The 10 Best Movies of 2015

Let’s get straight to the point: 2015 was not a strong year for dramas. You know, the type of drama that just blows you away, that has you fixated and breathless, that has you saying “wow” as the end credits roll. 2015 didn’t have many of those.

Some would say–and my colleagues have–that I was in a funk this year, that there were some great movies that just didn’t click with me (see Son of Saul, or don’t). Maybe that’s the reason, but I believe the truth is simpler than that: 2015 was not a strong year for dramas.

The good news?

2015 was a solid year for blockbusters, and as you’ll see the list of 10 movies below represents a healthy blend of serious drama (yes, there were a few good ones) and the type of fare you won’t see so much from those stodgy critics (comedy! action! science-fiction!).

My criteria for the best movies of the year is simple:

  1. The movies have to be entertaining (and yes, serious dramas can be entertaining)
  2. The movies have to have rewatchability factor (I have to be willing, even excited, to watch them multiple times)

So without further ado, here are the top 10 movies of 2015:

10. The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight may not be one of Quentin Tarantino’s best movies, but even a decent Tarantino movie is better than most stuff that hits the big screen. Full of deliciously sharp dialogue–and we mean full, as the movie clocks in at a way-too-long three hours–and some incredibly fun performances by Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and Walton Goggins, The Hateful Eight is hard to hate.

9. Mad Max: Fury Road

Though it’s not the second coming of Christ as some critics claim, Mad Max: Fury Road is an exciting, action-packed extravaganza with beautiful visuals, sweeping cinematography and more wonderful world-building by director George Miller. Tom Hardy spends a bit too much time grunting and playing second fiddle to Charlize Theron–who is awesome, by the way–but Mad Max: Fury Road is one of those movies any serious action fan must own.

8. What We Do in the Shadows

Based on the movie poster alone, What We Do in the Shadows deserved to be relegated to Transylvania–but never judge a book by its coffin. This mockumentary is the funniest movie of the year, providing a rare glimpse into the home of three dysfunctional roommates. Who just happen to be vampires.

7. Love & Mercy

Good vibrations pulsate through this Beach Boys drama, which explores the psychological deterioration of singer/songwriter Brian Wilson. Both Paul Dano and John Cusack deliver great performances as the musical genius, who suffered from auditory hallucinations.

6. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

No Top Ten list would be complete without the inclusion of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a movie that is far from perfect but still exactly what the franchise needed to get back on track. While it has issues, this is a movie that will be watched over and over by its fanbase, and any movie that will be watched 30 years from now deserves inclusion.

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By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Action Movies, Comedies, Drama Movies, Featured, Movie Reviews, Science Fiction Movies, Thriller Movies, Top 10 Movie Lists