Hello, folks. Welcome to my annual list of favorite movies for the year of 2015. Before starting off this list, I want to mention that there are some movies I didn’t get to watch due to other obligations. These films include The Gift, Black Mass, and Sicario amongst others. Then there are those other movies that were in “select cities” before my cutoff date of January 1st such as The Revenant. Without further ado, here is my top ten list.
10.) Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation
It seemed that the Mission: Impossible franchise reached its apex with 2011’s Ghost Protocol. Thankfully, Rogue Nation proves that the franchise still has plenty of thrills left to go thanks to Tom Cruise and the gang.
9.) The Peanuts Movie
I’m surprised this particular film hasn’t been on a lot of critics’ best-of lists. I thought this was a surprisingly faithful adaptation of the famed Peanuts franchise considering the fact it’s from Blue Sky Studios.
8.) Bridge of Spies
Although it’s not as good as 2012’s Lincoln, this is still a great film thanks to director Steven Spielberg. Not only does it have great performances by Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance (who deserves a Best Supporting Actor nod), it also has great dialogue (courtesy of the Coen Brothers).
7.) Kingsman: The Secret Service
I thought this was a better tribute to the old-school James Bond films than Spectre itself. Matthew Vaughn does an excellent job of mixing action and comedy. If Idris Elba doesn’t become the next James Bond, Colin Firth might be a good candidate.
6.) Star Wars: The Force Awakens
To say this film was the most anticipated movie of 2015 would be the understatement of the decade. The hype train was as far as the eye could see. Thankfully, JJ Abrams managed to pull it off. This film captures the magic of the original trilogy while creating a new story of its own. Plus, this film has the best overall acting of the entire series.
While both Spotlight and The Big Short had similar themes, I thought that Spotlight had better execution of its themes thanks to its writing. It’s great to see to Michael Keaton in another awesome role after his career apex in 2014’s Birdman. Heck, the ensemble cast in general is one of the best I’ve seen all year.
4.) Mad Max: Fury Road
In this age of CGI over-saturation, it’s great to see big-budget movies such as this one use practical effects again. George Miller deserves a nomination for Best Director for his work on Fury Road. This movie proves that an intelligent action film could do well at the box office. If this is the direction of future action movies, count me in. Valhalla approves.
3.) The Hateful Eight
I know that this movie is a divisive one, even among Tarantino films. Personally, I thought it was another great addition to his resume. I thought it was a great mystery movie that has a great script. Not only that, it also has a great ensemble cast that consists of the likes of Samuel L. Jackson and Jennifer Jason Leigh amongst others.
2.) The Martian
After a string of mediocre movies, it’s great to see a great Ridley Scott movie again. It’s probably the best representation of the Martian landscape I’ve seen in a movie. Although Matt Damon is a great lead with his upbeat sense of humor, there are no passengers in this movie with its great ensemble cast. This is the best hard science fiction script to be put on the silver screen since Moon.
1.) Inside Out
If this isn’t the comeback story of the year, I don’t know what is. Similar to Ridley Scott above, Pixar has been going through a rough patch over the past few years. Thankfully, they have managed to re-discover their gift for great storytelling. In my opinion, Inside Out has the best script of any movie I’ve watched all year.
Thank you for reading! I hope you’ve had a great new year!