Best Science Fiction Movies of 2015

Now, here is a series of articles highlighting the best movies that Hollywood has to offer and we will start with this article on our best science fiction movies of 2015. Please note that we did not include any movies relating to superheroes. These will be addressed in another series of articles. Please keep a look out for that soon. Very soon.

The shortlisted best science fiction movies of 2015 are listed below in alphabetical order.

 

Ex Machina

Synopsis

A billionaire programmer will invite one of his young employees to pass a test of Turing that will be used to evaluate the artificial intelligence of his android …

Review

The film is based on three main elements, namely Nathan’s house, Nathan himself and Ava, the artificial intelligence created by Nathan. Isolated from the rest of the world and lost in the middle of woods and mountains, the pied-a-terre of the wealthy host turns out to be a real bunker in its basement. Caleb, the winner of the contest, is thus staying in a completely concrete room, without window. Whilst he can come and go, some parts of the building are forbidden for him to access. His badge allowing him to open only very specific doors. Of course, just like the viewer, Caleb will discover what is behind closed doors.

Nathan the billionaire engineering programmer is a bit like a Steve Jobs. The character does not have the physique and attitude that one would expect. He spends a lot of time doing sports (boxing) and bitterness (vodka). So Caleb (and again the viewer) does not know which foot to dance with. Complex (and perfectly interpreted by Oscar Isaac), Nathan appears at once threatening, friendly, intelligent and tortured.

Another important element of the film (if not the most important), the famous android, Ava. She is a robot built in the image of a human being, here a woman. Thanks to remarkable special effects and Alicia Vikander’s actress game, the result is mesmerizing. This artificial intelligence exerts a certain fascination, by its appearance and the difficulty of knowing really what trots in the circuits. But who manipulates whom? Is she even a she? As the film progresses, mistrust grows, the balance of power change, until culminating in a rather violent end.

Factsheet

Directed by Alex Garland
Starring – Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac
Release date – 21 January 2015 (United Kingdom), 10 April 2015 (United States)
Running time – 108 minutes
Language – English
Box office – $36.9 million

Scene Stealer

Who else but Alicia Vikander.

Final Words

This explores the meaning of life by way of AI. No doubt she or it wants to live. But if you think about it what does life means to her/it? Does Ava have the consciousness to be considered a soul? If not what does she/it possess when in all respects she is alive. Reminds me of Data from Star Trek TNG. I love the questions. Really makes you think hard.

 

Into the Forest

Synopsis

In the near future, a huge power outage is stirring. Technology-dependent, men and women will have to cope without electricity, which eventually brings out their aggression. Living in the forest with his two daughters, Robert makes trips to the city to make provisions. When gasoline and food begin to fail, the trio isolates themselves in their home. After a terrible accident, Nell and her sister Eva must survive by relying on themselves. Threats from the outside world are many and who knows how long this situation will last.

Review

If the outcome of this film had not been so frustrating, “Into the forest” would have deserved a much better rating. Indeed, while refraining from telling the viewer the reason for this huge general blackout (and we even end up not to make any more case), the director Patricia Rozema succeeds the tour de force to interest us in the daily life of these two young women.

The slow rhythm is not a hindrance to the story and, on the contrary, it effectively influences the evolution of the plot. No major explosions, no impressive fights, but a latent, heavy atmosphere that cleverly juggles the concerns of everyday life and human relations between the two sisters. Only one scene will shock you, but it is fast and creates a new climate of tension necessary to break the linear rhythm that is settling.

The film explores the strong bond between women and in this case sisters. At least it veered away from most dystopian future shows where there is a minimal emphasis on blood and gore. Whatever action there is when it comes, it can be jarring as it serves as a strong break from the idyllic nature of the show.

Still, I would rate this as an excellent show that that sought as an excellent precursor to the current #MeToo movement. In the show, the women are shown to be women but strong women. It helps to answer the question of how you will continue living or just plain surviving with the world falling over all around you.

Factsheet

Directed by Patricia Rozema
Based on Into the Forest by Jean Hegland
Starring – Ellen Page, Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella, Callum Keith Rennie, Michael Eklund, Wendy Crewson
Release date – September 12, 2015 (TIFF), June 3, 2016 (Canada)
Running time – 101 minutes
Language – English
Box office – $37,418

Scene Stealer

The quiet atmosphere. I missed this in most movies about dystopian futures.

