Top 100 Best Movies of the 2010s: 80-71

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(Source: IndieWire)

80. All Is Lost (2013) – Robert Redford has played such wonderful roles since the 1950s. All is Lost is no exception. He’s the only actor in J.C. Chandor’s film about Our Man (as he’s known in the credits) trying to survive in the Indian Ocean after a shipping container damages his boat. Containing no dialogue (except for a voiceover monologue in the beginning and a sudden emotional outburst), Redford gives a physically demanding performance, as we sympathize with Our Man to safety, despite losing his potential hope. It might not move at a fast pace, but patient viewers will be on the edge of their seats and appreciate its ambiguity. The ending will stick with you days after watching it. Redford has left a great legacy after his retirement.

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(Source: The New York Times)

79. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) – Stephen Chbosky adapts his own book into one of the more surprising high-school movies I have seen in recent years. Logan Lerman gives a heartbreaking performance as Charlie, a high-school freshman making friends with two half-siblings (Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, equally great). Not only that, he has a dark secret that might surprise audiences. Although not fully implied, the movie does hint Charlie is suffering from post-traumatic stress. When he has his eventual breakdown, using clever angles, it’s upsetting. In the end, however, it’s nothing short of extraordinary.

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(Source: Screen Crush)

78. The World’s End (2013) – Edgar Wright’s last movie in the “Cornetto” trilogy, in my opinion, tops both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. It reunites Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Martin Freeman, as well as newcomers such as Rosamund Pike and Pierce Brosnan. Not only is the movie about a group of friends going on a pub crawl funny, but it’s also surprisingly poignant. A lot of people might be thrown off by its apocalyptic subplot, but I think this is what This Is the End should have been, instead of being something lazy, immature, and completely random. The World’s End is unsettling and action-packed (the bathroom fight is one of the most awesome fights I’ve ever seen in a movie). This contains probably my favorite “jumping the fence” gag.

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(Source: USA Today)

77. The Farewell (2019) – Earlier this year, A24 has released a movie for the entire family. The Farewell, based on director Lulu Wang’s life, is an emotional powerhouse of a movie. Awkwafina is a revelation as Billi, a young Chinese-American woman who travels to China after hearing her grandmother being diagnosed with cancer. The shocking part is no one in her family has told her the sad news, so they all reunite for a wedding to make up for it. The results are nothing short of witty and enchanting. It showcases the difference between Eastern and Western cultures and the need for the truth.

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(Source: IMDb)

76. True Grit (2010) – I recently watched Joel and Ethan Coen’s remake of the 1969 classic Western for the first time since seeing it in theaters. I almost forgot how much I loved this movie. The performances from Jeff Bridges as the hard-drinking, one-eyed gunslinger Rooster Cogburn, Matt Damon as Texas Ranger LaBeouf, and Hailee Steinfeld, in her first acting role, as Mattie Ross all make this movie worthwhile. Roger Deakins’ beautiful cinematography, the directors’ trademark dark wit, the supporting cast including Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper, the brutal violence and tension are enough reasons why this remake is darker and superior than the original.

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(Source: Business Insider)

75. Inside Out (2015) – It sure does take lots of guts for a grown-man to cry his eyes out. Inside Out destroyed me (I mean that in the best possible way) the first time around. It’s great to revisit the wonderful world inside the brain two more times in theaters. With beautiful animation, excellent voice performances from Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, and Phyllis Smith among others, humor to win over kids and adults, and enough emotion to even it out. In a world of sequels, it’s refreshing to see something original from PIXAR for a change.

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(Source: Collider)

74. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)/Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)/War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) – The 1968 original Planet of the Apes is a sci-fi classic with thought-provoking themes of religion, imaginative sets, superb acting, and contains one of the greatest plot twists of all-time. More than 30 years and some lackluster sequels (and Tim Burton’s remake) later, Rupert Wyatt steps into the director’s chair to reboot the franchise with Rise of the Planet of the Apes. With it being a great build-up to the sequels, Matt Reeves takes the series to a whole other level with Dawn (the best in the entire franchise) and the emotionally resonant War. Featuring beautiful visual effects (Andy Serkis is the man!), excellent action, great acting, and nods to Apocalypse Now and the Bible, these movies are those rare remakes that surpass the original.

