What a great year for movies 2015 was. Not as great as 2014 but we got some incredible films that will be remembered for many different reasons. For a lot of people it will be remembered for the year that bought Star Wars back, and rightfully so, it owned the Box Office, breaking records all around the world and it continues to make money. But there were so many more fantastic movies that came out, and that made it so damn hard to make this list. This Top 10 list went through 12 (yes, 12) different drafts until i could come up with a list that i thought balanced my overall enjoyment of the films with the quality of the movie. But if you asked me tomorrow i would probably want to swap some things around so i gotta put this out now or i’ll just keep on fiddling with it. Limiting the list to 10 films is hard because so many deserving films missed out. These are just a few that were once in my top 10 but didn’t quite make it into the final draft: ‘Avengers Age of Ultron’, ‘Inside Out’, ‘Macbeth‘, ‘The Voices’, ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’, ‘Jurassic World’, ‘Dope‘. All great films but when it came down to picking the best of the best, they just didn’t cut it.
Just a couple of things….
Why is this list an entire month late you might ask? Not because i was busy, but because there were about 4-5 films i wanted to wait for in order to consider them for this list and unfortunately not all of them made it, but it was still worth the wait to possibly include them. My list in terms of pure fun and entertainment would be completely different to my list in terms of quality of the film so i try to blend them together to make this list. So lets get started and count down the best films of 2015… according to me.
#10 – ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a coming of age film filled with comedy, drama, and some very effective emotional weight. It follows Greg, a student who sparks an unlikely friendship with a girl who has just been diagnosed with cancer and you get to watch their friendship, how it develops and how it affects them throughout the course of the film. I enjoyed every minute of this film and much of that had to do with the tone of the film, and how it changed throughout to suit what was going on in the story. It was very natural and not jarring at all. As i mentioned, this film is filled with laughs, some are very humorous moments whilst some are kinda quirky due to the awkward nature of Greg. All of the characters in the film felt very grounded and relatable and that was an aspect of the film that elevated my enjoyment of it. The performances by the fairly young cast were very strong entertaining to watch, and they added to the way humour and emotion was presented throughout the film. So that is why this film managed to sneak into the number 10 spot.
Check out my full review here: ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL (REVIEW)
#9 – CREED
Creed, this Rocky spinoff was probably one of the biggest surprises of 2015, in a very good way. I was in no way looking forward to this film until a few days before its release where i started seeing some very positive reviews come through. Having seen barely any of the previous Rocky films i was worried that this would rely heavily on the content of the previous 6 films and that i wouldn’t understand anything. But good news everyone, this film very much stands as its own franchise whilst still acknowledging its existence in the Rocky universe. The acting from both Michael B Jordan and Sylvester Stallone was astounding, Jordan was so committed to the role and really killed it as Adonis Creed that this is the role people will know him by for quite a while. Stallone as Rocky was a great addition to the film, he played a fairly substantial and important role in the film and wasn’t just there as a connection to the Rocky films. His performance has earned him a few awards and nominations proving he can still perform at his best. The story was entertaining the whole time and there was one fight scene that was shot so elegantly that i would watch it just to see that amazing scene again.
Check out my full review here: CREED (REVIEW)
#8 – THE MARTIAN
Coming in at #8 is Matt Damon as The Martian. Directed by legendary director Ridley Scott, the film focuses on Astronaut Mark Watney after he was left stranded on Mars when his crew got hit by a massive storm. This film had a gripping story, with plenty of humour, very intense edge-of-seat moments, incredible visuals and an amazing performance by Matt Damon that got him an Academy Award Nomination. The way they were able to tell a story of one man on a deserted planet for 2 hours and 20 minutes without skipping too much or boring you was a great achievement. Not even once could i predict what would happen next, the film was so engaging that i couldn’t stop paying attention to what was happening then. Matt Damon carries the film on his shoulders as without his acting talents this would have been a total disaster. The supporting cast is huge, with plenty of talent and they also add a lot to the film with no-one seeming to be too forced. The film’s visuals are so realistic you think they actually shot the thing on Mars, and that is another example of Ridley Scotts films being visually impressive at the very least. Also, if you liked Interstellar then you will like this film also, i personally like it better as it felt more polished and didn’t require a shitload of exposition.
