Posted by: ckckred | March 19, 2016

The 10 Best Movies of 2015

SonOfSaul5.0

2015 was a climatic year for cinema, beginning with the attack in Paris and concluding with the “Oscars So White” protest, bringing into perspective the usages of free speech and diversity in contemporary film. Below are ten movies that I feel best represent 2015, taking upon themes of violence and tragedy and yet also hope and optimism about the potential future. All of these pictures I highly recommend seeing, with some worthy of repeated viewings and others will linger on your mind for quite some time.

  1. Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg)

Spielberg’s fourth collaboration with Tom Hanks brings viewers back to the height of the Cold War, mixing the audacity of Lincoln with the iciness of the film-noir genre. Exploring the streets of Berlin last year appreciated my experience of Bridge of Spies, a must-see for history buffs and movie fans.

  1. Coming Home (Zhang Yimou)

This Chinese melodrama was by no means one of the most daring or innovative picture of 2015, but it provided one of the most heartbreaking and endearing stories I’ve witnessed on screen in recent years, with its beautiful simplicity making its conclusion all the more tragic.

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller)

Coming several decades after the last installment, Mad Max: Fury Road hit both audiences and critics at ramming speed, becoming one of the year’s most popular films. And it deserved it too; a picture so riveting it has already been memorialized as an action classic.

  1. Ziltoid: Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Paul M. Green)

One of the most insanely talented and prolific figures in the contemporary metal world, Devin Townsend brings Ziltoid to the stage in this extravagant concert that showcases his astounding songwriting and showmanship, full of the eclectic color and humor that has define Devy’s career. A visual and sonic delight to prog nerds, metalheads, and music lovers in general.

  1. About Elly (Asghar Farhadi)

Technically About Elly is a 2009 release, having only just received distribution in the US this year. But it would be a great injustice to ignore Asghar Farhadi’s magnificent creation. Arguably the best character director working today, Farhadi has crafted such a meticulous and emotionally wrought picture, one whose surprising conclusion will linger on your mind for months.

  1. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy)

2015’s scariest movie wasn’t a horror picture but rather Tom McCarthy’s picture documenting the Boston Globe’s investigation of the Catholic Church. Spotlight will infuriate you about the injustices and corruption behind religion while simultaneously enthralling you with the features behind the news world. This is not a movie you will forget any time soon.

  1. Taxi (Jafar Panahi)

Taking a look at society around Tehran, Jafar Panahi explores the city feature through the guise of a taxi driver in this documentary-styled, capturing the emotional turmoil and conflicts of his family members, friends, and strangers. Simultaneously an indictment of Iranian censors and an ode to the country’s culture, Taxi is bitterly funny, sordidly dramatic, and sincerely realistic, the kind of picture that really makes you appreciate cinema in general.

  1. Steve Jobs (Danny Boyle)

Spending years in development hell, Steve Jobs was supposed to be the film to see in 2015 but was largely ignored by the general public and the critical mass. Yet Jobs provides a compelling and enthralling take on the eponymous tech wizard, with arguably Michael Fassbender’s best performance to date, not to mention Danny Boyle’s spellbinding direction and Aaron Sorkin’s wild script keep the picture moving at a thrilling rate. Whether or not Jobs accurately portrays its subject matter, it stood out as an astonishing biopic.

  1. Son of Saul (László Nemes)

There has not been a Holocaust picture quite like Son of Saul, displaying the setting of Auschwitz through the outlook of Saul Auslander (Géza Röhrig), who witnisses the horrors of the concentration camp firsthand while struggling to maintain his humanity. Tremendously disturbing and hypnotizing, Son of Saul is yet an engrossing depiction of Auschwitz that will undoubtedly take your breath away and haunt you for a long time.

  1. The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino)

“Pompous,” “long,” and “self-indulgent”: these three adjectives have appeared in every negative review of The Hateful Eight. And while I concede that those descriptions are accurate to one degree or another, I’d argue that The Hateful Eight is an absolute masterpiece, the biggest and grandest portrait Tarantino has painted since Pulp Fiction. With its gorgeous 70 mm presentation and Ennio Morricone’s stunning score, The Hateful Eight takes viewers back into the 60s, with its special roadshow screenings bringing authenticity to Tarantino’s ambition. By far 2015’s most grandiose picture and also the best.

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Responses

  1. Best movies! I really like this list and your blog! 😀 Keep up the good work.

  2. Nice list mate. As you know I disagree with number 1 😛 I’ve yet to see Taxi Tehran or Son of Saul, I really want to before its gone from theatres

    • Thanks dude. A lot of people I know weren’t taken back by The Hateful Eight, but I absolutely loved it. Even before I outlined my list it stood out as my clear favorite.

      Check out Taxi and Son of Saul as soon as you can. Saw the latter earlier last week and it has really stuck with me.

      • Son of Saul is playing I just need to get off my backside and get to the one cinema showing it, which is over an hour away and the only sessions for this movie are now at 10am =/

  3. Just saw Son of Saul. Goddamn what a movie huh? What an experience, I won’t be forgetting it any time soon. And that opening scene…. keep an eye out for my review mate! 😀

    • That movie hit me like a brick. I’m amazed it was entirely done entirely through tracking shots. Amazing film for sure.

      • Yeah it hit me in the same way. The opening scene was insane. There is actually a youtube vid that has the guy explaining what he wanted to achieve with the opening scene, check it out, its quite interesting

  4. Really surprised, yet very satisfied to see the hateful eight make your #1 spot. It ranked #4 for me for the year, and I agree with you that it was excellent. By far one of the better movies of the year, although not one of my favorites of Tarantino’s.

    • The more I think about The Hateful Eight, the more I appreciate it. I’ve pretty much loved all of Tarantino’s post-Pulp Fiction work, but I think The Hateful Eight may be one of his finest films.

  5. This is a great list man. Mad Max, The Hateful Eight and Steve Jobs are three films that really stand out for me. Eagerly anticipating to see Son of Saul.

    • Thanks man. All three are excellent films for a solid year; I haven’t even got the chance yet to see Room or Carol yet and there was already a good crop of movies. Son of Saul’s an amazing picture but it’s absolutely devastating to watch. It really portrays the Holocaust in a first person perspective that makes the action all the more horrifying.

      • So I’ve heard. Looking forward to it.

  6. Wow, lots of stuff on here I still need to see. Nice to see Mad Max make your list — it’s still probably my favorite film from last year. I’m hoping to catch Son of Saul soon, really kicking myself for not catching it while it was playing here. Sounds like the Oscar was well-deserved.

    • Fury Road was a great movie. I ended up seeing it at home since I wanted to watch the predecessors before seeing it, but I really do regret not going to theaters to witness it.

      Son of Saul really blew away my expectations. I highly recommend watching it but it is an extremely brutal picture. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen a film this realistic.

  7. A very interesting list. Spotlight, About Elly, Mad Max: Fury Road and Bridge of Spies all made my year end list as well.

    • Thanks, 2015 was quite the year. Farhadi’s one of the best filmmakers working today and About Elly was another home run in my book.

  8. I like this list. Have yet to see Son of Saul and Taxi, but I more or less agree with you on The Hateful Eight (Mad Max was #1 for me).

    • Check out Son of Saul and Taxi as quickly as you can (I know the latter’s available on Netflix). Both are great movies, though the former is a very brutal watch.

      The presentation of The Hateful Eight really helped bolster it to being number one on my list. While I loved the movie, the 70 mm projection made it all the more special. And Mad Max was a lot of fun as well.


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