TOP 20 FILMS OF 2015

 


Everyone loves a good list, so I thought I’d join in on the fun. I may be a bit late, but better late than never, eh? A lot of lists have given me some new stuff to check out (especially Stu’s list, thanks mate!) and who doesn’t like a good list, right?

Easy criteria: the film needs to have been released at the cinema this year in Australia (which counts out almost all the Oscar contenders), or it needs to be a film that hit VOD or blu-ray/DVD in 2015. This unfortunately also counts out some of the best cinema I have ever seen, as they were at festivals. The best?:


THE WITCH

witch

The best horror movie I have ever seen. Easy as that.

See it when you can.

THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE

MV5BMTk0ODA1MzY3NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjQ0NzcyNDE@._V1_SX214_AL_

A dark, tense, atmospheric thriller made on a tiny budget. Keep an eye out for this one!

THE ASSASSIN

6561

Don’t expect to get much out of the plot, just sit back and admire the incredible cinematography and set/costume design.

Other great flicks from the festival to look out for can be found HERE


TOP 20 FILMS OF 2015:

20: THE VOICES

I’m not a big fan of Ryan Reynolds, but he excels here as a mentally unstable man who talks to his pets and accidentally murders people. A classic dark comedy.

19: BLACK SEA

This one seems to have gone under the radar. Jude Law leads a team of Russian and English men to pilot a submarine, and claustrophobic chaos ensues. A great flick.

18: INSIDE OUT

My first Pixar film, I loved how the movie depicted a girl’s emotions as living beings, operating the controls inside her head. Such a creative concept for a movie – they’d have to be mad to mess that up. And they certainly didn’t!

17:Β THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT

Based on the experiment of the same name that took place in the 1970’s. Volunteers are split into groups – prisoners and inmates. What ensues was unprecedented at the time of the experiment. Great movie.

16: THE END OF THE TOUR

This one went under the radar a bit, but I’ve always liked Eisenberg, while Jason Segel excels as the author David Foster Wallace. Very much a dialogue driven film, this is worth watching simply because of the relationship that forms between a journalist and his subject – the ebb and flow of trust as the journalist tries to prod for more information.

15: MR. HOLMES

I have never been a fan of Sherlock Holmes, though I don’t think anyone hasn’t heard the name. I enjoyed this film as it visits Holmes past his prime, focusing on the last case that caused him to quit. It is an interesting character study of one of the most written about characters, with Sir Ian McKellan giving us a fantastic performance.

14: LOVE AND MERCY

The story of Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys, and how he battled his demons to create some of the best music and harmonies ever put to tape. This film alone got me into the Beach Boys, which in itself says a lot. Paul Dano here is incredible, and his lack of any nominations shows how pathetic and shallow the awards ceremonies are.

13: 99 HOMES

A gritty look into the collapse of the housing market in 2008, and a ruthless Michael Shannon who is profiting from booting people out of their homes. When Shannon teams up with a guy he kicked out only weeks earlier, things get interesting… Shannon’s lack of nomination is yet another reason why I think the awards are a complete joke

12: THE WOLFPACK

The only documentary on my list, I felt I needed to include it as it moved me so much. It is great that a documentary like this can change lives, which is precisely what this film did, and there is now a youtube video of the kids exploring Hollywood and generally having an absolute blast.

11: ONE EYED GIRL

The only Aussie movie in my list. We didn’t have a good showing last year, and the best flick received little to no PR, screened for only five days IN THE STATE IT WAS FILMED IN, and only in the last few months has it finally come to blu-ray. It was worth the wait, as the film is as dark and interesting as it was when I caught one of those five screenings.

An Aussie movie worth checking out!

10: ELECTRICITY

It is a bit of a no-brainer that this film is in my top 20, as it doesn’t shy away from the dark nature of epilepsy and how it can make normal, every day tasks seem impossible. I was transfixed by this movie, and while I am obviously biased, I compared its tone to Trainspotting; emotionally draining while exploring the underbelly of the UK. A worthwhile experience.

9: IT FOLLOWS

Taking obvious cues from Halloween, this is a psycho-sexual horror film that places a lot of its scares in the tension of not knowing what ‘it’ is, what ‘it’ is capable of. It was the only decent horror movie I saw last year, and I remember leaning forward, gripping those armrests hard.

