2015 is in the rear view, but we haven’t finished talking about it just yet. If you caught our Best of the Best in 2015 episode of Geek Hard last Friday, you got to hear my (as well as the rest of the GH panel’s) Top 5 Picks for the best films to grace screens of various sizes. Here now is my picks for the 10 Best Geek Films of 2015. There’s been a lot of great stuff that’s come out this past year but only so many can be touted as the best. So let’s take a look at my picks:
#10 – Room
Based on the book of same name, Room is the story of a mother and child who are being held against their will in a small, one room shed. The boy was born in this room and it’s all he’s known. Now that the boy is 5 years old, the mother is hell-bent on getting them out of there. What’s amazing is that that’s only half the film. Where other stories would end with the climax of the boy and his mother getting free, this one shows you what happens after as we see through the eyes of the boy the effects of living in captivity have had on his mother. A fantastic performance by Brie Larson as the mother makes this movie worth watching.
#9 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Of course this movie is on the list. Like everybody else out there that was hoping and praying for a return to good Star Wars films, I was very satisfied with what we got this past December. A film that was fun above everything else. The right amount of tribute to what’s come before and a great job done servicing the presentation of new and interesting characters. As a friend of mine said to me after the film, “We got Star Wars back!” And that’s exactly what happened. Star Wars is back and that’s is a great thing indeed.
#8 – Creed
Probably one of the best re-launches of a franchise EVER! This film took the greatest things about Rocky and threw away all the crap that bogged down the sequels. A stellar performance by Michael B. Jordan as the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed, Adonis Johnson, backed up by some fantastic supporting actors, including Sly Stallone. It was weird to see Stallone actually act the shit out of a part he’s basically phoned in on his past 4 attempts. But this is Jordan’s film and he rises to occasion. Probably the most uplifting underdog story I’ve seen since Goon.
#7 – The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The spy movie that nobody went to see last year was the best spy movie of the bunch. In a world where SPECTRE and MI5 bombarded you with massive set pieces and cold protagonists, this film knew how to have fun with the genre and gave us a story that focused on the interactions between the characters. The chemistry between Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill is a delight and is only trumped by Hammer’s chemistry with Alicia Vikander, who almost steals the film out from under both gentlemen. Director Guy Ritchie brought his Sherlock Holmes style to this piece and made a really fun movie that was sadly underestimated by the movie-going public.
#6 – Ant-Man
A movie we waited a long time for as it was first announced all the way back in 2007. Thankfully, this tiny hero was worth waiting for. It was good to see Marvel Studios break away from the “World-threating Crisis” rut they’ve been in and tell a smaller (pun intended), more personal superhero story. It was definitely a different take from what we’ve seen in the past few years as the infusion of humour was at the forefront. Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly and Michael Pena all brought their A Game. This was a rip-roaring adventure from start to finish and did a great job of incorporating the Marvel Cinematic Universe while still being it’s own thing.
#5 – Mad Max: Fury Road
This was the film I did not see coming. I knew it would be a big deal as George Miller would be bringing his franchise back to the big screen with Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in the lead roles. What I did not expect was the positive focus put on the female characters in the film and the strength of storytelling in what should have been just a 2 hour car chase. It was a 2 hour car chase but a whole lot more as well.
#4 – The Martian
When it comes to great performances in film from the past year, Matt Damon’s showing in The Martian is right up there. This story was all about character and Ridley Scott found the perfect way to convey this very solitary story and open it up to create a wondrous tale of triumph and sacrifice. I’ve heard from multiple sources that this film is actually better than the book it’s based on…..not a lot of times you hear that. With a fantastic supporting cast and a tour de force from Damon, this film deserves all the praise it’s received and then some.
#3 – Dope
A geeky film set in Inglewood, California, it’s the story of 3 friends who’re considered outcasts at their school because they get good grades, are in a punk band and worship everything from the 90’s hip hop scene. The clothes, the music and the slang. But what happens when the stumble upon a big bag of drugs and are forced to sell it? A rousing coming of age story that’s hilarious, that’s what.
#2 – Ex Machina
An intriguing film about the creation of a working Artificial Intelligence, but it’s more than that. Much like The Martian and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Ex Machina decides to tell a sci-fi tale without all the big special effects and action sequences and instead focuses on 3 characters and explores their relationships and motivations. The second film on this list to star Alicia Vikander and once again she gives a spectacular performance.
A smaller film than probably any of the other ones on my list, Me and Earl and Dying Girl tells a story that I’m pretty sure that anybody with a geeky background could appreciate. The movie is about a kid in high school who has survived by being everyone’s acquaintance without ever really being anyone’s friend. He’s forced by his mother to befriend a girl dying from leukemia and finds himself vulnerable for the first time. Add in a subplot involving him making films with his “co-worker” Earl and we’re treated to a film that is balls to the wall hilarious while still being a thought provoking and heart wrenching personal tale. I loved this movie way more than I thought I would.
So there you have it. My picks for the 10 Best Geek Films of 2015. Let me know what your picks are by leaving a comment.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!