Top 10 2015 Films
I have been debating on whether or not I wanted to compile such a list for 2015. Personally, the year was lacking great films, but fortunately gave cinema quite a bit of impressive and decent films. When I look back on my 2013 and 2014 lists, they have such great films that I already rushed to the door to buy, but not so much this year. Another example would be and excuse my english football terms but, Mad Max: Fury Road would be a darkhorse in 2013/2014 but this year it is one of the best films and took home a ton of oscars. Perhaps because the list of films I missed was so large? Asides from the lack of great films, the 2nd edition of Oscars so white was apparent in cinema, and once again I don’t think anybody was worthy of being nominated asides from Idris Elba and Abraham Attah.
Nevertheless there was some wonderful films, and I enjoyed all my times at the theater this year, except for Carol ha ha.
Thanks for reading and Enjoy!
Films that I missed: Macbeth, Anomalisa, The Big Short, Brooklyn, Son of Saul, Spotlight, Amy, Bridge of Spies
Honorable Mentions: Crimson Peak, Ant-Man, Joy, Straight Outta Compton
10. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
This was a very good indie film, I was worried that it would be like all the other films that look like this, but this film had heart and soul. I really felt for all of the characters and I loved how they would make their own version of classic movies, but in a version of a spoof. It was very entertaining and towards the end of the movie things got really serious. Though I feel like the modern technology in it won’t age too well, the film overall as enough going for it to make this film rewatchable for years to come. The three main leads had great chemistry together which made everything great.
9. The Hateful Eight
It almost seemed destined that the controversial but loved director Quentin Tarantino was going to release one of the years best films. He brought the Ultra Panavision 70mm film cameras back from the dead, which was used in Ben-Hur. No doubt, the film looked absolutely stunning, especially if you were able to catch the 70mm roadshow where it screened in selected theaters with the film projectors. However this film divided movie-goers more than Django Unchained did it seems. Where Django bothered everybody from it’s excessive use of the n word. This film made everyone, including black people uncomfortable with the use of the word. There’s a difference there and I felt it myself but I tried to justify it with the conversations taking place and the fact it was taking place 10 years after the civil war with a room full of people on opposite sides. Courtney Small wrote a great article on this topic on his blog Cinema Axis. Asides from that the run time of the film once again felt 15-20 minutes too long but that is almost what you can expect from Tarantino, because two things will always remain consistent in his body of work, great dialogue and bloodshed.
8. Ex Machina
I am unsure of my opinions on this film. One half of me believes this to be a incredible piece of independent filmmaking towards the Sci-fi genre. No doubt was the A.I in this film impressive, and acted splendidly by Alicia Vikander. Domhnall Glesson and Oscar Isaac are superb her as well, but the movie as a whole felt flat line with spaced out moments of intensity. Usually that’s the kind of thing I like in a film, but her the moments in-between felt dull, with the exception of some decent pieces of dialogue. I know there is something special about this film, perhaps the night I saw it alone in the movie theater on a late showing, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be watching it.
7. Beasts of No Nation
This film was written, directed and shot by Cary Fukanaga. He brings a harrowing story of a young boy who is torn apart from his family in the most violent way imaginable and interpreted into a group of kid soldiers with Idris Elba as the lead. It’s touching and a great look into the psychological aspects these kids and the people of Africa go through. Both Idris Elba and Abraham Attah.
6. It Follows
A breath of fresh air in a genre that is chalk full of predictable story-lines littered with cliché jump-scares. Director/Writer David Robert Mitchell is able to bring his nightmares to life with Jay (Maika Monroe) becoming apart of a chain letter esque nightmare after sleeping with her date. He ties her to a chair and lets her know that a thing will follow her endlessly until it reaches her, unless she has sex with another person which passes it on to them, and they need to pass it onto another person. It can appear as a random stranger or as a person she may know. It sounds like a decent story, but really makes this film terrifying is the nail biting moments of suspense. Mitchell takes full advantage with the random people in the crowd which drives the character’s paranoia to a new high. The film almost feels like a old ghost story you’d tell around a campfire to your friends, considering the cast and the neighborhood it takes place in. I would say this film is a masterpiece, like a lot of people have called it but there is too many plot-holes in the intentions of the “thing” which overall holds the film back.
For a person who has yet to see a Rocky film, I was impressed with Creed. I was able to feel the emotions being evoked through Stallone, who a lot of people thought was going to win the best supporting actor, but nonetheless, that’s not important. He gave a heartfelt performance which blended smoothly with the enthusiasm of Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson, also known as the son of Apollo Creed. The film was pretty good in all areas, but what impressed me the most was the cinematography from Maryse Alberti and the choreography of the boxing.
Once again, Denis Villeneuve delivers a tense film. The film he released before this Prisoners was incredible, and he’s already going to direct Blade Runner 2. Sicario is another example of him being able to craft these tense moments, think about the sequence when they are driving into Juarez, or even better when they are stuck in traffic. He’s also not shy to shed a little blood, which I hope carries into Blade Runner 2. It’s a shame because once again, Roger Deakins shoots an incredibly beautiful film, but Emmanuel Lubezki goes and shoots a beautiful film in the wilderness with all natural light. It’s funny because Deakins also could have won an award for Villeneuve’s Prisoners but even that year he lost out to Lubezki for his work on Gravity. Nonetheless Sicario is a great film about the Cartel and the shady business that goes on in our own government.
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The pros outweigh the cons in this film; thankfully the cons aren’t anything bad. J.J. Abrams brings a breath of fresh air into the seventh installment for Star Wars. Introducing us to many new characters that are all very likable for their own reasons. However the similarities to A New Hope hold the film back from being it’s own beast, hopefully Episode 8 under the hands of Rian Johnson is brave enough to leap into the unknown.
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
Well since I’m finishing this post after the Academy Awards, Mad Max: Fury Road won a whooping six Oscars, (Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing). It was incredible to see a sci-fi film as insane as a film can get, go out and win that many awards at such a prestigious event. There is a lot to love here, such as the practical effects and stunts, feminist aspects, the mubiling grunts of Tom Hardy, and the bold film-making by George Miller. I’ve never seen a film start off with a like 30 minute car chase, it was absolutely exhilarating, and the film never takes it’s foot off the gas. It’s a movie that gets better and better with each viewing.
1. The Revenant
All praise to Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Emmanuel Lubezki, and everybody else involved with the making of The Revenant for bring us to some locations that we haven’t seen in a movie and will more than likely never see in our life. This film was able to accomplish the feeling that it was shot in a time of America before modern civilization. These were probably the best portrayal of Native Americans that i’ve seen as well, but then again I haven’t seen a lot in movies haha. The list of reasons why this film is the best film of the year can go on for days. In the view of others, I can understand why you don’t see this film as the best, It was very long and there were a lot of moments watching Leonardo DiCaprio was just slowly trekking his way across the country evading different obstacles, but that slow burn makes us experience what he went through, and the heavy score helps a lot. Everything leads up to the rewarding, and brutal revenge at the end. Lubezki won his third Oscar straight here for cinematography, he shoot this film all through natural light, and it’s gorgeous. The acting in this film is great as well. Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his Oscar, although, I felt Tom Hardy deserved an award as well. Find the biggest screen you can, wait until night time, and let this film bring you to another place.
Well, here’s to another year! Hoping for a better outing in Cinema for 2016.