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Film Review: Top 5 Underrated Films of 2015... so far

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

This comedy-drama may be overlooked by many because of its lack of A-List superstar actors, but don't let that put you off. This film is all about friendship, the mistakes we make and how we should never regret our decisions.

It is set around the main character Greg who gets forced by his parents to become friends with Rachel who has leukaemia and is going through chemotherapy. Then, obviously, Earl gets involved into this forced but blossoming friendship.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is certainly a heart-warming film, one moment you are laughing at the silly mistakes the characters make and then you are quietly sobbing to yourself because eventually you know that the trio won't go on forever.

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is the director of this film and although he is unknown he is making waves for the future, bear in mind that this is his first feature film and it earned a huge standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival this year. He's already signed on to make a film starring Will Smith – he’s already going places.
If you haven't done so already, I would highly recommend sitting and watching this.

It Follows

A horror film that refuses to play by the rules, It Follows plays with your own fears of not knowing who the enemy is.

It Follows revolves around Jay, a college student, who to be honest is a bit strange. She goes along with her boyfriend to the cinema who is very shifty about a girl in a dress, following him. Jay ends up being chloroformed by him and this thing starts following her. It's really difficult to try to explain a film without giving away spoilers and ruining it for those who haven't seen it. This thing that follows can change into a completely different person, appearing with a different disguise each time. There's just one rule throughout the film, don't let it catch you.

It Follows is clever in the way it has you looking behind the actors backs to see if you can spot the thing following them. It filmed in a way that makes you unable to tell when it's coming or what it looks like until it's too late. It's not so much of a jumpy film, more of a psychological horror, but it'll have you looking over your shoulder for days I can assure you of that.

Ex Machina

I have to be totally honest here, the only reason I watched this film was to see actors, Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac. The pair star in upcoming Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, and I wanted to see if I could get a sneak peek of how they work together before the next, long awaited installment. I have to say that I wasn't disappointed; both actors perform admirably and display what they have to offer. Saying this, they are totally eclipsed by Alicia Vikander, who takes on the role of Ava, a humanoid robot, and she absolutely smashes it.

The movie is set in Nathan’s (Isaac) home where he works and has pretty much placed himself into solitary confinement. He lives with his Japanese maid, who doesn't speak a word of English or understand it, (allowing him to keep his secrets his) and is the owner and founder of the world's largest search engine. He invites employee and programmer, Caleb (Gleeson) to take part in a new experiment – to test his humanoid.

Things get uncomfortable as Caleb questions Nathan's reasons for imprisoning Ava, who, as a viewer, you become instantly attached to. Ex Machina really pushes the boundaries of the sci-fi/thriller genre, almost reaching the boundaries of a drama. The plot twists will keep you on the edge of your seat. Going into any more detail would be too telling, so I won't say much more about it. Just watch it and enjoy.

Batkid Begins

This documentary touched the heart of so many people and I can certainly see why. Miles Scott, a five-year-old that has beaten cancer, always dreamed of being Batman’s sidekick, Batkid. The film follows the biggest ever Make-A-Wish project, as thousands of volunteers helped to get San Francisco turned into Gotham city just for one day, for this brave little boy.

It is a motivating film, to see these people create a dream for a boy that had to fight for his own life. You will be smiling and crying at Batkid Begins.

A Most Violent Year

You are probably reading this thinking I have a man-crush on Oscar Isaac but he is actually just rather busy right now. He plays an oil firm owner who wants to make his company bigger and better; the year is 1981 (New York’s worse year for crime). There are rivalries between oil companies and hijackings at gunpoint ensue. Abel’s (Isaac) wife wants him to fight violence with violence, but he refuses. Things get worse as their kids find a gun outside the house and strangers begin to appear outside the house at night.

A Most Violent Year puts you, as the viewer, in a very uncomfortable position and you really begin to feel how Abel is feeling, leading you to ask, how does he cope with the violence whilst trying to fend off the law firms and keep a happy family?

This film didn't exactly make huge waves when it was released; its cinema release date was the end of 2014 but it didn't truly get noticed until 2015 when it was released on DVD. This is another film you can't afford to miss.

Written by Thomas Faulkner 

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