2015 was the year of the blockbuster! Between galactic wars, dinosaur theme parks, humanoid robots, and post-apocalyptic road races, this year was full of event films that gave us thrills and chills.
The staff of Urban Asian breaks down their favorite Hollywood films of 2015 to keep you knee-deep in film recs through the new year!
Roshni’s pick: Jurassic World
Why you should watch it: If you grew up loving the original Jurassic Park films, you will LOVE the reboot! It contains just enough throwbacks to the 1993 film to tug at your heartstrings, but offers a completely new take on human beings and our fascination with playing God. This time around, the stakes are higher, the dinosaurs bigger, and the attacks bloodier! If you’re looking for a fun, exciting summer blockbuster, Jurassic World is the film for you.
Aman and Roopa’s pick: Inside Out
Why you should watch it: It’s not just for kids! Inside Out gives children and adults alike a rare look into our own minds. The biggest takeaway is that negative and positive emotions go hand in hand in making us who we are, and we need both happiness and sadness to live a good life. A pretty deep message, huh? But as always, Pixar tells the story in a way that is funny, entertaining, and heartwarming. Inside Out is truly the best family film of the year!
Bhavna’s pick: The Intern
Why you should watch it: The Intern couldn’t be a more relevant film. In a time when the old are discarded and the young can’t find jobs, where successful companies spring up overnight and women try to juggle work and home, The Intern explores office relationships that transcend age, gender, and experience. We all have something to contribute, and The Intern explores that idea in a very subtle, human way.
Nila’s pick: Spy
Why you should watch it: Melissa McCarthy is singlehandedly dispelling the stereotype that women can’t be funny (not that you should have ever doubted it!). In Spy, Melissa plays a desk-bound CIA analyst who suddenly finds herself in the field attempting to foil the black market sale of suitcase nuke. The assignment turns into a bumbling international adventure that includes a hilarious cast of characters, including a cameo by Bollywood’s very own Nargis Fakhri.
John’s pick: Ex Machina
Why you should watch it: Ex Machina asks the question, What makes a human being? Where does artificial intelligence end and real intelligence begin? The set-up is simple: a computer programmer named Caleb is invited to the home of his CEO to determine whether the humanoid robot he has built has enough self-awareness to convince Caleb that it is human. Employing all the best conventions of its genre, Ex Machina is a shining example of the best that sci-fi has to offer. In the end, you might find yourself questioning whether you yourself are real!
Diana and Amar’s pick: Minions
Why you should watch it: With the massive success of the Despicable Me franchise, it was inevitable that these little yellow buggers would get their own spinoff! Let’s be honest, your children/younger siblings/little cousins will probably drag you to see this movie. The surprise factor? You’ll love it! The minions are hopelessly infectious, and you’ll find yourself smiling from ear to ear as they make their way through history, from Napoleon to 1960’s New York. Do yourself a favor: stop fighting he minion craze!
Brooke’s pick: Mad Max Fury Road
Why you should watch it: Mad Max: Fury Road takes all the typical conventions of an action film and tosses them out the window. It’s a colorful film whose palette is in contrast with the bleak post-apocalyptic society it portrays; it confronts patriarchal values that turn women into objects; most importantly, it’s led by a strong female cast who the main protagonist, Max, deeply respects and works alongside. It’s a feminist action film that kicks ass and takes names, and the lack of CGI and special effects in creating the mind-twisting action sequences is the cherry on top.
Megha’s pick: Fast & Furious 7
Why you should watch it: Seven installments in and the Fast & Furious franchise is still delivering thrills! This film packs additional emotional punch, though: it’s the last F&F film Paul Walker made before he passed away in a car accident in 2013. Given that fact, they treat the last adventure of Dom and Brian with particular respect and reverence. See it for the high-octane action sequences, but don’t be surprised if a few tears leak out now and then!
Aishwarya’s pick: Focus
Why you should watch it: Sometimes you just want to relax and watch pretty people behaving badly. Focus is an extremely stylish romantic thriller about two con artists in love…a circumstance that becomes a liability in their line of work. Will Smith and up-and-comer Margot Robbie play off each other flawlessly, elevating an otherwise typical story to a smart, slick, and fast-paced brain twister.