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Added by Stehako on 20 Dec 2015 09:14
2891 Views 5 Comments
25
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Best Films of 2015

This list was created by and in the opinion of Stephen H Koontz.
Created in December 2015
Updated August 2018
- Recently added: McFarland USA, The Longest Ride and 45 Years
Movies Seen: 128


Another stellar year in the world of film. I have many more I haven't seen; but these are the films I enjoyed most in the year twenty fifteen.
Enjoy!

Also Seen:
Rated 7/10

Chappie ... Being Evel ... Road Hard ... Harry & Snowman ... Mississippi Grind ... Trash ... 7 Days in Hell ... Jumbo Wild ... The True Cost
Rated 6/10
Sisters ... Magic Mike XXL ... Jurassic World ... Digging for Fire ... In the Heart of the Sea ... Pan ... Rock the Kasbah ... Vacation ... Truth ... Focus ... Redirected ... Aloha ... Peace Officer
Rated 5/10
Knock Knock ... A Deadly Adoption ... Hotel Transylvania 2 ... Pitch Perfect 2 ... The Girl King... Unfriended ... Hot Girls Wanted ... Green Room... The Face of an Angel
Rated 4/10
The Loft ... Jupiter Ascending
Rated 3/10
Pixels
Rated 2/10
Bare ... Fifty Shades of Grey


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A cast of ridiculous characters helps steer this into entertaining territory. It's a story that doesn't need much help in being entertaining. Unfortunately it seems to have been made by people who copied other documentary formulas and didn't seem to have an actual grasp on what this film really needed to succeed.



6.8/10

A documentary about pushing the limits on the body, love, and your dreams. Filled with challenging imagery and strange real-life characters.


6.9/10


This sequel certainly didn't have the same effect on the general public the first one did; but I didn't find it worse in any way. Perhaps people wanted something new in the second, or perhaps they just didn't want a second... Either way, it's it has plenty of funny scenes that take make up a decent enough comedy with a funny cameo that could have been so much funnier. Can't spoil it for you.


6.9/10


A film completely told and performed in sign language. It's an impressive feat. Unfortunately the story isn't relatable, a little too brutal without necessity, and drab. I appreciate and enjoyed the unique nature of the film and some of the visual and the increased awareness of sound.


6.9/10


I grew tired of the X-Men franchise last year and this may be the year I grow tired of the Marvel/Avengers movies. Nothing really impressed me in this bloated action movie that seemed to forget what made the first one successful, very similar to how I view Iron Man 1 and 2.

Even with this I can't deny the skills that went into making the production, plus it's become impossible to dislike anything with Downey.


6.9/10


Yeah, it's one extended episode, but fuck it, I liked most of the Entourage episodes; so I'm going to like this. But I'll admit I'm glad I didn't pay $10 to see it in the theatre.

Most of the cameos were fun, but at a point it kind of just seemed like they were out to prove how many cameos they could fit in one movie. I'm pretty certain they managed to even beat Zoolander. Then again, Zoolander 2 is coming out...


6.9/10


After a rocky first act, with subpar acting and direction, this becomes an entertaining dive into the troubling life of the man who made chess popular... for about a year.

Joy



7.0/10


David O Russell knows how to direct memorable ensemble performances; but for the first time in his career he managed to only create one memorable character and direct one impressive performance. Jennifer Lawrence nails this role; but with the casting of Cooper, DeNiro, Ladd, Rossellini, and Madsen I was underwhelmed. They all do a fine enough job; but nothing their characters are simply not interesting.

Perhaps it's not the acting... maybe it's the script, maybe it's Russell just not delivering top-notch material like we've grown accustomed to.

In the end something was clearly missing. It seems like it should have been a surefire hit; but I left the theatre wanting more... more than just a bunch of interesting scenes and one strong character.

I still rated this a 7/10 because I certainly liked it enough; but was disappointed after seeing the affective trailer and knowing the director and cast can do better.


7.0/10


A documentary people were quick to dismiss, but when watched you will see how pure it really is. A comedian takes his celebrity, brings attention to a sport he loves, and to a cause he is passionate about.


7.1/10


A solid boxing film that doesn't bring much of anything new to the table. Whitaker does his typical damaging effect to films. At least the soundtrack was spot-on.

7.1/10



Watched this one with my son. He loves Lego, so he loved this documentary. It was well-done, with a thorough investigation into the many facets of the Lego universe.
Bonus was it's narrated by Jason Bateman, as a Lego mini-figure.

Spy



7.0/10


A fun action comedy that highlights McCarthy's strengths and brings a new kind of comedy to Statham's repertoire


7.1/10


A technically impressive film, from the cinematography, production, sound design, to the score. The acting is all passable, too, but the movie struggles in story. What's an intriguing first act slowly turns into a tolerable second act that is proceeded by a silly third act, in a movie that presents itself as anything but silly.


7.1/10

Tradition. Order. Freedom. Justice. Protest. Equality.
A well-acted and directed film that could have improved on pace and effective dramatic peaks; but it ultimately sent the message clear by the end.


7.1/10


The most beautiful and one of the best actresses of her time. Her performances will live on and now her personality will stick with me.


7.1/10


Beautiful production design and legit cinematography capture an old story with a refreshing look. The acting is fine but I can't help think Branagh could have done more as a director who has previously successfully translated Shakespeare plays into films.


