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2015’s Top 3 Hidden Gems

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From the exhilarating Mad Max: Fury Road, to the long awaited Star Wars: Episode VII, 2015 has been a record breaking year for the box office.  Movies like Jurassic World, Straight Outta Compton, and The Martian, were no surprise when it came to box office success, but what about the other great movies that might have been overlooked?

3.  It Follows 

It Follows is a film that received a limited release in theaters in 2015 after debuting at the Cannes Film festival in 2014.  After the movie received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and viewers, it received a wide release in March 2015.

It Follows is a quirky horror movie filmed in Detroit about a girl who is followed by supernatural figures after a strange date.  The synth-heavy 80’s soundtrack was composed by “Disasterpeace” and it builds the intensity of every scene.  The unique music along with the classic horror shots make the movie feel both nostalgic and fresh. agrees on the freshness, giving It Follows a 96% Certified Fresh rating and the 8th freshest movie of 2015.

The budget to film the movie was $2 million, but it ended up making $20.3 million in the box office after it was released nationwide.

2. Beasts of No Nation

Beasts of No Nation is a war movie filmed in Ghana starring Idris Elba.  The film is told from the perspective of a child soldier during a brutal civil war in West Africa.  The main character is a boy named Agu played by first time actor, Abraham Attah.

Agu struggles throughout the film dealing with death, war, and solidarity at a very young age.  The incredible acting by Elba and Attah embody the emotional turmoil of a devastating war overlooked by the rest of the world.  Attah won the Best Young Actor Award at the Venice International Film Festival after the release of this movie.

The uniqueness of Beasts of No Nation not only comes with its story and drama, but how the movie was actually released.  Beasts of No Nation did not receive a nation wide box office release, instead it was released on Netflix.  Netflix purchased the distribution rights for $12 million and released it to their streaming service on October 16th.  Four of the largest theater chains in America boycotted Beasts of No Nation because they claimed Netflix violated the 90-day release window traditionally practiced when releasing movies.

Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie a 91% Certified Fresh Rating making it the 67th freshest movie of 2015.

3. Ex Machina 

Ex Machina is a psychological thriller/science fiction movie written by Alex Garland, the creator of 28 Days Later.  The movie stars actors Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, and Alicia Vikander.

It is about a programmer named Caleb and his week long visit to the home/research facility of his CEO, Nathan Bateman.  Caleb quickly learns that his CEO is creating an artificial intelligence named Ava, and he needs Caleb to be apart of the testing.  Caleb not only learns about the horrors of his boss’s project, but he re-evaluates himself and his beliefs as the movie progresses.

Ex Machina takes place almost entirely in one house and touches on several relevant themes.  Sexual identity, human instinct, empathy, and being comfortable in your own skin are heavy but subtle themes throughout this clever film.  Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie a 92% Certified Fresh rating making it the 24th freshest movie of 2015.

If you are a movie lover of any sorts, these three movies should not be missed!


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