I cannot believe 2015 is coming to an end. It has been the most busy year for my blog yet, and I’m really excited to reveal my top ten films of 2015, some of which really surprised me, and others that somehow were better than expected.
Originally, a couple of films looked missing on this list. This year’s list originally only featured 2015 films that were released in Denmark in 2015, and therefore films like the following 2015 films were not considered for the list: Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, A. G. Iñarritu’s The Revenant, Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, Todd Haynes’ Carol, and Lenny Abrahamson’s Room.
However, I reconsidered their status after having seen the films above. Spotlight, Brooklyn, and Steve Jobs have pushed The Gift, The Martian, and Beasts of No Nation off the top ten list. I also recently watched Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster, and as a result it has dethroned both The Martian and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation as the single honorable mention.
One of the things one usually gets hung up on is the idea that the highest rated movie is a critic’s favorite film. I’m not saying it isn’t ever, but that’s not always the case. These films aren’t necessarily ranked on their IJR-score, the top ten is a ranking of my favorite films of the year.
H.M. – The Lobster
I had heard a lot of great things about Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster, but I didn’t get to see it until more than a year after its American release. It is most definitely a little bit too long, and the second half of the film isn’t as strong as the first hour. But it is so strange and so fascinatingly absurd that I fell head-over-heels in love with it.
#10 – Brooklyn
Brooklyn – directed by John Crowley – is based on a novel by Colm Tóibín, and it tells the story of a young Irish woman named Eilis Lacey who, in the 1950s, travels to New York to build a life for herself only to be pulled back to Ireland due to unforeseen circumstances. It’s a wonderful little romantic drama that deserves a lot more attention than it has gotten.
#9 – Mad Max: Fury Road
I’m not a fan of the original Mad Max films. I like Road Warrior, but Beyond Thunderdome and the original film do not appeal to me. But Fury Road is something else, not necessarily stylistically, but definitely in quality. For me, Fury Road was one of the most surprising films of the year. I went into it expecting to like it, but I absolutely love the film. It is one of the greatest action films of all-time.
#8 – Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
There’s always this one film a year that takes the Young Adult-genre and makes it work for every audience. I thought that The Perks of Being a Wallflower was one of those when it came out, and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is another. Olivia Cooke is the star of this film, she is excellent as the Dying Girl in question, and I am so excited to see her in bigger and better things.
#7 – Steve Jobs
In Steve Jobs, Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle show us three challenging times in Steve Jobs’ career as an inventor and business man. While Michael Fassbender may not look exactly like Steve Jobs did, Fassbender gives an unbelievable performance – my favorite performance of the year.
#6 – Creed
One of the three successful franchise reboots of 2015 – Creed was something special. Michael B. Jordan is a star, and this performance solidified it – I am ready to see him in this franchise for years to come. The team of Jordan and Ryan Coogler is one to watch. Oh, and Sylvester Stallone is amazing in this film.
#5 – Sicario
Denis Villeneuve is one of the most talented directors in Hollywood right now. Incendies, Enemy, and Prisoners are great films – and Sicario is yet another great film from Villeneuve. It is a dirty and dark thriller that makes perfect use of a strong cast. I really do think that a lot of the major award shows (at least to this point) have been criminally underestimating this film. It is one of the most memorable films of 2015.
#4 – Spotlight
This is the film that made me reconsider the status of the films mentioned in the introduction. It is a terrifying film to watch, and it is elevated a great deal by a fantastic ensemble cast. Ruffalo and Keaton give the standout performances.
#3 – EX_MACHINA
Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, and Oscar Isaac – two of these will be household names soon enough, and Gleeson is getting more and more attention as well. The cast is stellar, the writing is magnificent – and it is one of the most interesting plots of 2015. EX_MACHINA is a must-watch film.
#2 – Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
It might not be the best film of 2015, but it is one of my favorite films of the year. I keep wanting to go back to the theater to rewatch it. It perfectly fed into my need for nostalgia, it thrilled me, it made me laugh, cry, and cheer. The Force Awakens is an event. J. J. Abrams did a masterful job, and the new cast, as well as the legacy cast, was surprisingly solid. It is definitely not a perfect film, but, not unlike The Avengers, it is a film that is so entertaining that it outweighs a lot of the negatives for me.
#1 – Inside Out
Inside Out is my favorite film of 2015. It is the one masterpiece of 2015, and the best Pixar-film since the original Toy Story. Everything I wanted, and more.
What is your favorite film of 2015? Sound off in the comments.
I’m Jeffrey Rex