Compassionate, celebratory, cautionary, and curiously affective, Eden is a muted commentary on the road to maturity; an intoxicating arthouse party cloaked in a “failure story”; and a perceptive two-decades memoir about someone trapped in early-20s purgatory. Neither dazzling star-is-born parable nor dour soul-is-lost tale, it has a mystical cadence and a marvellous mood.

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Inside Out

Terrifically sad, riotously beautiful, wondrously alive, and potentially therapeutic, Inside Out is a bright comedy about dark feelings; an intriguing reaffirmation of Pixar’s singular talents; and a smart, optimistic adventure aimed at the child inside all of us. Audacious in its premise, Freudian in its subject, mature in its manner, and immense in its ambition, it’s a sweet, inventive, special film.

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A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Expertly assembled, grimly engaging, and intentionally far-fetched, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence is nutty and profound absurdism, a bitter piece of Swedish drollery, and a Scandinavian twist on Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. It’s a hyper-stylized, hyper-composed take on the human condition that ignores logic, cohesion, and convention in favour of something grander and more entrancing.

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Buoyant, rousing, and simmering with simple charms, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a quirky, endearing coming-of-age chronicle; an energetic, respectful sleeper hit; and a fresh take on the quiet stumbles between adolescence and adulthood. If it’s coy and cute and a bit cloying, it’s also heartfelt and handmade entertainment that will have you reaching for a tissue.

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Love & Mercy

Unobtrusively directed, hair-raisingly watchable, and aurally vivid, Love & Mercy is a sincere, uncomplicated journey of sanity, healing, and the fecklessness of the California dream; a deeply satisfying pop biopic with good vibrations. Sensitive and profound, it captures with few missteps the visceral power of the artist.

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Mad Max: Fury Road

Boisterous, bountiful, bombastic, berserk, and bonkers, Mad Max: Fury Road is a barn-burner of an operatic extravaganza; a scrap-metal demolition derby of a popcorn flick; and a gargantuan grunge symphony of vehicular mayhem and twisted metal. Extravagantly deranged and utterly unhinged, it’s gutsy, unapologetic, peripatetic, high-octane, and unstoppable, a defiantly individual riposte to committee-led blockbusters that tend to steamroll the summer season.

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While We’re Young

Droll, observant, bittersweet, and unexpectedly sympathetic, While We’re Young is a delicious satirical drama about hipsters and their discontents; a routine middle-age sitcom for over-educated urbanites; and an excruciatingly pleasurable and wince-inducing study in insecurity. It’s an easygoing Sunday afternoon at the movies.

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