The Best of 2015 So Far

Best of 2015 so far 7.20.15It’s the middle of July already and much has happened on screen so far in 2015. Jurassic World has broken box office records to become the number one movie followed by—no surprise—Avengers: Age of Ultron and Furious 7. There have been some unique comedies with great ensemble performances including the hilarious vampire mockumentary What we do in the Shadows and the sex farce The Overnight staring Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, and Jason Schwartzman. One of the biggest surprises and delights this year has been the release of Mad Max: Fury Road, which has garnered both box office success and critical praise. 

We pulled together some of the films that we think are the best so far in 2015. So, if you’re determined to catch up with some of the movies and performances you’ve missed this year, here are our recommendations. Don’t forget to click on the movie title to view the trailers.

David’s Five Best Films so far


Mad Max: Fury Road
Ex Machina
Sunshine Superman
Inside Out

Myrna’s Five Best Films so far

Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max: Fury Road

Ex Machina
Inside Out
Mad Max: Fury Road
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
The Wolfpack

Notable Performance by an Actor


Paul Dano - Love and Mercy
Paul Dano – Love and Mercy

John Cusack – Love and Mercy
Paul Dano – Love and Mercy
Jack O’Connell – ‘71


Viggo Mortensen in Far From Men
Viggo Mortensen in Far From Men

Viggo Mortensen – Far From Men                                      
Oscar Issac – Ex Machina
Ben Stiller – While We Were Young
Adam Driver – While We Were Young
Arnold Schwarzenegger – Maggie

Notable Performance by an Actress


Juliette Binoche, Kristin Stewart - Clouds of Sils Maria
Juliette Binoche, Kristin Stewart – Clouds of Sils Maria

Juliette Binoche – Clouds of Sils Maria
Kristin Stewart – Clouds of Sils Maria
Kristin Wigg – Welcome to Me


Rinko Kikuchi in Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
Rinko Kikuchi in Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

Kristen Stewart – Clouds of Sils Maria
Phyllis Smith – Inside Out
Naomi Watts – While We Were Young
Julianne MooreMaps to the Stars
Rinko Kikuchi – Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter  

What has been great about this year so far:


Sunshine Superman
Sunshine Superman

Inside Out: The anthropomorphization of our emotions
Slow WestRobbie Ryan’s Cinematography.
-Flying high in Sunshine Superman.
Kingsman: The Secret Service / Mad Max: Fury Road : Villasns and heroes with prosthetic limbs. 
Monty Python Mostly Live: Stephen Hawking’s surprise drive by assault, “I think you’re being  pedantic” he calls as he knocks down English physicist Brian Cox. 


World of Tomorrow
                                                                                                    World of Tomorrow                                                                                                                                           

Jurassic World Just because I miss dinosaurs, not because it was good.
-Mad Max:Fury Road – Amazing score composed by Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL.
Kingsman: The Secret ServiceVery fun spy spoof with great action built in.
-The shorts after Inside Out, especially the one with the cats.
World of TomorrowDon Hertzfeldt’s 15 minute cartoon, might be the best thing of I have seen this  year. Rent it on Vimeo.

What to look forward to in the next six months:


Oh, I don’t know? Maybe Star Wars!
Stars Wars shot on film.
Lily Tomlyn’s return to the big screen in Grandma.Let’s hope it’s better than Netflix’s insipid and blandly written Grace and Frankie.
Ricki and the Flash, with Meryl Streep in the lead, Diablo Cody’s script, and Jonathan Demme direction. It could be good or—most likely—just fun. 


Southpaw – the Gyllenhaal-aissance is upon us! 
Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies
Crimson Peak – I’m all about anything del Toro
Pan – I’ll give anything Joe Wright does a shot
Jeff Nichols’ Midnight Special
Oh yes and that little ditty called Star Wars  

2015’s biggest disappointments so far


Tomorrowland – Pretty and pretty dull.
San Andreas  – A pornographic CGI overload. Sensaround couldn’t make this one any better.
Jurassic World – It was completely forgettable and, by the way, where was Chris Pratt?


