Dewey Singleton’s (Updated) Top 15 Films Of 2015

It’s that time of year again where critics around the world are dusting off their reviews and notes and formulating their top ten lists of 2015. This countdown is a fun exercise to see how much opinions have changed from the beginning of the year to now. Take for example the Top Ten List that I published in July: Top Ten Movies (so far) in 2015

10. Age Of Adaline
9. Avengers: Age Of Ultron
8. Cinderella
7. Amy
6. Mad Max
5. Inside Out
4. Jurassic World
3. Dope
2. Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl
1. Love and Mercy

It was a foregone conclusion this list was going to change over the last six months, but I never anticipated a massive shift in my perception.

 

15. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 

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Being a huge Star Wars fan, my expectations were sky high for the latest installment in this galactic saga. To say that my expectations were blown out of the water would be an understatement. I couldn’t have been happier with what J.J. Abrams did with The Force Awakens. It was truly an enjoyable experience from beginning to end. However, just because a movie is enjoyable doesn’t make it the best film of 2015. Star Wars isn’t in the same category of the upper tier films like Carol but just on the sheer enjoyment, it deserves to be in the Top 15.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

 

14. Jurassic World

Jurrasic World is my guilty pleasure film of 2015. Is this movie going to win any awards? No, but not every movie on a Top 15 list should be “award” winners. Jurrasic World will go down as one of the most entertaining experiences that I had at the movies in 2015. Chris Pratt has quickly become the hottest young actor in Hollywood and his performance is what made this film just pure fun for me.

Indominus Rex

13. The Martian

This movie would be my other guilty pleasure film for 2015. The only difference is that The Martian, will be in the running for some major awards this year. The writing in this film is impeccable, paired with great visual detail and a great performance from Matt Damon.

martian1

12. Sicario

Some of the best cinematography in 2015 (from the great Roger Deakins) and not to mention just a fantastic cast and an excellent, intelligent, uncompromising screenplay. Benicio del Toro is frighteningly terrific.

sicario-emily-blunt

11. The Hateful Eight

Terrific cinematography, superb scores, and an excellent ensemble make this one of the top 15 films of 2015. Keep an eye on Jennifer Jason Leigh because she just might have won an Oscar for her portrayal of Daisy.

THE HATEFUL EIGHT

10. Beasts Of No Nation

Netflix took a calculated risk in purchasing the rights to this film, but I’m not sure exactly how risky it truly was. Idris Elba and Abraham Attah give two powerhouse performance that almost certainly will result in Elba making history for being the first nominated actor from a Netflix’s backed film.

BeastsofNoNationSSR1

9. Diary Of A Teenage Girl

This film, about the sexual awakening of a teenage girl, rises up the ranks based solely on the scintillating performance of Bel Powley. Her performance alone makes this movie worth your time. It’s the type of a film that will sit with you for weeks on end (I’m still thinking about this film and I saw in July).

Diary of a teenage girl

8. Concussion

A true story based on the discovery of CTE in the heads of deceased professional football players. An tremendous film that’s anchored by Will Smith’s best performance since Ali. 

concussion-movie

7. Love & Mercy

Even though this movie is now ranked #7 on my Top 15, it doesn’t mean my passion for this film has wavered. Paul Dano, John Cusack, and Elizabeth Banks bring the true story of a musical genius (Brian Wilson) to the screen. It’s a unique film that will recieve a ton of consideration during awards season.

Love and Mercy

6. Brooklyn

The Story of an immigrant from Ireland who moves to Brooklyn to start a new life. Saoirse Ronan truly breaks out with a performance that would melt the coldest of hearts. Great acting and it’s shot so wonderfully it makes me wonder if Oscar should just give them the award now.

Brooklyn

5. Carol

A heartfelt film that’s beautifully crafted with two performances that stand right out (Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett). Don’t be shocked if either one of those actresses end up hearing their name called at the Globes or Oscars.

Carol

4. The Revenant

A beautiful, brutal film centering around Leonardo DiCaprio and his quest for vengeance. The director Alejandro González Iñárritu takes the bleakness of the cold outdoors and makes it somehow look both lovely and unforgiving. Could this be the film that finally earns DiCaprio an Oscar?

Leonardo DiCaprio

3. Room

The last three films could have easily been ranked #1 overall. Room is the film that touched me the most on an emotional level. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay give all-star caliber performances in a story that’s both tragic and uplifting. Everything about this film was a home-run from the cinematography, production design, writing, and, of course, the performances.

room2

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

Normally action movies about dystopian societies are not my cup of tea, but Mad Max: Fury Road is not your average action film. George Miller mixes in constant action with a tremendous story and cinematography that will make your hair stand on edge. What we end up with is a movie that has a serious shot at many major awards and could be bound for Oscar glory.

Mad Max Fury Road

1. Spotlight

Spotlight is the most complete film of 2015. Everything about this film was done with such perfection that it makes you wonder how some other films can get it so wrong. The writing is outstanding, the acting is tremendous , the way it was shot was a joy, and that translates to a movie that could very well be The Best Picture of 2015.

Spotlight

What was your favorite film of 2015? Comment below

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Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.
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