I’ll admit, I have not seen every movie of 2015. I even tried to wait a month after to watch them all, but alas, it can’t be done. Also I was excited to try and view some foreign films during the year, but I literally can’t watch them because they haven’t been released. I only saw The Assassin and The Tribe and they were, uh, “interesting”… Yeah lets use that word. Anyways, this list is just my dumb opinion and you’ll probably disagree. With that out of the way, pour some salt on your keyboard and lets dive into the honorable mentions.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
These movies just missed the cut! Bummer, because I liked these too.
15. Kingsman: The Secret Service
Kingman: The Secret Service is what would happen if the James Bond series became more proper and Kickass…and also a better movie. I had a surprisingly great time, and I definitely consider the best spy movie of 2015, and there were a lot.
14. Me and Earl and The Dying Girl
Premiering at Sundance, and managing to win the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic and the Audience Award for U.S. Drama, Me and Earl and The Dying Girl was the indie film of 2015 that managed to infiltrate America’s heart. A story of two friends who befriend a girl because she has cancer, it is surprisingly honest and heartfelt. It’s also incredibly quirky, but not in an overly annoying way. This is the 50/50 for a younger audience.
A movie I definitely assumed would not be any good, this turned out to be one of Marvel’s best films to date. Ant-Man is kept entertaining by a snappy script that unfortunately still falls into the same superhero cliches, Paul Rudd’s charismatic self, and quite possibly the best supporting cast of any Marvel film to date. Funny, fun, and full of clever action scenes, Ant-Man is definitely worth seeing more than once.
The best pure Sci-Fi entertainment of the year was Ex-Machina. A smart and tense thriller about whether an A.I. can have feelings and pass as a living being. The cast is excellent, the visuals are stunning, and even if it may not surprise you or have anything to say that you’ve already seen done before, it still is a really good time at the movies.
Bolstered by two amazing lead performances from Brie Larson, who has a great shot at an Oscar, and Jacob Tremblay, Room is an emotional drama that feels about as real as any movie could be. The story follows a woman who has been kidnapped and trapped in a storage shed with her son, who doesn’t know anything beyond the walls of his room. If you’re looking for a new way to look at the world, then give this one a shot.
10. The Big Short
Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt are going to be the main draw for people going to see this movie, and for good reason. They are all fantastic. The Big Short shows the story of different investors who realize the housing market is about to collapse, and decide to bet against it. It’s funny, shocking, and very informative for those who don’t know much about investments or how the market collapsed in 2007.
9. Love & Mercy
Love & Mercy may have flown under the radar for a lot of people, but it is definitely one of the year’s best. Telling the story of Beach Boy’s lead singer Brian Wilson’s making of Pet Sounds, and his later deteriorating mental health. Played by both Paul Dano and John Cusak, Brian Wilson is a fascinating character with a life so crazy you would’ve thought the film was over-dramatizing it, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. For any fans of biopics or The Beach Boys, this is a must watch.
8. It Follows
It’s always a breath of fresh air when a horror movie comes out that isn’t absolutely awful. It just so happens that this one turned out to be excellent. Harking back to the classic slasher films of the 70’s and 80’s, It Follows feels like an old school film in a modern setting. The idea of a sexually transmitted death mark and an unstoppable killing machine feel both fresh and familiar, and even though the 3rd act isn’t quite as strong, this is easily the best horror film of the year.
Denis Villenueve can do no wrong, and that still holds up with his latest film Sicario. After the discovery of Cartel activity on US soil, an FBI agent gets in over her head when she teams up with an undercover CIA group on their excursion to Mexico. Even though the screenplay and characters may seem a bit lacking, it’s made up for the brilliant directing and cinematography. There are certain scenes that are among the best of the year, and they all look amazing. Sicario is tense, thrilling, and doesn’t pull any punches.
6. The Revenant
Great acting, great directing, and amazing visuals don’t always add up to the most compelling movie. The Revenant is unlike anything else you’ll experience this year, but it also is bogged down by its length and a second act that literally drags. If you’re interested in the brutality and beauty of nature and the human spirit, then The Revenant is something you’re going to want to see.
5. Mad Max: Fury Road
Look at that image. I’ll give you a second take your time.
If that doesn’t make you want to see Mad Max: Fury Road then you are a lost cause and may God have mercy on your soul.
By the way it’s the best bat-shit insane action film of the year. Witness it!
The more I see of Brooklyn, the more I fall in love with it. A period piece romance drama is your typical Oscar bait film, but there’s something more to this one. It’s about home, about starting over, and about trying to make your own place in the world. The two leads, Saoirse Ronen and Emory Cohen, have amazing chemistry and are two of my favorite performances of the year. Prepare to laugh, prepare to cry, and prepare to enjoy this wonderful film.
3. The Hateful Eight
I loved this movie. A lot of people did not. For me, it combined a lot of my favorite things into one film. It had Tarantino’s usual snappy dialogue, a who-dunnit mystery, a brilliant score, and cartoony over-the-top violence. Maybe the first half is too long, and maybe its a film that Tarantino just wanked on and made to prove how great he is. All I know is that while I was watching I was hooked the whole way, and it probably has my favorite Tarantino ending of all time. Also, it had an intermission and it was glorious.
Are you tired of Rocky movies by now? Well shut yo ass up and go watch Creed. The best film in the franchise besides Rocky or Rocky II (take your pick). Stallone is better than ever, Michael B. Jordan is also great, and Ryan Coogler is a director to look out for because some of the scenes in this film are breathtaking. Star Wars take notes, this is how you create a new saga while still giving fan service to the old franchise. Amazing.
There are times when a movie is so seemingly perfect you can hardly find any flaws. For me this year, that film was Spotlight. Tackling a heated subject like child abuse by the Catholic Church, one would expect an overly dramatic tearjerker. Fortunately Tom McCarthy was able to craft a more low-key and journalist approach to this story, and most of the time you feel as though you’re watching the actual real life events of these people. It’s very shocking and its very gripping, but never sensationalist. If there was one movie to see in 2015, I think it would be this.
That’s my list and I hope you had some knee-jerk reaction towards it. Again, I haven’t seen all the films out in 2015, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Let me know your favorite films of they year in the comments, and if you liked this and are down for more, then please like and share.