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.
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:
- The Good Dinosaur
- The Peanuts Movie
- The Revenant
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.
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.
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.