In 2015 we saw the return of Star Wars, Mad Max, The Griswolds and the T-Rex…. Who came out on top? Check out my top 10 movies of 2015 right here.
Honourable Mentions: Sicario, Inside Out, Black Mass, The Gift, The Revenant, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Bone Tomahawk and Attack on Titan.
I have not laughed as hard or as frequent during any other film this year. Vacation is easily the funniest movie of 2015 and more than a worthy successor to the classic National Lampoon franchise. Ed Helms as Rusty Griswold was one of the most spot-on casting decisions they could have made and his leading performance is perfect. His portrayal hearkens back to Chevy Chase but much like Rusty actually says during the film, “The new Vacation will stand on it’s own.” And my does it ever. Read my full review HERE.
#9. Jurassic World
Jurassic World was my favorite summer blockbuster – and we also had Avengers: Age of Ultron this year. But that movie didn’t have Chris Pratt leading a team of raptors into battle… As silly as Jurassic World was, it was still awesome as shit. And terrifying too…. The new dinosaur that gets loose and wreaks havoc was probably the scariest movie monster of 2015 – little kids be warned – this ain’t your parents’ Jurassic Park.
#8. Straight Outta Compton
Director F. Gary Gray did such a terrific job telling the true story of the rise and fall of hip hop’s most prolific rap group of all time – NWA. The performances by Jason Mitchell (Eazy-E), O’Shea Jackson Jr (Ice Cube) and Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre) were all so damn good and so damn believable. Straight Outta Compton told the WHOLE DAMN story. It was long, it was incredibly detailed and probably the most accurate and realistic movie about the music industry ever made.
#7. The Good Dinosaur
I enjoyed Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur even more than Inside Out and Inside Out was BRILLIANT. It’s because I have a personal connection with this film about a little dinosaur who is trying to get back home. Arlo, the lead dino is easily frightened and The Good Dinosaur is about conquering one’s fears. My five-year-old son has that problem and we watched this film together. It had a very powerful impact on me, but it was also hysterical, gorgeous to behold and classic in every way a great animated adventure should be.
#6. The Hateful Eight
Think of The Hateful Eight as a murder mystery loaded with a bunch of horrible assholes. There came a point where I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to be cheering for. I guess it would be Samuel L. Jackson’s character but there’s a flashback sequence where he does something so foul and so grotesque that I started to question if that was OK or not. The GIMP sequence in Pulp Fiction has a new rival for most uncomfortable moment in a Tarantino film. Holy shit does it ever. Read my full review HERE.
Holy shit. Two words I uttered on far more than one occasion during my viewing of this year’s best horror film: Deathgasm. When Brodie’s mom goes on a meth binge and gets locked up in a loony bin, he’s forced to move in with some ultra religious relatives who don’t take too kindly to his love for various forms of METAL. Growing up a metalhead myself, I can assure you that director Jason Lei Howden’s script is the most faithful loveletter to this genre of music since Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse. Read my full review HERE.
#4. Turbo Kid
Turbo Kid was one of my most anticipated films of the year (clickHERE for that list) and when the time came to finally check it out, not only was I NOT let down, but the Canadian throwback to 80’s sci-fi action flicks was even better than I’d ever hoped for. Turbo Kid is by far the most fun you’ll ever have during the apocalypse. Munro Chambers stars as a scavenger who has been wandering an acid rain-ravaged wasteland in search of food and comic books. Until one day after killing a mutant rat — he meets a strange girl named Apple and the most loving onscreen bond of friendship in 2015 is formed. Read my full review HERE.
#3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Bold statement proclaiming Episode VII to be the best of the franchise? Probably. Purists will argue The Empire Strikes Back to be the greatest Star Wars movie and they might be correct…. However, there has not been a better acted or well rounded movie in this franchise than The Force Awakens. It was beautiful. Director J.J. Abrams has helmed the finest movie of his career and finally brought justice to the fans of the original trilogy by continuing onward from the greatest science fiction franchise of all time. Read my full review HERE.
#2. Mad Max Fury Road
Tom Hardy steps into the role of Max (because everybody hates Mel Gibson now) and he does a terrific job carrying the torch as the quiet and deadly anti-hero whose past is constantly haunting him — but the movie belongs to Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa. Her one-armed wasteland badass is the soul of Mad Max: Fury Road and this character is one of the most memorable of the year by far. I dare say that this could be Theron’s best role of all time and she’s won an Academy Award. Read my full review HERE.
#1. Kingsman: The Secret Service
Director Matthew Vaughn officially became one of my favorite filmmakers with the release of yet another effort featuring his partner in crime – comic book writer Mark Millar. After the pair had worked together on Kick-Ass, they conjured up this brilliant and gritty spin on the world of James Bond-esque spy tales. From beginning to end the movie is a flawless and fun joyride that manages to pay homage to classic spy thrillers while elevating the action and themes to a level beyond everything that came before it. The church sequence will likely go down as the greatest action scene of 2015 and maybe one of the best ever filmed – as in the history of cinema. It’s as impressive as it is violent and let me tell you – it’s most certainly violent… See my list of the Top 10 R-Rated Comic Book Films HERE.