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(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)

73. Take Shelter (2011) – Jeff Nichols is one of the most versatile filmmakers in the American arthouse scene. Mud, Midnight Special, and Loving are all overlooked yet they are some of the most engaging films of the past ten years. However, his masterpiece, in my opinion, is Take Shelter, starring frequent collaborator Michael Shannon as Curtis, a construction worker from Ohio who has hallucinations of a powerful storm that has yet to come. His anxiety is all the more engaging as the film progresses. The symbolic images will want you to go back to revisit Take Shelter time and time again.

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(Source: NPR)

72. Land of Mine (2016) – This Danish war film is set after World War II, where a group of German prisoners of war are trained by the Danish army to dig up 1.5 million mines along the North Sea. There is plenty of tension involved in this forgotten chapter of WWII history where you see these youths risking their lives of deactivating the mines without getting blown up. At its core, this is a story of revenge. Rex Reed said it best in his review, “This is a great film, sensitive and sympathetic to all survivors of all wars everywhere, and a plea for humanity in all of us in the hope that it never happens again.”

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(Source: USA Today)

71. Zootopia (2016) – Another animated movie that surprised me. It contains a narrative that is part-buddy-comedy, part-murder-mystery, and part-social-commentary. Its timely message of how prejudice can lead to racism is brought to life brilliantly in a movie with gorgeous animation, lovable characters, and a talented voice cast led by Jason Bateman and Ginnifer Goodwin. I think this movie is more suited for adults, since a lot of pop culture references (The Godfather and Breaking Bad) will go over the heads of younger children.

 

 

100-91 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

Top 15 Best Movies of 2015

Despite the many flops the year had to offer, 2015 was the year of strong, independent female characters, wonderful dramas, hilarious comedies, breathtaking action, and some notable directors finding redemption (M. Night Shyamalan coming back with The Visit is among many examples). I was surprised by a lot of films this year, even ones I became too skeptical on. Since there was a lot of great movies in 2015, here is my list of the top 15 best movies of the year. Keep in mind, I haven’t seen every great movie. Don’t expect movies like The Hateful Eight, Spotlight, Carol, or The Danish Girl on this list.

Honorable Mentions: Ant-Man, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Cinderella, Far from the Madding Crowd, Furious 7, It Follows, Mr. Holmes, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, The Peanuts Movie, Straight Outta Compton

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15. Ex Machina – Talk about an original sci-fi picture that is provocative, unexpected, and chilling to the core! With three terrific performances by Domnhall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and a scene-stealing Oscar Isaac, Ex Machina brings the issues of artificial intelligence and how advanced technology has control in everyday life. The beautiful, haunting visuals through Alex Garland’s direction makes it such a treat. Ava (played wonderfully by Vikander) is one of the best special effects creations in recent years.

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14. Steve Jobs – I don’t know why this movie didn’t get the audience it deserved. Danny Boyle and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin create an emotionally intense portrait of one of the most influential people in technology. Told in a three-act structure, the movie follows Jobs as he is about to appear for his product launches of the Macintosh, the NeXT, and the iMac. Even though he looks absolutely nothing like Steve Jobs, Michael Fassbender gives one hell of a performance as the Apple CEO. With a gifted supporting cast and miraculous dialogue, Steve Jobs is The Social Network of 2015.

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13. Amy – The best documentary of the year chronicles Amy Winehouse’s fame and personal struggles. I knew very little about Winehouse, but I remember the day she died of alcohol poisoning. Seeing this documentary made me knew more about the life of one of the most original singers of the early 21st century. She brought a different style to the contemporary music world. A lot of people were used to hearing pop and hip-hop, Winehouse was more about blues, soul, and jazz. She became huge success worldwide. Then, she became addicted to drugs and alcohol. When she died at the age of 27, she left behind a great legacy.

