2015 is finally in the books. What a year it was too, not only for the big box office movies but also for the small indie films as well. We had 9 movies this year have opening weekends of 80 million dollars or more (American Sniper, Fifty Shades of Grey, Furious 7, Avengers 2, Jurassic World, Inside Out, Minions, Hunger Games, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens). 6 of those films had opening weekends of 100 million dollars or more (Furious 7, Avengers 2, Jurassic World, Minions, Hunger Games, and Star Wars). Then 2 of those films broke 200 million dollars for an opening weekend (Jurassic World and Star Wars). In the first 20 days of being released, Star Wars has already broke the all time domestic record, set by Avatar in 2006. Star Wars has made, as of 1/9/2016, 781,141,043 dollars and still going strong!
We saw some sequels make some huge comebacks. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Creed, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Jurassic World and Furious 7, have showed us that these franchises are a live and well. They showed us that sequels can actually be better than some of the films in previous installments.
As for indie films, we were giving some really good ones (Spotlight, '71, Mississippi Grind, Love and Mercy, Brooklyn, It Follows, Slow West, 5 Flights Up, The Revenant, Sicario), just to name a few. Though there was some duds too (The Danish Girl, Welcome to Me, Adult Beginners, Big Game). I feel like even though there was a lot of good ones, this year just doesn't stack up for quality to last year.
As for performances, we witness a lot of good ones that will wreck havoc on Oscar voters. Leonard DiCaprio (The Revenant), Alicia Vikander (Ex-Machina), Jenifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), and Johnny Deep (Black Mass) gave us some really gripping performances. Directors can be stars as well. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant), J.J. Abrams (Star Wars 7), George Miller (Mad Max:Fury Road) and F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) gave us some of the most iconic images of the year.
Before we get to my Top 10 list, lets hand out some awards to the people who make the films of 2015!
Total 2015 films seen: 120
Thumbs up percentage: 64%
Movies I need to see, that could make my list: Carol, The Martian, Son of Saul, The Look of Silence, and Amy
Actor of the Year:
(Ex-Machina, Brooklyn, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Actress of the Year:
(Testament of Youth, Ex-Machina, Seventh Son, Burnt, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Danish Girl)
Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant, Johnny Deep - Black Mass, Oscar Issac - Ex-Machina, Michael B. Jordan - Creed, Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
Best Actress: Emily Blunt - Sicario, Charlize Theron - Mad Max:Fury Road, Brie Larson - Room, Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn, Amy Schumer - Trainwreck
Best Supporting Actor: Benicio Del Toro - Sicario, Idris Elba - Beast of No Nation, Sylvester Stallone - Creed, Tom Hardy - The Revenant, Jason Mitchell - Straight Outta Compton
Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander - Ex-Machina, Jenifer Jason Leigh - The Hateful Eight, Cate Blanchett - Cinderella, Rachael McAdams - Spotlight, Elizabeth Banks - Love and Mercy
Best Breakout Performance: Alicia Vikander - Ex-Machina, Daisy Ridley - Star Wars:The Force Awakens, Shameik Moore - Dope, Taron Egerton - Kingsmen, Lilly James - Cinderella
Best Director: George Miller - Mad Max:Fury Road, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - The Revenant, Ryan Coogler - Creed, Pete Doctor - Inside Out, Tom McCarthy - Spotlight
Best Original Screenplay: Inside Out, Spotlight, Sicario, Ex-Machina, Straight Outta Compton
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Revenant, Creed, Steve Jobs, The Big Short, Brooklyn
Most Underrated Films: Dope, Steve Jobs, Unfriended, McFarland USA, Mississippi Grind, The Gift
Most Overrated Films: The Big Short, Trumbo, The Good Dinosaur, Legend, Tomorrowland, Chappie, The Danish Girl
Biggest Surprise: Parallels, Creep, The Intern, Danny Collins
Biggest Disappointment: Avengers:Age of Ultron, Chappie
Best Sequel: Creed
Best Laughs: Trainwreck, Sleeping with Other People, Let's Kill Ward's Wife, Spy
Best Scares: It Follows, Cartel Land, Insidious Chapter 3,
Bottom Five of the Year (from bad to worse): Sinister 2, Hot Pursuit, The Gallows, Paranormal Activity:The Ghost Dimension, Mortedecai
Honorable Mentions: Kingsmen, Southpaw, McFarland USA, Jurassic World, Beast of No Nation,
It Follows (David Robert Mitchell)
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (Brett Morgen)
Sleeping with Other People (Leslye Headland)
Trainwreck (Judd Apatow)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (J.J. Abrams)
The Hateful Eight
It seems like every time Tarantino makes a film, its always on peoples Top Ten list. This year is no different. The Hateful Eight can easily be compared to the movie Clue. Its a western 'who done it' movie, with a ton of character! This movie follows a bounty hunter (Kurt Russel) and his prisoner (Jenifer Jason Leigh) as they journey through the Wyoming winter. They come across a few crazy characters along the way (Samuel L. Jackosn and Walton Goggins) and they all must hold up in a cabin due to a blizzard. Their they meet a few more characters (Dern, Madsen, Roth, Bichir) that make the story even more interesting. The characters are so rich in backstory, it makes it really enjoyable to see them interact with one another. The second half might be even better than the first. The 'who done it' part is really well written and paced. It might not be Tarantino's best work (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs) but its definitely deserving of a spot on this list. You should check this out if your a fan of a good Tarantino flick, heck they are all good.
