Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Top Films of 2015

It's been an interesting year for film. Three of the top films of the year both in terms of general public appreciation and critic approval are up for a lot of awards. And surprisingly they're big budget blockbusters, and one of them is a pure action film. There's usually a disconnect between big budget action films and the people who vote for awards, but not this year. I'm referring to "Mad Mad: Fury Road," "The Martian," and "The Revenant." These films are genuinely very good and certainly deserving of the buzz they're receiving. Two of these are also comebacks of sorts for directors George Miller and Ridley Scott. Yet I'm still surprised to see such big budget films getting quite so much awards buzz. These types of films usually only see nods in the technical categories. And while I expect the Oscars to be a battle of at least two of these films for who will claim the most awards, I expect "Mad Max" to win the majority of the technical awards, and "The Revenant" to take home the more glamorous awards (like cinematography, best director, best actor, and possibly best picture).

2015 also saw a lot of impressive technical achievements from the practical effects of "Mad Max: Fury Road," to the incredible sequences shot in long takes in "The Revenant," to a film shot entirely in one take in "Victoria," to a film shot on an iPhone in "Tangerine" to a number of films made for IMAX like "Everest" and "The Walk," or even Tarantino's much touted 70mm roadshow production "The Hateful Eight."

This year also saw some huge box office numbers, big enough to break records in fact. "Jurassic World," broke some records before "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" broke them again (and a few more).

I'm really not sure 2016 can live up to the year we've just had. I'll be pleasantly surprised if it does (I'm hoping for the best). But we are sure to remember 2015 as the year that brought us an incredible amount of great films.

Having said all of that, here's my top 25 films of 2015:

  1. Ex Machina
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road
  3. Room
  4. What We Do In The Shadows
  5. Spotlight
  6. Victoria
  7. The Martian
  8. The Revenant
  9. Sicario
  10. Creed
  11. Inside Out
  12. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  13. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
  14. Bridge of Spies
  15. The End of the Tour
  16. The Assassin
  17. The Big Short
  18. Phoenix
  19. Beasts of No Nation
  20. Black Coal, Thin Ice
  21. While We're Young
  22. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
  23. Kumiko The Treasure Hunter
  24. Clouds of Sils Maria
  25. Crimson Peak

10 Films I Regret Not Seeing:
There's always a handful of films I wanted to see, but never got around to seeing. Most are simply because they didn't get a VOD release, and their limited release never made it to my neck of the woods. Nevertheless I wish I'd had a chance to see these before putting together this list (and I still hope to catch in the near future):
  1. Anomalisa
  2. Son of Saul
  3. 45 Years
  4. Carol
  5. Joy
  6. Trumbo
  7. Macbeth
  8. Brooklyn
  9. Theeb
  10. Diary of a Teenage Girl

Worst films of 2015:
Lest we forget that 2015 wasn't a perfect year in film. Here are the films I hated the most:
  1. The Ridiculous 6
  2. Dragon Blade
  3. Fantastic Four
  4. No Escape
  5. Rock The Kasbah
  6. Mortdecai
  7. Results
  8. No Way Jose
  9. San Andreas
  10. Aloha

Most Underseen, Undervalued Films of 2015:

  1. Doomsdays
  2. Buzzard
  3. Night Owls
  4. About Elly
  5. Queen of Earth

Overrated Movies The Critics Liked That I Didn't:

2015 Movies I saw but did not review:
  • Legend
  • Trainwreck
  • Tangerine

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