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The 5 Best Films Of 2015, So Far, Ranked In No Particular Order

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | June 29, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | June 29, 2015 |

Mad Max: Fury Road — This is the best of the Mad Max films, improving upon everything that worked in the old Mel Gibson classics, burning off the rest, and turning out one of the best action films I’ve ever seen. And let’s be absolutely clear, this is the action film to put them all to rest. This is a kinetic and destructive cocaine-fueled orgy of action from the title screen to the credits. This is the film that might just kill Michael Bay in abject humiliation, because it’s clearly what he’s always wanted to make when he grew up, and every moment of its glorious transcendence is another bit of evidence of his complete failure as a filmmaker. — Steven Lloyd Wilson


Ex MachinaEx Machina bucks all expectations— not that it doesn’t have great effects (because wow is its A.I. depiction seamlessly impressive), or great surprises, but the movie flies in the face of so much of what the sci-fi genre (and, really, most movies) has become by reverting to its simplistic roots. Alex Garland, the writer of 28 Days Later in his directorial debut, has created a movie of ideas. And while it would be fantastic if that’s weren’t such a refreshing rarity, this is the cinematic landscape we’re living in and at least we can appreciate the fact that this specific rarity completely nails everything it sets out to accomplish. — Vivian Kane


Inside Out — This movie, for a movie all about emotions, took me on a ride I wasn’t entirely prepared for. The things this girl (and, really, her controller counterparts) go through are likely to hit you in an all too personal place. As Riley forms her core memories, yours will likely come bubbling to the surface (probably through your tear ducts). As she struggles with too many emotions, yours will feel the pull. The movie is an fun action adventure, but the real adventure is what this movie will do to your heart. Leave your cynicism at home— or bring it, I dare you— and let Pixar do what it does best: destroy you, and emotionally remold you, in the most beautiful way possible. — Vivian Kane


What We Do in the Shadows — Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, two of the minds behind the hysterical and quirky HBO comedy series Flight of the Conchords have sunk their teeth into the vampire genre with a mockumentary called What We Do In The Shadows. And to the surprise of only idiots and the insane, it’s absolutely hilarious. Imagine if you will what it would be like if This American Life made a documentary about centuries-old vampires who share a small house in New Zealand. It’s smart, respectful yet playful with its genre blending, and ultimately poignant. But above all else, it’s really fucking funny. — Vivian Kane


Dope — Making a movie like Dope should be easy. The premise is so simple as to be obvious, and it’s the type of concept that quickly will garner praise and accolades, ith the much-wanted descriptions like “uplifting” and “inspiring”. It’s a bulletproof idea, one that in the hands of even the most mediocre film maker, could generate some buzz and fill suburban multiplexes everywhere with people looking for another triumph-of-the-human-spirit project. A young black man, trapped in a low-income, crime-ridden environment, conquers the demons of his neighborhood and upbringing to get out of the ghetto and achieve his dream of going to college. Boom. Instant success. Except that Dope isn’t that movie, not by a long shot. It’s an ambitious, rambunctious, wildly inconsistent and often messy film that needs some parts trimmed and others expanded. But it doesn’t matter. Dope has enough wonder and brilliance, ambition and humor, and perhaps most of all love in it to easily outweigh its flaws. — TK

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.