ByAndrew Fasnacht, writer at Creators.co
Pretty movies make me pretty happy. Soccer and brownies have the same effect.
Andrew Fasnacht

In all my years of perusing online film blogs and the like, I've not found many more interesting conversation pieces than "Best of..." lists. The justifications for selections put me on curious trains of thought and the debates in comments sections are, at worst, entertaining displays of verbal cage fighting. So, naturally, I thought I'd tackle my own.

Well, sort of my own....

Early this July, I'm looking to compile a list of what the Moviepilot community believes is the ten (or so) best movies of the year through the first six months.

I will be tracking down any and all top lists that I can, presumably found either in the comments section here or in their own dedicated Creator posts. Points will be awarded to titles based on what rank writers assign them and before long I'll be able to publish a final tally: the best films of the year so far, as voted by YOU.

Of course, I can't complete this community project without help from the community. That being the case, it's only fair for me to help you participate. Below you will find a thorough list of this year's notable releases....

January

Blackhat
A furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta. (Directed by Michael Man)
Paddington
A young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven. (Directed by Paul King)
Mommy

Project Almanac
A group of teens discover secret plans of a time machine, and construct one. However, things start to get out of control. (Directed by Dean Israelite)

February

Jupiter Ascending
A young woman discovers her destiny as an heiress of intergalactic nobility and must fight to protect the inhabitants of Earth from an ancient and destructive industry. (Directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski)
Seventh Son
When Mother Malkin, the queen of evil witches, escapes the pit she was imprisoned in by professional monster hunter Spook decades ago and kills his apprentice, he recruits young Tom, the seventh son of the seventh son, to help him. (Directed by Sergey Bodrov)
SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water
When a diabolical pirate above the sea steals the secret Krabby Patty formula, SpongeBob and his nemesis Plankton must team up in order to get it back. (Directed by Paul Tibbitt)
Fifty Shades of Grey
Literature student Anastasia Steele's life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey. (Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson)
Kingsman: The Secret Service

Hot Tub Time Machine 2
When Lou finds himself in trouble, Nick and Jacob fire up the hot tub time machine in an attempt to get back to the past. But they inadvertently land in the future with Adam Jr. Now they have to alter the future in order to save the past - which is really the present. (Directed by Steve Pink)
McFarland, USA
A cross country coach in a small California town transforms a team of athletes into championship contenders. (Directed by Niki Caro)
Focus
In the midst of veteran con man Nicky's latest scheme, a woman from his past - now an accomplished femme fatale - shows up and throws his plans for a loop. (Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa)
Maps to the Stars
A tour into the heart of a Hollywood family chasing celebrity, one another and the relentless ghosts of their pasts. (Directed by David Cronenberg)
The DUFF
A high school senior instigates a social pecking order revolution after finding out that she has been labeled the DUFF - Designated Ugly Fat Friend - by her prettier, more popular counterparts. (Directed by Ari Sandel)

March

Chappie
In the near future, crime is patrolled by a mechanized police force. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. (Directed by Neill Blomkamp)
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
As the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has only a single remaining vacancy - posing a rooming predicament for two fresh arrivals - Sonny pursues his expansionist dream of opening a second hotel. (Directed by John Madden)
Cinderella
When her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her daughters. Never one to give up hope, Ella's fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger. (Directed by Kenneth Branagh)
It Follows
A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after getting involved in a sexual encounter. (Directed by David Robert Mitchell)
Insurgent
Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side. (Directed by Robert Schwentke)
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

Home
Oh, an alien on the run from his own people, lands on Earth and makes friends with the adventurous Tip, who is on a quest of her own. (Directed by Tim Johnson)
While We're Young
A middle-aged couple's career and marriage are overturned when a disarming young couple enters their lives. (Directed by Noah Baumbach)
Run All Night
Mobster and hit man Jimmy Conlon has one night to figure out where his loyalties lie: with his estranged son, Mike, whose life is in danger, or his longtime best friend, mob boss Shawn Maguire, who wants Mike to pay for the death of his own son. (Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra)