Final Words

You should take a look while waiting for an unfortunately incomplete ending. While the box office numbers are not much to go by (remember when I said there was not much action), I still recommend this as it is the perfect supplement for a lazy evening at home.

 

Jurassic World

Synopsis

Nublar Island now hosts a fully functional dinosaur theme park called Jurassic World. The theme park has been open for 22 years and continues to grow by creating new breeds. Attractions related to dinosaurs, fun routes, animations … that make a mix between a zoo and Disneyland. As the number of visitors began to fall, a new attraction namely a brand new species, the Indominus Rex, is created to attract visitors, but the results are not exactly what the organization expected. Initially, everything goes wonderfully well until it escapes into the park, destroying everything in its path.

Review

After 3 shows, it was decided to bring forth a new installment of the Jurassic franchise. Will they ever learn? In the shows, they were taught hard lessons in the past about messing with nature. Time and time again we have been shown that the reason for the rise of the mammals was due to the decline of the dinosaurs. Water and oil do not mix. Yet they persist.

Similarly, in real life, I felt that they have milked the franchise so completely that there is not much left of a story to be told. But since this is a lucrative franchise, we have to forgive them for not understanding this simple piece of science. As you know, businessmen cannot allow a good thing go to waste.

So what about the fourth film in the Jurassic Park film series, where it can be said that it is a continuation of the first. In some way, the plot mirrors the first show. Still, this film is powerful. Jurassic World has been able to highlight the flaws of our current society, both at the level of consumers and commerce. That’s saying a lot when you know the director’s words about Indominus Rex, which is there to represent “our greed and our desire for profit”.

Factsheet

Directed by Colin Trevorrow
Starring – Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, B. D. Wong, Irrfan Khan
Release date – May 29, 2015 (Le Grand Rex), June 12, 2015 (United States)
Running time – 124 minutes
Language – English
Box office – $1.672 billion

Scene Stealers

Once again, we are truly enamored by the magic of the dinosaur era. For some reason, we just loved to watch the beasts do their things. Also, I think both Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt are not for nothing. Both are epic and seems to be out matching each other in this movie.

Final Words

Go watch the show if you have not done so. It is definitely one that you must see on the big screen or at least on a 55-inch tv.

 

Mad Max: Fury Road

Synopsis

Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max thinks the only and best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he is kidnapped by an open-grave group in the Wasteland driving a Furiosa-driven semi-trailer. The group flees a tyrannized Citadel led by Immortal Joe, to whom something irreplaceable has been stolen. Furious, the warlord summons all his gangs and pursues the rebels relentlessly in an electrifying ‘Road War’ …

Review

It took a trailer to fire the powders. We dared not believe it anymore, but the saga Mad Max was born again from its ashes in 2015, from the very hand of its creator. And in the most beautiful way. Just a few seconds of introduction and we’re off for almost 2 hours of intense action.

No doubt, it is the universe of Mad Max that is revealed before our eyes. All the markers are there: a land of desolation, more strange and crazy individuals than each other, carts that have been tampered with in this, and an everlasting struggle for survival. One can only be conquered by the hallucinate artistic direction. Coupled with a staged mastered from start to finish, the show is virtuoso.

The madness that reigns over the film and its energy take away everything. If the absence of Mel Gibson is not too noticeable, it is clear that the character of Max takes second place. Tom Hardy’s interpretation is rather convincing, but Charlize Theron makes a truly charismatic Furiosa. Not only does she impose herself as a heroine of action, but she manages in a few looks to convey a lot of emotions.

It must be said that the film is stingy in dialogues and that in this respect the faces of the various characters are relatively well highlighted, iconic at will.

Factsheet

Directed by George Miller
Starring – Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoë Kravitz, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton
Release date – 7 May 2015 (TCL Chinese Theatre), 14 May 2015 (Australia), 15 May 2015 (United States)
Running time – 120 minutes
Language – English
Box office – $378.9 million

Scene Stealers

The totally weird set at the enclave or citadel.

