This list counts down the top summer movies of 2015 (the ones I have seen). This has definitely been the year of the box office summer films and this list considers big franchises as well as simpler, low budget ones.
7. Pitch Perfect 2
While Pitch Perfect did not perform well at the box office, its sequel doubled the original’s earnings in its opening weekend. The higher budget and cast upgrades (Hailee Steinfeld) made Pitch Perfect 2 almost exceed its original. While Pitch Perfect was the better of the two, this installment will cause laughs and keep audiences coming back. With returning Bella members (Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp) this film brings back the great humor and chemistry audiences loved about the first, creating a familiar and comfortable feeling that will bring audiences back for the third film.
6. Paper Towns
This John Green book adapted to film shockingly kept audiences from crying, yet stayed true to Green realistic style of writing. While Nat Wolff suited Quentin’s personality, it was Cara Delevingne who perfectly matched up with her character Margo, a mysterious yet smart girl. This film had an extremely low budget ($12 million), but connected with the child inside every audience member with its cute and realistic coming of age story. With its witty humor, mysterious plot, and great casting, Paper Towns is a must see summer film for all ages.
With the exception of Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy has not starred in a blockbuster hit since her breakout role. However, McCarthy shines beside a stellar supporting cast (Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham) in the hilarious and action packed thriller, Spy. Although McCarthy causes many laughs throughout, it is action star Jason Statham who generates the loud, continuous laughs that echoed through the theater. This action comedy has many twists and turns, while also inserting ridiculous moments of pure joy. Spy will surely go down as one of McCarthy’s best films and hopefully cause Jason Statham to star in more of these entertaining and comical roles.
While Ant-man was not the most anticipated Marvel film of the year, it definitely delivered in the standalone film department. This was the best origin story from the MCU since its first film, Iron Man. Paul Rudd shines in every way as burglar Scott Lang who is recruited by the creator of the Ant-Man suit, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). The film reassures that Marvel can still create exhilarating origin films, keeping the story hilarious, yet serious at times. Michael Peña steals the show with his perfect role as Scott’s pal and partner in crime, Luis. Also giving a solid performance is Evangeline Lilly as the future Wasp, who will hopefully be showing up sometime in the near future. With all of these great performances, it is impossible to not have a great time at the theater when seeing this hilarious, stunning film.
3. Jurassic World
If a movie is the third highest grossing film of all time, it must have done something right. Jurassic World gives geeks everywhere exactly what they wanted in a new Jurassic Park movie, including countless references to the original. With an all-new cast including a fantastic leading cast (Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard), Jurassic World stands alone from the original trilogy as the best film since the first. This film offers audiences a look at how the park operates when it is open, showing off the wonderful work achieved by the special effects team. With loads of action, including a lot of dinosaur on dinosaur action, Jurassic World never slams on the brakes, creating a fantastic journey for viewers. It will be a joy to have this franchise back in the mix, as more sequels are to come in this rejuvenated film franchise.
2. Avengers: Age of Ultron
The highly anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed The Avengers left audiences feeling overwhelmed in the best possible way. With close to a dozen superheroes to keep track off, Avengers: Age of Ultron kept things in the highest gear possible, thus keeping audiences interested throughout. Not only did this film deliver on the action, it also kept the humor that Marvel is known for. The returning cast is fantastic as always but it is new cast members Paul Bettany (Vision) and Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) that have everyone waiting on the edge of their seats to see in another Marvel film soon. This sequel keeps the same feeling that made The Avengers so great, while also pleasing die-hard Marvel fans. Overall, this film accomplished the impossible feat of following possibly the most highly anticipated superhero film ever (The Avengers).
1. Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation
The Mission Impossible franchise continuously exceeded expectations and Rogue Nation did not change this trend. Tom Cruise returns to his rightful role as IMF agent Ethan Hunt alongside Jeremy Renner (William Brandt) and Simon Pegg (Benji Dunn). This installment of the franchise once again changes directors, this time bringing a serious action-filled film with plenty of breathtaking (real) stunts. From the moment the movie begins you are jolted into a two and a half hour showstopper that has audiences on the edge of their seats with many twists and turns. This film is without a doubt the best film of the summer despite being placed towards the end of the summer. Tom Cruise once again shines in the fifth installment of this reenergized franchise, having audiences patiently waiting for the sixth film as they bathe in the magnificence of Rogue Nation.