April

Furious 7
Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for his comatose brother. (Directed by James Wan)
The Longest Ride
After an automobile crash, the lives of a young couple intertwine with a much older man, as he reflects back on a past love. (Directed by George Tillman Jr.)
Ex Machina
A young programmer is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I. (Directed by Alex Garland)
Lost River

Child 44
A disgraced member of the military police investigates a series of nasty child murders during the Stalin-era Soviet Union. (Directed by Daniel Espinosa)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
After six years of keeping our malls safe, Paul Blart has earned a well-deserved vacation. He heads to Vegas with his teenage daughter before she heads off to college. But safety never takes a holiday and when duty calls, Blart answers. (Directed by Andy Fickman)
The Age of Adaline
A young woman, born at the turn of the 20th century, is rendered ageless after an accident. After many solitary years, she meets a man who complicates the eternal life she has settled into. (Directed by Lee Toland Krieger)

May

Avengers: Age of Ultron
When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner try to jump-start a dormant peacekeeping program called Ultron, things go horribly wrong and it's up to Earth's Mightiest Heroes to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans. (Directed by Joss Whedon)
Far from the Madding Crowd
In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor. (Directed by Thomas Vinterberg)
Maggie

Mad Max: Fury Road
In a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max, a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa, a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland. (Directed by George Miller)
Pitch Perfect 2
After a humiliating command performance at Lincoln Center, the Barden Bellas enter an international competition that no American group has ever won in order to regain their status and right to perform. (Directed by Elizabeth Banks)
Poltergeist
A family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces must come together to rescue their youngest daughter after the apparitions take her captive. (Directed by Gil Kenan)
Tomorrowland
Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory. (Directed by Brad Bird)
Aloft

Aloha
A celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and re-connects with a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog assigned to him. (Directed by Cameron Crowe)
San Andreas
In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his daughter. (Directed by Brad Peyton)
Barely Lethal
A teenage special ops agent coveting a "normal" adolescence fakes her own death and enrolls in a suburban high school. She quickly learns that surviving the treacherous waters of high school is more challenging than international espionage. (Directed by Kyle Newman)

June

Entourage
Movie star Vincent Chase, together with his boys Eric, Turtle, and Johnny, are back - and back in business with super agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold on a risky project that will serve as Vince's directorial debut. (Directed by Doug Ellin)
Spy
A desk-bound CIA analyst volunteers to go undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent diabolical global disaster. (Directed by Paul Feig)
Insidious: Chapter 3
A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity. (Directed by Leigh Whannell)
Jurassic World
Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993), Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor's interest, which backfires horribly. (Directed by Colin Trevorrow)
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
A teenage filmmaker befriends a classmate with cancer. (Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon)
Dope

Inside Out
After a girl moves to a new home, her emotions are plunged into chaos as they compete for control of her mind. (Directed by Pete Doctor and Ronaldo Del Carmen)
Max
A dog that helped US Marines in Afghanistan returns to the U.S. and is adopted by his handler's family after suffering a traumatic experience. (Directed by Boaz Yakin)
Ted 2
Newlywed couple Ted and Tami-Lynn want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to be a parent, Ted will have to prove he's a person in a court of law. (Directed by Seth MacFarlane)
Batkid Begins
On one day, in one city, the world comes together to grant one 5 year old cancer patient his wish. Batkid Begins looks at the 'why' of this flash phenomenon. (Directed by Dana Nachman)
Mr. Holmes (June UK release, July USA)
An aged, retired Sherlock Holmes looks back on his life, and grapples with an unsolved case involving a beautiful woman. (Directed by Bill Condon)

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Have I (by "I", I mean this list) missed anything? Call it out in the comments.

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Okay, the easy part is done. Now for the time-consuming, potentially-enjoyable part: you've got about 30 days to go see, buy, rent, borrow, or stream any of the above movies that might interest you enough to consider them for your list. When you've got all your bases covered, come back here to Moviepilot and publish (in the comments below or in your own new post, which you can link below) your top 10-ish favorite movies of the first half of the year. Remember to rank your list 1-through-some number so that I can assign points!

See you again in a month.

(descriptions pulled from IMDb)

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