2015 was an undeniably great year for film. From the surprisingly jaw-dropping chaos of Mad Max, to the heart breaking beauty of Pixar’s Inside Out and the return of the almighty Star Wars franchise, film goers have been getting their money’s worth. But, every year there’s a handful of excellent movies that fall undeservedly under the radar. Here’s our pick of the best films you missed in 2015.
You don’t have much of an excuse with this one because it recently appeared on Netflix’s ever growing roster. Following a Scottish teenager traveling across the 19th century west with a murdering drifter (Michael Fassbender) for an escort, it’s a slow burning masterpiece about violence, camaraderie and searching for lost love. Imagine if Wes Anderson decided to try his hand at a western and you’ll have a vague idea of how truly inventive and unique this film is. Fassbender is on top form as a ruthless but conflicted drifter and the film’s final act will truly blow you away.
What We Do In The Shadows
If you’ve been underwhelmed by a sea of sub-par comedies this year from the likes of Will Ferrel and Kevin Hart, then this might restore your faith in the genre. Pitched perfectly as a fly on the wall documentary about four vampires sharing a house together in modern day New Zealand, this is more zany and original than you could imagine. From intense arguments about dish washing schedules to hilarious rivalries with a group of squeaky clean werewolfs (“We’re werewolves, not swearwolves!”), this comedy is bursting with laugh out loud humour. At it’s centre is a wonderful performance from Flight Of The Conchord’s Jermaine Clement.
If you were impressed by 2014’s Oscar winning Birdman and it’s one continuous shot throughout, then prepare to have your mind blown. While that film was mostly constricted to a theatre, Victoria takes viewers on a ride through nightclubs, kidnaps, car chases and pretty incredible set pieces, all in one take. It would have been an impressive feat purely on a logistical level alone, but the film also manages to carry a great deal of emotional weight as well. All of the incredible unfolding events are held in place by an anchoring performance from Laia Costa as a heroine in a spot of trouble.
We’re really hoping that you didn’t miss this one. If you’ve recently seen Oscar Isaac’s upsettingly handsome face in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and want to discover a different side to the actor, look no further. Playing a bearded and alcoholic scientist who has created what he claims to be the first authentic A.I robot, Isaac employs his other Star Wars co-star, Domnhal Gleeson to test the authenticity of his invention. What follows is a wildly engaging tale that’s part psychological thriller and part horror, with a glorious dash of dark comedy. Alicia Vikander is superb as the A.I under observation, constantly questioning the complexities of human nature and forming a bond with Gleeson’s character that sets incredible events into motion.
Winter On Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For Freedom
This one is on Netflix too and it’s truly essential viewing. Following the revolution that took place for 93 days in 2013 and 2014 from the frontline, the documentary focuses on Ukraine’s citizens as they fight for the resignation of a dictator. What began as a peaceful protest evolved into a violent revolution that exposed the ruthless nature of the Ukrainian government and the incredible resolve of it’s citizens.The intense strength of human spirit in the face of injustice is awe inspiring, and is handled with the delicate care that such an historic series of events deserves. If you’ve been infuriated by the lack of justice when watching Netflix’s new series Making A Murder, then this is the perfect antidote.