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12. The End of the Tour – I love movies involving two people having a fascinating conversation. The End of the Tour is no exception. It features Jason Segel in his best performance as the late author David Foster Wallace, whose 1,000+ page book Infinite Jest made him become a big name. Jesse Eisenberg plays David Lipsky, a Rolling Stone who decides to have a five-day interview with him. They live up on junk food, binge-watching (before “binge-watching” became a thing), and spending time around the Mall of America. The chemistry between these two actors is so compelling I never wanted their conversation to end. Poignant, funny, and all-around excellent.

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11. The Gift – This movie surprised the hell out of me! Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut is so Hitchcockian in its style and narrative. Starring along with Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall, Edgerton makes one hell of a creepy stalker. It’s unnerving, unpredictable, and engaging in every way. Seeing his face sends shivers down my spine.

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10. Creed – Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler return two years after collaborating in Fruitvale Station. In Creed, they bring the beloved Rocky series back to life. Sylvester Stallone returns as our favorite boxer from Philadelphia: Rocky Balboa. This time, he has retired from boxing. And starts training the son of Apollo Creed. Coogler perfectly blends old-fashioned drama with the excellent boxing scenes; especially the first fight consists of a five-minute long take. The chemistry between Michael B. Jordan and Stallone is one-of-a-kind.

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9. Bridge of Spies – Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are two of my favorite people working today. Bridge of Spies proves it. Their latest masterpiece is one of the most fascinating projects: an old-fashioned, dialogue-driven Cold War thriller. With a screenplay written by Joel and Ethan Coen, Spielberg and Hanks take us back to a time where America was living in a state of fear. The biggest fear is no other than Communism. The tension is brought through with the astounding dialogue and Thomas Newman’s breathtaking score. Hanks delivers yet another wonderful performance as insurance lawyer Jim Donavon, who brought “justice for all”.

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8. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – This Sundance winner would make Wes Anderson proud. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon creates an offbeat comedy with a big heart. Thomas Mann, R.J. Cyler, and Olivia Cooke have long careers ahead of them. Their compelling chemistry brings enough laughs and tears to the story about two high school seniors creating spoofs of art films while befriending a girl with leukemia. It’s hard not to relate to the main character Greg. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is more than just a high school film, it’s a love letter to the art of filmmaking. Watching Nick Offerman as Greg’s dad convincing his son and Greg’s friend Earl to try these weird foods is priceless.

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7. Mad Max: Fury Road – Easily the best action film of the year featuring some of the best action of this decade. George Miller reboots the Mad Max franchise thirty years after Beyond Thunderdome. With a basic narrative about finding hope and redemption, Mad Max: Fury Road is an engine that never runs out of steam. It’s refreshing to see mostly practical effects to give a sense on how insane Miller’s apocalyptic wasteland is where people are in desperate need of food, water, and gas. Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron make a terrific duo. Take notes from the master, Michael Bay.

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6. Love & Mercy – The music of the Beach Boys truly define the feeling of summer. The band started to record songs for Pet Sounds. Instead of doing songs about summer, Brian Wilson decided to make the songs for listening. Then, he begins having panic attacks. Told in two timelines–1960s and the 1980s–we follow Brian Wilson, played wonderfully by Paul Dano and John Cusack, as he begins to lose grip on reality. Bill Pohlad gives a devastating biopic on one of the best musicians of the 20th century inside and outside of the studio through his brilliant direction. Love & Mercy is an experience I’ll never forget.

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5. Inside Out – After the disappointments of Cars 2, Brave and Monsters University, PIXAR is back with Inside Out. It gives something original, ambitious, creative, imaginative, relatable, funny, and downright heartbreaking. The metaphors and the breathtaking animation make it a feast for the ears and the eyes. The voice acting is superb, the characters are as lovable as ever, and the emotion is raw. Seeing this three times in the theaters made me love it more each viewing. It makes everyone wonder what is going on inside our heads.

