My favorite (and not) movies of 2015

Here follows a list of my favorite movies of 2015 (and 2014, where I just got to seeing them in 2015).  It is in a quite particular order, only no one has explained to me which order that is.

– My favorites –

Ant-Man

My wife and I saw this in Las Vegas during a summer trip to attend a Barenaked Ladies concert.  I generally enjoy Paul Rudd and this was no exception.  The MCU Marvel movies have so far failed to disappoint me, even with some less-than-stellar entries such as Iron Man 2.  I’m looking forward to more Ant-Man in the future.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Joss Whedon, you can do very little wrong.  I know he got a lot of criticism for the handling of Black Widow’s character, but I enjoyed almost everything about this movie.  The only thing I can currently think of that I would like to see changed is the expansion of Thor in the weird water cave, i.e. the re-insertion of the deleted scene from the Blu-ray.

Big Hero 6

From 2014; we watched this on Blu-ray when it came out in early 2015.  Disney has really been on a good streak with their main animated line lately.  I hope that the trend continues.

Inside Out

This may be one of Pixar’s finest, though that isn’t saying much given their track record.  Even Cars, my least favorite, was pretty enjoyable when I rewatched it recently.  The voice cast in Inside Out was excellent and the story was touching and I had just finished watching Parks and Recreation about a month before seeing Inside Out and Amy Poehler is just fantastic and that is all.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

I can’t decide whether the Mission: Impossible movies keep getting better or if they are just all maintaining a consistent level of quality (except for M:I II–that one just doesn’t do it for me at all).  I saw this theatrically and when I saw Ethan Hunt jump down into the cooling system, my inner Keanu Reeves said, “Whoa!”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Our family went to see the new Star Wars movie on opening weekend, and I must say, I expected the theaters in Utah to be much emptier on a Sunday afternoon.  I know there’s a lot of criticism regarding J.J. Abrams’ adaptations of some franchises, i.e. Star Trek and the aforementioned Mission: Impossible, I’ve generally enjoyed his takes on things.  (I could have done with many fewer lens flares in Star Trek.)  While hitting many of the same story beats as the original Star Wars, the new movie still had my attention and made it fun attention.  I just hope Kylo Ren isn’t the new Anakin Skywalker, e.g. super whiny.

– Other movies I enjoyed –

Chef

From 2014. I watched this on Netflix after reading a positive review.  It wasn’t disappointing and definitely was not hurt by Scarlett Johansson’s presence.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

From 2014. After enjoying Rise of the Planet of the Apes a couple of years ago, I watched the sequel and liked it too.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

From 2014.  I’ve enjoyed the Hunger Games movies so far, though I have yet to see the final installment.

Jurassic World

I really like the original Jurassic Park.  The sequels I could take or leave.  I saw Jurassic World theatrically with my dad and younger brother, and it was definitely enjoyable, I’d say second after the original film.  Chris Pratt is always fun to watch (I think I had only previously seen him in Guardians of the Galaxy, and a few months after Jurassic World I discovered Parks and Recreation).  One thing that surprised me though was just how much money Jurassic World made.  It was good, but I didn’t think it was that good.

Lucy

From 2014.  Scarlett Johansson?  Check.  This was a fun little movie, though the ending was really kind of weird.

Minions

This was another movie we took the family to see in the theater.  My youngest child loves the Despicable Me movies, so this was kind of a no-brainer to see.  I laughed a lot, and laughed a lot again when we watched it on Blu-ray (though not as much as my son laughed).

The Skeleton Twins

From 2014.  I also watched this on Netflix after reading a positive review, and liked it.

Spy

I think the only movie I’ve seen before with Melissa McCarthy is The Heat.  I’m pretty sure that yet another positive review led me to watching Spy, and I was not disappointed.  I love the way that it sort of felt like a female-driven Bond film, with a serious plot and no small amount of hilarity.  Jason Statham as a pompous Topper-type character was fantastic.  It doesn’t surprise me that Paul Feig, the writer and director, also wrote and/or created and/or directed some other things I found funny, such as The Heat, Bridesmaids, and Freaks and Geeks.  I’m looking forward to his version of Ghostbusters now.

They Came Together

From 2014.  Amy Poehler + Paul Rudd + romantic comedy satire = fantastic fun.

– Movies that made me say “meh” –

Dumb and Dumber To

Much like the first Anchorman movie, I love the first Dumb and Dumber, and was not as impressed by the sequel.  However, unlike the second Anchorman movie, I found little to redeem Dumb and Dumber To from the halls of Meh-dom.  It was just sort of there, occasionally amusing, and ultimately forgettable.

– Movies that made me say “Why on earth did I watch this?” –

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

This movie was just so, so bad.  Michelangelo was creepy and weird and really creepy.  The one scene that I enjoyed was the elevator bit.  It pains me that a sequel is forthcoming.

– 2015 movies I haven’t seen yet that I hope are good, or at least not terrible –

007: Spectre

The Good Dinosaur

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

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