Home > Awards > My Top 10 Films of 2015

My Top 10 Films of 2015

It’s almost Oscar Sunday, aka my last “official” day to consider 2015 films for my Best Of list.  (I extend the date to Oscar Sunday because many films are released late in a true calendar year, and then sometimes only in NY and LA, so it takes them time in the new year to screen closer to home.)  I might still have a few days, but this list is locked down as far as I’m concerned.  (Honorable mentions are listed alphabetically at the end).

10. JOY
Russell, Lawrence, and Cooper do it again, this time digging deep into what used to be known as the lower-middle-class.  It’s not a tale of the American Dream achieved, it’s a tale of the American Fantasy realized.
Joy LTBX

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9. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
This is the exact film the franchise needed. It taps into the nostalgia of the original films without getting mawkish, it introduces a diverse cast of incredibly charismatic characters, it looks back, it looks ahead, and the action is enthralling as hell.
SWTFA Rey Fin LTBX

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7. THE BIG SHORT
McKay and company take an incredibly complex subject – the mortgage crisis of the late 2000s – and makes it as understandable and as entertaining as film based on that period in history can be.  Oh, and it should come with a trigger warning.
Big Short LTBX

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7. CREED
A phenomenal entry in a legendary franchise.  The reverence of the past is pitch-perfect, and the film is worthy of standing next to the 1976 film that started it all, Rocky.  This is Michael B. Jordan’s franchise now.
Creed LTBX

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6. DANCING ARABS (aka A BORROWED IDENTITY)
Two teens fall in love, but there’s a catch: he’s Arab, she’s Israeli.  This os a sublime film about the glory of young love, the challenge of religious identity, the pressures of family, and the despair caused by an unforgiving geopolitical climate.
Dancing Arabs LTBX

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5. MUSTANG
Five sisters struggle to break free of the confines of a repressive culture and a repressive family.  They each handle it in their own way, sometimes to devastating ends.  This is the best foreign film of the year.
Mustang LTBX

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4. THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER
It’s a documentary about a man with a stunning – and plausible – Chernobyl theory. A great story with a great storyteller and great storytelling divinely convergence to create a documentary of considerable historic consequence.  It’s also the best doc of the year.
Russian Woodpecker LTBX

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3. BROOKLYN
This is a magnificent coming-of-age story wrapped in an immigrant’s tale and soaked in romance. Star Saoirse Ronan is breathtaking.
Brooklyn LTBX

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2. EX MACHINA
This film is brilliant, drawing inspiration from the likes of Frankenstein, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Pinocchio, and even Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  It’s also the flip side of the Iron Man coin in the most interesting of ways.
Ex Machina LTBX

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1. SPOTLIGHT
This film – about the uncovering of the Catholic priest sex scandal in Boston in the early 2000s – is tremendous.  It never exploits the victimized and it balances well the complex issues of the time.  There is no finer ensemble cast in 2015, anchored by MVP Mark Ruffalo.
Spotlight LTBX

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Honorable Mentions45 Years | Amy | Ant-Man | Clouds of Sils Maria | Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem | Kumiko the Treasure Hunter | Mad Max: Fury Road | Man From Reno | Memories of the Sword | Mommy | Queen of Earth | Red Army | Room | Spring | The World of Kanako | Two Step | Unfriended | Winter On Fire | Youth

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  1. February 26, 2016 at 01:09

    Great list! Quite similar to mine though mine is basd on AUS release so hits like Brooklyn, THe Big Short and Spotlight aren’t on there. Would appreciate it if you could check out my list:
    http://scribblesofstageandscreen.com/2016/02/03/my-top-10-films-of-2015/

    • February 26, 2016 at 06:38

      Thanks Jo! I learned of some films I need to check out from your list!

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