Michael’s top 10 movies of 2015
Every year, I write a “Top 10 of the year” list, and every year it is a maddening exercise. A lot of how much I enjoy a movie depends on factors from what kind of mood I am in to how pleasant was the setting in which I watched it. For example, I loved “Crimson Peak” but didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have had I not had loud-mouthed ass holes sitting four seats to the right of me. For that reason alone, it did not make my top 10 of the last year. Also, on any given day I might feel like “Sicario” was the best movie of 2015, but if you asked me the next day I might say it was “Ex Machina”. It is the same reason my head comes close to exploding when people ask me for my short list of my favorite films of all time.
Annnnnyway… Let’s buckle down, and do this thing shall we? Without further ado, I give you my (according to my feelings at this precise moment) top 10 films of 2015:
10) “Inside Out”
There were great many films that vied for this tenth spot, but in the end I could not bring myself to omit this animated masterpiece. I experienced every emotion possible while watching this film with my daughter. I applaud the folks over at Pixar for not being afraid to make a children’s film with very grownup lessons. They continue to make the best animated features this side of studio Ghibli, and “Inside Out” might just be their best.
9) “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
I know, I know… Any self-respecting “Star Wars” nerd would automatically put this in the top spot. Well, I am nothing if not honest about movies, and although I loved “The Force Awakens” it was the ninth best film I saw in the last year. I don’t feel that I need to write any elaboration here, because if you were going to see it you would have joined the rest of the planet and seen it already.
8) “Slow West”
2015 will ever stand out, for me, as the year of the Western. I could count all of the Westerns I love, from all of the years prior, on my two hands. In 2015 however, there were quite a few that I enjoyed. “Slow West” is one that I would say I loved. It is a slow burn, bleak film that uses sparse dialogue and harsh settings to build the tension. Then, in the last fifteen or so minutes, everything comes to a head, and you are left with your jaw dropped.
7) “Turbo Kid”
You only need to know one thing about “Turbo Kid”. It is pure 80’s throwback, sci-fi, bloody, hilarious fun! I defy anyone to watch this movie, and not smile the whole time. Totally radical dude!
6) “What We Do In the Shadows”
This is my “I have to include at least one comedy” entry. It was not a difficult one to choose either. “What We Do In the Shadows” was not only the best mockumentary I have ever seen; it was the funniest film I saw, all year.
5) “The Keeping Room”
The second of my three Westerns, on the list, “The Keeping Room” was poignant and brutal. Brit Marling may not get Oscar consideration, but I think she deserves it.
4) “The Toy Soldiers”
This is one I haven’t seen on any other “Top” lists, but I loved the hell out of it. It tackles a myriad of different social issues, and does so with unabashed honesty. There are no rose-colored lenses to look through in Erik Peter Carlson’s film, and that my friends is a good thing.
3) “The Tribe”
One of the more original and though-provoking films of 2015. I cannot recommend this movie enough. You should all see it.
2) “Bone Tomahawk”
Great characters built up by strong performances, and one of the more shocking endings to any movie in recent history. This movie left me staring at the screen long after it was over.
In my humble opinion this genre-defying work of art, from Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, was flawless. Gorgeous cinematography, wonderful performances from Lou Taylor Pucci and Nadia Hilker, and an incredible screenplay make this my favorite film of 2015.
Near misses: The Hateful Eight, Ex Machina, Crimson Peak, The Big Short, Spotlight, The Final Girls, Love and Mercy, The End of the Tour