Latest Movie News Headlines

12.29.2015by: JimmyO

Top 10 Movies of 2015 (JimmyO)

This past summer, it seemed as if this would be a slightly forgettable year in film. JURASSIC WORLD and AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON didn't blow me away, and let's not even talk about FANTASTIC FOUR. Yet as the year progressed, things certainly changed for the better. As it turns out, 2015 presented a number of great films. A few earned major success, while others struggled to find an audience. Not surprisingly, the past few months brought about the best in Hollywood.

With stories of corruption in the Catholic Church, to a strangely beautiful Charlie Kaufman animated feature, the love of cinema returned in a big way. We even had a couple of intensely violent westerns. One featured eight despicable characters, and the other, a frighteningly real bear attack. In the end, it was hard to narrow down a list of just 10 fantastic films.

So let’s take a look at some of the my favorite movies of 2015.

Take a look at Chris Bumbray's Top 10 of 2015 HERE.

And, check out Eric Walkuski's Top 10 of 2015 HERE!

Runners-Up

CAROL: This quiet little film directed by Todd Haynes is a gem of a love story. Both Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara give two nuanced performances. And credit should be given to the immensely talented Kyle Chandler as a very jealous husband. This is a subtle, yet startlingly intense romance that is likely to garner a number of Academy Award nominations.

PREDESTINATION: While this solid little thriller came out early in January here in the US, it is one to look for if you haven’t seen it yet. Starring Ethan Hawke and the fantastic Sarah Snook, this is an unusual sci-fi mystery directed by The Spierig Brothers.

99 HOMES/THE BIG SHORT: While both of these films are very different, each one effectively conveys the dark times that fell upon us during and after the housing bubble collapse. Both are exceptional films with fantastic performances, especially Christain Bale in THE BIG SHORT, and of course Michael Shannon in 99 HOMES.

AN HONEST LIAR: This is one of those movies that was recommended by a good friend and I’m so glad he did. This documentary about James Randi - a renowned stage magician turned scientific skeptic on proclaimed psychics and faith healers - is much like a magic trick. You think you see where it is all going, and then the lie is something unexpected and truly remarkable. I highly recommend you look for this terrific film which is currently available for streaming on Netflix.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS: I may have not fallen in love with the latest STAR WARS flick wholeheartedly as nearly everybody else in the world, but I couldn’t help but be more than a little fond of it. This mix of nostalgia and modern popcorn fun leading to a new adventure may feel slightly too familiar, yet J.J. Abrams, for the most part, brings the franchise back to life. Let’s hope that the next film can come even a little close to my favorite in the series, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. May the force be with Rian Johnson!

10. What We Do in the Shadows

It seems that ever since TWILIGHT exploded into the hearts of teenage girls, the whole vampire thing has become a bit of a joke. Thankfully, this hilarious mockumentary about vampires rooming together touches on all the vamp tropes in extremely engaging way. Jermaine Clement, Taika Waititi and the rest of this delightful cast pay homage to nearly every single vampire tale out there, and it is a blast to watch. If you didn’t think the undead, garlic and a cross couldn’t entertain after the barrage of vampire flicks, think again. This is one vamp flick that is worth seeking out and taking a bite out of.

9. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Out of the myriad of teen angsty flicks to come out over the past few years, one of the most inspired is this years ME AND AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL. As funny as it is heartbreaking, the fantastic direction from Alfonso Gomez-Rejon brings this story to life. With a clever script from Jesse Andrews - who also wrote the novel on which it is based - you can’t help but get wrapped up in, not only the friendship of the three leads, but the absolute love of cinema on display. It also helps that the three leads, Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler and Olivia Cooke, each give terrific performances and make these characters all the more charming.

