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Best movies of 2015

Movie list created by the giraffe Avatar

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Tarantino's second western actually has something to say, unlike his first. Best of all he learned from his mistakes with Django Unchained and delivered a film that truly fires on all cylinders without falling apart once. Granted I'm a sucker for films that mainly stick to one location and ratchet up the tension, but QT is more patient than usual this time around and really delivers a wonderful cinematic experience. The cast could easily be called The Hateful Great, and Ennio Morricone's score is sonic perfection throughout. So while it's probably not surprising to others that this film sits at the top of my list for 2015, it wound up as a pleasant surprise for me.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 135 Average listal rating (78 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.7
Spring (2015)

Spring spent most of 2015 sitting proudly at the top of this list, and I'm baffled why I'm not seeing it grace the top ten of others unless it's a horror-only list. Take Before Sunrise and filter it through H.P. Lovecraft and this might be what comes out on the other end. Rarely do horror and romance get mashed-up to the point they're given equal weight, but Spring manages to be one of the rare horror films you could take your date to without turning said date off. Our protagonists have wonderful chemistry, and the film is full of frames I'd gladly hang on my walls. Seriously, I can't say enough good things about this film & I'm sure I'll be revisiting it soon and often as the years go by. Benson & Moorhead are clearly filmmakers to watch.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1659 Average listal rating (1200 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1

Did any of us really anticipate how great this wound up being? Sure the trailers hinted at the spectacle it would be, but then you sat down in the theatre and it took off and sucked us all along in its wake. The theatrical experience of this film was so much fun I had to watch it twice over the summer, and if theatres would hold onto it indefinitely I'd drop in every couple of months until the end of time. Fury Road is a far better film than it had any right to be, and raised the bar for summer blockbusters so high it'll take a miracle for anyone but George Miller to match it in the years to come. Until then we'll all just keep watching this any time we need a lovely lovely day.

By the way...I still want a vehicle to drive with a group of drummers on the back of it, pounding out rhythms to spur me on through traffic every day.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 442 Average listal rating (316 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.2

I'm on the fence whether this counts for 2015 or not, since it came out in theatres near me in January of 2016. But according to IMDb it started its limited US release in December of 2015, so I guess I'll put it on here. I still refuse to go into detail about why I loved this film, as it's best experienced with as little knowledge about it as possible. But if you've seen it then odds are you get why it's so highly ranked here. If you haven't seen it, please do so.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 1590 Average listal rating (1203 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.1
Inside Out (2015)

This was a long overdue Pixar high note, and while we're all quick to lament the lower quality of their output in recent years it feels now like that was just setting us all up to have the right level of appreciation for Inside Out. Lord knows The Good Dinosaur wasn't the film we wanted. But back to this one...it's not surprising a film that explores emotions was so emotional for the audience, but the fact that it balances it all so well and delivers it through characters we can all relate to reminds us of why we've come to have such high expectations for Pixar's work. And I have no doubt that this film will mean even more to me as time goes by & more of my life is experienced.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 251 Average listal rating (159 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2
Dope (2015)

Such a pleasant, fun surprise. The cast is stellar, the presentation of the story is fresh & engaging, and the soundtrack had me bumping old-school hip-hop for a few days after I watched it. The energy of this film is so infectious I fell in love with it & I can't wait to hang out with these characters again & again over the years.
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Rogue Nation is leaps and bounds better than Ghost Protocol, thanks largely to the addition of Ilsa Faust. But more importantly it excels because the action and story actually support one another rather than it being like most action films where there's a story and a bunch of action set-pieces that look cool but serve little to no function within the story's framework. The whole film fires on all cylinders, and it was only during the final big chase/fighting/finale that I started getting tired of what was going on. Overall though it's one of the best action films of the decade.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 251 Average listal rating (186 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6.2

If you're wondering how Krampus managed to hit my top films for the year, then obviously you haven't seen it yet. From the hilarious social commentary opening through the brilliantly constructed ending, this film has earned a place among my favorite Christmas movies & will be regularly revisited during the holidays going forward. The ensemble cast is a joy to watch, but even better are the creature designs which are so Amazing thanks to the primary use of practical effects and a minimal use of CGI.
the giraffe's rating:
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 173 Average listal rating (122 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.4
Creep (2014)

Possibly my favorite entry in the found-footage subgenre, and a film that crossed the line of greatness thanks mostly to the powerful performance from Mark Duplass. He goes so many places with this character in a role he fully sank his teeth into, and he's so believable you'll find yourself as lured in and mystified as our protagonist.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 95 Average listal rating (62 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.1

The animation here is simple but it works really well, thanks largely to the narrative. I'm kind of amazed by the entire thing as it explores the ways we approach death but with a sense of humor. Plus it delivers its message successfully despite only having a short amount of time to do so. I loved it ultimately & will definitely be watching it again.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 135 Average listal rating (87 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 5.7
Cooties (2014)

I'll freely admit that it's possible I gave this film more credit than it deserves as far as its star rating goes, but I had such a blast the whole time I watched it that I'm more willing than most to let its flaws slide. The events of this film had me laughing so hard and often that it takes home the prize as my favorite comedy of the year, but then the horror elements work well enough that that's not all it is. I have no doubt this one has high re-watch value.
the giraffe's rating:
People who added this item 93 Average listal rating (65 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 5.7

Admittedly this film also has its flaws, but its stellar finale and persistent attempts to surprise elevated it in my estimation. So it's possible a re-watch down the road will drop it down to the next level of this list, but the first viewing blew me away in the end and thus it earned high marks from me.
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Listed alphabetically. If I had to choose though it's safe to say Cop Car would top the films in this section, as it came the closest to earning a spot above.
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Unseen contenders

AKA the year Horror won my heart. Seriously, it's never been a better time to be a fan of horror and I'm thrilled that this year brought a new classic to the genre that will be talked about for a long time. No, not It Follows, though that was good too. And just look at how many films in this list are horror. Sigh...makes me happy happy.

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