1. The Nice Guys - I knew this movie was going to be ridiculous, but the question was if it was going to be good ridiculous or bad ridiculous. It's good ridiculous. Very good. The perfect amount of dark humor, laugh-out-loud moments, and a whole lot of heart. There are so many brilliant and witty moments that this movie just shoots right up into my top 10 of the year. Sure, there are also parts that are bad ridiculous - Russell Crow as an Irishman? STOP IT. Also, as much as I loved the focus on a father/daughter relationship that wasn't angsty, the daughter needed to be saved way too many times. She's supposed to be intelligent, but she does some very dumb things several times in the movie. It's still all in good fun, though. I also felt like it was about a 1/2 hour too long, but I don't know what could have been cut because there are so many pure gold moments that I would hate to lose. Gosling was the highlight (as always). His comedic timing was on point. I really like Shane Black's style. This movie definitely lives in the same universe as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and that is a very good thing. There was something very retro about it - not just in setting, but also in the production. It felt like it came from the 70s with a modern twist.
2. Keanu - The trailer for this movie made me cry with laughter (and ohmygod cuteness!). The poster is one of my favorite posters ever ("Kitten, please"). The movie, however, just doesn't live up to my expectations. All of the cute kitty stuff is in the trailer (and I watched the trailer so many times I could practically recite it). And I don't really know Key and Peele. I've always heard great things, but I don't really see it. They were cringeworthy during the MTV Video Awards (yes, I watched that. And yes, it was a very, very painful experience) and they were kind of boring in this. Again, all of the good stuff was shown in the trailer; otherwise it was just dull. I did like that they address the different comedic tropes in movies that feature different races; they try to break the stereotypes in a very amusing way. There are some funny moments, too - Anna Faris saying she was in "Scary Movie 1,2,3,4, but not 5...too old". Also, the gang sitting in the SUV, listening to George Michael, and sharing stories made me giggle ("I stole a ring pop" "How old were you?" "22"). I just wish the kitten was featured more. Like, a lot more.
3. X-Men: Apocalypse - I wasn't expecting to like this movie. I really didn't hear much about it at all this summer. It was like it was released to slightly critical reviews and then forgotten about. I liked it. I felt like it was a much cleaner X-Men movie compared to the last few (which I also liked, for the most part). Mostly because the timeline was linear, so I didn't get confused. The plot was clear and concise. The villain was the weakest link of the movie (which is my issue with almost all superhero movies), but at least it made sense. Some of it didn't work - like Sophie Turner as Jean Grey (seriously, who thought that was a good casting call?). Jennifer Lawrence spent the entire movie as if she were bored to death. And Olivia Munn had what....like one line in the entire movie?? How awkward is that? The young cast is great, though - Ty Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Evan Peters are among the best young actors working today. The biggest highlight of these movies will always be James McAvoy, though. He's just wonderful in everything. Plus, Rose Byrne.
4. Legend - I believe in Tom Hardy. He doesn't always succeed, but I'm confident that he gives it his all with every performance. He does an excellent job portraying London's notorious gangsters, the Kray twins. His performance, along with the always stunning Emily Browning, is the only reason to watch this movie. Otherwise, it is slow and dull, painfully predictable, and somewhat annoying. The voice-over by Browning is a disservice to the story (and it doesn't make sense - how does she know all these insights into their crimes if she wasn't there?). The sub-plot with her being unhappy in her marriage has been done so many times and this film doesn't offer anything new. Oh...you married a gangster, and are surprised when he is an abusive asshole? *rolls eyes* I think they could have focused her story in a better way by showing more of her relationship with her mother - her mother states "the reason I have a boring life is because I gave up my life for you", which becomes even more disheartening when her daughter marries a gangster. Hardy does a fantastic job at giving each twin a different voice and personality; I definitely "forgot" that it was one actor playing both parts. And man, that fight scene between the twins must have been really difficult to film - it was excellently choreographed. I wish the film just moved quicker and gave us more insights into their lives instead of the obvious. You know a film about gangsters is boring when all you can focus on is the costumes - I want every single outfit that Browning wore. So gorgeous.
5. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising - I re-watched the first one directly before the sequel so I can confirm that I love the first one so much. This one, is okay. It's safe to assume that I would appreciate the feminist movement that happens within the movie, but I think the first one already conquered a feminist issue by having the wife not be the "nag" of the movie. They had a true relationship/partnership and it is lovely. I can't get behind any kind of sorority - I don't care if it considers itself feminist or not. The whole point of a sorority/fraternity is to be exclusive and uphold traditions, so if you want to break away from that, then don't join one. I don't really think a comedy like this can really get to the roots of how oppressive sororities are and still be funny, but they tried and for the most part it worked. Although, their "version" of a sorority was minorly offensive (they sit around watching chick-flicks and talk about their feelings. Gag me with a spoon.). There were some very funny parts - and the obvious highlight is Rose Byrne (once again). Zac Efron is also hilariously pathetic - I like the realistic story arc for his character. I also like that they are terrible parents. I mean, not actual terrible parents, they are very realistic parents, but for movie parents, just awful.