With no new releases coming out this weekend besides The Hateful Eight expanding into all theatres, I thought it’d be a great opportunity to give my top ten of the year. It’s been a fantastic year of movies in 2015 and it was incredibly difficult to come up with the ten that made the most impact with me.
Now for my top ten:
10. Room – This movie shook me to my emotional core and dragged gallons of tears out of me. A beautiful script from the writer of the novel, Emma Donoghue, is brilliantly brought to life by incredible performances from Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, two actors who have and will continue to see the awards love.
9. Sicario – French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve scores another win in his amazing career with this intense film about the drug cartels of Juarez and the face off between an idealistic drug enforcement agent (Emily Blunt) and a mysterious and shadowy figure with his own agenda (Benicio del Toro). Gorgeously shot by master cinematographer Roger Deakins, this film is a must see.
8. The End of the Tour – Jason Segel brings acclaimed writer David Foster Wallace back to life in this great conversation piece between him and Jesse Eisenberg’s David Lipsky. One of the best scripts this year that really showcases how great these two can play off each other.
7. Ex Machina – Hands down the best thriller this year as well as the greatest sci-fi film this year. Alex Garland writes and makes his directorial debut in a movie I’m glad didn’t get buried in its early 2015 release slot. The three main cast members all shine with newcomer Alicia Vikander sure to get best supporting actress nominations, and let’s face it, she should win them all.
6. Spotlight – Definitely one of the best ensemble casts in recent years, Spotlight is an unrelentingly fascinating investigative journalist drama. Following a story that we probably all know about, director Tom McCarthy executes this film with such a life like panache that’s hard to shake when the credits roll.
5. The Revenant – I think it’s time for Leo to finally get the Oscar. The new film from Birdman filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is a riveting and harrowing story of survival and revenge that will immerse you in its story. The sheer feat of our main characters endurance will have you rooting for him throughout. There is nothing like The Revenant, a film that will definitely stick with you.
4. The Hateful Eight – Quentin Tarantino has completely outdone himself as a filmmaker with this amazing ensemble character piece that feels like a heady blend of Reservoir Dogs and Django Unchained. Not only is the movie fantastic, it is a complete event of a film because he shot it in glorious 70mm. This means the picture is double the screen width we are used to. I also must mention that it has a four minute overture in the beginning and a twelve minute intermission, harkening back to the golden age of cinema. I wish this happened more often.
3. Son of Saul – The best foreign film this year and maybe the most important one this decade, this Hungarian film is an absolutely mesmerizing and soul shattering piece of cinema. I got a chance to see this at Vancouver International Film Festival this year and went in without knowing a single ting about it. The most important Holocaust film ever made in my opinion, I was literally speechless after the film ended. This Cannes Palm D’or runner up is a must see.
2. Carol – Todd Haynes’ newest masterpiece is what cinema is all about. Shot on a time specific 16mm film, lead actresses Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara absolutely glow in this love story between two women in a time where this kind of love was incredibly taboo. Mara gives an almost Audrey Hepburn quality on the screen and you can not take your eyes off her. Expect her to walk away with any award she is nominated for.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road – Without a doubt, George Miller released the most amazing film to grace screens this year dealing with a character we haven’t seen for thirty years. Everything about Fury Road is dazzling, whether it’s the visuals, the almost completely practical stunts, the great performances or the incredible score, Miller gave us it all and he’s 70 years old! Amazing! If anyone deserves best director across the board, it’s him!