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#MoviesPH in 2015, Part 8: Best Filipino Films of 2015

Honor Thy Father 00

10. Honor Thy Father (Erik Matti). The most controversial film of the Metro Manila Film Festival 2015, Honor Thy Father is bold, gritty and well-acted. Not only by its main star John Lloyd Cruz, the film also has Meryll Soriano and Tirso Cruz III to make things even more effectively suspenseful. The film though has a big plot hole, one that was disregarded as soon as the turning point arrives. The film still feels powerful but you’re still bothered of that ignored option the film didn’t discussed.

Our rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Matangtubig.jpg

9. Matangtubig (Jet B. Leyco). Its eerie atmosphere is enough to make this mystery-thriller work. But there’s more to it, you’re engrossed to its mystery as it unfolds. The storytelling gets you to ride its enigma in a deep and almost claustrophobic feel as it provides images of unusual happenings in a secluded town.

Our rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Miss Bulalacao

8. Miss Bulalacao (Ara Chawdhury). Creating a sci-film film that keeps the story as grounded as possible is hard. Most writers always get carried away with the otherworldly options the story could go. But Miss Bulalacao stays as a personal story, keeps everything small on visuals but notably big on the drama.

Our rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Above The Clouds

7. Above The Clouds (Pepe Diokno). There’s something special about the quietness amidst all the chaos Andy’s (Ruru Madrid) been going through. It lets you absorb the pain, the longing, the hopelessness and the possibilities Andy and his grandfather would share from then on.

Our rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Heneral Luna

6. Heneral Luna (Jerrold Tarog). Known for its superb cast, bold choice of treatment for a historical film and impressive direction and cinematography. Heneral Luna if not a groundbreaking film, offers more than what you could ask for and expect for in a historical movie. John Arcilla only proves that he’s name should be known to many. Director Jerrold Tarog who also co-wrote, edited and scored the film raises the bar for indie films in the eyes of those who are only to mainstream. The film was highly-praised by everyone, making it one of the best this year.

Our rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Manang Biring

5. Manang Biring (Carl Joseph Papa). Though black and white, the film still paints a colourful touch to the film’s main character. Manang Biring is unique and a heartfelt journey of an old woman trying to stay alive until her daughter gets back from the middle-east. Erlinda Villalobos definitely got our attention here, hope we get to see more of her this 2016.

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Apocalypse Child

4. Apocalypse Child (Mario Cornejo). It’s got all the reason why you love watching an indie film. Apocalypse Child is mysterious for its plot but it’s solidly written, fun and packs just the right amount of drama in a smoothly directed journey of a surfer who feels lost in a sea of dilemma.

Our rating: 5 out of 5 stars

An Kubo Sa Kawayanan

3. An Kubo Sa Kawayanan (Alvin Yapan). You’re never quite sure what you just watched after leaving the theatre playing this. An Kubo sa Kawayanan is rich in details, that it wants you to see, hear and feel the bamboos, the leaves and everything Michelle can sense in her stay at the hut she’s living in. Everything here is done masterfully, you just can’t imagine the process of how the film was conceived from story to filming.

Our rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Bambanti

2. Bambanti (Zig Dulay). The story is simple but how everything was dug from that single, little conflict was tremendous. Zig Dulay made something big out of something small and everything just kept on pouring out as the drama elevates. Alessandra De Rossi and Shamaine Buencamino surely deserve to be seen more. They’re just two of the best actors in Philippine TV and cinema.

Our rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Shadow Behind the Moon

1. Anino Sa Likod ng Buwan (Jun Robles Lana). No amount of words can describe how truly incredible the experience is watching this film. Anino Sa Likod ng Buwan is a roller coaster of emotions, of thoughts, put into a masterfully done piece of filmmaking. Not only is the story and direction is impressive here, the film is as advertised, shot in a single take. You can imagine how the artist and the people behind the camera’s effort is, which is actually unimaginable. Director Jun Lana outdone himself making this masterpiece.

Our rating 5 out of 5 stars

Special Mention:

I Love You, Thank You (Charlie Bebs Gohetia). There’s something sincere behind the pain and the longing for love in each of the characters. 143TY isn’t just a gay film, it presents love as something without gender. It is both a romantic and heartbreaking film where love and pain is universal.

Kapatiran (Pepe Diokno). While it may give you a scratch in the head, Kapatiran offers something different. It gives a look at different parts of society in contrast at times, discussing the lives of the elite and their complaints and outlandish living while the less fortunate lives a hundredth of what they’re having. There’s a lot of insightful sequences here but it fails to make something out of it fully.

ABS-CBN Film Restoration Program – This year, the ABS-CBN Restoration program, restored and remastered classic films for this generation to see. It’s something remarkable for somebody to do this, an act of appreciation and thoughtfulness for Philippine cinema and the treasure we’ve forgotten.

The record breakers:

Felix Manalo – Achieved 2 Guiness World Records for its screening at the Philippine Arena.

A Second Chance – Currently the highest-grossing Filipino film of all time.

My Bebe Love #KiligPaMore – Biggest opening for a Filipino movie, MMFF and non-MMFF.

Heneral Luna – Currently the highest-grossing independent film of all time.

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