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4. The Martian – Ridley Scott’s directing career has been in the gutter for years. In The Martian, he gives a survival tale that is as funny as it is suspenseful. With Drew Goddard’s witty screenplay, Matt Damon’s Watney the most optimistic survivalist ever (or as I like to describe him as a classier Bear Grylls). “In your face, Neil Armstrong,” he wisecracks as he colonizes Mars. During his time on Mars, he listens to disco music from Michael Lewis’ (excellent performance by Jessica Chastain) playlist. With an all-star cast including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, and Kate Mara, hilarious pop culture references, and breathtaking cinematography, The Martian is Ridley Scott’s new masterpiece. This movie has the best Lord of the Rings reference (I was in stitches).

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3. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens – I know I haven’t posted a review for the latest chapter in the Star Wars saga. Because I didn’t want to spoil for anyone who has yet to see it. To keep it as brief as I possibly can, The Force Awakens is everything I want in a Star Wars movie: funny, breathtaking, exciting, and touching. It introduces new characters (Daisy Ridley’s Rey is one of the best characters of the year) as well as some familiar faces. Thanks J.J. Abrams for bringing the saga back to the silver screen!

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2. Brooklyn – What a charming love story. John Crowley pays tribute to his native Ireland as well as the films of the 1950s (in which Brooklyn is set). The movie doesn’t come close to becoming a soap opera. Brooklyn is as human of a movie as it gets, kudos to Crowley’s direction and Nick Hornby’s screenplay. Saoirse Ronan gives the performance of a lifetime as an Irish immigrant trying to settle in Brooklyn. When she falls in love with an Italian-American plumber, she must choose to live in America or Ireland. Brooklyn is a wonderful study in homesickness with enough wit, charm and emotion.

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1. Room – Going into this movie with barely any expectations at all made the experience so much better; I knew I wanted to see it again. Now I have seen it twice, Lenny Abrahamson and Emma Donaghue give  a raw, intense film about taking the big step into the big world. Seen through the eyes of 5-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay, in an award-worthy performance), he has been living in a small garden shed with no windows (except for a skylight) with Ma (another wonderful performance by Brie Larson). During the first act, we see Ma (Joy) and Jack living in Room. As Jack begins to understand more about the situation they are in, he slowly begins to make that huge transition in life. His memories and imaginations are in Room. As the second act comes into play, he becomes more comfortable living in the real world. Ma, however, is struggling to find what is best for her son. What a movie!

I hope you enjoyed my list of the best movies of 2015. I’m looking forward to see what 2016 has to offer. Please feel free to leave a comment on what some of your favorite movies of the year are. Stay tuned for my top 20 most anticipated movies of the new year. Take care.

“Inside Out”: A Colorful Trip Through the Mind

Anger, Disgust, Joy, Fear, and Sadness from

Anger, Disgust, Joy, Fear, and Sadness from “Inside Out”

In 1995, Disney/PIXAR made Toy Story. It became the first feature-length computer animated film following a group of toys coming to life. Not only that, it also became a massive hit, which led to making two sequels. The toys have gone on some wild adventures, but they had never went to the dark side until years later in Toy Story 3, where they end up in a daycare center that feels more like a prison. Eventually, they end up on an exhilarating escape from the daycare back to Andy’s house before he leaves for college. There has never been an ending that tugged hard on the heartstrings.

John Lasseter and his wonderful team are known to create some imaginative ideas. They brought us through the grass in A Bug’s Life. They showed the friendlier side of monsters in Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University. They brought us under the sea in Finding Nemo, and will bring us back next year in Finding Dory. They made every characters cars in the fun albeit formulaic Cars, followed by a disappointing caper in its sequel. They brought a talented rat-chef in a restaurant serving good French cuisine in Ratatouille. They made a strong Scottish princess chose her fate in Brave. They even satirized the superhero genre in The Incredibles.

