Sunday, December 27, 2015

Best Films of 2015


It's that time of year when any film critic, movie buff, or just about anyone with a social media account posts their obligatory Top Ten list (even if they've only seen only 11 movies this year).  Personally I've always taken issue with such an arbitrary number. Is this supposed to imply there were only ten great movies this year? To that I say, "Ridiculous!" What kind of a film fan only loves 10 movies in a given year?   Sure, I get it.  People like Top 10 lists because it seems manageable.  Even the busiest of people can find time to see 10 movies a year.  But I saw around 374 films considered to be 2015 releases. Why on Earth would I waste all that time if I only loved 10 of them? No, instead I believe in shining a bright light on all the greatest movies I thoroughly enjoyed this year. With that said my Best of 2015 list includes the 50 films that I have given an A or A+. I loved all of them and I hope if you give them a chance you will love them too.

Now if you've seen other lists published this month you've probably noticed that they're all pretty much the same.  I actually agree that most of the films on all these lists are great (and many of them are in my list below) but I can never understand why everyone's list is so similar.  Sure, some movies are just plain good or bad, but this is a subjective opinion, and not a science. And when I see lists consisting of all the same buzzed-about, awards nominated films, I am suspicious. I am suspicious that you might just be a movie poser trying to seem like your taste is the correct taste. So, if you want to go to a party and sound like you know what you're talking about, just tell them your top ten includes 'Spotlight', 'Carol', 'Room', 'Steve Jobs', 'The Danish Girl', 'Bridge of Spies', 'Creed', 'Brooklyn', 'The Martian', 'The Revenant', 'Black Mass', and 'Trumbo'.  Feel free to throw in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' or 'Mad Max: Fury Road' so you seem like less of a snob.  It doesn't matter if you've seen these movies or not.   Chances are your fellow party-goers haven't either, and will just respond, "Oh yeah, I want to see those!"

I, however, take a more radical approach to all of this. After much deliberation, I express what I truly believe in my heart of hearts to be the best movies of the year, even if they are met by a smirk from my esteemed colleagues and fellow film buffs. (I'm used to it.)  These are the films that moved me, made me think, made me feel, and resonated with me the most. These are the films that made it worth my time sitting through all the bad ones. These are the films that made me appreciate getting to see every film before it comes out so that I can form my own opinion before the consensus drills the "correct" one into my head. These are the films I add to my personal home video library. And these are the films I enjoy re-watching to often appreciate even more the second time. Regardless of what you think of my list, I assure you a lot of thought went into it. I hope some of you make good use of it and enjoy whatever you see every bit as much as I did. Happy viewing!

  1. Room
  2. The Revenant
  3. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
  4. Gabriel
  5. 5 to 7
  6. Kingman: The Secret Service
  7. Sicario
  8. The Martian
  9. Match
  10. The Treatment
  11. Ex-Machina
  12. 11th Hour (a.k.a. I Am Here)
  13. It Follows
  14. While We're Young
  15. Jurassic World
  16. Escobar: Paradise Lost
  17. Southpaw
  18. Brooklyn
  19. Steve Jobs
  20. Faults
  21. Predestination
  22. The Overnight
  23. Grandma
  24. Batkid Begins
  25. Man Up
  26. Spotlight
  27. The Diary of a Teenage Girl
  28. The Stanford Prison Experiment
  29. The Big Short
  30. Danny Collins
  31. Sleeping with Other People
  32. Welcome to Me
  33. Time Lapse
  34. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  35. The Loft
  36. Glass Chin
  37. Black Mass
  38. No Escape
  39. Mississippi Grind
  40. Where to Invade Next
  41. Very Semi-Serious
  42. 99 Homes
  43. Every Secret Thing
  44. Alex of Venice
  45. Focus
  46. Good Kill
  47. Thought Crimes
  48. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
  49. Truth
  50. Creed

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