8. The Hateful Eight

In what may be Quentin Tarantino’s most divisive feature ever, THE HATEFUL EIGHT is exactly what it sounds like. The characters are certainly despicable, yet even at it’s near three hour running time, it is one violently enthralling ride. As twisted as this script can be, it is the inspired casting that helps make it work as well as it does. Most notably you have Samuel L. Jackson doing his thing, Walton Goggins is absolutely perfect, and Jennifer Jason Leigh - who happens to show up in two of my picks this year - is perfection. THE HATEFUL EIGHT is a wild west flick that dares you hate the deviants on-screen, and it does so with a sense of brutal glee. And of course, this one is going to offend a ton, which is most likely part of the intent.

7. Inside Out

If anybody is going to understand the joys and pains of growing up, it would be Pixar. INSIDE OUT is one of their most accomplished works, and a welcome return after a few less-than-stellar films. It doesn’t hurt that the voice talents of Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling and Phylis Smith, give life to this magnificently animated film. This tale of a young girl facing major changes has as much heartache as it does humor. It is a bright and colorful world perfectly constructed by Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen. It also fully explores the challenges of the teenage years with wit and charm. This is the kind of film that celebrates youth in an honest and touching way.

6. Creed

Growing up on the ROCKY films, I was absolutely floored by how damn good CREED was. While it certainly offered up a ton of nostalgia, it was more than that. There is no denying the fantastic pairing of Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. More than any of the sequels, this feature directed by Ryan Coogler (who also co-wrote the script with Aaron Covington) captures the underdog spirit of what made the original film so great. Not only did this manage to bring back the essence of ROCKY, it also paved the way for a brand new boxing icon. I’d love to see Mr. Jordan carry on the legacy of “Apollo Creed” in future installments.

5. Room

ROOM is something of a miracle. What could have simply been a trashy thriller, is a magical work, one that is as hopeful as it is heartbreaking. Much of the credit should be given to the powerful lead performances from Brie Larson and her young co-star, Jacob Tremblay. This haunting drama manages to create a larger than life world, with half of the film taking place in a small shed. As terrifying and intense as it gets, the fact that they never go for cheap thrills help make this one of the most engaging filmgoing experiences of the year.

4. The Revenant

Alejandro González Ińárritu has done it again. His latest, THE REVENANT, is a stunning achievement. More of a visceral experience as opposed to simply watching a movie. Every single shot is absolutely gorgeous. Along with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, Ińárritu has crafted one of the most profoundly beautiful pictures I’ve seen in quite awhile. Shot consecutively with only natural lighting, this was a miracle unto itself. And seemingly an incredibly difficult film to make on every level. All of this is helped further by a cast willing to go the extra mile for the filmmaker. Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy give incredible performances - this is very likely the year DiCaprio will get his Oscar - as does the rest of the cast. If you can, be sure to see this on the biggest screen possible, because this is about as immersive of a movie as you are likely to witness.

3. Spotlight

It would have been easy for SPOTLIGHT to take a more sordid approach to its controversial subject matter. Thankfully, instead of that we have a very smart and satisfying investigation which at the time, helped bring a necessary light on the Catholic church and it’s treatment of pedophile priests. The script is smart and the performances are fantastic, especially Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton. This is a thought provoking, and exceptional examination, that manages to piece together a sinister piece of history. Don’t be surprised if this film takes Best Picture gold at the upcoming Academy Awards.

2. Anomalisa

Who could have imagined one of the most human stories of the year, a man meets a stranger who changes his life, would be animated? And this marvelous feature just happens to be stop-motion animation with puppets no less. With excellent voice work from David Thewlis, Tom Noonan and especially Jennifer Jason Leigh, there is an honesty to this story that is absent from most live-action character driven features. ANOMALISA is wonderfully realized by co-directors Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, with a terrific screenplay by Kaufman based on a play - one performed as a live reading with the Theatre of the New Ear, a series put on by composer Carter Burwell. Seek this fantastic movie out. It is the one film that will give INSIDE OUT a run for the money at the Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature.