Again, check out the full review here: THE MARTIAN (REVIEW)
#7 – SPOTLIGHT
‘Spotlight’ was one of the films responsible for this list coming so damn late as i wanted to consider it for the top 10. And i am happy that i did because this Drama/Biopic was amazing, it was incredible to watch in so many departments including the acting, directing and writing. The way it handled such an icky topic was very well done as it goes into what it must to get the best out of the story and wasn’t afraid to go into some slightly disturbing territory. It is a fantastic true retelling of what these Boston Globe reporters did to open peoples eyes to the issues that had been happening all around the world for many many years. This film has the best ensemble cast of the year, every single person in this film was astounding and when you have Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel McAdams all performing at their best it makes for an amazing thing to watch. Up for Best Picture and many other awards, this film is one of the best of the year.
Check out the full review here: SPOTLIGHT (REVIEW)
#6 – STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
No, it is not #1 but it is really fucking high, and it deserves to be because this movie is fucking amazing. This movie recaptured everything that defines Star Wars and for the first time since 1983 a good Star Wars movie has been made. How J J Abrams managed to capture the tones of the original trilogy to perfection still to this day confuses me. On top of that he had to combine all of the remnants from the original trilogy with new elements that would ultimately set up a new trilogy and he did it perfectly again. So what Abrams did with this film was absolutely amazing and is something i don’t think anyone else could have done. You have the return of the old cast including of course Han Solo, who was the exact same Han we know and love just with an extra 30 years of experience. The original characters didn’t feel forced in any way and factored into the main story very very well. But the real stars of the film are our new characters, Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren. Every single one of these characters were so damn cool and awesome to watch. You learnt to love them and you love to hate them, and that really is due to the performances by Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Adam Driver. These three went from young unknowns to almost becoming household names, and part of that was because they were in Star Wars but their entertaining performances should not be forgotten.
This film appeals to the fans of the Original Trilogy, it appeals to those introduced through the Prequel Trilogy, and it successfully ushers in a new generation of fans. It definitely isn’t perfect, but it is just so much goddamn fun….. even after 5 viewings.
Check out my NON-SPOILER review here: STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS (REVIEW)
AND Check out my SPOILER review here: STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS (SPOILERS)
#5 – ROOM
‘Room’ is another film i postponed this list for and clearly i am glad i did because this movie deserved to be recognised on this list. This is a film that is intense, dramatic, emotional, beautiful, it has a gripping and unpredictable story and is incredibly well acted. The relationship displayed on screen between Jack and his Mum is the real star of the film and the plot and events of the film were so engaging and completely unpredictable. Go into this film knowing as little as you possibly can, if you go into this film knowing nothing, thats even better because you will get an experience like no other. The trailer spoils a lot from the film and there was one moment spoiled in the trailer that i don’t think would have been nearly as effective had i known what would happen. The performances were just phenomenal from both Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson, they were incredible in these roles and were just so mesmerising to watch. I can see Jacob Tremblay becoming something great in the future because he was amazing, especially for someone his age.
Check out my review here: ROOM (REVIEW)
#4 – EX MACHINA
Ex Machina is a Sci-Fi film that essentially focuses on the testing of AI and really explores the idea of creating a conscious machine, mixed in with some fairly dark themes. What i loved about this film is that it ditched all of the high thrills you usually see in these sci-fi films for a more smart and intelligent approach to the genre. It deals a lot with themes and messages that are directed towards the viewer, some to get them thinking about the reality of what is happening in relation to the real world. This film did an absolutely amazing job at creating what is really a character driven story, the film progresses as the characters change and interact with each other. It is just mesmerising to see the human characters interacting with the AI as there are many really intelligent moments that get you extremely invested in the story. If even one of the three main characters was poorly written or acted it would have ruined the whole movie because the entire thing is based upon you really liking, disliking or simply understanding the characters and their actions. So in saying that, this movie was amazingly written, the characters were fully realised and the plot had enough engaging moments to keep you entertained the entire time. The film was also amazingly shot, the special effects and great camera work add to the unique experience.
