Besides my dedication to college admissions, I have other interests. For one, I have always been a movie enthusiast. I will watch, and do my best to appreciate, everything from cheap horror pictures to arthouse favorites, from Hollywood to Hong Kong, Michael Bay to Wong Kar-Wai. Here are my choices for the best films in 2015, the ones that moved me, surprised me, or just did a great job of entertaining me for two hours, more or less (note–I have not yet seen Brooklyn or Carol):
Bridge of Spies – acted, directed and produced like a classic film from the golden years of Hollywood, and riveting throughout
Ex Machina – a real surprise, fun to watch as the triangle evolves and mutates, even if you have to admit that the plot is a little thin
It Follows – not quite a horror film, or a suspense film, or a chase film; some of each I guess—let’s hope we get more original stories like this
Room – the most moving film experience of the year, making it the opposite of the Revenant, which left me cold even when Leo was inventing ways to get warm
Sicario – although Mad Max had its moments, the trip to Juarez in Sicario was for me the most skillfully shot, exciting sequence in any movie this year; the film maintains that tension most of the time, and is expertly directed by Denis Villeneuve following up on the very good “Prisoners” with Hugh Jackman
Others that I could watch again right now : The Big Short, Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road, Spotlight, Spy (yes, a comedy), and Steve Jobs. Finally, I have to admit that Star Wars Episode VII held up really well when the hype could have killed it for me; I enjoyed it and am looking forward to Episode VIII, although I am skeptical about what we may get in the quasi-spinoff films like Rogue One. On the other hand, I had heard so much about The Martian before seeing it, that I was bound to be a little disappointed—and I was.