Best New Movies

No More Workhorse – Best Movies of 2015

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The one the world has been waiting for, the official No More Workhorse Top 13 Films of 2015! Ok, Star Wars doesn’t deserve to be there, but we put it in anyway…

14. Star Wars – The Force Awakens

“This is a movie that lives up to the hype. It will appeal to the old fans and is sure to attract many more. It will make you laugh and leave you with a lump in your throat in places and it looks magnificent while doing it. When the well known opener “once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away…” flashes on screen and the famous theme music strikes up it is impossible not to feel excited and that excitement is maintained throughout the movie. This is definitely worth the price of admission and since pretty much every person in the country will be heading to see it do you really want to be the one that misses out?” – Fran Winston

13. Grandma

“Paul Weitz keeps the search for the money moving at a fair clip. He makes Tomlin at times behave outrageously but she rises to the challenge with zeal and with a glint in her eye. She is mesmerising. On this performance there are not many actors regardless of sex who compare with Tomlin for chutzpah. Tomlin as Elle Reid tears apart ageism and sexism. Some performance!” – Frank L.

12. Tangerine –

“Tangerine also has a chance at making the record books, as its U.S. distributors, Magnolia Pictures, have recently launched a campaign to secure Rodriguez and Taylor Oscar nominations, for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively – making them the first transgender actresses to secure such accolades. If the gamble pays off, the wider recognition will be richly deserved, if slightly contrary to the thrillingly countercultural feel of the film itself. If it doesn’t, there’s no loss – Sin-Dee and Alexandra are legendary even without statuettes.” – David Turpin

11. The Look of Silence

“Oppenheimer is a superlative story teller. He also has an ability to get under the skin and make people talk who probably should choose to remain silent. The young man who is the vehicle to make them talk is by definition brave as he seeks to find out exactly what happened to his elder brother fifty years ago. It is shocking. It is anger inducing. It is spell binding. It is an excellent film.” – Frank L.

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10. The Duke of Burgundy

“The Duke of Burgundy is something unique – a film that dives headlong into the most outlandish erotica, to arrive at a place of understanding and humanity. Although it’s only February, it will be hard to beat (pun intended) as the film of the year.” – D Turpin

9. Sicario

“The screenplay may be a little too on-the­-nose with its metaphors and it may not plumb the depths of its subjects as deeply as we might like, but Villeneuve, together with Deakins et al, mine it for all it’s worth, and squeeze every last drop of thematic resonance they can out of it. This is the best thriller of the year, and an angry, gorgeous, perfectly scored examination of an insurmountable clusterfuck and the existential horror it breeds.” – By Shane Larkin

WHIPLASH - 2014 FILM STILL - JK Simmons as Fletcher - Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Daniel McFadden Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

8. Whiplash

“Chazelle really builds the tension and atmosphere in the dark and claustrophobic rehearsal rooms and there is almost a stranglehold to this movie. At times you are horrified by what you are seeing but you can’t stop watching. It’s not necessary to be a fan of Jazz to enjoy this although you will get more from the musical sequences which are beautifully shot and edited. This is the kind of film that leaves you wondering if you actually witnessed what you’ve just seen. It will leave you questioning all you know about fame and success. With reality stars milking their 15 minutes and making it look easy this shows the lengths that some people will go to and the sacrifices they will make in order to succeed at their art even if that success is bittersweet when it comes. A gruelling but worthwhile watch.” – Fran Winston

7. The Diary of a Teenage Girl

“The film raises uncomfortable issues about the age of consent but the story is told by Minnie and this is not an issue which appears to concern her or her friends. It is her story and she appears to be in control of it. Somehow the freewheeling backdrop of San Francisco seems to provide a licence to what is told. In a less affluent and laidback environment, the story perhaps could not take place and if it did, it could not be told or would be determinedly hidden. Minnie tells her story beautifully but it is a story which makes for unsettling viewing.” – Frank L.

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6. Mad Max: Fury Road

“This feminine slant is merely one surprise in a film that is packed with restless invention. As vast as Miller’s canvas is, he still crams it with potent details – ragged nomads crawling through a swamp on stilts, a feral child greedily gathering hair as a prisoner’s head is shaved – that bring his fanciful domain vividly to life. For a film with a plot that could be written on a postage stamp, Mad Max: Fury Road fairly teems with interest for its full two hours. If you are unmoved by the climactic sequence – which features some of the most breath-taking and bizarre stunts ever filmed, as well as the precious spectacle of elderly Australian women fending off barbarians with shotguns while clambering on a speeding truck – you may be dead inside.” – D Turpin

5. Ex Machina

“The film twists and turns in what becomes a mental/love triangle. Alicia Vikander’s performance as Ava is outstanding and perfectly paced, and she is quite, quite beautiful. Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb is an innocent and is no match for her and certainly not for the moody hard-drinking Nathan, or is he? The tale is predictable, but the discipline of the writing and delivery saves it from itself and what we have is a smart, engaging sci-fi/horror film.” – E Coyle

4. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence –

“What this delightfully wacky film is about is for the viewer to decide. It is impossible to define but it makes captivating viewing.”

A bizarre piece of film making, a collection of short stories that are beautifully realised, definitely one of the oddest films you’ll see this or any other year.

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3. Carol – 

“Wearing a red jacket and shoes, she leaps out from the grey suits, cars and street that surround her, making it impossible to look at anything else. Like Carol, we can’t take our eyes off her.” – Pierce McDonough

2. It Follows –

It is so nice to have a good horror on the list, as there are so many turkeys in this genre. A cross between the Virgin Suicides and Halloween, it really is a lot of fun. In some ways it reminded me of the Graphic Novel Black Hole by Charles Burns, as it plays so well on a teenager’s fear of sex and of the unknown. I hope they don’t make 7 sequels and ruin what is a lovely stand alone idea.

1 Enemy –

“There is a puzzle underlying what Villeneuve has created and whether you solve the puzzle or even discover a possible solution the fact remains Gyllenhaal himself makes for compelling viewing. ” – Frank L.

There is something great about a film that will have you explode with ideas once you leave the cinema, or else go straight to google to get the ideas of the great and the good. This is one of those films, and can take repeated viewing as you try to discover your own ideas…

 

 

 

 

 

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