7.1/10


Finally, the submarine movie is back! It gets close to the claustrophobia of 'Das Boot' and the turmoil in 'Crimson Tide' but beats them in cinematic beauty while losing to them in story development.


7.2/10


Schumer is a very polarizing comic so it's quite a gamble creating a movie with her in the lead. Luckily she does just fine, supported with an all-star cast. It's respectably enjoyable throughout, even if nothing too memorable comes from it.

Amy



7.1/10


A very good documentary on the late crooner. Her talents were on full display as well as the suffocating paparazzi and media that followed a woman who wanted none of it.


7.1/10


Knowing this isn't going to be high-brow going in, it's easy to find the laughs and pratfalls in this comedy that didn't reach its full potential but will leave you satisfied. As anyone who knows me will know I basically like anything Will Ferrell touches, with the exception of his efforts in 2005.


7.2/10


This is a fairly fresh large scale, spy adventure with high energy all the way to the end. The over-the-top violence (especially the church scene) is what cripples this and prevents it from being a first-rate film demanding repeat viewings.


7.2/10


With only three total actors in this downplayed post-apocalyptic film, director Craig Zoebel successfully focuses on these characters who slowly build with much more than just dialogue.


7.2/10


There is absolutely nothing original or impressive about this film beside the fact that Ferrell is unstoppable in his comedic efforts. Apparently he can't do anything wrong.


7.2/10


Rockwell is always likable, Clement is always funny, and Hess always directs a strange comedy film. Thankfully they all keep these streaks alive. Of course this movie will be misunderstood and far underseen.


7.3/10


A musical about a relationship, starting with the breakup... and its beginning... and then right before the break up... back to early in the relationship...

The lyrics are what drive the story in what is otherwise a second-rate film. The organization is clever and works and it brings us to an ending that really gets at the core, no matter where you are in your romantic life.


7.2/10


The film carries the franchise along nicely. This is a well-executed, intelligent action movie. Too bad I watched 'Going Clear' a couple of weeks before seeing this and couldn't get Cruise's crazy out of my mind. I try not to let external factors get in the way of a good movie, but he has made it too difficult. At least he's still good at what he does, unlike Travolta.


7.3/10


Big Willy coming at us with a Nigerian accent and makes us really not care for the NFL and proves sports and dreams are really run by big money and big business.


7.3/10


Since the minions are the funniest part of the 'Despicable Me' movies why not give them their own movie? Luckily for us they are more than a one-note group of characters. This movie does a very nice job of giving the three main minions their own personality, making them identifiable and more than just jibberish-jabbering yellow pills.

This has been dismissed as less of a movie than the 'Despicable Me' movies, but I must disagree. It has as strong of a story and since the minions never slow down in their comedic timing and antics, I find it to actually be a better movie overall. It's one of the funniest movies of the year, in fact.


7.4/10



This is a laugh-out-loud animated romp from Aardman. There is no dialogue and at no point does that hinder this adventurous comedy of errors.


7.4/10


A sexy/strange dive into the eccentric world of two lovers and an obsession with butterflies.

The film techniques and symbolism surrounding the butterflies ended up being the most interesting part of the film, once the unique love story falls flat after a rousing first half.


7.5/10


Westerns can serve as great settings for beautiful cinematography and Robbie Ryan delivers. His filming takes us through John Maclean's debut film effectively, especially important considering the uneven pacing.

Highlights are the superb acting lead by the great Michael Fassbender and supported by one of the greatest supporting acting actors, Ben Mendelssohn. And the finale is well worth the wonderfully slow-paced (hey, the title warns you!) trip we are taken on.


7.5/10


Beautifully-crafted cinematography and production design accompanies fine acting from Vikander and Redmayne. The story is okay and the direction was fine enough, more so in its subtle moments.


7.5/10


As soon as I was certain to be done with the Marvel/Avengers movies after watching the somewhat tiresome 'Age of Ultron' I was convinced to watch this. I went for it because I'm a big fan of Paul Rudd...

Thankfully the recommendation was mostly valid. This was better and more entertaining. Partly because I enjoy origin stories more than their sequels nearly every time and party because, well, Paul Rudd made this a watchable movie. If it were someone of less caliber this movie may have been mostly forgettable.


7.6/10


Mads Mikkelson is one of the best actors out there and here he is dominating the screen in a new genre. There isn't anything too surprising or original as the story goes, but the filmmaking is quite noteworthy and it's sort of a badass film overall.


7.7/10


A hypnotic untraditional love story that takes all of its elements seriously and layers them with finesse.


7.7/10


If you weren't aware of how much of a dick Steve Jobs was, this documentary makes it very clear.
Alex Gibney, one of today's best documentarians, puts together a thorough and well-filmed unveiling of the life of one of the most influential and brutal people in the modern world.
The opening is great, because it makes people look like idiots, idolizing a man they didn't really know.
Just like his personality, there are some really nice moments that keep him looking human.


7.7/10


Do not cross a Kray. Hardy and Hardy play British gangsters in this biographical epic that will twist your mind and morals.


7.7/10


Baumbach comes out with yet another superbly-written example of what it's like to be young, wanting to be young, to be hip, wanting to be hip, to be intelligent, wanting to be intelligent.

So yeah, nothing knew for the writer/director, but his ability to make these familiar aspects seem fresh with new characters is impressive.
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Yearly Best Film Lists (1902 - Present) (101 lists)
list by Stehako
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