Hello, fellow moviegoers!
2015 has been another great year in film. We had great throwbacks to films we loved as kids. Some disappointed, some were great additions to popular franchises. There have also been a lot of pleasant surprises. Some films have taken us to the stars and back, while others had great insights to who we are as a species.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see every film this year. So, there will be films missing from this list that will be included on others. Films like The Revenant and The Hateful Eight, which both could have very easily been on this list, have yet to play in a theater anywhere in my general area. So obviously, they won’t be on here. Also, keep in mind these are my favorite films of the year. Some of them may not exactly be the most well put together, and you may see Oscar contenders lower than summer blockbusters. So here we go! Here are Kruzereviews’ 10 Favorite Films of 2015…
10. The Good Dinosaur
For the first time in history, Pixar released two films this year. The Good Dinosaur was the second to be released and was another great addition to the slew of fun Pixar films. The animation in this film was the best I’ve ever seen. There were points where I couldn’t tell whether or not they filmed actual water or field of grass.
The two main characters were very lovable. The human boy Spot may be one of the most fun yet adorable characters on screen this year. The voice work in the film was very well done. All of the dinosaurs brought something new to the screen, and the western setting made it one of the year’s best.
9. The Peanuts Movie
The second movie on this list is yet another animated film. The Peanuts Movie was a film that I was nervously excited for. A lot of people, including myself, grew up reading the comic strips and watching Charlie Brown and this cast of characters every holiday season. Thankfully, this movie was every bit a Peanuts story as you wanted it to be.
This film did what many considered impossible and captured that classic Peanuts vibe. The characters were just as relatable as we remembered, and the voice work done by the kids brought in was very impressive. They were almost identical to the voices of the old cartoons. If you are a Peanuts fan at all, you will fall in love with the charm that this film brings to the table.
When making this list, I surprised myself with this film’s placement. Initially, I thought it would be a lot higher, but it’s not a film I could ever picture myself watching again. Chances are, Spotlight is going to be receiving the Academy Award for Best Picture. Deservedly so. The acting in the film was magnificent, and the chemistry amongst the stellar cast was just as impressive.
It was a very interesting story. Watching these reporters uncover the true details of a child-molestation scandal amidst the Catholic Church was just as intriguing as it sounds. The dialogue in this film was fantastic. Which in turn makes the film equally as good, because it relies so heavily on that dialogue. I cannot recommend this film enough, but don’t plan on watching it again.
7. Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max: Fury Road is a film that I enjoyed at first. However as the year went on, I started to love it. Now, I can’t shut up about it. This film is fantastic! The visual effects alone are worth your money. A majority of them are practical effects which are especially impressive when people are swinging on giant poles between moving vehicles.
This film is one of the most heart-racing ones of the year. The action scenes were so well directed by George Miller, and Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy were both brilliant as the leads. This is the type of film that doesn’t have a super complex plot, but that makes it better. Basically, the plot is someone turns left when they aren’t supposed to. That’s it. But, you get so connected to these characters that you don’t even care. Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the most fun times I had at the theater all year.
6. Kingsman: The Secret Service
This film came out of nowhere. Yes, I did have it on my most anticipated films of 2015 list, but I did not expect it to be nearly as good as it was. Kingsman: The Secret Service could very easily become the James Bond of a new generation. The comedy in the film hit almost every time. I was crying laughing several times in this film.
Collin Firth did such a different role than usual in this film, and it totally paid off. The audience totally buys into him as an action star. Taron Egerton is now on every studio's radar due to this film. He’s even my personal choice to play Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars Anthology film. If you haven’t seen Kingsman yet, do yourself a favor and watch it. The final shot of the film is a little odd, but the rest of it is totally worth it.
Before we continue, I would like to mention a few films that didn’t make the list, but deserve to be in the conversation. At one point or another, they were most likely on the list but have since been removed. I recommend all of these films, but they weren’t quite great enough to be on the list.
5. Ex Machina
This is one of the few films this year that I saw and didn’t review. But, if I were to review it, it would receive a stellar recommendation from me. Ex Machina is one of the most original films I’ve seen in the past decade. It is such an intriguing premise. The owner of a Google-esque company invites one of his employees to test an Artificial Intelligence by the name of Ava that he’s been working on for quite some time.
The business owner Nathan (Oscar Isaac), the employee Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), and the A.I. Ava (Alicia Vikander) are really the only three characters in the film. It’s enthralling, it’s funny, it’s nerve-racking, and it’s definitely one of the best Sci-Fi films in recent memory.
4. The Walk
The Walk is, in my opinion, the most underrated film of the year. The film follows Phillipe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a French wire-walker who decides it’s his dream to walk on a wire between the two towers of the world trade center.
Visually, this film is amazing. The visual effects alone are worth the watch. Robert Zemeckis’ direction and the cinematography really make you feel like you’re hundreds of feet off the ground. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was enigmatic as the walker, and he absolutely nailed his French accent.
3. The Martian
This year was a packed one when it comes to Science Fiction. Ridley Scott’s The Martian is a fantastic film based on one of the best books I’ve read. It is the story of a Mark Watney (Matt Damon). When he becomes stranded alone on Mars, he has to use real science to discover a way to survive for up to four years on his own.
This film hits almost every emotion humanly possible. You get frustrated at every setback Watney faces. You cheer with him when he overcomes those setbacks. You tear up whenever hope seems lost. And surprisingly enough, you laugh hysterically at Watney’s sense of humor. This is a fabulous film, and you would be amiss if you decided not to watch it.
2. Inside Out
For a vast majority of the year, this film was in the number one spot. Inside Out is one of Pixar’s best films to date. The concept of the emotions in your head being actual people is so completely original! It’s a great family film.
Kids will enjoy the emotions that the film follows. It’s a great film to teach kids how to keep themselves in check. While simultaneously, being an emotional rollercoaster (pun intended) for the adults in the audience. I would consider Inside Out a lock for the Best Animated Feature award at the Oscars, and don’t be surprised if it even gets a Best Picture nomination.
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Is anyone really surprised that this is number one? Again, I would like to point out that these are my favorite films of the year, not necessarily the best. That being said, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was freaking amazing! This film had the weight of the world on its shoulders, and it delivered in spades. Star Wars is the most popular franchise in the world, and this film successfully met expectations introducing a new generation to a galaxy far, far away.
I have been an avid Star Wars fan all my life. The first film I remember seeing in theaters was Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. While The Force Awakens is leagues better than that film, it’s the pure experience of seeing a Star Wars film in theaters that makes it great. The acting was fantastic. The story was familiar, yet new at the same time; and the film as a whole was undoubtedly the best movie-going experience of the year. This film deserves your attention, and it deserves to be number one.
So as 2015 comes to a close, what were your favorite films of the year? Do you agree with my list? Comment yours down below! Also, if you enjoyed this list, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! I will not be posting a Worst Films of the Year list as frankly, I tried to avoid seeing bad films. Friday I will be posting my Most Anticipated Films of 2016. So check back then for that!
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