Well guys, it's finally time to reflect back on some of my personal favorites of the year! Please keep in mind a few things:
-This is a VERY subjective list. These are the films that I personally enjoyed a lot and deserved a spot on this list. If you don't like what you see, then go make your own list!
-I didn't get a chance to see EVERY movie this year ('The Revenant', 'Ex Machina'), so don't expect to see all the hits on my list.
-There may be some movies on this list that I didn't review. That's because I saw them later on and much after the release date. I didn't make reviews as they weren't in theaters.
-Not only do I look to see if a movie was good, but I also see if I'd watch it again. Not only does the quality of the movie matter, but whether or not it's something I see myself watching again. Not only that, but it should also be able to stand the test of time. Will this movie be remembered in the future?
Without further ado, let's kick off this list!
'Spotlight' was a movie that gradually became better and better as it went along. The whole story definitely was more impactful towards the final act, and I was shocked by the circumstances that played out in actuality. Along with that, I think the choice of using the journalists as the main characters was another plus of the movie. It was a creative choice that benefited the movie. Overall, with a great story and terrific cast, 'Spotlight' definitely deserved a spot on this list. The only reason it's not higher is because it doesn't have a rewatchability factor compared to the other films.
'Sicario' was a movie that I didn't review as I saw it at a later time, but I loved it very much. The overall dark tone the movie had was great to see, and it really helped the story. Along with that, the performances were great, especially Benicio Del Toro. This man gave one of the best performances of the year with his character. He was a very odd yet interesting man who had a dark side to him. Overall, 'Sicario' was a film that gradually became better and better as it progressed.
#8: The Gift
I always love seeing new faces take on the directors chair, but only when it's done well. Joel Edgerton took on this role, and my goodness he did a fantastic job! This movie began as a very simple and elegant tale of a couple that moves to a new city, but as the movie went along the plot became much more intriguing and our characters were very well fleshed out. Jason Bateman definitely stood out among the rest with his character. He did an excellent job, and probably his best work ever! Even Edgerton did a fantastic job in the movie! As a whole, Edgerton proved that he was a brilliant director as he created a very dark and disturbing film.
#7: Steve Jobs
'Steve Jobs' was a fantastic film with an excellent screenplay by Aaron Sorkin that proved you can make a good Steve Jobs biopic. Michael Fassbender did a great job portraying the character, and I loved the way the story was structured. It went through three major moments in his career, and focused on the behind the scenes action of it all. It was a bold yet creative take on the story, but it worked very well. However, throughout these three events, it also focused on the relationship between him and his daughter, which was very well handled. 'Steve Jobs' was a very interesting film from start to finish, and it ended with a bang!
There were plenty of sequels that brought a new take on their franchises this year (some you may see on this list soon), and 'Creed' was certainly one of them. This film was a tribute to the old while making a new story with Adonis Creed. It was a fascinating tale that was great to see unfold. Along with that, the fight scenes and the epic training montage was gloriously made. However, Sylvester Stallone definitely stole the show for me in regards to his performance. He truly was a great mentor to Adonis, and it was one of his best films in years. Overall, 'Creed' was an inspiring movie filled with emotion and awesome boxing fights!
#5: Inside Out
Pixar had some ups and downs recently with films like 'Cars 2', 'Brave', and 'Monsters University'. However, they created something so creative and magical, which was 'Inside Out'. This was a great film as it explored many emotional grounds. From happiness to sadness, this film was probably one of the most emotional rides out of all the films released this year. I like seeing unique approaches, and 'Inside Out' definitely did that. It was such a great film and one of Pixar's best!
#4: The Martian
Similar to Pixar, Ridley Scott had also been having some ups and downs as well. With films like 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' and 'The Counselor', Scott was making some pretty trashy films. However, in 2015 he came back with the brilliant film 'The Martian'. This was like 'Cast Away' in space as we saw Matt Damon's character Mark Watney stranded on Mars. This was surprisingly very optimistic and humorous, which was something I didn't expect to see from this movie considering the circumstances he was in. However, what's best about 'The Martian' is the wit and will of Watney, and his drive to get back home. We see him do numerous things in order to survive like growing crops. I loved every second of this film, and I hope Ridley Scott can maintain his greatness.
#3: The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino once again proved to us that he can make brilliant films with 'The Hateful Eight'. This was such a fascinating story, and one that got my attention from start to finish. All the characters were so interesting because we had no idea who they were and whether or not they were trustworthy. It was like playing the game Clue since there was someone in this cabin that wasn't who they said they were. Along with the brilliant story, it also had a brilliant score done by the mastermind Ennio Morricone, who's one of my favorite composers. I don't know how he's able to create such masterful music, but I applaud him for doing it. This was yet again a great film by Tarantino, and I can't wait to check it out again!
#2: Mad Max: Fury Road
'Fury Road' was an incredible film that proved action movies can still be cool without superheroes! This was a brilliant film full of practical effects and minimal CGI. Along with that, it showed us many great characters like Furiousa. However, what shines most about this film is it's dark and grim tone plus the utter insanity of this world. This was a post apocalyptic wasteland filled with people who praised the crazy Immortan Joe. I was shocked to see such a dark world like the one in 'Fury Road', and it's what I liked most about it. Overall, it was a brilliant action film that will definitely be remembered in the future for it's filmmaking approach.
#1: STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS!!!
I was waiting for the December 17th to roll by. I had already bought my tickets two months in advance, and couldn't believe I was going to see it in that amount of time. With all the excitement, I was also a bit skeptical. We've seen disappointing Star Wars movies (prequels), and I didn't want that to happen again. However, JJ Abrams revitalized the franchise and brought it back to it's prime. There was no film this year or any other years before this one that had me hooked from start to finish. The whole experience was so great and it was incredible to witness a Star Wars movie on screen. What was better though was not knowing anything before hand. We really knew nothing going into this movie, which I loved. Movies nowadays love to reveal everything in the trailers, but 'The Force Awakens' didn't do that. While still making great trailers, they didn't reveal any plot points. What was also great about the film were the characters. Finn, Rey, Poe, and BB-8 were such well realized characters, and I applaud Abrams for handling them so well. However, the newest villain Kylo Ren was such a beautifully told character that had a bit of a dark history. What shines most about him though is that he's not an all powerful force like Darth Vader, but a human being with flaws. He's not a fully realized person, and that's what was so great about him. He's just beginning to use his powers, and Snoke hasn't even completed training him. Overall, 'The Force Awakens' was everything I wanted it to be. This film sets up for the other sequels perfectly as it subtly hints at what's to come. JJ Abrams brought the small kid in everyone with this fun, energetic, fast-paced, and emotional film!
Well, that's my list! 2015 had some excellent films that I believe will be remembered in the future. I hope 2016 brings great films, and I can't wait to bring you more reviews!