Favorite Films of 2015 Part II: The Big Twenty-One #21-11

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You read that title right, folks. While I originally intended for this final list to comprise of my top twenty favorite films, I managed to sneak in one more viewing earlier today and it changed EVERYTHING. Now, the list will be comprised of my top TWENTY-ONE favorite films of 2015!

So, let’s celebrate by buying this article a drink and jumping right into the madness.

See the Honorable/Dishonorable Mentions list here.

DISCLAIMER: While I would love to see every film possibly released in any given year, this has yet to be a possibility. With that in mind, here are the films I still really want to see that were released in 2015:

    • Anamolisa
    • Carol
    • The Good Dinosaur
    • Joy
    • The Peanuts Movie
    • The Revenant
    • Room
    • Trainwreck

 Now, without further, further delay, let’s get started.

21 Dude Bro Party Massacre III

Directed by Tomm Jacobsen, Michael Rousselet, Jon Salmon

One of the single most hilarious movies I have ever seen. The creative team behind 5-Second Films (Tomm Jacobsen, Michael Rousselet, Jon Salmon) have crafted what is sure to go down as an absolute cult classic. Both a loving homage to 80s slasher films and a wonderful movie in its own right. It’s been months since I last saw it and still my body aches from laughing so hard.  

20 Kingsman the Secret Service

Directed by Matthew Vaughn

Maybe, just maybe, my favorite Matthew Vaughn film. And the guy’s got a pretty impressive resume, so that’s saying a lot. Kingsman: The Secret Service isn’t perfect: storytelling-wise it takes a while to find its footing and tonally it’s all over the map. But, by that raucous climax, I was totally on-board. A really fantastic tribute to the more absurd Bond films of the Connery/Moore era…Plus comic book levels of ridiculous violence and gore. So much fun.

Directed by John Crowley

A sweet, simple coming-of-age story, adapted by one of my favorite authors Nick Hornby. Saoirse Ronan carries the movie, assisted by a strong supporting cast and John Crowley’s steady direction.

18 Steve Jobs

Directed by Danny Boyle

Maybe the most visually restrained film Danny Boyle has ever made. He wisely lets his trademark visuals take a backseat to Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay. Sorkin is a master of dialogue and suspense-building through character and Steve Jobs is no exception. Michael Fassbender’s performance as the titular character is on-point and he is surrounded by a stellar supporting cast.

17 Crimson Peak

Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro’s latest effort is a visually lush, hauntingly beautiful tale. Its story and characters may be familiar, but del Toro offers his own spin on the standard ghost story with extremely effective results. 

16 Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie

Tom Cruise is nuts, that much is certain. Thankfully, he’s also totally devoted to his craft and he’s one of the very best at what he does. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation isn’t the best of the M:I flicks, but it takes its stride from Brad Bird’s superior effort and plows the franchise forward with spectacular action and humor.

15 Paddington

Directed by Paul King

So very, very charming. Paddington was released early in 2015 and kind of got brushed under the rug, but it is well-worth a viewing (despite its trailers best efforts to make you think it might be the worst thing ever made). Director Paul King recalls Wes Anderson’s visual sense of whimsy.

14 Sicario

Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Perhaps the most tense viewing experience I had in a movie theater all year. Sicario is not for the faint of heart, but it is one of the best thrillers you will ever see if you give it the time of day. Denis Villeneuve continues to prove himself as one of the best directors out there and with cinematographer Roger Deakins on his side, he has crafted another stunning piece of work. Sicario succeeds in practically every way and it’ll leave your heart pounding and your palms sweaty. Let’s hope that Blade Runner sequel keeps up this winning streak.

13 The Martian

Directed by Ridley Scott

One of the most purely enjoyable films of 2015 is also Ridley Scott’s best in years. Andy Weir’s novel successfully balanced scientific jargon with a great sense of humor, giving us a fantastic new character in astronaut Mark Watney. Matt Damon seems tailormade for the part with one of the finest performances of his career.

12 Straight Outta Compton

Directed by F. Gary Gray

The story of the influential hip-hop group N.W.A. is full of anger, heartbreak, laughter, triumph, and defeat. With Straight Outta Compton, director F. Gary Gray perfectly captures all of this with energy and zeal. The cast is full of fresh faces with minimal acting experience and they all knock it out of the park.

And aside from being a great movie in general, this is the other musical biopic released in 2015 which features Paul Giamatti in a diabolical music producer role. Huzzah!

11 It Follows

Directed by David Robert Mitchell

It Follows is one of the most original and brilliant horror movies I have ever seen. It’s a delightful viewing experience – you know, besides all the moments of absolute terror. This is totally in circulation with the rest of my mandatory Halloween movies for next year.

And that concludes Part II! Stay tuned for Part III: THE TOP TEN, which will be posted shortly.

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About Author

One of Shawn Eastridge's earliest memories is sneaking out of bed during naptime at the age of 4 to watch Superman II for the first time. Between that and repeat viewings of Back to the Future and Return of the Jedi, his life has been a downward spiral ever since. Shawn loves all things movies, music, books, video games, and TV and he will find any and every excuse to discuss all of these things as often as possible. He's been writing film reviews for the past seven years and has a Bachelor's Degree in Cinema/Television. He hopes to one day get paid to discuss all the things that make him geek out on a regular basis. He is currently the full-time Social Media specialist for a trade association. His all-time favorite TV shows are Freaks & Geeks, Arrested Development, Breaking Bad, The X-Files, Doctor Who, The Simpsons, Undeclared, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Spaced, and Avatar: The Last Airbender.

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