After 30 years of making short films and feature films, 2015 will be the first time for PIXAR to release two movies in the same year. The first is Inside Out, and the next will be The Good Dinosaur (will be released this Thanksgiving). Following three disappointments, PIXAR finds its mojo in Inside Out. It truly gives the audience what they want: something original, ambitious, imaginative, relatable, funny, and heartfelt. Seeing it three times in theaters makes it something special.

It’s hard to deal with many changes in life. For 11-year-old Riley Anderson (Kaitlyn Dias), she would never leave Minnesota.

Riley from "Inside Out"

Riley from “Inside Out”

We go inside her mind where her emotions are in Headquarters using a control panel to guide her actions. Joy (Amy Poehler) has been the leader of Headquarters from the beginning. It’s her job to keep Riley the happy-go-lucky girl she has always been. Later, new emotions are formed:

  • Disgust (Mindy Kaling), who is charge of preventing Riley from getting “poisoned; both physically and socially”.
  • Anger (Lewis Black) reads newspapers with headlines referring to Riley’s day (“First Day of School”, “No Dessert!”, and so on), and is in charge of making everything fair for her.
  • Fear (Bill Hader) is in charge of keeping her safe.
  • And lastly, Sadness (Phyllis Smith) is the one who can’t control Riley, at first, because the other emotions want her to stay away from sadness.

Every day, new memories–formed in colored orbs–are created and organized. The most important ones, called “core memories”, are formed to build islands that define Riley’s personality. For instance, Riley loves playing hockey. Ever since she scored her first goal, the Hockey Island was built. “What could happen?” Joy asks the audience as Riley turns 11.

*sniff* Riley and her parent sharing a hug.

*sniff* Riley and her parents sharing a hug.

It ends up being that Riley and her parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan) are moving to San Francisco. Since her father got a new job, Riley tries to get used to living in a new city. The emotions try to deal with her situation. But when a conflict arises between Joy and Sadness, they end up getting sucked through a vacuum and into “Long-Term Memory”. They leaves the three others in charge.

There has never been a movie so ingenious in its storytelling; going back and forth from the HQ to Riley. Writer/director Pete Docter got the idea for Inside Out from his daughter. According to an interview from the Washington Post, she used to have this happy, goofy spirit. But [at 11] she began to move toward being more quiet and more reclusive. Parents feel emotional reflecting the past as they stare on into the present. “Watching my daughter made me sad,” Docter said. “As a parent, I was playing and being a part of that ‘pretend-play.’ And that was going away. That was a big part of the film.”

Indeed it was! After Riley’s first day of school, her parents ask how her day went. With Joy and Sadness not in HQ, the only thing she can do is become frustrated with them. As she storms up to room, they realize there she is changing.

Meanwhile, Joy and Sadness are in this humongous labyrinth trying to make their way back to HQ. They come across

"I'm positive you can get lost in there."

“I’m positive that you’ll get lost in there.”

Bing-Bong (Richard Kind), Riley’s colorfully eccentric imaginary friend from toddlerhood (and one of the most lovable characters in a PIXAR movie) who has a cotton-candy body, part cat, part elephant, and part dolphin. He agrees to guide their way through short-cuts such as the “Abstract Thought” and “Imagination Land”. They end up catching the “Train of Thought”. You can’t help but smile and often get teary-eyed as they interact with one another due to excellent writing. In one emotional scene, Sadness feels sympathy for Bing-Bong as his spaceship wagon that he and Riley use that runs on star-power goes into an abyss where old memories are vacuumed up by Mind Workers and eventually fade. They wanted to go to the moon. He realizes that Riley is all grown up. As he says his last goodbye, later on, he tells Joy, “Take her to the moon” after helping her getting out of the dump with his wagon (Man–the feels).

"Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life's problems."

“Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life’s problems.”

