We’ve just reached the halfway point of 2015 – six months in, six months to go. I admittedly haven’t seen a ton of movies from this year (and am notably the only person on the planet who still needs to see Jurassic World), but I will definitely catch up as these films enter the home video market.

Another concession is that many of the year’s best films tend to be released over the holiday season, to optimize their chances of awards-season glory. The rankings here could vary as studios often save the best for last.

So, without further ado, here are my picks for the three best films of 2015 (so far):

  1. Inside Out. This Disney-Pixar masterpiece gets inside your head (literally) and stays in your heart. It is a dazzling visual and storytelling experience, allowing us to behold the origin of emotions, growing in complexity with the major milestones of humanity. In its parallel storylines, between the human girl Riley adjusting to life in a new town & school and the Emotions struggling to keep her afloat, we are given a spectacularly compelling and wonderfully moving perspective on what makes all of us tick. Read my full review here.
  2. Entourage. Just like the TV series before it, Entourage plays on the ultimate young Hollywood fantasy of fame, excess, and success. And just like the series, it is very “love-it-or-hate-it;” the film has received mixed to negative reviews, despite very positive word-of-mouth among audiences. Entourage not only exceeds expectations (and cleans up some messes from the series finale years earlier), but pushes the characters forward into thrilling situations further blurring the lines between fantasy and reality (you’ll get it when you see it). If you have not watched the TV series, I would not recommend this movie, but if you have – you will not be disappointed.
  3. Cinderella. In an era of revisionist/alternative fairy tales, from Once Upon a Time to Maleficent and even the film adaptation of Into the Woods, comes Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella – a faithful, earnest, straight retelling of the classic story. And it is absolutely wonderful. Even as the story is told, and we know every step of the way, we are treated to gorgeous visuals (the dress transformation scene is jaw-dropping), terrific performances from Cate Blanchett as the Stepmother and Lily James as Ella, and a soaring musical score by Patrick Doyle.

What are your favorites from this year? What are you looking forward to in the second half of 2015?