Chappie, Chappie, Chappie…I so wanted to like you.
BlackhatBeautifully shot but that’s it.
Jupiter Ascending – I still love the Wachowskis though.
San Andreas – You weren’t even fun. 
The Cobbler – I was hoping this would be Adam Sandler’s new Punch Drunk Love but sadly no, not even close.

2015’s Worst and most annoying performances

Eddie Redmayne in Jupiter Descending
Eddie Redmayne in Jupiter Descending

Eddie Redmayne in Jupiter Descending, I think I’ll do some of that whisper acting and then yell.
Johnny Depp in Mortdecai just another Pink Panther that doesn’t make the cut.
Jaime Dornan‘s performance was the most sadistic thing in Fifty Shades of Grey.
Sean Penn in The Gunman, please put your shirt back on.


Moviefied NYC Opening in June

Opening in JuneSummer is officially here! That means blockbusters on remakes on more blockbusters – but hey, I ain’t complaining! With Jurassic World just around the corner, and Entourage I will basically be living in the past (or at my local theater).

So whether you choose to checkout that indie movie you’ve heard so much about, or the latest big studio release, don’t forget to click on the movie title below to view the trailer. We want to make sure you know what you are getting into before you head to the theater.


June 5

Insidious: Chapter 3


Stars: Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Angus Sampson

Directed By: Leigh Wannell

Synopsis: Serving as a prequel to the original film, Chapter 3 follows the origins of Elise Rainier (Vera Famiga in earlier films) as she reluctantly becomes a conduit for evil spirits looking to do harm.

Our Two Cents: The sequel was remarkably tolerable (as far as horror sequels go), so they could push for a third and I wouldn’t be offended.



Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale, and Jude Law.

Directed By: Paul Feig

Synopsis: When a top agent goes missing and the identities of the other agents are compromised, the only person left who can save the CIA is the unassuming Susan, who is forced to go deep undercover.

Our Two Cents: Please. Stop.

Love & Mercy


Stars: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti

Directed By: Bill Pohlad

Synopsis: The films shows two periods in young Brian Wilson (of the Beach Boys fame) from his early success and the dormancy of his mental illness, to the later periods in his life when he is without all hope. It is the arrival of Melinda, his second wife, that he finally finds refuge.

Our Two Cents: Paul Dano might just be at his very best in this.

The Nightmare


Stars: n/a

Directed By: Rodney Ascher

Synopsis: The documentary follows the phenomenon of sleep paralysis, named after the famous painting by Henry Fuseli. Experiencers feel trapped by fear as they dream, and it is thought to have lasting health effects.

Our Two Cents: An accessible documentary has never been made about this topic, and it could prove revolutionary for the disorder.



Stars: Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven

Directed By: Doug Ellin

Synopsis: The gang reunites as Ari becomes the head of a studio, prompting Vinny to demand he direct the first picture. Naturally, disaster ensues.

Our Two Cents: The TV series was always hysterical yet witty, flamboyant yet engaging. Here’s hoping the film is the same.

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence


Stars: Nisse Vestblom, Holger Andersson

Directed By: Roy Andersson

Synopsis: In a series of bizarre encounters, two travelling salesmen find their fantasies and realities mixing in a inquiry into the human condition.

Our Two Cents: This won the Golden Lion. End of.


June 12 (Friday)

Jurassic World (3D)

Jurassic World

Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas-Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, B.D. Wong

Directed By: Colin Trevorrow

Synopsis: We return to Jurassic Park on the Isle of Nublar, sister os Isla Sorna. Now a huge theme park, two brothers venture out alone for the weekend. However, when the companies latest attraction grows too big to contain, an expert (Chris Pratt) must be called in to prevent disaster as the creature evolves – with little success.


Me and Earl and the Dying Girl


Stars: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman

Directed By: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Synopsis: Young filmmaker Greg falls for his classmate, who has a rare form of cancer. They decide to make a film for her.

Our Two Cents: The movie The Fault In Our Stars should have been.

