We are already a couple of weeks into 2016, and I apologize for the delay. I’ve been distracted by a little Netflix show called, Making a Murderer. I still have a few episodes left, but figured this was the first non-holiday weekend and I should do this.
As I look over my list of new movies I saw in 2015, I’m sad to report that I only hit 58 movies, which is a little lower than what I average each year. I think some of that might have to do with my waiting on a few movies cause I know they are going to be up for Best Picture at the Oscars and I always do the Best Picture Showcase. I can also imagine there are a few movies I missed in theaters that I will check out once they come out on Blu-ray.
Continue below for my Top 10 Movies Of 2015.
Before I get cracking with my top ten list, wanted to touch on a few honorable mentions; a few movies that were good but not good enough to make the list.
– Faults: A nice double feature with Sound of My Voice.
– Creep: The title pretty much sums up this good found footage horror movie.
– Paper Towns: Was on my top ten list at the half way point, but not good enough to stay there.
– Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation: Another movie that was bumped off my top ten list, but a solid action movie, and way better than Spectre.
– Straight Outta Compton: A great look back at the rise of gangster rap in the ’90s.
– The Good Dinosaur: A good year for Pixar being back to Pixar, a little teaser of the top ten perhaps.
– Sleeping with Other People: A funny and memorable rom-com, with a great cast and plenty of familiar faces.
– Tangerine: Great story and technical achievement, all shot on an iPhone.
– Star Wars: Force Awakens: Yes, Star Wars is back, but a little too much deja vu for me, looking forward to seeing where the story goes.
– The Hateful Eight: Classic Tarantino, so you know what you are getting into. Saw it on 70mm which was cool. Enjoyed Inglourious Basterds more.
And now that we have those honorable mentions out of the way…it’s time to get to the cream of the crop, at least in the opinion of this movie guy.
There seems to be a theme of ’90s rap music in my year-end lists. One was about the artists and this one is about a few kids in current times, who are huge fans of the ’90s rap. It’s not just about their love of music, but about friendship and the trials and tests as we get older, with a nice little message at the end of the film. I was surprised, in a good way, by this one, a little buzz piqued my interest and I am so glad I saw this one. A few familiar faces in the cast, but ones you will be on the lookout for in the future.
A great documentary that invites you in with one premise, but sideswipes you with a whole new story once they’ve got you in the seat. A nice story for us movie fans, about a group of brothers who are huge movie fans and love recreating their favorite ones.
#8 It Follows
A great horror movie that brings us back to the good ole days of classic horror movies of the ’70s and ’80s. And perhaps a nice way to scare some kids about the effects of having sex as well. It’s a movie that keeps you on your toes, always checking the backgrounds during the movie and one that easily deserves a second viewing to catch a few more things you might have missed the first time.
#7 Batkid Begins
At times, you need those movies that make you feel good about humanity with some of the events that we seem to see way too often. This movie will restore that faith in humanity. It’s the story of a little boy with a wish, and the explosion of people who all wanted to take part in his special day. Even watching the trailer gets me a little emotional, just shows you how powerful this movie is.
Another theme of this year seems to be about people making their own movies based on a few of their favorites. This one is filled with indie film greatness, a great cast of characters and actors, and of course the much expected emotional roller coaster. This movie was watched a few times on my trip to and from London a few months ago. And no matter how many times I see it, it still gets me emotionally every time.
Every once in a while while listening to the /Film podcast, they mention a movie a few times with high praise, and I think they are batting a good percentage of me watching that movie and enjoying it too. And as you can see, I liked this one enough to put it on my top ten list of 2015. I don’t want to talk too much about this one; I feel this is one you are better off not knowing a lot about it going into it. I guess you will have to take my word for what it’s worth. I will say to be patient, as the first half hour is a slow burn, but it does pick up.
#4 Ex Machina
A movie set in a single setting, a secluded house, with a small cast of characters, about the future of AI and what could happen. This was the beginning of a great year for pretty much every person who was involved in this one, as you have seen them pop up numerous times in 2015 on the big screen. An interesting story that keeps you on your toes, and an equally amazing visual style and feel, and one of the greatest dance scenes in 2015.
Another movie that proves you don’t need to spend lots of money on various locations in a movie, with most of this movie dealing with a single room and its inhabitants. Another Brie Larson movie which has made its way onto my top ten list once again. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Short Term 12 were the others. Another movie that helps if you don’t read too much or watch any of the trailers before watching this one. A great cast, and especially Jacob Tremblay.
Ladies and Gentleman, I am happy to report that Pixar is back to being Pixar. A great movie filled with all kinds of emotional feelings, hence the title and premise of the story. It’s got jokes for all ages, and it’s got a little something for you no matter how old you are. And be sure and stay for the extra little bit during the credits. Also, some kudos to the short before the movie, Lava, which has a catchy song, besides the one in Inside Out. And you can’t help tearing up a little when you think about Bing Bong.
It’s been the year of the strong female lead, and this movie is at the front of that list with Charlize Theron as the kick ass Imperator Furiosa, who pretty much stole the show and was a pleasant surprise for us going into the film expecting one thing and got something a little different. But a wild ride, chock full of action, involving a lot of practical effects and not relying too much on CG. I saw this movie numerous times in the theaters, in 3D as well, and it’s one that blows you away visually and literally blows you away with the action. This was an easy choice for my favorite movie of 2015, and I pretty much felt that way after my first viewing. I hope people look at this movie and take some notes from this one when it comes to action and story telling. There are talks of sequels and I’m not going to lie, I’m a little worried that they won’t be able to recreate the magic once again.
And that brings us to the end of 2015 and I can’t wait for another year of spending a few hours sitting in a dark theater, traveling to various worlds, riding an emotional roller coaster, laughing away all of our problems, and perhaps ducking from 3D objects coming at us from the screen. A few movies I am looking forward to, and hopefully I will leave with some good thoughts and not wanting those few hours back. Mad Max showed up on numerous people’s top ten list, landing at #1 just as many times, how does it stack up on your list? And with every list I make, I hope I make a good enough of a case that you give a few of these movies not on your radar a shot. As much as I hope you enjoy them as much as I did, people’s opinions are different, but at least you gave them a shot. Feel free to leave any comments below, or you can always send any comments or questions to @seandps on Twitter.
Thanks again to Geeks of Doom for letting me be a part of the team for another year. I don’t get to post as much as I would like to, but perhaps with 2016 that will change. I have a few games and TV shows that could possibly garner a few articles, and I’m sure a few photos from C2E2 and maybe Wizard World Chicago and Madison as well.