Final Words

This a thoroughly relentless ride that does not let up until the end. Totally entertaining in every sense of the word.

 

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Synopsis

Thomas and the few other survivors of the labyrinth have been recovered by a group that seems to oppose WICKED, the organization that placed them in the labyrinth to study their immunity to the Braise virus that decimated humanity. But quickly, Thomas and his friends will realize that they are once again manipulated and that they are still prisoners of WICKED, which brought them to this center to use them as guinea pigs for new experiments. They manage to escape and try to join a group of resistance fighters. But for that, we will have to cross a particularly dangerous territory, the scorched earth …

Review

We will not learn why it was necessary to build devices as complex as labyrinths (since there are several) to study the immunity developed by some young people to the Braise virus. We will also not know why an organization would name itself WICKED. Fortunately, apart from these two unfortunate “details”, the rest of the film is still quite successful and even pleasantly surprising. Still, I preferred the unique premise of the first film against the more formulaic nature of the second.

The action scenes are better, more numerous, more intense; the sets are often beautiful and sometimes even surprising, as are the special effects. As for the “fades”, these humans transformed by the virus Braise, it obviously makes one think of zombies, but it is better here too, as they are faster and more frightening. But fortunately, it does not transform into a movie about zombies. We have enough of this in other reiterations. Mix them all up and you get the obviously explosive scenes of the film, incl

It was also a surprise to discover among the supporting roles some well-known faces … like that of Aidan Gillen for example, aka Petyr Baelish in Game Of Thrones, always excellent in a role of traitor ambiguous, that of Giancarlo Esposito ( seen recently in the series Once Upon A Time and especially Revolution) or like that of Alan Tudyk, in the role of Markus. Of all the adaptations of novels for teens (Twilight, Hunger Games, Divergent, etc), this is undoubtedly the most adult, at the same time the most violent and the most frightening. It only remains to hope that the third and final film of the trilogy will be of the same level as this one and will provide us with some surprises again.

Factsheet

Directed by Wes Ball
Based on The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Starring – Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Ki Hong Lee, Barry Pepper, Lili Taylor, Patricia Clarkson
Release date – September 18, 2015 (United States)
Running time – 131 minutes
Box office – $312.3 million

Scene Stealer

The incredible pursuit in the leaning and half collapsed tower. Truly a masterpiece. 

Final Words

I enjoyed this and am looking to watch the final installment of the franchise that had been delayed due to an accident with the lead, Dylan O’Brien.

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Synopsis

Luke Skywalker has disappeared. The heirs of the Empire called The First Order and those of the Resistance, led by Leia Organa, are looking for him. Rey, a shipwrecker, accompanied by Finn, a repentant Stormtrooper, search for him with the help of Han Solo. They will have to face Kylo Ren, an element on the dark side.

Review

Expected for months and announced via a massive marketing campaign (we must recognize that the various trailers were very successful), the new episode of theStar Wars saga finally arrives on the screens. With J.J. Abrams at the helm, the ambition of this seventh installment is to build on the founding component while presenting a whole new generation of characters.

First success, the integration of these newcomers. Whether Rey, Finn or Poe Dameron, the characters are brought on with a lot of freshness and immediately impose themselves. Presenting a deserter Stormtrooper was also a great idea. For her part, Rey is a modern heroine who can stand up to anyone. The interpretation is obviously not for nothing. It’s a shame, however, that Oscar Isaac was not on screen for long, but I imagine that will be the case in the next installments.

On the side of the old, the interaction with new children is done naturally. If Harrison Ford is still the Han Solo we know, it is unfortunate that Carrie Fischer is not a larger role, her appearances being almost anecdotal. Visually, the film is close to the original trilogy. Dotted with multiple iconic plans and more subtle special effects (apart perhaps from Snoke), this seventh installment is a success on the formal level.

On the bottom, the awakening of the force is traced a little too much as on episode IV, marrying practically the same structure. A narrative structure that has proven itself, certainly, but does not prevent an impression of deja-vu. Especially since there are more references to the previous sections: the character of Kylo Ren obviously reminds us of Darth Vader, BB-8 evokes R2-D2, the base Starkiller is a new Black Star …

Factsheet

Directed by J. J. Abrams
Starring – Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Max von Sydow
Release date – December 14, 2015 (Los Angeles), December 18, 2015 (United States)
Running time – 135 minutes
Language – English
Box office – $2.068 billion

Scene Stealers

The opening crawl and appearance of Luke Skywalker.

