In 2015, hundreds of movies on the big screen made us laugh, cry, fear, and celebrate, from the closure of the Hunger Games, to the exciting continuation of the Jurassic Park series, to eye-opening films such as Spotlight and influential animations like Inside Out. New heroes were born, such as Paul Rudd’s Antman, and old favorites, like in Avengers: Age of Ultron, came back to save the world again. We also celebrated another James Bond movie, Spectre, along with the seventh Fast and Furious. While so many fantastic films came out in 2015, it seemed that a bulk of them graced theaters over the Winter break. A various plethora of movies ranging from the fact-based story of The Big Short to the newest Will Ferrell comedy, Daddy’s Home, offered fantastic cinematic experiences. Some of these movies have since moved out of the theaters, but some films still remain.
One of those films still in theaters is Star Wars. J.J. Abrams revived the series with the seventh installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and he did an excellent job with keeping it consistent with the previous episodes. The familiar faces of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher once again breathed life into Han Solo and Princess Leia, but added on a years to their age, and allowed the new cast to represent the next Jedi generation, which includes many new interesting faces, such as aspiring Darth Vader Kylo Ren, scavenger Rey, and good-guy stormtrooper Finn. With a similar storyline, the movie paid homage to its predecessors, as the continuous battle between good and evil prevails for the children of the original, beloved cast. For anybody who has seen Lucas’s Star Wars films, the new installment is a must see and a fantastic continuation of the long lasting story.
Jennifer Lawrence has been nominated for an Oscar and received a Golden Globe in her Academy Award nominated film Joy. Joy follows the story of a young single mother, Joy, and is narrated by her grandmother, one of the only normal members of the family, who has watched her granddaughter’s dream to be an inventor dissolve between her mediocre job and caring for her family. One day, while cleaning up one of the many messes created by her family, Joy gets the idea for a revolutionary, self-wringing mop. Through many hardships, Joy jumps through hoop after hoop to make her dream come true. This biographical drama also contains some comedy through JLaw’s witty humor paired with Robert De Niro’s absurdly humorous portrayal of Rudy Mangano. However, the best part about Joy is how empowering the film is. Through Joy’s struggles she always perseveres, and as the last scene closes with the song “I Feel Free” by Cream, you’ll leave the theater feeling like you can conquer the world.
If you’re looking for a lighthearted movie, one without too much action or suspense, Sisters provides a hilarious break from the real world. The movie focuses on two adult sisters, Kate and Maura, played by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who are ordered by their parents to clean out their rooms before selling their childhood home. The girls begrudgingly obey, but while back at home, they throw one final high school house party, allowing life-long loser Maura to experience sophomoric fun, and giving both sisters a night to let go of their harsh realities. Their final party includes rock-climbing the fireplace, getting completely trashed, and a surprise cameo from JOHN CENA. The dynamic-duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler play off each other perfectly, but a few friends join them as well. Former SNL cast members Maya Rudolph and Rachel Dratch accompany their friends, in addition to Chris Parnell and Jon Glaser, cast members from 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation. Kate McKinnon and Bobby Moynihan of the current SNL cast also make comedic appearances to make the film even funnier. Sisters is laugh out loud funny, and seeing it once will make you want to see it again.
As we close in on Oscar season (nominees were just announced last week!) the best movies of the year will be in theaters, OnDemand, and available on Netflix, so make sure you take advantage of the opportunity to see all the great films.