The Wolfpack


Stars: The Angulo family.

Directed By: Crystal Moselle

Synopsis: The filmmaker followed a family around New York before being granted access to their home, where she discovered they were forbidden from leaving the house. Homeschooled and virtually trapped in their apartment, the five children grew up with films as their only entertainment, and act out the scenes with one another.

Our Two Cents: The one festival film you need to see this year.


June 19



Stars: Zoe Kravitz, Chanel Iman, Shameik Moore, Blake Anderson

Directed By: Rick Famuyiwa

Synopsis: Malcolm is simply trying to survive his tough neighbourhood by buckling down in school and aiming for Harvard. However, when he receives an invitation to a underground party, he finds he might just be way cooler than he is.

Our Two Cents: Produced by Pharrell Williams and Forest Whitaker, this film has been described as “revolutionary”.

Inside Out (3D)

Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out” takes moviegoers inside the mind of 11-year-old Riley, introducing five emotions: Fear, Sadness, Joy, Disgust and Anger. In theaters June 19, 2015. ©2013 Disney•Pixar.  All Rights Reserved.

Stars: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling

Directed By: Pete Docter

Synopsis: In the mind of Riley, her five major emotions control her every whim, and experience her life. However, when Joy gets lost, Riley’s entire future might be at stake. The rest of the emotions have to rescue Joy before she is lost in Riley’s subconscious forever.


Infinitely Polar Bear 


Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana

Directed By: Maya Forbes

Synopsis: A father with bipolar disorder tries to win back his separated wife by assuming responsibility of their two kids.

Our Two Cents: If I made a fake joke Indie film, in all of my satirical wisdom, I would name it “Infinity Polar Bear”…



Stars: Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Harmony Korine

Directed By: David Gordon Green

Synopsis: Al Pacino stars as Manglehorn, a man left devastated by a lost love. However, he tries to start his life over again.

Our Two Cents: Pacino’s last few films haven’t been great, and but this looks like an exception.

The Overnight


Stars: Adam Scott, Jason Schwartzman, Taylor Schilling

Directed By: Patrick Brice

Synopsis: When a family meets another at the park and organises a playdate, the night ahead of them grows weirder and longer.

Our Two Cents: Comedy’s new golden couple.


June 26


101216-F-5985C-145        U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bobbie Ohm walks with Nero, a working military dog, to search for explosives during a joint explosive detection training exercise at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., on Dec. 16, 2010.  Ohm, a military working dog handler, is assigned to the 99th Security Forces Squadron.  DoD photo by Senior Airman Brett Clashman, U.S. Air Force.  (Released)

Stars: Robbie Amell, Lauren Graham, Thomas Haden Church

Directed By: Boaz Yakin

Synopsis: When a marine is killed in Afghanistan, his canine partner is sent back home traumatised. The marine’s family adopt him in their grief, and a lasting friendship begins.

Our Two Cents: I’m not crying you’re crying.

Ted 2


Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Amanda Seyfried, Seth Macfarlane

Directed By: Seth Macfarlane

Synopsis: Ted returns as he is forced to fight for his life rights when a court decides he isn’t legally human.

Our Two Cents: Everyone is probably going to see this film.

Batkid Begins


Stars: Teresa Clovicko, Audrey Copper, Katie Cotton

Directed By: Dana Nachman

Synopsis: This documentary follows a young boy with cancer, and the town that came together to make him feel like Batman for the day.

Our Two Cents: Faith in humanity: restored.

Big Game


Stars: Samuel L Jackson, Onni Tommila, Ray Stevenson

Directed By: Jalmari Helander

Synopsis: A nature-loving teenage must help save the President of the USA when he is shot down in the forest.

Our Two Cents: I mean, no?

19th Annual Rooftop Films Summer Series

The WolfpackThe 19th Annual Rooftop Films Summer Series opened last weekend at Industry City, in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, with some of the greatest new short films from around the world.  Each summer Rooftop Films provides audiences with unique once-in-a-lifetime viewing experiences: watching great films outdoors–on a roof–overlooking the NYC skyline.  Below is this summer’s lineup. Be sure to go to the Rooftop Films Website for tickets and times.

