On Tuesday, I began my list of my Top 10 Movies Of The Year by revealing numbers 10 up to 6. Now it is time for the Top 5.
As I wrote then, doing this kind of list is not my favorite thing. It’s very arbitrary and I find it really difficult to separate these distinct film-going experiences. To do the Top 10 I use a different measurement, with each movie having a particular reason for being on it. A fairly obscure, virtually straight to VOD title, Cop Car made my list Tuesday, not because it is anyone’s serious idea of a major Oscar contender, but because it represented great genre filmmaking from a promising young director named Jon Watts and I wanted to bring attention to it so maybe more people will check it out.
Amy was there to represent a slew of great show biz-oriented documentaries this year that I wanted to highlight, but Listen To Me, Marlon, to name just one, could have easily filled that slot. I didn’t want to let the year go by without recognizing some great animation and I just couldn’t choose between Pixar’s insanely innovative Inside Out or the utterly delightful Shaun The Sheep Movie which made me smile more than any other movie I saw in 2015. The tragicomic brilliance of Adam McKay’s take on the 2008 financial crisis, The Big Short had to make my list, but that spot could also have gone to 99 Homes which tackled the same subject from a very different vantage point. And Spotlight made a powerful case for the urgent need to save the fading art of newspaper investigative journalism, so attention must be paid, especially to a great ensemble cast and Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer’s exceptional original screenplay. However that slot could also have gone for very different reasons to Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, which I think has his best original script ever along with another first-rate ensemble cast (not to mention being a ringing endorsement of the lasting power of film).
The Walk, Joy, The Martian, Concussion, Carol, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Son Of Saul, Max Max: Fury Road, Creed, Steve Jobs, 45 Years, Youth, Sicario, Me And Earl And The Dying Girl, Straight Outta Compton, Mr. Holmes, The Revenant, Truth, Woman In Gold, Love & Mercy, The Danish Girl – I could go on and on with alternate lists of movies worth far more than the price of admission.
But NOW on to those films that, for one reason or another, had the most impact on me in 2015. Just like the earlier titles I have mentioned, there are many others that easily could have fit the bill here. 2015 has turned out to be a very good year overall for movies that matter in very different ways, whether it is a blockbuster franchise film that certainly doesn’t need my encouragement (but is getting it anyway for making me feel like a 10-year-old kid again), or the latest movie from a director who is not lacking in recognition but deserves even more now for making one of the finest achievements of a career for the ages.
So here it is, the Top 5. To see what they are – and where they landed – just click on the video link above. And Happy New Year.