On the other hand, Sadness comes out more as the hero. Earlier, as Riley is at her new school, she introduces herself to the class. She reminisces her life back in Minnesota, and a happy memory appears in HQ of her playing hockey. Then, Sadness touches the orb which turns the happy memory blue. Riley begins to cry knowing how hard it is to move from one place to another. Later, in Long-Term memory, she discusses about one of the memories involving Riley’s parents cheering her up after losing a hockey game. Her teammates come and cheer her up. As Joy is in the dump, he understands why the memory was blue. So she can be consoled. The moral of the story is you can’t have Joy without a little Sadness. This happens again when Riley comes back home in tears saying she misses Minnesota after changing her mind of getting off the bus (a plan that Anger comes up with). By the end, Riley accepts who she is despite how tough it is growing up.

Inside Out is a movie that kids and adults would discuss about for many generations. To be honest, I think the movie would be appreciated more by adults, especially those who have gone through the tough times in their life. Like with every PIXAR movie, they would like to go back to see what they missed, especially Easter eggs (try to find Nemo). The metaphors and the gorgeous animation make the movie a feast for the ears and the eyes. I’m glad Bill Hader is getting more attention after being a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Starring alongside Poehler, another SNL alumnus, I can’t think of better casting. During the end credits, we ask: What is going on inside our heads?

2015 Summer Movie Review: Inside Out

The emotions in Disney/PIXAR's latest feature

The emotions in Disney/PIXAR’s latest feature “Inside Out”

I’m glad you’re back, PIXAR. After three disappointing films–Cars 2, Brave, and Monsters University–we finally get something original, ambitious and creative from this wonderful company. Not only is Inside Out the best PIXAR movie since Toy Story 3, it’s also one of the absolute best films so far this year and this decade. I’m surprised how mature it handles the theme of what is happening in our mind and accepting who we are especially when going through the different changes in life. It has enough laughs and tearjerking moments, the animation is beautiful, the voice-casting is pitch perfect, and it has a great message for kids and adults. It’s rare for someone like me to choke up while seeing a movie in the theater. Inside Out is one of those movies. Hell, I even got teary-eyed during the short film Lava, which follows a volcano trying to find love by singing a song out of it. Along with Geri’s Game and Day and Night, this is the best of the PIXAR shorts. I can’t recommend Inside Out more highly!

4/4

Read “Great Movie” essay for Inside Out here

2015 Summer Movie Preview: June

The summer movie season is off to a fairly decent start. Even though there have been some complete failures (Aloha, Hot Pursuit), there have been some that either met (The Avengers: Age of Ultron; even though some people were disappointed with it) or exceeded everyone’s expectations (Mad Max: Fury Road). The month of June doesn’t have a lot that I’m excited for. Who knows? Maybe there would be some pleasant surprises throughout the month as well as the rest of the summer. Let’s talk about the movies that are coming out this month.

June 5

entourageEntourage (in theaters today) – I have never watched the HBO show. Seeing so many celebrity cameos from the preview looks like it would be okay for a few chuckles. I understand fans of the show are going to like or hate this movie. For a non-fan like me, I think it would be best to watch the show. Despite the negative reception, I’m not going to skip this movie. I’ll eventually watch the show and make an opinion when I end up seeing the movie.

spySpy – Melissa McCarthy returns with director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat) to give what the audience wants. It looks like this movie has it all: action, laughs, and of course, Melissa McCarthy. She is the master of improvising and making people laugh. Her performance in The Heat, alongside Sandra Bullock, had everyone in stitches. I don’t think she’s an awful actress, but it seems like she’s playing the same character over and over again. I wouldn’t be surprised if this would become a hit. I might see it for Jason Statham and Jude Law.

insidious_chapter_threeInsidious: Chapter 3 – Damn, how many movies are we going to get? What is this going to become? Paranormal Activity? I haven’t seen the Insidious movies, but I’ve heard the first one was pretty decent, and the second one sucked. This one doesn’t look scary at all.

love_and_mercyLove and Mercy – Brian Wilson had a devastating life. He decided to stop touring and write music after having a panic attack. In the 1980s, he’s a confused middle-aged man. As a fan of The Beach Boys, I cannot wait for this! Paul Dano and John Cusack are the perfect choices to play Brian Wilson (not to mention Wilson being satisfied after seeing the movie). I love how Paul Dano gets physically tortured in every single movie (from There Will Be Blood to Prisoners to 12 Years a Slave). This time, in Love and Mercy, he’s getting mentally tortured. Time to get out the tissue box.