 Thursday, June 4 Metrotech Commons, Downtown Brooklyn

(Free Show) 

Sundance Film Festival Shorts Highlights from Sundance 2015 include wild, weird and wonderful short films.

Friday, June 5 – Old American Can Factory, Gowanus

Spartacus & Cassandra (Ioanis Nuguet) An intimate cinematic portrait of two Roma children forced to become their parents’ parents.


Saturday, June 6 – Industry City, Sunset Park  


The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle) Brothers locked away from society find a window to the outside through their love of film. Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.


Wednesday, June 10 – Solar One, Kips Bay

Desperate Measures: Short, Spellbinding Mysteries Uncanny short films about images that burn into our minds and stain our brains.

 Friday, June 12, 2015 – the Old American Can Factory

Welcome to Lilith: Aryan militants invade a small North Dakota town. The town fights back.


Saturday, June 13 Industry City, Sunset Park

Love Comes Later: Romantic Short Films These strangely funny, lovingly sexy, romantic short films are sure to turn you on (to something).  AND A SECRET SNEAK PREVIEW FILM.

Wednesday, June 17 – Elevated Acre, Financial District

High Jinks: Short Pranks on the Elevated Acre (Free Show) Playful short films about games and pranks. Part of the Water Street “Game On” program.

 Friday, June 19 – Industry City, Sunset Park

New York Non-Fiction – It’s your city. Take a look.

 Saturday, June 20 – Industry City, Sunset Park

Dark Toons Bizarre, poetic, animated shorts featuring surreal worlds and surprising twists and turns.


Thursday, July 2 – Trilok Fusion Center for Arts, Clinton Hill

It Seemed So Real: Documentary Shorts program of dazzling documentaries that challenge our understanding of every observation.

Friday, June 26 – Old American Can Factory, Gowanus

Sam Klemke’s Time Machine (Matthew Bate) A free-wheeling and non-fiction portrait of an extra-ordinary nobody, 35 years in the making.

 Friday, July 3 – Location TBA

Men Go To Battle (Zachary Treitz) A Civil War epic of intimate proportions, written & directed by Rooftop Film Fund Grantees. Preceded by American Renaissance (Jarred Alterman & Ryan Scafuro) Explore the fantastic world of Elizabethan England…in a small town in upstate New York.


Tuesday, July 7 – Location TBA

Tangerine (Sean Baker) The riotous Christmas tale of a transgender prostitute searching for the pimp that broke her heart. Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

 Friday, July 10 – Old American Can Factory, Gowanus

Bloomin’ Mud Shuffle (Frank V. Ross) A charming drama about a housepainter in love from one of the Midwest’s finest indie auteurs. Preceded by Meat (Michael Forstein) Desperate for work, Darren agrees to a one day trial as a door to door meat salesman.


Saturday, July 11 – Industry City, Sunset Park

Romeo is Bleeding (Jason Zeldes) In downtrodden region of Northern California, the youth of a city mount an urban adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.

A scene from Jason Zeldes' ROMEO IS BLEEDING, playing at the 58th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 23 - May 7 2015.
A scene from Jason Zeldes’ ROMEO IS BLEEDING


  Friday, July 17 – Metrotech Commons, Downtown Brooklyn

(Free Show)

A NIGHT WITH KHALIK ALLAHField Niggas (Khalik Allah) A visceral documentary captures the inhabitants and sultry streets of Harlem in mid-summer. Preceded by Khamaica (Khalik Allah) An intimate look at the people of Jamaica with a poignant, personal edge via the devotions of the directors grandfather


Saturday, July 18 – Old American Can Factory, Gowanus

The Chinese Mayor (Hao Zhou) The fascinating life of a bureaucrat restoring ancient ruins at the expense of his own career.


