2015 was one of those really frustrating years for me where I kept seeing amazing films being advertised and then either I missed them or one cinema in the middle of the Scottish Highlands would be showing it. I say this every year but I haven’t seen half of the films I wanted to see this year, and honestly I felt that 2015 wasn't that great of a year cinematically speaking. That’s not to say there wasn't some amazing stuff to see, just that usually when I write these I'm spoiled for choice, whereas this year I really had to dig. But I got there, so let’s get on with it!

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015, George Miller)

I can’t even begin to explain my viewing experience of this film properly, but it kind of reminded me of those great high energy scenes from 90s Baz Luhrmann movies, except this was the whole film. I saw it in IMAX because, hey, it’d be a crime not to and just, my god. Every frame, every action, was so precise, so exact and so breathtaking. Every scene left me gasping for more, I wish I could have done a Shia LaBoeuf and filmed myself watching this because I know I definitely caught myself making goofy happy faces at least twice! So great, can’t wait to rewatch.

It Follows (2015, David Robert Mitchell)
Clearly David Robert Mitchell is a guy who loves his 80s slasher flicks, because this movie basically seeps that John Carpenter style from every pore. We've definitely seen an increase in quality horror flicks in recent years, but a lot of those tend to lend themselves to already established trends of play off of a popular franchise, and whilst a lot of these are good, none can claim pure originality like It Follows. Yes the movie uses the whole ‘if you have sex you die’ ideology from the original slashers but it completely subverts it, bringing it to a smarter modern audience whilst still remaining timeless. It is simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar, a true other in a genre so overrun with clichés. Go watch.

 Jurassic World (2015, Colin Trevorrow)
On paper I should hate this movie. Loads of CGI where models could have been used, hammy over the top acting and stupid, mindless action. But for some reason, I loved it! Such nostalgia at EVERY turn, the ridiculous B-Movie style ending, the tongue-in-cheek product placement, the fact that we got to see it as an actual operating park! Just everything, everything got my motors running. No, the film wasn't better or even close to as good as the original, but I never expected it to be, I expected it to be a love letter to Jurassic Park fans and that is exactly what we got.

Amy (2015, Asif Kapadia)
 I think that when you study film you become hyper aware of meanings and influences behind film, and no more so than the documentary. I often find when watching them that I never fully get the impact as there’s always that niggling thought in the back of my head that the ‘truths’ I am watching are actually highly manipulated content. And so sitting down to watch Amy I wasn’t prepared to take everything I saw at face value, however this documentary is so powerful that at times I found myself truly believing and pitying this incredible woman and the seemingly toxic people she surrounded herself with – family included. The doc is basically one long tragedy – we know how it ends and it’s excruciating to watch a person basically do everything in their power to destroy themselves. It’s a fascinating flick, but prepare to grab the Kleenex – this one’s a tearjerker.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2015, Alejandro G Inárritu)

Sometimes you just want a film to strip back all of the special effects and editing and just show you some great acting. And for me, Birdman is the perfect character study. OK, I know I said strip back the SFX which is a weird thing to say about a film that features a superhero, but what I mean is make them more subtle so you aren't distracted by them. And this movie does this, so that all we are left with is the raw talent of the actors appearing before us. And everybody is excellent. Birdman is funny, dramatic, witty, heartbreaking, frustrating and endearing, a true showcase of acting ability and commentary on the modern day Hollywood machine. 

And that's it! I love going back and thinking about how many great films I did manage to squeeze in! What were your favourites? Is there anything you missed at the cinema this year that you're still dying to watch? I'd love to hear from you and have a movie geek chat!