Brooklyn, to me, is a beautiful movie about growth and independence. Saoirse Ronan plays Eilis, a young lady who leaves her small Irish town for Brooklyn, New York. Now, Eilis isn't necessarily brave and adventurous, she is shy and cautious. She is on the cusp of womanhood and she has to take those finally steps on her own. She has to learn how to overcome her shyness by making new friends at the department store she works at as well as the boarding house she resides. She falls in love with a local man and begins planning her life with him. But after a tragic incident in her hometown, she must journey back, and figure out what her heart is telling her is right. It's a beautiful movie of how we must grow into adulthood and to follow our heart. Saoirse Ronan gives us one of the best performance of the year!
Straight Outta Compton
(F. Gary Gray)
This movie was my most anticipated movie of the summer! This film shows us the rise of N.W.A., the world's most dangerous group. Jason Mitchell (Easy E), O'Shea Jackson Jr (Ice Cube), and Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre) are amazing in their roles. I enjoyed the journey that this movie took us on. This movie came out at the right time, considering all the negative press about police brutality recently. I enjoyed singing along with the songs in the theater (along with everyone else) and seeing how this group along with other rappers came up in the business. This movie would make an awesome HBO series as well.
This the true story about how the Boston Globe uncovered the child molestation cover up with in the Catholic church. Another perfect timing movie. As I was watching this, I was blown away with the amazing performances and how well this film was put together. Even though I enjoyed this movie a lot, I still had a hard time watching this knowing what the final outcome will be. I have a daughter myself and I want to protect her from anything like this from ever happening to her. It's hard believing that an organization, like the Catholic church, would do something like this to kids. Truly breaks my heart. I'm glad McCarthy and Singer penned this script and made this movie so the world knows about these things. Going to be one to look out for come award season!
Mad Max: Fury Road
In the time of big CGI movies (Avengers:Age of Ultron, Jurassic World), its good to see a movie that uses practical effects. It is so good to be back in this world and it feels like we never left. Tom Hardy steps into the shoes of Max, taking them from Mel Gibson. Even though this is a Mad Max film, his limelight is stolen from him by one of my favorite character this year. Charlize Theron plays Imperator Furiose, a kick ass female movie character on par to the likes of Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) from the Alien franchise. This was a non stop thrill ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
This movie is such a unique experience that is super enjoyable for the whole family. Pixar is finally back with a fresh new idea and it pays off. It's a movie about the emotions in our head. It follows little girl, Riley, as she moves with her family to San Francisco. Now as a person who moved around a lot as a kid, made this movie hit home even more. Having a daughter made it hit even harder. I actually teared up 3 times in this movie and I'm glad I did. It's such a sweet movie about our feelings. This is a good movie for the kids and adults.
The movie that made, Alicia Vikander, a star! It follows a young programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) as he is selected to particapte in an experiment in A.I. by evaluating the human qualities of a female A.I. (Vikander). The creator (Oscar Isaac) of the A.I. Nathan, and Caleb (Gleeson) build a strange relationship as they work on their project. What's even stranger is the relationship between Caleb and Ava (Vikander), which is some of the best parts of the movie. What movie that makes you think, and will leave you with even more questions after it is over. Definitely a god conversation starter.
I am sensing a trend, A third perfect timing movie. This movie follows FBI agent (Emily Blunt) who in enlisted by a government task force to aid against the war on drugs. This is such a hard movie to watch. The way it is shot, makes you want to take a hot shower right after it. The performance of Blunt, Del Toro, and Brolin are amazing and it is such a same that they are not getting recognized for any awards. If you watch the documentary 'Cartel Land', it will make this movie even better.
The last time Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler made a film (Fruitvale Station) it was amazing and made my top ten too. The amazing thing about this is that Ryan Coogler actually wrote this a pitched it to Sylvestor Stallone. Stallone liked it and the rest is history. It follows Adonis Creed (Jordan) as he struggles to make an name for himself in the boxing world. He turns to his late fathers best friend, Rocky Balboa. Stallone gives one of the best performances of his carer, Oscar worthy. I enjoyed the chemistry between Stallone and Jordan. Jordan has continued to show us how he is one of the best young actors out there today. The cinematography is one of the most underrated parts of this film too.
(Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu)
The Revenant, is my favorite movie of the year and hears why! 1) Leonardo DiCaprio is amazing as Hugh Glass. Granted, he is one of my favorite actors working today. My favorite film he is in is 'The Departed' though I feel that this role is even better. I totally feel like he should finally receive the Oscar he has been chasing for such a long time. 2) Inarritu has shown us the last two years, how to direct a movie. His long, beautiful, and gripping shots are truly breathe taking. He builds the tension, that leaves you on the edge of your seat. 3) The score played perfectly with the way the movie was paced. I love John Williams (Star Wars) but Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto, totally put an amazing score together that shines in the film. 4) Tom Hardy, is amazing and totally being overlooked during award season. I really like Hardy as an actor and usually enjoy ever role he is in. But man, I hate this guy in this film. 5) Now I didn't watch a single trailer for this film, so I went end completely unaware of what I was going to witnessed. So glad I did. 6). Last thing, is that out of every movie this year, this was the one movie that is head and shoulders above the rest. I realy enjoyed every shot and I can't wait to see this again! The tense moments between characters and the the tense moments between Leo and the environment make for one amazing cinematic experience. I can't say enough good thing about this movie! This movie is not for the faint of heart and won't be liked by everyone, but for this guys it's my favorite film of the year!
Well that's my list an awards! What do you think about them? What is your Top Ten?
Thank you again!
Heres to an even better 2016 at the movies!