2015 took me by surprise. Like many film fans, I bemoan how many sequels are scheduled for release each year and how bloated many stories are getting with excessive running times that give two separate films within the story arc of one. However, when I assembled my list of the top 10 movies of 2015, it included three sequels and a six-hour trilogy that contained numerous stories. And with these movies (and more!) being as great as they are, I’ll gladly eat a plate o’ crow (and hope to do the same in 2016).
In assembling a top 10, after slotting the titles, I always like to look at how the films I chose speak to one another to represent the year they were released. So what was 2015? In addition to quality sequels that created exciting new characters for women and people of color within their pre-existing worlds, another favorite common thread for the 2015 movies on my list is that six of my top 10 films featured great leading roles for women; four of those even had two female leads! That’s damn near equal, and that’s damn near great. If original films, sequels and expansive universes are growing to include more gender and more ethnicities, 2015 will serve as a bumper-sticker year when filmgoers let it be known that they appreciate diversity in films.
Another common narrative thread for the films that I loved in 2015 was how years are not the proper measuring stick to judge people and relationships with. But, year-end lists aren’t human, and they sure are fun measuring sticks, so this list must go on! As years go, 2015 was pretty darn solid. As such, I’d like to include a few honorable mentions before rolling into my personal top 10 films of 2015. Of the 130+ new release films I saw this year, the oh-so-close-to the top 10 were: The Big Short, Eden, The End of the Tour, Iris, The Look of Silence, Mustang, Son of Saul, Spotlight, Tangerine and While We’re Young. And despite not growing up a big Star Wars fan, I was very pleased with the franchise’s re-entry and new characters in The Force Awakens.
Thank you sweetly, all, but below are my top 10 darling films of 2015.