Final Words

Star Wars VII is a transition episode. It brings the audience back to the feel and atmosphere of episode IV (A New Hope) and tries to make us forget that episodes I to III ever existed.

 

The Martian

Synopsis

Mark Watney and his teammates are sent on a mission to Mars. A storm hurts their expedition. The astronauts must leave the red planet in an emergency, leaving behind Mark, who they believe is dead. Watney determined to survive, tries to communicate with NASA. Refusing to lose hope and, waiting for a possible rescue, he uses all his knowledge in agronomy to grow food. Despite the difficulties, he succeeds. His message is finally received by NASA. Feeling guilty for leaving him alone, his crew embarks on a rescue mission …

Review

As often with Ridley Scott, there is not much to complain about the form. Technically and visually, the director ensures. It gives us sumptuous FX, and the beautiful landscapes of Jordan turn into a Martian desert as if nothing had happened.

In a role close to the one he held in Interstellar, Matt Damon stands out without a problem and carries the film on his shoulders. I was afraid that the rest of the (prestigious) casting would be limited to mere appearances, but fortunately, it is not. The montage alternates between the adventures of a solitary astronaut, deploying all his efforts and his ingenuity for his survival, and the fray of the battle of NASA to recover alive. The film introduces a lot of humor through the character of Matt Damon, thus managing to juggle between desperate situations and much more relaxed moments.

Overall, the Martian is resolutely positive in its atmosphere. So, I felt less danger for the hero, less uncertainty about the outcome.

Factsheet

Directed by Ridley Scott
Starring – Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover
Release date – September 11, 2015 (TIFF), September 30, 2015 (United Kingdom), October 2, 2015 (United States)
Running time – 141 minutes
Language – English
Box office – $630.2 million

Scene Stealer

Matt Damon. He managed to carry the show with the portrayal of a relatively “over-optimistic” Mark. But you still have to give it to him as he was acting alone most of the time and still managed to convey a sense of danger yet purpose to his predicament.

Final Words

This show is fully recommended. High on solid scientific grounding plus compelling story to keep you glued to the screen.

 

The Survivalist

Synopsis

In a devastated world, a man has organized his life with the utmost precision to survive. A mother and her daughter intrude into his life, threatening this weak balance.

Review

The Survivalist addresses the issue of survival in a hostile environment, on a devastated and destitute land. For the protagonist, every man is a mortal danger and it is only a question of nourishing oneself, of subsisting, of satisfying a physical need. The post-apocalyptic subgenus often takes whimsical paths, presents heroes in search of the ideal. Stephen Fingleton’s film is perhaps the first representative of a hyperrealist conception of its kind where the characters are brought back to their primary impulses.

As such, the Survivalist is proving to be a curiosity, even a pioneering work. The message deals with human relationships, always necessary even after the apocalypse, because man is above all a “social animal” whether he likes it or not. The production is more of an auteur film than a post-atomic genre film. There are in all but two scenes of action in all the footage, but they are very nasty and dry.

The cast is small, 3 main actors, a dozen extras to break everything. The hero is played by an actor of amazing virility (muscular like a Chippendale). There is little dialogue, this character is often alone (especially at the beginning of the film), so the actor must carry all the footage on his shoulders, which he ensures with charisma and intensity. The beautiful character of the old mother is performed by a hard and moving actress at a time, with beautiful white hair. The three main characters, the man, the woman, and her mother, are played by expressive actors.

Factsheet

Directed by Stephen Fingleton
Starring – Mia Goth, Martin McCann, Olwen Fouéré
Release date – 18 April 2015 (Tribeca), 12 February 2016 (United Kingdom), 19 May 2017 (United States)
Running time – 103 minutes
Language – English

Scene Stealer

The quiet atmosphere that the movie inhibit.

Final Words

In conclusion, for a small production, we see good characters, solid suspense, realism … it’s not bad! The film seems to have difficulties to conclude, but it still remains exciting to the end.

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