The Final Countdown

In all honesty, there have been stronger years for film. There hasn’t been that one film that stands above all. However, that is not to say this year hasn’t delivered some exciting and thrilling films. For this blog post I have selected my top 5 films of the year, giving an explanation for their rankings. From Superhero epics to dark and thrilling dramas, this list represents my varied taste in film. With 2015 close in sight, I’m really excited to see what the future holds for film!

5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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Captain America is my favourite Avenger. Chris Evans will always be the Human Torch to me, but he struck out when he took on the role of the titular character, who demonstrates some old school superhero action. Whereas the 2011 film was more stripped back and set in a different era, the sequel changes the gear into a spy thriller. Black Widow makes a great counterpart for Captain America, bringing that Marvel wit and humour as well as some incredible action scenes. Whilst this is the best Marvel film to date, the thing I appreciated about the first film was that it was standalone. With the news of Captain America teaming up with Iron Man for the 2016 sequel, as exciting as it sounds, they should actually focus on the leading character. However, Captain America takes full reigns on this film and delivers some great moments. One of Marvels solid entries that feels more than just a superhero film.

4. Edge of Tomorrow

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Live. Die. Repeat. Whatever title you want to call it. Tom cruise plays a different type of character, the reverse of his experienced action heroes and Emily Blunt is the highlight as the Full Metal…(watch the film and you’ll find out). Despite being based on the Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, preventing the film to labelled as original, it stood out against the crowd of a summer filled with sequels and reboots. It was also refreshing to watch a film knowing that there was no intention of a sequel, and that allowed us to focus more on the film. This is coming from someone who has no major issues with sequels or franchises, but it felt unique to see such a strong and solid effort knowing Iron Man wasn’t teaming up for the sequel. Overall, this was an exciting blockbuster with an international flair and with some brains.

3. The Fault in Our Stars

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A love story between two cancer affected teenagers equals a $300 million blockbuster. Why you ask? Because it never fees dreary or allows cancer to be the the sole lead of the film. What drives this film is the organic love story between Shailene Woodley’s and Ansel Elgort’s characters. It moves seamlessly between comedy and drama in a genuine manner. I remember watching the trailer thinking it would be extremely cheesy and soppy, but the finished product is actually a deeply emotional yet heart warming take on quite a morbid topic. It also makes you think about life itself and how the two leading characters have had everything against them, but never let it define them. Woodley and Elgort have a natural chemistry between them. This film definitely surprised me in the best way and I would strongly recommend this film to people.

2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I

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Let’s be honest here, the final book could have been translated to one film. Yet, allowing the book to be split into two films, we go deeper into character and narrative development. This is the most serious and emotional entry of the franchise. Katniss (Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence) is broken and needs to pick herself up to become the Mockingjay. As always, Lawrence gives an emotive performance and brings substance to the film. Even Josh Hutcherson goes deeper in his role and does not hold back. Thankfully the film fleshed out Effie’s character and was one of the highlights of the film, Elizabeth Banks effortlessly draws out the humour and the depth of the character. I’ve heard that people have been let down by the lack of action, however I would counter argue that with the fact that this is an thought provoking and stripped back blockbuster, which is rare to see these days. Strong performances from Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jennifer Lawrence add something extra to the film and the anticipation for the final entry is strong. Having read the books I can tell you, if you weren’t happy with this film you will be extremely excited for Part 2.

1. Gone Girl

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Having devoured the book, I was eager to watch this adaptation. This has to be one of the intelligent and most chilling films of the year. The highlight of this film is the incredibly convicting performance from Rosamund Pike. How she so easily flowed in and out of Amy’s many characterisations, she breathed life into the character and gave us chills. It is also a very strong adaptation, author of the book Gillian Flynn adapted her own book to the screen with no mercy. She acknowledged how she needed to rehash it and reinterpret it for the screen. For if the whole book was translated to screen it would be an extremely long film. David Fincher delivers a cold and calculated thriller which draws you in, even if you’ve read the book. The film stays with you after viewing it, making you think about the many themes it draws upon. 

What have your favourite films of the year been? Feel free to comment or share! Do you agree with my list or have strong objections? Let’s hope 2015 is an epic year for film!

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