Friday, July 24 – Industry City, Sunset Park

{THE AND} Game Live Experience (The Skin Deep) An interactive social experiment that explores the labyrinths of human intimacy.

{THE AND} Marcela & Rock (The Skin Deep) A short documentary that brings the viewer into the emotional space of a modern day relationship.

 Saturday, July 25 – Industry City, Sunset Park

First Comes Love: Romantic Short Films Romantic short films about heartbreak, foolish devotion, and the ephemeral flash of love.

 Wednesday, July 29 – Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City

(Free Show) Kings of the Wind & Electric Queens (Cédric Dupire & Gaspard Kuentz) A compelling and hypnotic glimpse into one of India’s wildest carnivals. Preceded by The Golden Legend (Olivier Smolders) Collector of cursed musicians, unreasonable murderers, fairground freaks, paranoid revolutionaries, flatulists and suicidal hermits, a psychiatric patient presents a gallery of the historic figures he is haunted by.

 Thursday, July 30 – Brookfield Place, Financial District

(Free Show) Animation Block Party Rooftop Films is proud to co-present the opening night of Animation Block Party, the premier animation festival on the East Coast, dedicated to exhibiting all genres of the world’s best independent, professional and student animation.

 Saturday, August 8 – Location TBA

Divine Location (Michael Loeken & Ulrike Franke) A subtly delightful comic portrait of a small German town undergoing huge changes.


Saturday, August 15 – Industry City, Sunset Park

Finders Keepers (Bryan Carberry & Clay Tweel) A man finds a dismembered foot in an auctioned meat smoker. Then things get strange. Courtesy of The Orchard.

 Tuesday, August 18 – Industry City, Sunset Park

Digging for Fire (Joe Swanberg) Jake Johnson digs for answers in Joe Swanberg’s latest indie-star-studded drama. Courtesy of The Orchard.


Saturday August 22 – Industry City, Sunset Park

Rooftop Shots CLOSING NIGHT! Rooftop concludes our nineteenth year with stunning short films about saying goodbye.



Goodnight Mommy (Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz) A bone-chilling Austrian thriller about two young boys and their mysteriously altered mother. Courtesy of RADiUS-TWC.


Krisha (Trey Shults) Rooftop grantee Trey Shults’ daring, SXSW-winning drama about a family on the brink.


Tribeca Film Festival: Our Audience Award Favorites

TFF 2015 Competition Collage

This coming April  at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival competition, the World Narrative and World Documentary Competitions will be presented in the following juried categories: Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature, sponsored by AT&T; Best New Narrative Director (for first-time feature directors in any section); Best Actor in a Narrative Feature, sponsored by Citrin Cooperman; Best Actress in a Narrative Feature, sponsored by Citrin Cooperman; Best Screenplay in a Narrative Feature, sponsored by Freixenet Spanish Cava; Best Cinematography in a Narrative Feature; Best Editing in a Narrative Feature; Best Documentary Feature; Best Editing in a Documentary Feature; and Best New Documentary Director (for first-time feature directors in any section).

One narrative film directed by or written by a woman with a film making its North American, International, or World Premiere will receive the Nora Ephron Award, sponsored by Coach, which recognizes a woman who embodies the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker and writer Nora Ephron. Two feature films—one narrative and one documentary—will be selected to receive the Audience Award, the audience choice for best feature film and that is what we are interested in the here the most at MoviefiedNYC.

The films playing in the World Narrative Competition, World Documentary Competition, Viewpoints, Spotlight and Midnight sections are all eligible. To catch up with all the entries please visit the Tribeca Film Festival site, below are some of our favorites at the blog.

World Documentary Feature Competition

Carlos in his '56 ThunderbirdPhotographer: Michael ColesHavana Motor Club, directed and written by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt. (Cuba, USA) – World Premiere. Reforms have offered opportunity in Cuba but the children of the Revolution are unsure of the best route forward. For a half-dozen drag racers, this means last-minute changes to their beloved American muscle cars, as they prepare for the first sanctioned race in Cuba since 1960. Punctuated by a lively Cuban soundtrack, Havana Motor Club offers a fascinating glimpse at the resilience and ingenuity of the competitive spirit. In Spanish with subtitles.

