Top 10 Hollywood Films of 2015… so far

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– Charu Chauhan

#1 Mad Max: Fury Road madmax

Mad Max: Fury Road is a 2015 Australian post-apocalyptic action film directed, produced, and co-written by George Miller, and the fourth film of Miller’s Mad Max franchise. The first film of the franchise in 30 years, Fury Road stars Tom Hardy as ‘Mad’ Max Rockatansky, who replaces Mel Gibson in the title role, along with Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, and Hugh Keayes-Byrne.

The film is set in a future desert wasteland where gasoline and water are scarce commodities, with Max (Hardy) joining forces with Imperator Furiosa (Theron) to flee from cult leader Immortan Joe (Keays-Byrne) and his army in an armoured tanker truck, which leads to a lengthy road battle. The film had its world premiere on 7 May 2015 at the TCL Chinese Theatre. It began wide theatrical release on 14 May 2015, including an out-of-competition screening at the 68th Cannes Film Festival. Critics have praised the film for its acting, screenplay, action sequences, stunts, and direction.

#2 Inside Out

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

#3 Ex Machina

Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) a programmer at a huge Internet company, wins a contest that enables him to spend a week at the private estate of Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac), his firm’s brilliant CEO. When he arrives, Caleb learns that he has been chosen to be the human component in a Turing test to determine the capabilities and consciousness of Ava (Alicia Vikander), a beautiful robot. However, it soon becomes evident that Ava is far more self-aware and deceptive than either man imagined.

#4 Cloud of Sils Maria

A famous stage/screen actress faces a career dilemma when she finds herself old enough to take on the part of a middle-aged-woman in the revival of a play that began her career when she was cast as the younger, more free-spirited of the protagonist pair; her assistant encourages her, but the role and her rebellious Hollywood co-star aren’t helping much.

#5 It Follows

After carefree teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) sleeps with her new boyfriend, Hugh (Jake Weary), for the first time, she learns that she is the latest recipient of a fatal curse that is passed from victim to victim via sexual intercourse. Death, Jay learns, will creep inexorably toward her as either a friend or a stranger. Jay’s friends don’t believe her seemingly paranoid ravings, until they too begin to see the phantom assassins and band together to help her flee or defend herself.

#6 The Duke of Burgundy

Shot in a crumbling mansion in rural Hungary with an entirely female cast, this sumptuous period piece is a dark, erotically charged drama about the relationship between two women. The insular world in which they exist provides the perfect hothouse atmosphere for the dreamlike narrative. Beautifully performed and lushly shot, The Duke of Burgundy is a bold, intoxicating exploration of power dynamics and intimacy.

#7 Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

One of the year’s most unheralded acting performances belongs to Ronit Elkabetz, the co-director and star of Gett. In this endlessly fascinating courtroom procedural, she plays Viviane Amsalem, an Israeli woman slowly driven insane as she’s desperate to be divorced from her apathetic, unloving husband (Simon Abkarian). There’s a snag, though: In her country, a divorce must be granted by a rabbi and the spouse. A satire of cultural mores that doubles as an angry invective against gender inequality, Ronit and her brother Shlomi Elkabetz’s film develops into a slowly suffocating and very human thriller.

#8 The Intern

De Niro plays Ben Whittaker, a widower with too much time on his hands. Unfulfilled by retirement, Ben applies for a new Senior Internship at a booming New York e-commerce clothing start-up. He’s assigned to the boss herself, Jules Ostin (Hathaway), a savvy and impressive go-getter who – despite the culture of camaraderie she’s cultivated – can be difficult to work with directly (by her own admission). Ben’s presence, initially unwelcomed by Jules, inevitably becomes the exact mentoring influence she needs, both professionally and personally.

#9 Jurassic World

Located off the coast of Costa Rica, the Jurassic World luxury resort provides a habitat for an array of genetically engineered dinosaurs, including the vicious and intelligent Indominus rex. When the massive creature escapes, it sets off a chain reaction that causes the other dinos to run amok. Now, it’s up to a former military man and animal expert (Chris Pratt) to use his special skills to save two young brothers and the rest of the tourists from an all-out, prehistoric assault.

#10 Goodnight Mommy

Goodnight Mommy (or in German Ich Seh Ich Seh – I see I see) is an Austrian horror movie. It was directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala. Interestingly enough it was also chosen as the Austrian entry in the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category at the 88th Academy Awards. Goodnight Mommy centers on two twin brothers, Elias and Lukas. Their mother has just arrived home from having facial reconstructive surgery. But she seems very different. They begin to suspect that she is not their mother at all. She implements strange new rules around the house and they discover that she has even put the house up for sale. They start to investigate this stranger in their home and the horror ensues.

 

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