man has inner demons that causes him to lash out , adding further challenges to his plight. The clever thing about Southpaw is it’s subtle way for Billy to earn our respect as well as the people onscreen.

Gyllenhaal transformed himself into magnificent shape for the role, proving his dedication to his craft of acting. That is something rare to see these days.

Southpaw is an emotionally charged drama piece that deserves high recognition!

‘No Escape’

Owen Wilson flicks were steadily avoided for many years. In fact, they may still be until he earns the trust of this writer to produce something other than a production that consists of humourless, cheap jokes and wit. But No Escape seems to be the one exception of his career that has to be viewed on the screen, big or small.

Wilson plays father, Jack who takes his family on a permanent move to somewhere in Southeast Asia as a new start for him and his family. But when a coup occurs, he and his loved ones have to fight to stay alive and eventually try to make it out of the country in one piece.

The tone is sometimes unbalanced, with the film seemingly not knowing whether it wants to be a gritty thriller or a peripheral action movie. Nevertheless, it’s ability to keep one focused and involved is achieved in competent fashion.
No Escape is definitely one of the best thrillers of 2015.

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

Mad Max: Fury Road is considered to be by many the best movie of 2015! Well, it is hard here to go that far, honestly speaking, but it surely could be a strong candidate for best action film of the year.

Director George Miller returns to oversee this reboot. Tom Hardy takes the part as Max Rockatansky this time around and does a physically good job. Notice the word, “physically” since his character does not get the chance to be much in the way of being vocal or display anything other than pure brute force!

But it is clear that Miller wasn’t going for anything other than carnage! Fury Road is one long two hour car chase and drags the story along the way with it, telling it as it goes along. This convoluted style will not be for everybody who wants a show to take it’s time divulging the nitty gritty. The car action is simply magnificent and artfully executed. It is difficult not to marvel at the design work that was poured into here, and it all leads to one thumping conclusion.

Just look elsewhere if you want something a little more dramatic for the evening.

About the Author

Lee Skavydis
Lee Skavydis
I am a die hard movie fan, owning over 500 movies on both DVD and Blu Ray. I try to go to the cinema at least once a week when time permits. My other hobbies include following fight sports such as boxing, travelling around, writing and editing, listening to heavy rock and cook the odd occasional recipe. I used to write for several prolific boxing websites, interviewing some of the most famous names associated with the sport around.



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