Porto Alabe being allotted to the UnicornPhotographer: Guillaume Bonn

Palio, directed and written by Cosima Spender and Co-Written by John Hunt. (UK, Italy) – World Premiere. In the world’s oldest horse race, the Palio, taking bribes and fixing races threatens to extinguish the passion for the sport itself. Giovanni, unversed in corruption, challenges his former mentor, who dominates the game. What ensues is a thrilling battle, filled with the intoxicating drama that is at the center of Italian tradition. In Italian with subtitles.

 World Narrative Feature Competition

Luke Wilson (Philip) Photo credit: Reed Morano

Meadowland, directed by Reed Morano, written by Chris Rossi. (USA) – World Premiere. Sarah and Phil’s son goes missing, shattering their life together and forcing each to find their own way to cope. Cinematographer-turned-director Reed Morano presents a masterfully crafted contemplation on a relationship strained to the breaking point. Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson capture the unraveling emotions with remarkable power, alongside Kevin Corrigan, John Leguizamo, Elisabeth Moss, Giovanni Ribisi, Juno Temple, and Merritt Wever.


The Adderall Diaries, directed and written by Pamela Romanowsky. (USA) – World Premiere. Elliott (James Franco), a once-successful novelist inflicted with writer’s block and an Adderall addiction strives to escape his problems by delving into the world of a high-profile murder case. Amber Heard, Ed Harris, and Cynthia Nixon co-star in this adaptation of Elliott’s best-selling memoir.


Sworn Virgin (Vergine Giurata), directed and written by Laura Bispuri, co-written by Francesca Manieri. (Albania, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Switzerland) – North American Premiere. As a young woman living within the confines of a Northern Albanian village, Hana longs to escape the shackles of womanhood, and live her life as a man. To do so she must take an oath to eternally remain a virgin. Years later, as Mark, she leaves home for the first time to confront a new set of circumstances, leading her to contemplate the possibility of undoing her vow. In Albanian, Italian with subtitles.



The Wolfpack, directed by Crystal Moselle. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary. Everything the Angulo brothers know about the outside world they learned from obsessively watching movies. Shut away from bustling New York City by their overprotective father, they cope with their isolation by diligently re-enacting their favorite films. When one of the brothers escapes, the world as they know it will be transformed. A Magnolia Release.


Lucifer, directed and written by Gust Van den Berghe. (Belgium, Mexico) – United States Premiere, Narrative. An angel falling from heaven to hell unexpectedly lands in a Mexican village where his presence affects the villagers in surprising ways. Inspired by the biblical story, Lucifer is a mesmerizing, moving, and unique exercise in form, presented in the director’s own format, Tondoscope. In Spanish with subtitles.



Scherzo Diabolico, directed and written by Adrián García Bogliano. (Mexico, USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.Armed with a fine-tuned chokehold and penchant for piano sonatas, a wearied accountant breaks his mild-mannered routine when he kidnaps a young woman. What starts as a carefully calculated plan soon crescendos into his worst nightmare. A delightfully twisted black comedy, Scherzo Diabolico is the latest opus from director Adrián García Bogliano. In Spanish with subtitles



Dirty Weekend, directed and written by Neil LaBute. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Neil LaBute returns to Tribeca with this sharp-edged comedy treat about the ripple effects of desire, whether it’s followed or left unredeemed. Matthew Broderick and Alice Eve are wonderful together as colleagues with secrets who come to depend on each other for understanding as they go to find a spark of excitement in Albuquerque, after dark.


The Emperor’s New Clothes, made by Michael Winterbottom & Russell Brand (UK) – International Premiere. Cinema’s prolific writer/director Michael Winterbottom and comedian/provocateur Russell Brand join forces in this polemical expose about inequality and the financial crisis. From London to New York the film combines documentary style, archive footage and comedy to explore how the crisis has gravely affected the 99% and only benefited the 1%.