8: BONE TOMAHAWK

A unique blend of horror and Western makes this a memorable film, destined to be a cult classic.

7: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

If you haven’t seen this one, then you live under a larger rock than I do! This was one of the most visually stunning films of 2015, with an absolute onslaught of colours and a pumping soundtrack to match the bombastic action, amazing stunt-work and that stunning cinematography.

6: INFINITELY POLAR BEAR

One of my favourites from the year, Infinitely Polar Bear is incredible in its depiction of bi-polar disorder, which I can safely say from experience is spot on. A family movie with a darker tone, it is the perfect movie for a parent to watch with their child if he or she is struggling from mental health issues. It is a powerful movie.

5: EX MACHINA

One of the best sci-fi films of the last decade? Might be a big statement but I can’t think of much that tops this mind-bending film that maintains an uneasy tension until the thrilling conclusion. That the film doesn’t treat the audience like morons is definitely a selling point also.

4: SICARIO

One of my favourites from the year, featuring a fantastic score and impressive visuals thanks to Roger Deakins, this is a tense, well made thriller that explores how potential operations could happen when dealing with the Cartel over the border. Benicio Del Toro shines in one of his best roles since Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

3: WHITE GOD (FehΓ©r isten)

Oppression and discrimination are depicted by mixed-breed dogs requiring a fee just to exist anywhere but the pound. A powerful and very different film, with some of the best acting by dogs you will ever see!

2: WILD TALES (Relatos salvajes)

One wild ride after another, this anthology may not be the perfect movie but had had me laughing many times. Some of the humour is so bizarre it needs to be seen to be believed.

1: THE LOBSTER

the lobster

My favourite film of 2015, The Lobster is so varied: it manages to tell a very strange story filled with absurdist humour, while still maintaining very relevant subtext on how single people are viewed in today’s society, with the pressure to marry and have children. The Lobster makes fun of these concepts while telling what is, at its heart, a love story.

36 Comments on “TOP 20 FILMS OF 2015

  1. Great picks, there’s quite a few on this list I need to see, The Witch and The Lobster for starters. Electricity sounds interesting too, thanks for highlighting these movies!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a great list buddy — there was a lot to like from last year and I do remember you raving about The Lobster earlier. I am definitely getting curious about it. Also cool to see 99 Homes, The Wolfpack and It Follows . . oh and The Witch . . . make the cut πŸ˜‰

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  3. Great choices, can understand The Lobster making top spot such a unique and interesting way to look at love and relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed it is! And it is so funny while doing it. I need to dig my teeth into the director’s older material, tho this was his first English film

      Like

    • Yeah I really liked it. Dano was so memorable, and the way they used those filters to make the older sections look real…. if I didn’t know what Dano looked like I could easily have mistaken it for an actual band session from the 60’s! Great movie

      Like

  4. Nice list man. Even though I found a lot to like about It Follows and Ex Machina, both of those movies left me feeling cold. I’ve been meaning to see White God and The Lobster for quite some time now, better work on catching both of those picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yeah those two are both incredible films. I’ve read the same thing about It Follows and Ex Machina, you’re certainly not the only one with that opinion. I however was transfixed by both ;D

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks very much for the link mate! Much appreciated. There are so many good films in this list and it’s nice to see The Lobster at the top. I think I had that too low, in retrospect, but whatever. It’s one of those films from last year that I would definitely watch again. There are a fair few here that I haven’t seen yet that I’m intrigued by. The Witch isn’t out here yet but I’m keen to see that, The End Of The Tour, The Wolfpack and Infinitely Polar Bear are also films I’m keen to get to at some point. Here’s to another good year ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No worries mate. I’ve seen The lobster three times already πŸ˜€ and Wild Tales too. I’ll be interested to see what you think of The Witch, I was amazed

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      • I haven’t actually watched a straight-up horror at the cinema for a while, unless you count Bone Tomahawk…which I don’t, to be honest! So I think I’ll go and see it. I nearly watched Wild Tales again the other day, as it happens. In the end I just watched the pre-credits scene again!

        Liked by 1 person

      • In all fairness that is a pretty damned funny pre-credits scene!

        The Witch is incredible mate, I saw it last year in November I think, part of our film fest. I seem to have struck gold on that one as its only just been released in the states now, four months later.

