Top three in this post...as well as some honourable mentions of films that almost made it to the Top 10...
-I commend Fury for being a movie that takes us along with our heroes - with a special feeling of being part of the tank crew - and for the whole time, we were in for an emotional adventure in times of war.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
-This film proves that the franchise is still one of the strongest YA novel adaptations. It brings to life a dimension of revolution in a science-fiction life of a young teenager. And at every turn, the action is plot-driven and powerful. Several moments are less satisfying, including the ending, but the powerful story keeps us wanting more.
Now for the Top 3:
Maleficent is the genuine surprise of the pack, even for me. I came in expecting a simple, darker Disney film about this titular villain. What I get is a beautiful untold story about Maleficent. The story itself may be slightly predictable, but how it is told is what caught me off guard. It unfolds so perfectly as we get to feel so much for the main character, and with so much fun along the way. And by deviating from the classic tale, they can make it a properly dramatic & touching story that even I can't hold back my tears. Angelina Jolie is so perfect for the role, and so is Elle Fanning. All the characters fit perfectly for a beautiful film with touching drama & joyful humour along the way.
2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
This is a movie so wonderfully constructed, that you can relate to and feel for the humanity and intentions of each of the characters. The conflict is seamless and natural, yet the battles - epic, and the struggles - emotional. It's so easy to understand the characters, both human and apes alike. The unfolding story is not so predictable and is not merely a war between the apes and the humans. Each action unfolds to the other, while the battle sequences plays to the strength, agility & intelligence of the apes for some amazing fight scenes. It's again very easy to root for these main characters we love, but strugglingly hard knowing the end of the story would have to favour one over the other. But by the end of this film, the satisfyingly emotional experience we have is all that matters.
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Probably Marvel's best film to date, the story plays around with a dimension of political thriller, beyond that of casual superhero films. The film does play less with superheroic powers, but doesn't lack any exciting battle sequences at all. The titular villain is awesome, and so is the mist surrounding the character. The story, as fans would have known, is an emotional one for our hero, and it unfolds perfectly - with a flawless, continuous, fast-paced combat between the titular heroes which is the best fight scene I have seen in recent times (I could just watch it over and over again). The story does have a lot more impact on the whole MCU and to these characters in the film, and beyond doubt, I can't wait to see what happens next to these characters. There really is no better way to put it: the best Marvel film to date.
And may we welcome a brand new year full of adventure & drama as the movies of 2015 slowly arrives to our cinema screens...