State of the Movie Union 2015: The Good and the Bad, So Far

Only a few movies have really stood out during 2015, so far. Unfortunately there has been much more bad and forgettable than truly good movies. No 10s have been given out yet, but we are only halfway through the year. Here is a look at the best and worst movies and performances so far this year:

The Best, so far: 

A24
A24

Ex Machina: Alex Garland’s “Ex Machina” is such a stylish and captivating movie to watch. What makes it the best of the year so far is that it does not sacrifice substance for the sake of style. It’s as thought-provoking as it is magnetic, featuring another great performance from Oscar Isaac. Alicia Vikander plays a female A.I., who is so alluring despite not even being human. Vikander is truly on the cusp of breaking out in a major way. My three-and-a-half star review tells you why you need to see this movie without really knowing too much about it. The pleasure is watching it all unfold.

Runner-up: “The Voices”, starring Ryan Reynolds.

The Worst Movie, so far:

Lionsgate
Lionsgate

Mortdecai: I do not remember the last time I saw a movie so grating with such an off-putting lead character. Star Johnny Depp is cringe-inducing as the titular character, a mustachioed art collector. The movie is aggressive in its silliness but it never adds up to anything fun. In my one out of 10 review, I explain why you should stay away from this movie and continue to if you haven’t already. I will be shocked if something outranks “Mortdecai” as the worst movie before the year is up.

Runner-up: “Hot Pursuit”, a regressive and unfunny comedy starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara.

The Performances:
Some performances have really stood out this year but none have really screamed “Oscar!” yet. A few certainly are headed for the Razzie Awards (Johnny Depp, I once again look at you). The best male performance this year has been Ryan Reynolds in “The Voices“. Reynolds, who has made a name out of playing ne’er-do-wells, truly shines in this black comedy. He channels his unstable character with such innocent menace, in a very tricky balancing act.

The best female performance so far this year also is a rather unstable character. Kristen Wiig is so effective in “Welcome to Me“, a quirky but sometimes sad look at a woman who dreams of hosting her own talk show. When she wins $86 million in the lottery, she goes out and purchases her own show at a struggling network. It’s an uncomfortable and unflinching look at mental instability and despite being a goofy movie, it never intends to mock the protagonist.

That’s all for now. Can’t wait to see what the rest of 2015 has in store.

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