#MoviesPH in 2015, Part 3: The Surprises

Every year, there are films that are unknown to many, there are those who people think will likely to suck, some just surprise the audiences for giving them more than what they bargained for.

Here are the surprises in cinema this year:


SPY (Paul Feig). We know Melissa McCarthy is probably game in doing almost anything to make her movie funny and Spy is that perfect example. From making herself be the joke of the film to actually have fun of everything she’s doing which reflects in the film. It’s a laugh out loud action comedy film that squeezes every bit of talent in McCarthy.

Our rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Big Gam

BIG GAME (Jalmari Helander). Maybe you haven’t heard of the film, even now. But Big Game is actually fun. It doesn’t go the extra explosions for the action sequences to sell. It’s smart enough to be simple but brave enough to be fun.

Our rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


TRAINWRECK (Judd Apatow). Amy Schumer was a stranger to some (including me) before seeing Trainwreck and wow, she’s talented. While her mouth does the job for her, almost everything that comes out of it is gold. She’s just funny, smart and hilarious and Trainwreck is the perfect film for her which she actually co-wrote.

Our rating: 4 out of 5 stars


PIXELS (Chris Columbus). Okay, you might think I’m crazy for including Pixels as a surprise of the year. But knowing that Adam Sandler is involved here, Pixels was actually fun. Yes, it might have been bigger, bolder, smarter but it mostly got what it came to do which is entertain.

Our rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The Gift

THE GIFT (Joel Edgerton). Actor Joel Edgerton tries directing for the first time in this suspense-thriller, The Gift. There might be some over-the-top twist in the end that feels unnecessary but how everything was told was definitely thrilling. It’s not what you expect when the film slowly builds its story and characters. Its suspense is enough for it to be a satisfying movie experience.

Our rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Straight Outta Compton

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (F. Gary Gray). Its grit is unbelievable and so was the talent of the persons depicted in the film. Straight Outta Compton almost didn’t get a local release, mostly because of its hard gang violence and themes that are too sensitive for Filipinos to handle. But the film is brave, it’s rough and powerful, it gets to its message clearly and that’s a feat not to miss.

Our rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Z For Zachariah

Z FOR ZACHARIAH (Craig Zobel). While it may be hard to follow in its first half because of its slow pacing and may be uninteresting to some, Z for Zachariah actually gets interestingly suspenseful when the conflict arrives. But all of it because of its talented cast that pulled something different but it gets you. It lets you have something to ponder after watching it.

Our rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


SICARIO (Denis Villeneuve). Smart, thrilling, eye-opening and daring. Sicario is a conscience ride, a journey of whether breaking the good and the bad. The film’s message is haunting as it is reality’s irrevocable truth. There’s too much in the film that leaves you with more than just its suspenseful confrontations and disturbing images.

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

901718 - Goosebumps

GOOSEBUMPS (Rob Letterman)
. Let’s admit, most people would assume that Goosebumps will probably suck but it didn’t. Because it wasn’t trying hard to be something it’s not in the first place. The film feels fresh and innovative at times. It wasn’t scary but it was fun. But what surprises most about the film is it has a heart. And it wasn’t afraid to make things interestingly fun.

Our rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


CREED (Ryan Coogler). Save the best for last, right? Creed is amazing. Not only because of its boxing sequences but also how the story was built to get there, that edge-of-your-seat and powerful finale. It’s both entertaining and smart. The film keeps it personal from start to finish which makes it a fulfilling experience.

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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