The Martian (2015) – I loved this film. It’ll land among my favorites of the year. It’s got thrills, tension, humor, and a great lead performance by Matt Damon. Amazing supporting cast, too, though Damon’s fellow crew are somewhat under-utilized. (Needs more Chastain.) The book that served as the film’s source material has been on my to-read list for a year or so, and now it’s been pushed to the top!
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015) – I wasn’t really jazzed to see this film. I saw the first one and enjoyed it well enough, but not so much as to actively look forward to the next in the series. I ended up seeing The Scorch Trials anyway because I felt like going to the theater and had seen just about everything else that was playing, haha. It’s an alright flick, some decent performances and a plenty of action, which certainly didn’t leave me bored. I liked the “Right Arm” group that was introduced.
Sicario (2015) – Effectively suspenseful, but I didn’t love it, especially not as much as everyone else seems to. Not much to say about this one — it’s one of those films that leaves me struggling to put my thoughts together. Benicio del Toro gives a great performance and was by far my favorite part of the film.
Woodlawn (2015) – This will come as a surprise to many a long-time TMP reader as I used to avoid overtly religious films like the plague, but I enjoyed Woodlawn. It captures the time period (the 1970s) pretty well, and the story is consistently engaging, even when the preachiness gets a bit heavy-handed. From the perspective of historical interest, I would have liked to see further exploration of the subplot involving Tony’s girlfriend and her more “radical” friends. However, I can understand why it wasn’t expanded upon — the focus here is on two things: faith, and football. It’s a sports movie, not a civil rights movie, despite the fact that the story is about integration. The acting and production quality are higher than average for a Christian indie flick, which made me like the film more. Obviously, Woodlawn isn’t going to be for everyone; it comes from PureFlix, the distributor of faith-based films such as God’s Not Dead. The LA Times review described it as “an evangelical Remember the Titans,” which I think paints a very accurate picture of the film.
Of the FIVE theatrical movies I’ve seen this year (a very, very dry year for me), I’d say ‘The Martian’ ranks #2…though I’m guessing it’ll drop a notch when I see ‘Spectre’ tomorrow!
What ranks #1?
So far, I’m giving it to the latest ‘Mission: Impossible’ movie…overall I had the most fun with that one, and is one I’d see again over ‘The Martian’. Do you have a solid #1?
Ah, I’ve never seen any of the M:I movies. My #1 as yet would probably be Far from the Madding Crowd. Haven’t seen too much in the theater that I’ve LOVED this year, so it’ll be interesting to see if my list changes dramatically in these last two months of Oscar bait season haha.