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I'm not a film critic, but I'll tell you what I think about the movies I watch. I enjoy understanding the history behind the movies we watch, as well as the collaborative effort necessary to produce movies.

The Top Films of 2015


2015

This year was a big one for the film industry. We got a new Star Wars film, another piece to the Avengers saga, and a number of unique new creations. There are still a number of films I’d love to see from 2015, but for now I’ve put together this list. Some of these movies were quite a surprise to me, while others delivered exactly what I hoped for. Here are my top ten films from 2015.

#10 – Creed

Creed 2

When I first heard that another film from the Rocky series was being made I was not sure what to think. After seeing the casting of Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone I got a bit more optimistic. This was not one that I expected to love, but it won me over. It might not be the best from the series, but it deserves to be a part of the world of the Rocky films.

#9 – Inside Out

Inside Out 7

This movie is just the latest evidence that Disney and Pixar make great movies together. With a unique story and great voice acting, this one succeeds on multiple levels. Perhaps the greatest success of the film is the ability to speak to the adults and children in the audience all at the same time. This might not be the best of the Pixar/Disney collaborations, but it’s earned a spot in my top ten of 2015.

#8 – Ant-Man

Ant-Man

I was really looking forward to this movie. Paul Rudd, Corey Stoll, and Michael Douglas made it worth the wait. The story fits into the Marvel universe, but also brings out some unique style of its own. From great visuals to an awesome story, this one pays off in all the right ways.

#7 – The Peanuts Movie

Peanuts 8

I know that a lot of people might not agree with this choice for my top ten list. Here are two reasons why I think it deserved to be here. First, this is such a true extension of the world of the Peanuts characters. Second, the film doesn’t incorporate pop-culture nonsense or cheap laughs. This movie succeeded in bringing one of my childhood favorites to life without losing the heart of the film.

#6 – The Martian

The Martian 9

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw that Matt Damon was playing the lead in The Martian. The last time he’d been in space I was left a bit disappointed. This time he found his groove and delivered a powerful performance. Jessica Chastain, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, and many others lent their skills to making this one of the better films of the year.

#5 – The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight 2

This movie is a great example of how Quentin Tarantino can twist a genre just right. This time it’s a unique Western that serves up a healthy dose of violence, intrigue, and witty dialogue. Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and a handful of other stars really make this one a memorable and fantastic movie.

#4 – The Revenant

The Revenant 8

There’s something great that happens when you mix extreme isolation with gritty violence. Alejandro G. Iñárritu did just that when he made this movie. Casting incredible talents like Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy opposite one another provides all the right ingredients for a great film. This movie doesn’t look away from the intense nature of the story, and it pays off nicely.

#3 – Ex Machina

Ex Machina 1

This is a unique and wonderful movie, written and directed by the talented Alex Garland. The story feels fresh, and the visuals back it up. Impressive performances by Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, and Oscar Isaac make this a must-see movie. I wasn’t expecting it, but this deserves to be on the list.

#2 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars The Force Awakens 9

If adding to the Rocky series was a challenge, adding to the Star Wars world was nearly impossible. Thankfully, J.J. Abrams stayed true to the original trilogy and delivered a classic addition to the saga. The acting is solid, combining great actors in classic roles alongside new faces bringing new characters to life. The story and the visuals are sure to please almost any fan of the original films.

#1 – Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max- Fury Road 1

This movie exploded onto the screen with a collection of impressive visuals and stunt work. Tom Hardy led the way, reawakening the franchise that Mel Gibson started in 1979. Avoiding the mistake of relying on computer imaging, this one did things the right way. The practical effects, fantastic vehicles, and great costuming make this a fun and wild ride. Good acting helps to make this more than just a wild action flick. It wasn’t an easy choice, but this is my pick for the best film from 2015.

I will add this note to address one of the issues with this list. As of today, I still need to see Room, Brooklyn, Spotlight, and Trumbo. Based on the opinions of trusted friends, those films all have the potential to make it onto this list. So let me know what you think. Tell me I’m wrong if you disagree. I’m excited to see the top lists from my readers.

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