2015 has been a phenomenal year for movies, releasing the third, fifth and sixth highest grossing films of all time, and that's even before Star Wars! With movies like Jurassic World, Minions, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Furious 7, Terminator: Genisys, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Fifty Shades of Grey and Cinderella having been released, and movies like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Mockingjay Part 2 still to go, 2015 seems like the perfect year to be a moviegoer
But then, there are those films that sneak by right under our noses, that we only hear about once they are finally out, that end up being even more spectacular than the other movies we had waited for. Here are ten films from this year so far that surprised us all with how amazing they were.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road
This action-packed film starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron blew the minds of almost everyone who went to see it with its intense action sequences and spectacular plot. It earned itself an outstanding 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. If that percentage on its own is not an accomplishment, it also managed to gross almost $152 million at the U.S. Box Office.
2. Kingsman: The Secret Service
Based on the popular comic series, Kingsman told the story of a young man trying to join a secret spy organization in order to stop an evil plot by a crazy smart billionaire seeking to destroy the world. Strange plot? Yes. Done amazingly? Hell yeah! The phenomenal cast, including Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Hamill, and Michael Caine, combined with writer and director Matthew Vaughn made this comic book film into a terrific movie that I highly suggest you see.
3. American Ultra
This stoner, action-comedy starred Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. If that sentence on its own wasn't enough to get you hooked, then let's talk about how well it was made. With phenomenal writing and direction, this film blew the minds of many who saw it. It was about a regular stoner who discovered he was actually a sleeper agent for the government with enhanced fighting abilities. There was one scene where he kills two armed assailants with a spoon. A. Spoon. That is some crazy Shakespeare stuff, and I am just loving it!
Paul Feig directed this. What does that mean? It means this was a freaking awesome movie! Whether you like Melissa McCarthy's comedy acting style or not, there is no denying that this was a very enjoyable movie with a well thought-out plot and plenty of comedy that anyone can enjoy. It's truly worth seeing and exceeded most, if not all, expectations.
When the concept of Ant-Man becoming a movie was first thrown out there, it was met with laughter. But, after nine years of being in development, Ant-Man hit theaters as the hero we never expected to like, but ended up loving. Sure, the concept of a man being able to shrink and talk to ants seems ridiculous, but the way it was done made us not even think about how ridiculous it was. It was funny, it was clever, it was well written and it had an outstanding cast. All of this made Ant-Man into the movie that put the critics who were against it in their places.
6. Paper Towns
Based on the book by John Green, Paper Towns told the story of a high school senior pursuing the girl he loved who had run away. But, believe it or not, it was much more than just a love story. Paper Towns carried themes of moving on in life, taking risks, exploring the world and appreciating your friends. It was unexpectedly a very touching film that I happened to enjoy very much.
7. McFarland, U.S.A.
A hit movie about high-school, cross country runners? To quote Ant-Man, it's about damn time. There have been many touching movies about sports in recent years, like The Blind Side, Unbroken, Foxcatcher, Remember the Titans and The Karate Kid, but this is the first in a long time about sports like Cross Country. This is one of those sports that does not get enough recognition for the effort that is put into it. Running takes a lot of patience and willpower, and it was amazing to finally see that story told on screen.
Believe it or not, Trainwreck was not a total train wreck. Amy Schumer not only surprised us with her phenomenal acting skills, but her writing skills as well in this romantic comedy. Going into it, most people were ready for a laugh and that's it. But when they came out of the theater, the audience realized they had felt something for those characters. It was extraordinarily well written and a great film to see.
9. Inside Out
Need an absurd concept done on screen that tells a crazy deep story and makes you feel for every single character? Pixar's got you covered. Like most Pixar movies, there were many critics that thought this movie would be Pixar's biggest bust since Cars 2. But, like practically every other Pixar film, Inside Out blew the minds of the audience and, as usual, made almost every person tear up. It's truly the best animated film of the year so far and I suspect it will be winning itself at least one Oscar this year.
10. Straight Outta Compton
Not only was Straight Outta Compton a popular meme, but it was also a remarkable movie. It told the story of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E as they rose to the top of the music industry and changed Hip Hop forever. It was a terrific film done sensationally well that is a must-see for your next trip to the movies.
What other 'underdog' movies of this year surprised you? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!