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 best horror movie I have ever seen. Easy as that.
See it when you can.
A dark, tense, atmospheric thriller made on a tiny budget. Keep an eye out for this one!
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!
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.
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!
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.
A unique blend of horror and Western makes this a memorable film, destined to be a cult classic.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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