The Top 10 Movies of 2015 So Far

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Are you about to enjoy a long weekend? Nurse your hangover after the BBQ with one of these ten great films from the first half of 2015. There’s a range of genres at play here, which is always more fun than a year dominated by indie dramas. These are the ten best films of 2015 so far.



MV5BMTUwMDEzNDI1MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzAyODU5MzE@._V1_SY317_CR2,0,214,317_AL_10. It Follows

Good horror films are rare, which makes them stick out even further. It Follows is far from perfect, but its retro ’80s vibe and genuine thrills are hard to forget. Throw in some excellent cinematography that’ll keep you huddled in a ball and you’ve got one of the better horror films of the decade so far.


MV5BMjA3MjYyNTk0Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODc1NzQ1NTE@._V1_SX214_AL_9. Dope

This racially aware coming of age story is just different enough from your typical summer indie fare that it feels incredibly fresh. Taking place in a rough suburb of Los Angeles, Dope is still about the nerdy high schooler trying to make himself into something. What’s different is how real the events feel considering his roots.


MV5BMTkxMjgwMDM4Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTk3NTIwNDE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_8. Kingsman: The Secret Service

Actions fans got an early treat this year. Matthew Vaughn proves himself once again as one of the most electrifying action directors out there. Coming off the film that put the X-Men franchise back on track, Vaughn manages to make Kingsman feel like a passion project. Just a high-octane, over-the-top passion project.


MV5BMTk1MTkwMzU4Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjY0MDE1NTE@._V1_SX214_AL_7. Love & Mercy

Biopics are hard to make feel original these days, but a few committed performances can be enough to lift it above other recent efforts. Paul Dano and John Cusack share the spotlight as The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson. Elizabeth Banks also does some great dramatic work. Even more impressive, the film manages to balance two eras of Wilson’s life without feeling disjointed.


MV5BMTg2ODQzNzgzN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzkxOTY2NTE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_6. Heaven Knows What

Here’s a film that grew on me the more it sat. Heaven Knows What is unforgettable. As a portrait of homeless youths in New York City (which is the very background most of the cast came from), this film will change the way you look at the less fortunate. The documentary style filmmaking makes the story feel real in a way few drug movies manage to accomplish.


MV5BMTc4MDEzMTA5MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODA5MTM0NDE@._V1_SX214_AL_5. While We’re Young

Noah Baumbach’s first film of the year (Mistress America hits theaters later this summer) is a highly detailed account of an aging couple trying to be hip again. Featuring excellent performances from Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, and Adam Driver, While We’re Young succeeds on its sheer devotion to creating fully realized people.


MV5BNTYxNDA5ODk5NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzMwMzIwNTE@._V1_SX214_AL_4. Slow West

How do you resurrect an all but dead genre? You lace it with elements of another that no one would expect. Slow West occasionally plays like an indie coming of age story, but it reveals that it’s mostly poking fun at them. Michael Fassbender is incredible as an outlaw with unclear motivations. This is a film that is quietly very fun while re-energizing a genre that desperately needs it.


MV5BMTUyMTE0ODcxNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODE4NDQzNTE@._V1_SY317_CR2,0,214,317_AL_3. Mad Max: Fury Road

Summer 2015 has delivered pretty strongly so far when it comes to big action movies. Avengers: Age of Ultron and Jurassic World were both fairly close to making this list. But the true hit of the summer is unquestionable. This decade’s Terminator 2 is Mad Max: Fury Road, an explosion heavy, female empowering film that resurrected a franchise. It’s as fun as it is important.


MV5BMTUxNzc0OTIxMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDI3NzU2NDE@._V1_SX214_AL_2. Ex Machina

There’s nothing like a little old-school science fiction. Ex Machina feels like its from the same era as classics like Alien. Yet its ideas manage to feel fresh. You’ve heard the story before. Man creates machine. Man loses control of machine. Machine rebels. But the year’s most elegant filmmaking and a few knockout performances, most notably from Oscar Isaac, make this the quiet sci-fi treat of the year.


MV5BOTgxMDQwMDk0OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjU5OTg2NDE@._V1_SX214_AL_1. Inside Out

This decade has seen what appeared to be the fall of Pixar. That changed when a little masterpiece called Inside Out hit theaters a few short weeks ago. Diving head first into the mind of adolescence, this film divides and conquers our emotions with a surprising sweetness and, naturally, Pixar’s please-all brand of humor. It’s message will strike a chord with audiences of all ages. And by strike a chord, I mean be prepared to empty your tear ducts.


What are your favorite films of 2015 so far? Let us know in the comments below!


By Matt Dougherty

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