1. Mad Max Fury Road

After all these years it was hard to imagine George Miller returning to this apocalyptic wasteland in such a glorious way. This latest installment in the MAD MAX series is a ferociously entertaining ride. It is brilliantly executed with thrilling non-CGI (mostly) action, rich characters and one hell of a great score from Junkie XL (as Tom Holkenborg). Tom Hardy is terrific, yet it is Charlize Theron who is simply stunning as Furiosa, a modern day action icon. This was a one of a kind movie going experience that translated into many repeated movie going experiences for me personally. There have only been a handful of flicks that have kept me coming back as much as FURY ROAD. It is a bold and stunning vision, one that will not be forgotten.

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

3:36PM on 12/30/2015

My top ten

10. Minions
9. It follows
8. Bridge of spies
7. The gift
6. Sicario
5. White God
4. The revenant
3. Creed
2. The force awakens
1. Mad Max: Fury Road
10. Minions
9. It follows
8. Bridge of spies
7. The gift
6. Sicario
5. White God
4. The revenant
3. Creed
2. The force awakens
1. Mad Max: Fury Road
Your Reply:



3:22PM on 12/30/2015
I thought it was ok.
I thought it was ok.
Your Reply:



3:21PM on 12/30/2015
Need to see this.
Need to see this.
Your Reply:



3:20PM on 12/30/2015
Saw this the other morning and loved every minute of it, in my top 5 for sure.
Saw this the other morning and loved every minute of it, in my top 5 for sure.
Your Reply:



3:20PM on 12/30/2015
I was really enjoying this until a certain characters death then I felt the film went on far to long and got a bit boring.
I was really enjoying this until a certain characters death then I felt the film went on far to long and got a bit boring.
Your Reply:



3:18PM on 12/30/2015
I enjoyed this. Wouldn't be on my top ten tho.
I enjoyed this. Wouldn't be on my top ten tho.
Your Reply:



7:03PM on 12/29/2015
Cheers Jimmy-o (and Chris) for your top 10 lists! They're really useful, especially for spotting new things to check out. MechaKacho, you're an odd one, man. Shooting down flics like Inside Out and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and then saying The Revenant is in your top 3 without even seeing it. Give us your list, would dig to hear what your favs were (but one's you've watched ideally).
Cheers Jimmy-o (and Chris) for your top 10 lists! They're really useful, especially for spotting new things to check out. MechaKacho, you're an odd one, man. Shooting down flics like Inside Out and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and then saying The Revenant is in your top 3 without even seeing it. Give us your list, would dig to hear what your favs were (but one's you've watched ideally).
Your Reply:



1:39PM on 12/29/2015

See, this was another totally boring movie

I don't get the love for this movie. The action scenes were amazing, but it just dragged on and on and it just got boring. A movie that is basically nothing but a chase scene in the desert. There was no good scenery, imagery or anything to keep viewers interested besides a few action set pieces. That does not make a good movie.
I don't get the love for this movie. The action scenes were amazing, but it just dragged on and on and it just got boring. A movie that is basically nothing but a chase scene in the desert. There was no good scenery, imagery or anything to keep viewers interested besides a few action set pieces. That does not make a good movie.
Your Reply:



1:51PM on 12/31/2015
Based on your critiques, I'm assuming you either (a) don't understand the concept of Mad Max, which is silly since it's a pretty easy concept to grasp, (b) are young enough to be entertained by glittering lights and loud explosions on a movie screen rather than need to pay attention to a plot for 2 hours.
Based on your critiques, I'm assuming you either (a) don't understand the concept of Mad Max, which is silly since it's a pretty easy concept to grasp, (b) are young enough to be entertained by glittering lights and loud explosions on a movie screen rather than need to pay attention to a plot for 2 hours.
3:24PM on 12/30/2015
I bet your top five of the year are in no order JW, age of ultron, ant man, rouge nation and Star Wars.
I bet your top five of the year are in no order JW, age of ultron, ant man, rouge nation and Star Wars.
10:47AM on 12/30/2015
Meanwhile it was the best rated film of the year. And it wasn't packed with cgi like most of the superhero crap that comes out now. This is actually a real film, not a set with a giant green screen. Speak for yourself when you cut mad max down. You are like 1 of 3 people that didn't like it. Move along.
Meanwhile it was the best rated film of the year. And it wasn't packed with cgi like most of the superhero crap that comes out now. This is actually a real film, not a set with a giant green screen. Speak for yourself when you cut mad max down. You are like 1 of 3 people that didn't like it. Move along.
1:37PM on 12/29/2015

Haven't seen it but I know it's going to be in my top 3 anyways.

