Top movie releases of 2015

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People don’t go to the movies like they used to. CinemaBlend recently called theater trends “brutal,” reporting that movie attendance in 2014 was lower than it had been in two decades.

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It makes sense. As ticket prices continue to climb, it becomes more difficult for the average American to afford a night at the cinema. When affordable options as Netflix and Hulu are readily available (on plasma TVs only slightly less impressive than the big screen), it’s easy to see why people are abandoning the movie house.

But still, there’s something to be said for the movie theater atmosphere. The annoyance of cell phones and whispers can be easily excused if there’s a giant tub of popcorn involved. Today’s top films still bring in billions of dollars, which means that even if audiences are being more selective with their theater trips, they’re still going.

Dwindling audiences aside, 2015 was a great year to catch a flick or two on the big screen. Here were some of our favorites:

Inside Out

At a different university, an animated movie about adorable personified emotions running around inside an adorable young girl’s head might have been overlooked. But this is BYU, where a good time involves Mountain Dew only at its most rebellious stages, so it’s no surprise that Pixar’s “Inside Out” holds the top spot on our list.

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High quality, squeaky clean entertainment doesn’t come around often, so when it does, you can be sure BYU students will lose their minds accordingly. “I liked it a lot,” said senior Mariah Johnson. “It was adorable. Also, I think it’s a topic that really needs to be talked about, and I’m so happy we live in an age when it’s okay to talk about it.”

Although “Inside Out” is a movie primarily for children, it deals with emotional themes in a way that could bring a tear to even Ron Swanson’s eye.

Selma

Many BYU students’ parents weren’t even alive when the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. marched on Selma in 1965. The racial atmosphere of our nation has changed drastically since those fateful days, and depictions of the southern States a mere half century ago seem foreign to us.

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It’s important that we remind ourselves often of the lessons of the past, and “Selma” provides moviegoers with an inspirational and emotional way to do that. Though it premiered in late 2014 (and was nominated for Best Picture at last year’s Academy Awards), it didn’t receive its nationwide release until March 2015.

Creed

Of all the sports heroes that have graced the big screen, perhaps none has been so beloved or inspirational as Rocky Balboa. The titular character of five classic films from 1976–1990, Rocky was proof that guts truly do equal glory. A championship boxer, Rocky faced many formidable opponents during his career, but none more daunting than Apollo Creed.

Decades later, Creed’s son Adonis, himself a fighter, approaches Rocky and asks him for training. Thus begins “Creed,” the latest installment in the Rocky film franchise. Rocky’s been diagnosed with cancer, he’s fighting brain damage and his beloved wife has passed away. But in “Creed,” he has one last opportunity to make a massive impact on the boxing world.

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Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

A classic thriller with a classic theme song, “Mission: Impossible” captivated audiences upon its release in 1996. Two decades later, Tom Cruise is still cruising as special agent Ethan Hunt of the Impossible Missions Force.

The fifth installment in the series, “Rogue Nation,” boasts a 7.5 score on IMDB and a 92% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Pre-production for the fourth installment in the “Mad Max” series began in 1997, but development issues delayed its production for nearly two decades. But with “Fury Road,” the wait is over–and it delivered.

“It rocked,” said junior Kevin Judd. “I’d never seen any of the other Mad Max movies, but this one really blew me away. I’d recommend it to anyone who can handle an intense action movie.”

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