        It is a -proper- horror tale mate, no gore, no jump scares, and its based in the 1600’s where religious persecution and witchcraft were rife. Man I could go on for ages, check out my review if you missed it πŸ™‚

        http://wp.me/p4P9IW-NB

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  6. Awesome list Jordan! There are quite a few I haven’t seen though, but my gosh now I’m even more excited about The Lobster!! I wish I could see it now but it’s not available to stream anywhere and it’s not out in theaters, ugh. 99 Homes & Fury Road both made my top 10, and Sicario would’ve been too if I had seen it sooner. As for Assassin, well sad to say but I was quite bored by it, it was intriguing at first but it was so s-l-o-w and we saw it late at night that we both nearly fell asleep!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ruth! πŸ™‚

      The Lobster didn’t get a theatrical release where you’re at? That is rather odd, as it played here for quite some time, and the opening session was a sell-out.
      I suppose you could be a filthy pirate and get it that way, but I’m waiting for the blu-ray personally.

      Hehe yeah fair call about The Assassin. I was actually half asleep when I saw it, so I was just sitting back admiring the beauty. Then I had to write about it for the site that got me the comp tickets! Hahaha its gotta be the worst write up I have ever done!

      Of my list I’d really recommend Infinitely Polar Bear and Electricity. Mental illness is finally losing its stigma (somewhat) and is being depicted realistically in films. Electricity especially hit me hard, much like Control, cos its about a girl with epilepsy.

      Wild Tales is also a fantastic Argentinean (I think) anthology film, with some really bizarre humour. Check it out if you can! πŸ™‚

      Sorry for the essay of a reply

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      • It might’ve played in some indie theaters but only for a short while. I must’ve missed it so I can’t wait for the VOD release!

        Ahah you fell asleep and had to write a review of it? Too funny!

        I hadn’t heard of Electricity, I’d have to check it out. There’s a scene of a girl having seizures in Control that was tough to watch as well.

        I heard about Wild Tales, but is that very violent? I’m curious about that one.

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      • I didn’t fall asleep, I was lapsing in and out of sleep as the film went on. And yeah then I had to write about it, haha!

        Wild Tales is violent but not bloody. Its violent in a funny way, which is what makes it so bizarre and funny.

        Electricity is a heeeavy drama, its much more than a simple story about a girl with epilepsy. The seizures are quite confronting I agree. My friend who also has epilepsy calls herself a human vibrator, haha! I guess we are allowed to make fun of ourselves πŸ˜›

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  7. Super awesome list! I LOVE this list!!! Some I’ve seen, some I haven’t but I love the way it’s a mix of mainstream and indie and different genres. You’re a real movie buff Jordy πŸ™‚ I can’t WAIT to see The Witch! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Good list!!! I’m so glad to see something like The Stanford Prison Experiment on your list.. I really enjoyed that film and it made me happy to see a cast, minus one I believe, of young US actors as it made me realize all is not yet lost to the Brits & Aussies.. hahahahaa On the other hand..The Witch..worst film i’ve seen in a very long time..def. worst of 2016 so far. hahahaha oh well.. I love scary movies & it for me was a bunch of 16th century religious rhetoric.. I need to be SCARED!! haahhaha And sadly..we still haven’t got The Lobster here which I’m dying to see.. this coming weekend though I’m sure in only a few theatres.. still..I will catch it! and am looking forward to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Lobster is very interesting, I hope you get to see it! I’ve heard differing views on The Witch… it certainly focuses more on atmosphere than in your face scares. You’re certainly not alone in disliking that one!

      And The Stanford Prison Experiment was bloody great! A great cast of young actors I hadn’t heard of before

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m late commenting on this but good list of movies you have on here. Kudos for It Follows, Ex Machina and The Voices on here

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  10. Wow Jordan, thanks for the list! I can’t wait to methodically watch each film you’ve rated highly since following you here from a review on IMDB you wrote on They Look Like People. I just now finished that film on Netflix, and have a very strong, positive opinion about it. Can’t stress enough how glad I am that you reviewed it and left a little trail to follow for further juicy tidbits.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks a ton for the kind words Monique! πŸ™‚ I added that review to imdb as I saw it at a festival and there didn’t appear be any reviews on the film at that point. I’m glad you liked the film, its pretty creepy huh? Great stuff for such a tiny budget.

      And I hope you enjoy these movies as much as I did πŸ™‚

      Like

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