Friday, January 1, 2016

Best Films of 2015

Best Films of 2015

As I mentioned in one of my blogs, the average film viewer sees only 6 films a year.  And, the main reason for FilmsToSeeOrNot is to let film viewers, whether frequent or infrequent, know where to spend their money.  

This year got off to a slow start in terms of the number of films worth seeing.  However, some of the few that were worth seeing turned out to be exceptional.  This was, also, the year of films based or inspired by real events …to the point where it was becoming annoyingly so.  What happened to creative fantasy?

But, all in all, there were many more than 6 that are worth your time.  Therefore, this year I’m doing a Top 12.  And, in addition to the list of Absolutely-Must-See Films, I’ve, also, listed several “categories” from which you might pick more films based on your particular taste.  Full reviews of all the films are available in past postings.

So, here are the 12 Absolutely-Must-See Films and 15 Additional Categories in hopes you will be inspired to become more than an average viewer and go to the movies more often. 

Note that I have, also, mentioned the Bottom of the Barrel, i.e., the films you should avoid at all cost. 

Finally, I have included my award picks for best actors and key production crew.  

(Note duplications exist in some Additional Categories with Must-Sees and there are "ties" in some film and actor/crew categories where I just couldn’t narrow the choice to one.) 

If you can’t find these films in theaters, go to Netflix or buy/rent the DVDs.  Those listed are all worth your while. 

The 12 Absolutely-Must-See Films of 2015
(in order)

 Meaningful…The Best Of The Year

 The Most Intelligent Film

The Noblest Battle

Inside Out
An Animated Film For Adults

The Most Intriguing

Straight Outta Compton

Mad Max: Fury Road
Full-Out Action

The Big Short
The Most Innovative

Flawless Family Fun

Age of Adaline
My Personal Favorite

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Sweetest

Select Categories

Most Poignant Film (a tie)


Most Charming Film

Most Interesting Film Story (a tie)

Ex Machina

 Most Thought-Provoking Film
 Clouds of Sils Maria

Most Romantic Film
Age of Adaline
Best Foreign Film 


Best Acting Ensemble

Most Courageous Film
The Revenant

 Best Serious Action Film
Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Light-Hearted Action Film
Kingsman: The Secret Service

Best Animated Film
Inside Out

Best Family Film

Best Comedy (a tie)

Best Horror Film
The Babadook

Best Documentary

 Most Underrated Film – (a tie)
Age of Adaline
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
 The Bottom of the Heap

Most Overrated Film (a tie)
Apt Title
A Cesspool of Negativity

The Assassin
Boring Story/Amateur Direction

 Worst Film – (a 3-way tie)
Embarrassing For All Involved

American Ultra
Ultra Awful
A supreme waste of talent

It Follows
Deplorable Junk

Here Are My Award Picks for Actors & Crew

Best Actor (a tie)
 Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
Ian McKellan – Mr. Holmes

Best Actress (a tie)
 Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
Cary Mulligan – Suffragette

Best Supporting Actor– (a tie)
 Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Best Supporting Actress – (a tie)
Rooney Mara – Carol
Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina

Best Director (a tie)
George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
Sarah Gavron – Suffragette

Best Adapted Screenplay (a tie)
Josh Singer/Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
John McNamara – Trumbo

Best Original Screenplay (a tie)
Jonathan Herman/Andrea Berloff – Straight Outta Compton
Paolo Sorrentino – Youth

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki – The Revenant

 Best Editing
Margaret Sixel Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Casting Director (a tie)
 Fiona Weir – Suffragette
Victoria Thomas/Cindy Tolan Straight Outta Compton

Best Production Design
 Alice Normington Suffragette

Best Costume Design
 Sandy Powell Cinderella

Best Soundtrack
David Lang – Youth

Let’s hope for more great viewing in 2016.

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