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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Year-End Recap: Top 20 Through 11 Favorites


On January 1st, I will be publishing my Top Ten of 2015 over at WhySoBlu.com and on this site as well.  Leading up to the Top Ten, I will be posting a number of lists reflecting my thoughts on the films from this year.  The following post features my Top 20 through 11.  Things got tough, as many of these picks were in and out of my final Top Ten list, because I really enjoy or appreciated all that each of these films had to offer. Anyway, here is the next batch of my favorites from 2015 (with links to the review for each).


20. Anomalisa
Charlie Kaufman has made an emotionally engaging film about what means to be a human being with mid-life crisis-type issues and he has used the stop-motion animation format to do it. It's a wonderfully detailed piece of work that is both funny and sad.



Spike Lee emerges from of mediocre filmmaking to return to form in his best film in over a decade. Chi-raq is funny, soulful, relevant and completely in the style of an auteur who loves to blend together different ideas and techniques.



This taut thriller won't leave you feeling too happy, but you should be excited by how solid these performances are, particularly Benicio del Toro. Roger Deakins cinematography is also as stellar as it always is.



Taking the survival drama in a different direction, Matt Damon does a great job at holding onto his optimism and sense of humor in Ridley Scott's incredibly entertaining The Martian. Scott's eye for detail and the tremendous cast all add to 'The Matt Damon Show' in the best of ways.



There is a good chance Star Wars: The Force Awakens could be the film I watch the most, among these 'bests of 2015'. Regardless, J.J. Abrams did a wonderful job of bringing back the feel that I desire when I watch a Star Wars movie.



Probably the funniest film about vampires you will ever see. What We Do In The Shadows takes on the faux documentary approach to make a film about all the hilarious things that come from placing aging vampires into a modern setting. It's good, bloody fun.



The concept is killer and the delivery is a wonderful play on what made 70s/80s horror flicks so awesome and thrilling. The soundtrack speaks to this right away, but the filmmaking on display is a true mark of how well proper craft can make for a great horror film.



The first half is thrilling and the second takes a wonderful introspective approach to things. Brie Larson continues to establish herself as one of the best actresses of today and young Jacob Tremblay is great as well.



There is a great, odd appeal to Slow West, which has led me to watching the film more times than I would have expected. It has a quirkiness that blends well with the performances and western style.



Adam McKay has finally stepped up to tackle an issue he usually places in the background of his broader comedies. It may be a boys' club, but The Big Short is both hilarious and terrifying for all it presents about the 2008 financial crisis.


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Stay tuned for the conclusion of this list as well as some random shout outs to other notable films from the year.

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