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What were the Ten Best summer releases of 2015?

trainwreck judd apatow amy schumer
We’re in the final days of August, which means that the summer movie season has basically come to an end. As is the case when things wrap up, I like to rank them, and this is no exception. September is right around the corner, so it’s a perfect time too. Below you will see what I feel were the ten best releases during the summer, which I’ve extended to potentially include April and May releases as well, since that’s part of the now expanded season, cinematically speaking. Take a gander, remember that it’s just my opinion here, and as always…I hope you enjoy my list!

Here now are what I feel were the best that the summer of 2015 had to offer us:

10. Avengers: Age of Ultron – Perhaps a disappointment to some, this mega sequel still delivered what it promised and was rather satisfying, so it deserves a spot on the list. Joss Whedon and his superhero team know how to entertain, so even if it wasn’t the second coming, it did do its job, so credit where credit is due. Marvel does this sort of thing like no other.

9. Spy – A bit of a pleasant surprise, though by now the team of Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy is basically a sure sign of comedic gold. As effective a an action flick as it is a parody of spy movies, this is a comedy that does just about everything right. Could it have been slightly funnier? Sure, but now we’re just splitting hairs. It was a hit and deservedly so.

8. Ant-Man – One of the summer’s riskier blockbusters (and certainly a gamble for Marvel, to say the least) was also one of its more troubled productions, yet when push came to shove…it was another very solid comic book movie. An origin story for a second tier character, Peyton Reed took what Edgar Wright developed, and along with Paul Rudd, made it something a bit different. It wasn’t always as neat as it could have been, but it certainly worked.

7. Tomorrowland – I know folks were pretty mixed on this one, but I really appreciated the ambition on display here. Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof made a summer sci-fi epic that dares to encourage creativity, hope, and optimism for the future, and that’s a rare breed indeed. It probably was always going to be too expensive to be financially successful, despite the presence of George Clooney, but intellectually, it was a winner.

6. Mad Max: Fury Road – Right up until George Miller’s long gestating sequel began screening, no one knew for sure whether it was going to be a disaster or a masterpiece. Well, it’s certainly closer to the latter than the former, even if I’m in the minority in just thinking it’s very good, as opposed to outright great. Points for utilizing Tom Hardy as the title character in a creative form, instead letting Charlize Theron loose in a way that was immensely pleasing.

5. Jurassic World – One of the biggest successes now of all time at the box office, this sequel/pseudo reboot for the franchise was a ton of fun. Colin Trevorrow is no Steven Spielberg, but he did a solid enough impression of him, while Chris Pratt continues to cement his A-list status. For summer movie magic, this one had basically all the right moves.

4. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation – It’s kind of shocking to me that this series just keeps getting better with each outing. Tom Cruise is still the biggest action hero in the world, while this time out the franchise goes more into spy movie territory than ever before. It’s all pretty ridiculous, but for pure blockbuster fun, it’s almost impossible to beat.

3. Magic Mike XXL – Not technically a blockbuster, it’s a sequel to a huge hit, so it counts. Channing Tatum basically has the role of a lifetime here, this time giving us a party/road trip flick that audiences were expecting last time. Is it as deep? No, but it’s a blast, sex positive, and just a good time at the movies. For a sequel no one needed, that’s high praise.

2. Inside Out – The best animated film of the last few years easily takes the cake for the genre this summer. Pixar has another home run, with Pete Doctor and company continuing to be on the cutting edge of entertainment for all age groups. Possibly the company’s most mature cartoon to date (which is saying something), it’s really a special film. Not just an animated film, but a film, plain and simple.

1. Trainwreck – Without question the best thing I saw this summer is also the best thing I’ve seen so far this year. Judd Apatow and Amy Schumer make a tremendous comedic team in a raunchy romantic comedy that says as much about love and sex as a drama could. It’s nearly a perfect movie and I love it wholeheartedly. As such, it was an easy pick for 2015’s top summer release.

Bring on the fall releases!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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