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Added by PerfectPortal on 31 Dec 2015 12:19

My Top 10 Favourite Movies of 2015

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This isn't actually on the list; I'm just throwing it in as an honourable mention. People adore this movie so much that I feel I need to justify its absence from my list. It is a masterpiece in telling a compelling story with a relatively simple premise, and it definitely deserves all the praise it gets for the old-school, authentic stuntwork that makes the action all the more visceral and all the more exciting. My only issue is that I never took to the world it takes place in, which renders all those merits kind of moot. I am disappointed that it ultimately got bumped off the list, but I'm not going to lose too much sleep over it.

And now for the ten movies I just happened to enjoy moreโ€ฆ
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 1133 Average listal rating (819 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
The directorial debut of writer Alex Garland (that alone got my attention!) is a fascinating take on artificial intelligence that probably blurs the line between man and machine better than any other movie I've seen. You could probably write a whole essay on the film's themes and its relevance to our modern technological society, but it also works from a simple entertainment standpoint by masterfully creating tension with a very small cast. I also have to say, I love the way the robot, Ava, is designed! And the action climax, though a tad tacked on, is still a compelling cap on a smart, solid movie.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 1337 Average listal rating (958 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.3
Ant-Man (2015)
This is the polar opposite of Ex Machina, in that it's not trying to have any meaningful subtexts: it just intends to give the audience a rollicking good time. :) It's the first heist thriller in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it's loaded with likable characters, thrilling action scenes and uproarious humour. It's also the first time in the MCU that we've seen two generations of heroes bearing the same name, as the original Ant-Man is acting as mentor to the new one. Personally, I was distinctly underwhelmed by Marvel's two movies in 2014, but I'm glad they won me over again with this one.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 528 Average listal rating (409 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.7
Damn it, Pixar, you've done it again! :D It may not be as poignant as their earlier masterpieces, but it's still a wonderful adventure that keeps you invested every step of the way, thanks mostly to its full cast of endearing characters. The only thing I don't like is the actual design of the characters: it's really saying something when the dinosaurs from The Land Before Time look far more realistic. But on the other hand, the animation is outstandingly detailed, the creative logic is often quite ingenious, and it all adds up to yet another triumph from one of our favourite studios.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 1593 Average listal rating (1129 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.9
Not only was the hype for this movie through the roof, but there was a lot of hope riding on it too, since the last good Star Wars movie was in 1983. But I'm happy to say, it rose to the challenge splendidly. Unlike the prequels, it actually has a somewhat engaging story, and it delivers thrilling action set pieces by the bucketload. I think it does borrow a little too heavily from the original movie, but it still works as a standalone film regardless. I like all these new characters, and I look forward to seeing where the upcoming sequels take them.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 1765 Average listal rating (1190 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.3
So it turns out what I said earlier, about Marvel winning me over again this year, goes double! :D This is another movie that remembers that cinema can still be immense fun without being brainless. It gives us the same wonderful characters being themselves and bantering brilliantly, and there are breathtaking moments aplenty, especially during the climax. Plus it's a relief to see a superhero movie acknowledge the danger to civilians; the whole Hulkbuster sequence came across as a declaration of, "Take that, Man of Steel!" Overall, it's not as good as Avengers 1, but I didn't really expect it to be.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 735 Average listal rating (472 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 6.4
I genuinely don't understand the negative reviews this movie gets. I think the spoiler-heavy trailers may have been part of the problem, but the one I saw only revealed enough to get me intrigued by the idea of an alternate timeline where Sarah Connor was a survivalist right from the start. In that respect, Kyle Reese, in his confusion at how different things are than expected, sort of becomes the spokesman for the audience. It's rich in story and fascinating ideas, and overall it's certainly not as good as the first two movies, but again, who would have expected it to be?
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 405 Average listal rating (260 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.2
Steve Jobs (2015)
Each of the three acts is set in the feverish lead-up to a major product launch, and I love how each act is essentially one scene; I could easily see this being performed on stage. Also, I just adore the dialogue in the movie; there are too many snappy lines to even count. It may not be a perfect biographical piece, but on the whole it's just as vigorous and inventive as the man it's based on. Plus it's directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin, a fact that made my jaw hit the floor as soon as I heard it!
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 1202 Average listal rating (887 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8
The Martian (2015)
This movie is the product of another perfect marriage of director and screenwriter: Ridley Scott and Drew Goddard. The result is endlessly entertaining and thrillingโ€ฆ and hell, it deserves a spot on the list just for one simple factor that's becoming increasingly rare in this day and age: it's genuinely funny! :) The script imbues the proceedings with humour that's the very definition of comedic relief, and the jokes are all character-based. Needless to say, the performances are all flawless to match. It's easily one of the best sci-fi movies in recent years, and I'm glad Ridley Scott finally has another masterpiece under his belt.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 1215 Average listal rating (870 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
In a word, wow! It's Matthew Vaughn's second adaptation of a Mark Millar comic, and just like Kick-Ass, it proved once again to be a match made in heaven. It's a send-up to over-the-top spy movies that's equal parts gleeful homage and biting satire. The action scenes are fantastically filmed and choreographed, and Samuel L Jackson makes for a great villain. There are too many amazingly clever moments to even count; if I could gush about every single scene, I would. :) But I will say this much: the whole film strikes a perfect balance between funny, sardonic and exciting, and is just all-around exhilarating.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 1569 Average listal rating (1183 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.1
Inside Out (2015)
There you are: not only did both this year's Marvel movies make my top ten list, but so did both Pixar movies. :) And I know I'm not alone in declaring this as by far my favourite of the two. It's not only my favourite movie of the year: it's one of the best movies of the past five or maybe even ten years. It's another one like Ex Machina that invites plenty of analysis on its themes of psychology and the confusion and conflicting emotions that come with growing up. But it also works really well as a straightforward epic quest-type adventure, about two characters who have to get home before the world for which they're responsible falls apart. It's relentlessly fun, exciting, funny when it needs to be, and even pulls off a feat that no movie has done in a long time: it actually made me cry. Twice, in fact! It's a truly marvellous film. It thoroughly deserves to go down in the history books as a modern classic, and I personally don't believe I'll ever stop loving it. Inside Out: best movie of the year.
PerfectPortal's rating:

