Now that its 2016, its time to look back at 2015 in the movie world. Today, its my 10 favorite films, tomorrow, it will be “Where Did They Come From?” – detailing the source material for all of 2015’s films, and Sunday will be the 10 films I’m most looking forward to in 2016.
Of course, Oscar buzz is picking up, and all votes are in, and I’ll release my predictions as the announcement time grows near. And now, without further ado, my 10 favorite films of 2015.
10. Slow West
Imagine a film written by Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino, and you might get Slow West. It’s a western coming of age story with gunfights and a tongue-in-cheek script. Michael Fassbender is fantastic, and we’ll be seeing him and his co-star, Kodi Smit-McPhee (who will be playing Nightcrawler) in X-Men: Apocalypse this year.
I learned about this film thanks to its BAFTA nominations last winter. This film, and not Unbroken, is Jack O’Connnell’s best performance to date. We get a look at the situation on the ground in Belfast during the Northern Ireland “troubles.”
This film is a masterpiece. Little plot to speak of, but some of the best cinematography (actually the best) and acting on this list. It might break the action mold and make an appearance at the Oscars for something other than technical nominations.
Good ol’ Charlie Brown. Films that are clearly labors of love and produced masterfully are usually the best kind. I loved the way this film stays true to the characters, while also showing us a new view into the Peanuts universe.
6. Inside Out
The plots in some other animated films were better this year, but this was written so, so well. The cast is incredible, there’s so much going on with the accuracy of how the mind works, and the script is simply fantastic.
Is it as good as the first one? No. But its also not as flawed as some folks make it out to be. There’s so much packed in here that some had trouble following things, which is too bad for them. James Spader was great as Ultron, and we got some amazing scenes and great special effects.
4. Mr. Holmes
Ian McKellen is superb as Sherlock Holmes, and the way this story is woven, part drama, part mystery, part psychological thriller, is an interesting take on the Holmes legend. Great supporting cast as well.
I forgot how much I’ve always loved the Beach Boys’ music. Then I saw this film. Brian Wilson was a creative genius who went through so much to bring us some of the best songs of all time.
I’d been so excited for this film’s release since Edgar Wright first mentioned he was writing a script. It didn’t disappoint, and the message it conveyed about the importance of strong fathers was one that every man needs to hear.
Speaking of things everyone needs to hear…This is not a pleasant film, but people need to see it. A huge theme to this movie is that so many of us are so willing to look the other way when something’s not going right. Make no mistake, the Church has made great strides in dealing with abuse cases, but there are still some that prefer safety and darkness rather than the truth and light.