There are too many movies. That's not a complaint really (movies are great), but there's no denying that at every level of cinema - from massive blockbusters to gritty social-realist dramas - we're getting far too spoilt for choice. Thanks to the rise of independent cinema chains and the proliferation of VOD, there's more movies easily accessible than ever before and simply deciding what to watch is becoming an increasingly tricky problem. So you turn to sites like RottenTomatoes and Metacritic for help - they're always on-point, right? Erm... not quite. In this past year alone there's been lots of great movies that have been totally disregarded; lambasted, criticised or otherwise ignored by audiences and critics alike. I'm not talking underseen gems (that's a whole other list), but the movies everyone catches yet don't get the credit they deserve. These aren't the best movies of 2015, rather the solid ones that deserved a bit more praise. Maybe it's time for a bit of a reappraisal.
Tom Hardy plays opposite Tom Hardy as the Kray twins - now that's a sell. The story of Legend itself isn't anything groundbreaking - it's a conventional rise-and-fall gangster narrative with all the family troubles and in-fighting you'd expect from any film made since Goodfellas - but throughout it all there's that pairing, with Reggie and Ron playing off each other as if they really were brothers; at one point Reg does an impression of Ron and you're so sucked up in them as people you forget they're played by the same person. So-so movies bolstered by great performances are never short of praise, yet Legend seemed to miss out, the narrative shortcomings criticised more than Hardy's turn was praised. The reaction at Toronto was so tepid, in fact, that the film's US release was pushed back to a less competitive date, a seeming signifier that it wasn't up to much. It's crazy, really - Brian Helgeland's direction may lack subtlety in some areas, but he more than makes up for when dealing with that USP - using a nice mixture of CGI, trick photography and the like, the double casting is an utterly convincing effect (for most of the run time at least).