Now that our site’s founder Sam has chosen his top ten films of 2015, it’s time for me to share my personal favourites. It’s a motley crew to be sure, but each enjoyable in their own way.
Check out the list below and let me know what your favourites were.
10. Knock Knock
I love me some Eli Roth and this sharp thriller had me hooked from the beginning. The premise revolves around Evan (Keanu Reeves), who finds himself cheating on his wife with two beautiful young strangers. Evan quickly gets pulled into a twisted game where he learns the downsides to accepting “free pizza”. This one definitely had me thinking hard about monogamy and to be honest, if Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas came knocking on my door, I wouldn’t say no either.
9. Inside Out
Pete Docter is a master storyteller and Inside Out was another victory for the Pixar darling. The exceptionally creative premise was brought to life by a killer cast which included Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling and Lewis Black.
8. It Follows
New horror films come and go, more often than not suffering a fate of being forgotten. However, once in a while a special kind of horror comes along, earning the love and admiration of the most critical horror fans. 2013 gave us The Conjuring, while just last year The Babadook completely won us over. This year the trophy goes to It Follows. Original, engrossing and a damn good watch.
7. The Martian
Ridley Scott’s adaptation of Andy Weir’s 2011 novel was a joy to watch thanks to its thrilling and often humourous story that kept me at the edge of my seat. This isn’t the first time people have had to risk their lives to save Matt Damon…and it probably won’t be the last. Selfish bugger.
Praise also has to be given to the outstanding supporting cast of Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Sebastian Stan, Sean and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Denis Villeneuve is fast becoming my favourite director and Sicario has only made my admiration for him grow. With convincing performances from Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro, this is one film you can’t afford to miss. Entertaining, action packed and fast moving, it ticks all the boxes and leaves a real impact.
Amy Schumer is a modern goddess in every sense of the word. Never one to shy away from honesty, her semi-autobiographical film Trainwreck was my favourite comedy of the year. Watching Schumer muddle her way through a monogamous relationship was an absolute riot, but what really got me were the softer moments in between where she found time to include a heartbreaking B story involving her father who is suffering with MS. Also, it turns out Bill Hader is totally sexy and charming. No, seriously.
I loved everything about Tangerine, but above all I am grateful for director Sean S. Baker bringing Mya Taylor to my attention. Filmed entirely on three iPhone 5s smartphones, the film is living proof that the sky’s the limit when you have a solid script and a talented cast. Equal parts funny and heartbreaking, Tangerine is the most refreshing thing I’ve seen in years.
3. The Lobster
I’m surprised at just how much I enjoyed The Lobster. Before going in, I had heard that the humour and style is a little different, very odd in fact. It turns out everyone’s warnings were completely unnecessary. Thanks to the unsettling story, Colin Farrell’s deadpan delivery and Rachel Weisz’s soothing narration, I fell truly, madly and deeply in love with the film. If your sense of humour is a little off kilter then I’d wager you’d enjoy it too.
I was first introduced to the brilliance of Todd Haynes when I was 13. My mother purchased Far from Heaven on DVD and together we sat and watched a beautiful tale unfold. Carol is another cinematic triumph for the seasoned director, and features strong performances from Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara and Kyle Chandler.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road
This was the clear winner for me. No contest.
George Miller really outdid himself and thank god for that. Impressive set pieces aside, Fury Road gave us a hero for the ages, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), who was brave, strong and unwavering in her pursuit for freedom, and the liberation of women who had been enslaved long enough. Tom Hardy was equally fun to watch as always, proving himself the ultimate ally to have on your side when times get tough. Hollywood, if you’re listening…more films like this would be great. Thanks.
Feature image source: Roadshow Pictures.