2015 was one of the best years for cinema, especially thrillers. While Alejandro G Inarritu proved his worth once again after his terrific Birdman with “The Revenant”, which cemented his position as one of the best filmmakers in the world right now, Spielberg proved he has some talent left in him with “The Bridge of Spies”, the entire focus really was on Denis Villeneuve who with “Sicario” showed the entire world that he is quickly rising among the ranks. Here is the list of top thriller movies of 2015.
Legend depicts the rise and fall of Kray twins, an important part of the British criminal underground. I can go on to say how much underrated and underutilised Tom Hardy as an actor is. “Legend” has a great potential for the actor to showcase versatility for the dual roles and Tom Hardy does justice to his roles. He not only holds the screen but in many ways shoulders the film, raising it a notch above average.
11. The Martian
The Martian is not the best Ridley Scott film, frankly it won’t qualify in his top five. But, Martian is still a pretty decent thriller that keeps you hooked till the end. Although the plotline is simple, The Martian works primarily because of Matt Damon’s performance (his finest in recent times), some state-of-the art visual effects, music and it’s writing which is surprisingly funny at the most unexpected times.
10. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Mission Impossible is thoroughly enjoyable, although it follows a rather old-school well known narrative pattern. Tom Cruise is at his chilling best while the star of the show is Rebecca Ferguson playing Ilsa Faust. The only problem with Rogue Nation is its rather forgettable antagonist which can be overlooked for the sake of thrills it provides.
9. The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino sucked us into the post Civil War America, draped us in snow, took us into a room and showed us an entire nation within it. This film has everything that you can expect in a QT film: captivating score, brilliant dialogues, quirky characters and glorified violence, but its wrapped in an engaging narrative and brilliant direction that made three hours pass in a blink.
Based on true incidents, Everest is based on one of the most tragic accidents in the mountaineering history. Having a wonderful ensemble this movie may very well be best shot movie of the year, where you’re no longer watching the screen but in the very terrain, leaving you gasping for breath. One of the best man vs nature movies made, Everest is a must watch.
7. The Gift
The Gift uses the popular Thriller clichés but using those takes us into uncharted territories of psychological darkness keeping us at the edge of our seat for the whole time. The success of this film is it keeps us guessing both the plot and the identity of characters. And, talking about the climax, this is easily one of the best endings of the year.
6. Bridge of Spies
Written by the terrific Coen Brothers, directed by the genius Steven Spielberg starring Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance this movie was a sure winner even before its release. Set in the peak of cold war, the movie deals with the story of a United States lawyer James Donovan who negotiates the deal for the exchange of an air force pilot arrested in Soviet Union for Rudolf Abel- a Russian spy caught in the United States. Featuring terrific performances from the whole ensemble, a wonderfully written screenplay and most importantly a firm hand direction from Spielberg, this is one of the best Cold War movies, but most importantly it proved the master is not out of the game just yet.
The best thing about Spotlight is its cast. Powered by a great ensemble, Spotlight is a better thriller than most of the so-called thriller movies. The storytelling is patient but not slow, sucking you into its world and telling you the importance of publishing the truth. It is captivating from the start to finish without a minute to breathe. One of the best press movies ever made, this can very well be called this century’s “All the President’s Mens”.
4. Ex Machina
The threat of the growing artificial intelligence has been addressed in movies before, but never so convincingly and believably. Ex-Machina, is a well written and a well enacted movie about Man vs his Creation. With a stunning concept, queer music and spellbinding CGI the dystopian movie lingers with you long after the e.nd credits appear.
3. Mad Max Fury Road
I have not seen every action film made on this planet. But with the select few I’ve seen, this is the greatest action movie ever. The movie is filled with exhilarating action sequences shifting our thoughts between “Oh my God” and “How the hell did they pull this off”. But this movie is more than just action. It has a heart, which is rushing, pumping fuel to this eccentricity and madness. I thought Mad Max sequels were a thing of past, but this movie showed me the middle finger. Never have I been happier when proved wrong.
Ladies and Gentleman, make way for the most underrated filmmaker of this decade. While filmmakers feel thriller is the most difficult genre, here is a man churning these out like a factory. Sicario is probably his best work after Incendies, and unlike his other recent movies this movie isn’t a very unique concept. The concept of Good vs Evil, Police vs Criminals is solely elevated by his breath taking direction. The border battle scene is undoubtedly the single greatest sequence of the year.
1. The Revenant
It took Martin Scorsese 35 years to win his first directing Oscar. It took 22 years for Eastwood to win his first directing Oscar. Stanley Kubrick has not won a single best directing Oscar. And then there is this man- Alejandro G Inarritu, who has managed to win two best directing Oscars in consecutive years. When I thought nothing can supersede his direction of Birdman, The Revenant proved me wrong within a year. When you have a genius like Emmanuel Lubezki behind the lens, actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy who give their heart and soul for a film and the eccentric direction talent of Inarritu what comes out is pure art, an astounding piece of Cinema. That’s what Revenant was- a cinematic achievement.
Read More: Best Thriller Movies of 2018