It was a year of great indie flicks, big action films and a surprising lack of sequels and remakes—aside from Avengers, Spectre, Star Wars, The Hunger Games and Creed it was a light year for sequels. Be that as it may, here are my top ten films of the year (and three worst!).
Three Worst Films of 2015
The only thing good about this film was the subtle dig at Disney as we learn Disney World was built on evil, literally.
This is like the Teletubbies with more plot. The incomprehensible Minion gibberish will give you a headache because you need to decipher their body language to understand what they’re saying. It’s not even that funny either!
#2. Jurassic World
The big action scenes can’t save the fact that it’s hard to care about any of the characters. On top of this the bad guys are incredibly generic and their plan to militarize the dinosaurs is downright stupid.
This entire film is about making a mop.
Bad acting—Jlaw goes in and out of a New York accent and at times said accent sounds like a caricature rather than a serious one. Bad directing—half the scenes the actors appear to be confused as to their motivation making the experience equally confusing. Confusing storyline that jumps around—it cuts in time so often and so abruptly there are times you wonder if you had a stroke. Ugh!
Top Ten Films of 2015
Rooney Mara (left) is winning best supporting actress. Take that to the bank!
Heartbreaking and heartfelt, this film looks gorgeous with all kinds of mise-en-scène. It can be slightly frustrating as things don’t progress very quickly, but frustration is kind of the point when it’s about same sex lovers who aren’t allowed to be together.
#9. Steve Jobs
It has a biting wit and intense moments propelling the actors and this film into Oscar contender status. The soundtrack is digital and perfect but Michael Fassbender steals the show as he truly captures the genius of an incredible mind.
Quirky, funny, interesting. The best Woody Allen film not made by Woody Allen in years!
#8. Mistress America
Endearing flick about those who dream but are too lazy to do anything about it. It has a killer 80s soundtrack vibe and it’s rife with laugh out loud moments.
And the Oscar goes to . . .
#7. The Revenant
Opening on a scene that’s Saving Private Ryan meets Dances With Wolves, this flick is visceral and all about one man enduring at a time when staying alive was your only job. It’s filled with surprises and is always intriguing, but a lot of the symbolism is laid on too thick too.
What a year these two had.
#6. Ex Machina
This is a true actor’s extravaganza with Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson killing it in every scene they’re in. The science fiction elements are compelling and will stir conversation after the film ends. The cinematography is spot on as it tells its own story too.
Seems like a safe place for band practice.
Fresh filmmaking that captures a great energy with some well rendered characters and great acting. The energy is lively and infectious as there’s plenty of camera tricks throughout.
They are a dirty lot.
#4. Mad Max: Fury Road
Never boring with action that’s always interesting and plenty of weird characters to ogle. I did find myself wondering who these characters were and it’s not without the action movie cliches to keep the plot churning. That said it’s a wild ride that’s one of a kind.
#3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Exciting to the very end with very likable characters you’ll root for. Surprises are in store as well, as a villain who feels more real and pertinent than Anakin could ever be in the prequels. You may have never thought it possible, but you’re going to believe in the Force again!
Arthritis is a bitch!
#2. It Follows
Low budget horror mixed with a creepy as hell premise. The monster in this flick is scary as all hell because it very well could be a real thing. A creepy horror movie that even has an effective monster? Sign me up! It feels so modern yet it’s set in some quasi-80s world which enhances the awesome oddness of the film. On top of that it’s so damn complex each viewer could have a different experience. See this film!
#1. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Friendship is key in this coming of age story that’s heartwarming, inventive and deeply original. It’s a real treat if you’re a cinephile as the protagonist remakes films with a low budget but with a lot of heart. These sweded films give the movie an originality that’s fun and inventive. Meanwhile the acting is top notch from the entire cast. Nick Offerman plays the father and he does so in an original and meaningful way that tells us something about the characters. The relationship between Olivia Cooke and Thomas Mann’s characters work as there’s no forced romance but an endearing bond building from the very first scenes. This film reminds you why life is worth living.