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The 10 Best Movies of 2015 You Don’t Want to Miss

The 10 Best Movies of 2015 You Don’t Want to Miss

2015 was another impressive year for movies. Some of the best movies are being nominated, and the lines at the cinemas to watch these movies are getting longer and longer by the day. However, not just Hollywood blockbusters caught our eye this year. There were also many underrated hidden gems,and foreign movies that proved that the art of filmmaking is still alive.

The below list features a few brilliant films that came out in 2015. While more recently released films get all the Oscar buzz, there are definitely a few movies worth watching from earlier in the year.

1. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

A high school senior, Greg (Thomas Mann), is forced by his mother to befriend his classmate, Rachel (Olivia Cooke), who has fallen gravely ill. They surprise themselves by becoming the best of friends. This encounter forever changes Greg’s life. The movie shows the true ways someone deals with cancer and how the people around them react. I swear, the realism in this movie is high.This is an excellent indie film with a hint of humor. It is one of those great feel-good films. However, the way the story was done would definitely leave you thinking about this movie for a very long time. It has a brilliant screenplay, brilliant direction, and a  brilliant cast. What can I say? It was a brilliant film altogether.

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2. Mad Max: Fury Road 

Mad Max: Fury Road, the fourth Mad Max movie directed by George Miller proves to us this action-packed series can get better and better. This post-apocalyptic movie follows a woman saving a group of female prisoners, with a drifter named Max from an oppressive leader, while being chased by the leader’s psychotic followers. This is one of those movies with very few words said, but at the same time, it speaks so much to the audience. It will definitely leave you with something. Aren’t those the best type of movies? It’s rare to leave the cinema, and still think deeply about the movie and how it greatly affects you. The one thing I HAVE to mention would be the cinematography. It was beyond brilliant. Truly a masterpiece. Everything about this movie was perfect!

3. The Tribe

This Ukrainian film is about a boy who is sent to a boarding school for the deaf and later joins a group of rebels. This is an incredible and underrated movie. This movie has no dialogue, and no subtitles – nothing. However, that’s not going to stop a great movie. As the movie has a high level of sign language (but no subtitles), the audience must rely heavily on the characters’ facial expressions and the music. Please, don’t be put off by this because it’s still a very good film with an easy flow. This film is beyond extraordinary.

4. Kingsman: The Secret Service

Here’s another great action movie by director Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: Days of Future Past) based on another great comic book. Eggsy (Taron Egerton), a boy who lost his father at a very young age protecting his country, now lives a life of crime. Early in the story, this young man gets recruited by an ultra-secret spy organisation – the same organisation his father was involved in. Meanwhile, Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson as the villain) has an evil plan to solve climate change by going on an international killing spree. This stylish spy movie is a definite must-watch because it’s a new take on the Bond films. The franchise collaborated with Mr Porter, so everything worn in the movie (and more) is being sold. The finest menswear designers, such as George Cleverly, Swaine Adeney Brigg, Drake’s, and more, designed everything worn in the movie. Vaughn has a different way of looking at violence and shows it in its true form, where it is still bearable to watch. Kingsman is a great movie with an amazing cast. It has a fun take on spy movies with a hint of humor and a dash of style. Vaughn definitely does not disappoint here.

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5. Macbeth 

This adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is one of the great cinematic adaptation yet. Michael Fassbender was truly excellent in this movie. He has truly proven that he can take on any role and it seemed like this role was made for him. The reason this movie is beyond amazing is the way the story was adapted. It was moving, it was emotionally complex, and it had everything you could want from a drama. The movie was so powerful. It is everything you would expect it to be and more. It was one of those movies where you know it is a masterpiece.

6. Mommy 

This French-language film comes to us from Canadian director Xavier Dolan. The story follows a widowed mother supporting her violent child. She also gets help from a new neighbor. This movie was so moving, and so heart-warming. It is one of the best foreign feel-good movies out there. Dolan has proven that he is a rising director. Mommy truly proved how brilliant his filmmaking methods are. This underrated movie is a spectacular must-watch. It has all the ups and downs it needs, and will leave a mark on you. You will feel every emotion you can feel. Mommy was a beautiful work of art that left me awfully fulfilled.

7. The Stanford Prison Experiment 

Based on a true experiment conducted by Dr Philip Zimbardo in 1971, this movie tells the story of twenty-four male students randomly selected to play as prisoners and guards in a ‘prison’ as part of a psychological experiment. This movie was truly mind-blowing. You will realize things you never once realized before. I mean, you knew people did it, but maybe you never really thought about it. The one thing that struck me was the fact that the prisoners never questioned the guards’ authority. They fought back at times, but that was it. These people were all randomly selected with no qualification. You can see that these guards tortured the prisoners and it was greatly difficult to fight back. This is one of those movies that will affect an audience forever, because this really happened and it shows what the human mind is capable of.

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8. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. 

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a movie based on the hit TV series from the 60’s about the United States and the Soviet Union having to team up to take down a mysterious criminal organization. Classic characters from the TV series are still here, like CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer). Both actors, as well as Swedish rising star Alicia Vikander (also appearing in 2015 award nominated features Ex Machina and The Danish Girl) who plays Gabi, acted brilliantly. We knew the director would have to be a great one to produce a fine film such as this, so it’s no shock Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes and Snatch) did a brilliant job here. This is a movie that will fully grab your attention from the start to the end. It was not a disappointment in any way. The film also had beautiful cinematography, colors, and style. Actually, eveverything was on point.

9. The Martian 

Ridley Scott is back to direct another great science fiction movie, and this time it’s The Martian. Based on a book by Andy Weir, this story stars astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) who is stuck on Mars and struggles to survive. The movie was visually stunning and brilliantly acted. As science fiction films have been on a rise recently, this movie was slightly different as it had a lot of humor. The way the movie was produced made you feel like everything was real. This is one of those stories where you’re just hoping for a happily ever after ending, but it also plays with your emotions throughout. Everything about this movie was great, from the directing, the visual effects, the script, to the cast. Everything combined to make this movie a perfect one. It will leave you at the edge of your seat.

10. It Follows 

This movie is about a curse passed on through sexual intercourse. The cursed are the only ones to see a stranger (or even a person who looks like someone they know) following them. It will kill them if it can get to the current victim of the curse. I definitely understand just by that synopsis, you might think this would be a horrible movie, made as a joke; however, I promise you, it is a fantastic horror film. It also has a low amount of jump-scares, nudity, and vulgar language for the horror genre. Being in a generation with very few good horror films, this is definitely one you don’t want to miss.

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Featured photo credit: Sam Howzit via flickr.com

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NOORMARINA ANWAR

Student, Monash University

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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