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Friday, January 01, 2016

Films of 2015

Twin Ranch Drive-In Movie Theater, Cleveland, Texas 0804090900BW
Photo credit: Patrick Feller on Flickr

As I note every December, I watch a lot of movies, though most are viewed on my television -- on DVD, from DVR recordings, or streamed from Netflix. Because I have not yet seen that many new films in the theater, I cannot yet write a credible post on the best movies of 2015. Most of the highly touted films are released in December, a very busy month. Eventually, of course, I will see them.

Again this year, I missed many of the summer blockbusters as well.

Indeed, the best films I saw this past year were movies that I originally missed in the theaters in prior years. I saw many late 2014 Oscar-bait films in theaters earlier this year. I'll surely see most of the 2015 Oscar-bait films early in 2016.

To make this abbreviated 2015 list, I scanned the top grossing movies of the year, as well as IMDB's most popular titles for 2015. I also consulted Metacritic.

In rank order of my preference, these were the best 2015 films I saw this year, so best as I can recall:

Ex Machina
Trainwreck **
Mad Max: Fury Road
Two Step
Spy **
Inside Out
People, Places, Things
Wild Canaries
Welcome to Me
Irrational Man
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Hunger Games: Mockingjay 2 **
Kingsman: The Secret Service

** I saw these films in the theater.

A few of the top films are doing well in end-of-year critic lists, so I anticipate they will be competitive for Oscars. Surprisingly, Mad Max: Fury Road was named best film of the year by the National Board of Review. We watched it in my film class during the week I allowed for a student selection.

The bulk of the my 2015 list consists of genre films -- bawdy comedies, action flicks and science fiction. They are not ranked very carefully, though I think that the ones near the top are superior to the ones near the bottom:

Here's the annual list of 2015 movies that I intend to see in the future (hopefully in 2016):

45 Years, '71, 99 Homes, American Ultra, Amy, Anomalisa, The Assassin, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Best of Enemies, The Big Short, Beasts of No Nation, Black Mass, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Carol, Chi-Raq, Clouds of Sils Maria, Creed, Crimson Peak, The Danish Girl, Diary of a Teenage Girl, Dope, End of the Tour, Everest, Far From the Madding Crowd, Furious 7, The Gift, Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me, Good Kill, Goodnight Mommy, The Hateful Eight, Home, Human Capital, I'll See You in My Dreams, It Follows, Jimmy's Hall, Joy, Jurassic World, The Look of Silence, Love & Mercy, Macbeth, Man from UNCLE, The Martian, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Mr. Holmes, The Overnight, Phoenix, The Revenant, Room, Salt of the Earth, Sicario, Sisters, Son of Saul, SPECTRE, Spotlight, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Steve Jobs, Straight Outta Compton, Tangerine, Timbuktu, Tommorowland, Truth, The Walk, A Walk in the Woods, What We Do In the Shadows, While We're Young, Wild Tales, The Wrecking Crew, and Youth.

Keep in mind that I didn't get around to seeing many 2014 movies from last year's wishlist:

The Babadook, Belle, Big Eyes, Birder's Guide to Everything, Cheap Thrills, Chef, Equalizer, Fault in Our Stars, Foxcatcher, Fury, The Immigrant, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Joe, Listen Up Philip, Lone Survivor, Manuscripts Don't Burn, Mr. Turner, Night Moves, Noah, Non-Stop, The One I Love, Only Lovers Left Alive, Palo Alto, Railway Man, Rob the Mob, Two Days One Night, What If, and the Zero Theorem.

Virtually all of those films are now readily available -- as DVDs at my University library or as recordings on my DVR. A few are on Netflix.

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