Welcome to part two of my pair of lists counting down my own picks for the best and worst of 2015. :) If you haven't seen my least favourites list, check it out here: www.listal.com/list/my-top-10-least-favourite-4987 But these are the ones I really want to talk about, the ones that lifted my spirits and truly defined the year. :)
As I mentioned earlier, I think this was a particularly good year for movies. It delivered more, and brighter, gems than both the last two years combined, including one of the absolute best movies I've seen in all the five years I've been making these lists. Last year I only deemed one or two movies worthy of a five-star rating, but this year I've already bestowed that honour upon four or five.
Now, once again, I didn't get to see everything that could potentially have made this list. Though, looking back at all the movies I missed, there are surprisingly few amongst them that I was really dying to see. I would have liked to have seen American Ultra, Kajaki and Macbeth, but that's about it. However, there are two in particular that I feel deserve a more detailed special mention. Apparently Shaun the Sheep Movie is really good, but I've had no interest in the show it's based on, and I'm wondering if I can go into the movie having never seen the show. And Mr Holmes is one that I've decided to hold off on until I'm more familiar with the classic character โ€“ because, believe it or not, I'm twenty-seven years old and I've still never read any of the books.
But anyway, it's time to finally pull back the curtain on my favourite moment of the year: the moment I get to relive the ten movies I enjoyed the most, all at once. :)

Bridge of Spies
The Gift
Mad Max: Fury Road (which I mention in the list itself)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Straight Outta Compton

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