2015 was a very strong year for film, which made this list that much harder to come up with. Lots of strong movies and lots of great stories. But I managed to whittle this down to my 10 favorite films of the year.
Here are my Top 10 of 2015:
10. The Walk
Robert Zemeckis’ retelling of Phillipe Pettit’s illegal 1974 tight rope walk between the Twin Towers is tons of fun and utterly charming, thanks in large part to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance as Pettit. The actual walk is a knockout, but it’s the final line and shot of the film that was the most emotional moment of the year for me.
9. Inside Out
Absolutely brilliant storytelling by the masters at Pixar. This was both a wonderful animated tale and a thoughtful exploration of human emotions and where sadness fits in our lives. An instant animated classic.
8. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Five films in, this franchise is aging like fine wine. Tom Cruise is just effortlessly great at this point as Ethan Hunt and Rebecca Ferguson was a revelation as his female match. Awesome action set pieces and great supporting performances (particularly from Simon Pegg) seal the deal.
7. Ex Machina
Maybe the most thought provoking film of the year, this thriller about the testing of the world’s most sophisticated Artificial Intelligence features a trio of great performances from Domnhall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander. At a time when technology is leaping ahead at an alarming rate, this movie asks some truly pertinent (and scary) questions.
6. The Martian
Sci-fi entertainment done right. Legendary director Ridley Scott is in top form here, delivering an intelligent and riveting tale about the triumph of the human spirit. As an astronaut stranded on Mars surviving while awaiting rescue, Matt Damon is an absolute joy to watch (as is the rest of a stellar supporting cast).
5. The Revenant
This is about as visceral a movie as you’re likely to see. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s The Revenant takes us on a journey filled with breathtaking sequences of brutality and of beauty. Leonardo Dicaprio gives a performance for the ages in what is sure to be his first Oscar winning performance.
4. Straight Outta Compton
The story of the world’s most dangerous rap group was absolute dynamite. Strong performances and an awesome soundtrack (of course) carry a narrative full of themes that are sadly just as relevant today as they ever were. Whether a fan of hip-hop or not, this is a must see.
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Ladies and Gentlemen, it lived up to the hype. The seventh episode of the biggest movie franchise of all time was thrilling, hilarious, emotional but most of all supremely entertaining. Thank you J.J. Abrams for bringing Star Wars back in a big way!
Writer/director Ryan Coogler managed to pay respect to the Rocky Saga while simultaneously laying the groundwork for it’s continuation. A rousing story coupled with fantastic performances from Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson and Rocky himself ,Sylvester Stallone, makes this flick an absolute knockout.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road
Good lord, this movie was a rush! Director George Miller brought this classic franchise back from a 30 year hiatus and delivered one of the greatest action movies of all-time. From the performances, to the scenery, to the stunt choreography, it is all a glorious sight to behold. Take notes, kiddies. This is a master at work.
Also, here are some honorable mentions:
The best horror movie of the year and one that sticks with you long after it’s over.
Any other year this might’ve cracked my top 10, but in 2015 there was that other boxing movie to consider (more on that one later).
Ant Man / Avengers: Age of Ultron
Further proof that Marvel truly has the golden touch.
The Peanuts Movie
Pure unadulterated joy and nostalgia. I couldn’t stop smiling.
And that’s a wrap for 2015. 2016 has a tough act to follow, here’s hoping it delivers. Be sure to check out Stickman’s Movie Blogspot for additional movie article goodness. And as always, much thanks to Jason Burgos and cheapseatschatter.com for the support! ‘Till next time, folks!