The performances by all of Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, and Alicia Vikander just completely elevated the film. You completely forgot that they were actors as they all did fantastic jobs at transforming into their characters. Alicia Vikander should have been nominated for Best Actress, hands down. The film gave off a feel of some old, early 70’s sci-fi films, one that came to mind was 2001: A Space Odyssey from 1968. It had that classic feel sci-fi but with a very smart plot and characters, and also a light touch of some horror elements. So, this film is one of the smartest sci-fi films in existence and if you are a fan of the genre you must check this out, with great characters and great story you are in for one hell of a ride.
#3 – STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON
Coming in at #3 is a film that i had no idea would even crack my Top 10 when i first heard it was coming out, but it was fucking incredible, so here it is. This is a Biopic about NWA and retells the story of how they began right through to after their they were active. Do you need to be a fan of NWA to love this film? No. Now I don’t know a whole lot about NWA and i found this movie so goddamn entertaining from start to finish, not a dull moment. The story itself is something you would think was made up for Hollywood but the fact that it is (more or less) true makes it that much more shocking. The performances from this group of relatively unknowns were amazing and tied the whole film together. The plot of the film was incredibly gripping and i was not bored at all during the 2 hour and 27 minute runtime. The way the film is structured worked really well for this film, it is centered around specific events throughout their entire musical career as oppose to just a small portion of it. This allowed for the film to get a lot of character development in there that they wouldn’t have been able to do if they just focused on one moment. If you’re a fan of NWA or just interested in the story, it is a fantastic watch.
Check out my review here: STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (REVIEW)
#2 – MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
At #2 is a film that held the #1 position in 2015 for almost 8 months. Mad Max Fury Road is George Miller’s return to the franchise he started way back in 1979 with Mad Max. I will start by saying this movie was absolutely batshit insane. It was filled right to the brim with continuous over the top bloody ridiculous action sequences that keep you on the edge of the seat and just amazed at what is happening on screen. Now this film doesn’t have much of a plot at all but seriously you’re not going into this film for an intense plot, this is a film that almost didn’t even need one at all. The one thing I was worried about going in was whether I needed to have seen the previous films to understand this one and thankfully you don’t, the story is independent of the previous film which was really helpful. The characters were all awesome and it did an amazing job to introduce them all almost instantly and get right into the action. Max (Tom Hardy) and Furiosa (Charlize Theron) were were great and extremely likeable characters. Even the villain who I will just call Sweet Tooth was so great, he wasn’t anything too special but was a great threat throughout the film.
Being at #2 clearly I just absolutely loved this movie, intense action from start to finish and didn’t slow down at all, that made it ridiculously fun to watch. The great characters and the performances are awesome on screen and we’re always interesting to watch. If there was ever a Twisted Metal movie, this is what it would be. Nothing really let the film down and everything worked in unison.
#1 – THE REVENANT
We have arrived at #1, and what movie could be better than everything else that released in 2015? The Revenant of course. This was the only film that did not move from its position throughout all 12 of the drafts of this list that i mentioned before. And that is simply because this film is by far better than any other film of the year in every department. The performances are Oscar worthy, the directing is Oscar worthy, the cinematography is Oscar worthy, the score is Oscar worthy, you know what, just give this film ALL of the awards, i’m not gonna complain. In the film, Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is left for dead by some of his crew and is then forced to survive some of the harshest conditions on Earth. Not a single thing in this film was off at all, i was completely in awe for the whole 2 hour and 36 minute runtime. This movie was intense from start to finish and it does an amazing job at sucking you into this world. The performances were phenomenal, Leonardo DiCaprio completely transformed into his character to the point where there was no more DiCaprio, he was gone, all that was left were the remnants of this damaged and broken man surviving with whatever he could find.
I gotta give a shoutout to Domhnall Gleeson who is in 3 of my top 10 movies of 2015, the guy is a fantastic actor and clearly has a very good agent.
Everything else in the film really was just perfect, i could go on for ever discussing the amazing directing by Alexandro Gonzalez Inarritu or the beautiful cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki or everything else but we would be here forever. Best you check out my review at the link below.
Check out my review here: THE REVENANT (REVIEW)
So there you have it. That is my list of the Top 10 films of 2015. These are all incredible films and i would recommend every single one of them to you, so if you haven’t seen any of these films what are you doing? Go check them out and tell me what you think.
So how about you guys? What were your Top 10 or Top 3 films of 2015? Did you have the same #1 as me or is your list completely different. Sound off in the comments and let me know. Goodbye 2015 and Hello 2016. Lets do this.