I mean come on, the director of Birdman making DiCaprio survive in the wild... Instant Hit.
I mean come on, the director of Birdman making DiCaprio survive in the wild... Instant Hit.
Your Reply:



1:36PM on 12/29/2015

Indie hipster gabrage

This was worse than It Follows and It Follows was my most hated movie of the year.
This was worse than It Follows and It Follows was my most hated movie of the year.
Your Reply:



1:35PM on 12/29/2015

Yeah, again, this wasn't a bad movie but it's definitely not top 10 material

I thought this was going to suck, but it didn't. The only parts I cared about though were Rocky's "fight". I didn't care enough about Creed. He was shallow and boring.
I thought this was going to suck, but it didn't. The only parts I cared about though were Rocky's "fight". I didn't care enough about Creed. He was shallow and boring.
Your Reply:



1:34PM on 12/29/2015

Another big bowl of NOPE

This was HORRIBLE. How did kids sit through this shit? I love Amy Poehler but this was just so boring. It made no sense either. They created this world and just made up and changed all the rules as they went along. The stupid "find our way home" plot is so overused too. This was a really bad movie.
This was HORRIBLE. How did kids sit through this shit? I love Amy Poehler but this was just so boring. It made no sense either. They created this world and just made up and changed all the rules as they went along. The stupid "find our way home" plot is so overused too. This was a really bad movie.
Your Reply:



1:32PM on 12/29/2015

I can agree with this one being around #8

This was a good movie. Well written and fun. It wasn't Tarantino's best, but even his worst is still usually in the top 10 of the year.
This was a good movie. Well written and fun. It wasn't Tarantino's best, but even his worst is still usually in the top 10 of the year.
Your Reply:



1:30PM on 12/29/2015

Again, there was nothing decent about this movie

It wasn't done well at all. We didn't care about the kids, everything was forced down our throats. It was just bland and boring.
It wasn't done well at all. We didn't care about the kids, everything was forced down our throats. It was just bland and boring.
Your Reply:



1:29PM on 12/29/2015

Nope, easily one of the worst movies of the year.

There was just nothing charming about this movie. It was very rushed and the adlibbing was just horrible. It was like they got once chance to say something off the tops of their heads and good or bad it was used. This was just really dull, hipster garbage.
There was just nothing charming about this movie. It was very rushed and the adlibbing was just horrible. It was like they got once chance to say something off the tops of their heads and good or bad it was used. This was just really dull, hipster garbage.
Your Reply:



2:29PM on 12/29/2015
Well, obviously this is my list so you are free to agree or disagree and that's all good. So what are your favorites this year, I'd love to hear;)
Well, obviously this is my list so you are free to agree or disagree and that's all good. So what are your favorites this year, I'd love to hear;)
12:33PM on 12/29/2015

"Werewolves not swear wolves".

So happy to see this on a Top 10 list. Such a funny movie. I keep re-watching it and reveling in its inventiveness, dictated by a very modest budget. I wonder how much of that quirk and sly humour Taika's going to be able to infuse into the "Thor" sequel.
So happy to see this on a Top 10 list. Such a funny movie. I keep re-watching it and reveling in its inventiveness, dictated by a very modest budget. I wonder how much of that quirk and sly humour Taika's going to be able to infuse into the "Thor" sequel.
Your Reply:



+0
12:28PM on 12/29/2015
I'm a fan of everyone involved in this flick, but found it mostly obvious and dull.
I'm a fan of everyone involved in this flick, but found it mostly obvious and dull.
Your Reply:



11:40AM on 12/29/2015

Predestination

Man, what an incredible movie. Good call.
Man, what an incredible movie. Good call.
Your Reply:



Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More