2015 period has had tonnes of movies that people loved, or at least eagerly bought tickets for (since numbers generate rewards in this business). Some, like Mad Max: Fury Road, delivered what they promised and then some, while some others like Avengers: Age of Ultron didn’t fare as well as the prequel but set the stage for next year’s blockbusters. And then there were films like Inside Out, Spy and Ant-Man that delighted us with their genius.
But there were many films that sort of flew under the radar, were discussed in ‘hipsters anonymous’ meetings (no that’s not really a thing: meetings are too mainstream) or weren’t mass-y enough. That doesn’t mean they weren’t good. Which is why, I created a list of films from 2015 that I feel deserved more acclaim than they actually did. They are not in any order of ranking. Check it out.
1. It Follows
Genre – Horror/Thriller
Starring – Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist
When carefree teen 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.
2. Cop Car
Genre – Thriller
Starring – Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford
Two young, mischievous boys (James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford) stumble upon a seemingly abandoned police cruiser and steal it, unaware that its murderous owner (Kevin Bacon) has stashed a hostage in the trunk.
3. Love & Mercy
Genre – Drama/Biography/Music
Starring – Paul Dano, John Cusack, Paul Giamatti
By the late 1960s, the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson (Paul Dano) stops touring, produces “Pet Sounds” and begins to lose his grip on reality. By the 1980s, Wilson (John Cusack), under the sway of a controlling therapist, finds a savior in Melinda Ledbetter. You don’t need to be a Beach Boys fan or a 60’s music lover to enjoy this, but in case you are one, this is what you’d call a “must watch”.
4. White God
Genre – Drama
Starring – Zsófia Psotta, Sándor Zsótér, Lili Horváth
When an abandoned dog struggles to get back to his owner, he joins a canine revolution. White Dog might be as bizarre as its premise, but it’s the good kind of bizarre.
5. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Genre – Action/Thriller/Comedy
Starring – Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander
Combine some Cold War action with some Guy Ritchie wizardry and you get a sleek thriller that’s funny, fast and unapologetically entertaining. Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer make a surprisingly efficient pair of spies who reluctantly team up to save the world. Also, kickass soundtrack.
6. While We’re Young
Genre – Comedy/Drama
Starring – Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver
When it comes to making films that you can uncomfortably relate to, Noah Baumbach is the man. This time he takes on a middle-aged couple (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) and their insecurities that get exposed when they befriend a younger couple.
7. Mistress America
Genre – Comedy/Drama
Starring – Lola Kirke, Greta Gerwig
A college freshman (Lola Kirke) cures her disappointment and loneliness by allowing herself to be pulled into the wacky schemes of her future stepsister (Greta Gerwig). Gerwig and Noah Baumbach have already collaborated in Frances Ha and Greenberg, and Mistress America is proof that these two can do no wrong.
Genre – Romance/Drama/Fantasy
Starring – Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker
An aimless young man (Lou Taylor Pucci) takes an impromptu trip to Italy and becomes involved with an alluring student (Nadia Hilker) who harbors a transformative secret that frankly, no partner is ready for. Spring is a mix of Before Sunrise and Let The Right One In.
9. Run All Night
Genre – Crime/Action
Starring – Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman
Okay this is a weird one to include in this list, but you have to give an action movie its due, especially when it does the job it’s supposed to. Yes, it has corny lines that only make sense Liam Neeson delivers them, but so what? Run All Night is this year’s John Wick.
10. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Genre – Comedy/Drama
Starring – Thoman Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke
High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer. Unlike The Fault in our Stars, this one gets everything right.