June 12

jurassic_worldJurassic World – Jurassic Park is one of my all-time favorite movies. It has the wonder, the suspense, and it became an early milestone of bringing dinosaurs to life by using state-of-the-art CGI. Since 1993, they still hold up to this day. 22 years later, we get a reboot of this wonderful movie. What can be more exciting than Chris Pratt riding on his motor-scooter with a group of velociraptors? My inner child cannot wait any longer for June 12th!

me_and_earl_and_the_dying_girlMe and Earl and the Dying Girl – This smash hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival looks like it’s reminiscent to the films of Wes Anderson. A quirky comedy-drama about a teenage filmmaker who befriends a girl with leukemia. Words cannot describe on how stoked I am for this!! It looks funny and sad. My most anticipated movie for the month.

June 19

inside_outInside Out – PIXAR has made several imaginative animated films for kids and adults. They introduced a world of toys coming to life, showed the nice side of monsters, brought us under the sea, and even made a house fly. With Inside Out, PIXAR brings us inside the central nervous system and how our emotions are being controlled. After the solid but disappointing Monsters University, it looks like PIXAR is back to bring us the funny and emotional. If it stars two SNL alumni, Amy Poehler and Bill Hader, that gives two more good reasons to look forward to this.

dopeDope – Produced by Pharrell Williams, it follows an African-American high school senior living on the dangerous streets of Inglewood, California who dreams of going to Harvard. He goes on an adventure with his friends, one of them played by Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel), and they try not to get in trouble. This is another hit at Sundance that looks offbeat and moving.

infinitely_polar_bearInfinitely Polar Bear – It’s refreshing to see Mark Ruffalo getting mad without turning into a green monster. In Infinitely Polar Bear, he plays a father with bipolar disorder learning the responsibilities of taking care of his two daughters. This looks like a very funny and touching outlook how one guy tries to do what is best, despite his condition.

manglehornManglehorn – Al Pacino is one of my favorite actors. I’m glad he came back this year! Directed by David Gordon Green, who gave us small independent films (George Washington, Snow Angels, Prince Avalanche, Joe) and mainstream comedies (Pineapple Express, Your Highness, The Sitter), he directs – what looks like – a deep character study about a lonely, sarcastic man working as a locksmith after losing the woman of his dreams. This is a very different role for Pacino (in a good way). Despite the mixed reception from last year’s Venice Film Festival, I’m quite looking forward to seeing how he holds up with Green in the director’s chair.

June 26

ted_twoTed 2 – Directed by Seth MacFarlane. Skipping this one for sure. Moving right along.

maxMax – From the director of Remember the Titans, this looks like a sentimental but heartwarming story of a dog who helped Marines in Afghanistan, and is adopted by a family in the States. This might be good, but I’m pretty sure my father, who was former soldier of the Army National Guard, would like to see it.

batkid_beginsBatkid Begins – It’s rare to get excited for a documentary. Seeing the preview, I was hooked. Following a kid diagnosed with leukemia who wishes to be Batman. Everyone from all over the world has been passing the story like a virus, and they root for him. Please take my money!!

Recap:
Most Anticipated: Batkid Begins, Inside Out, Jurassic World, Love and Mercy, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Least Anticipated: Insdious: Chapter 3, Ted 2

I hope you enjoyed reading on what my thoughts are on several movies for the month of June. Tell me in the comments below on what your most anticipated movies are. Stay tuned for a movie preview for the month of July at the end of the month. Take care.