Best of 2015

Last year's best can be found here.

Best of the Best

Best Horror Movie: It Follows
Best Action Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Comedy: What We Do in the Shadows
Best Animated Movie: Inside Out
Best Hidden Gem: Slow West
Best Mind-Bending Movie: Predestination
Best Mystery Movie: The Gift
Best Crime Movie: Sicario
Best Western: The Hateful Eight / Slow West
Best Blockbuster: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Sci-Fi Movie: Ex Machina
Best Biography Movie: Spotlight
Best Foreign Language Movie: Goodnight Mommy
Best Movie Released 10 Years Ago: Sin City
Best Original Score: It Follows
Most Overrated Movie: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Worst Horror Movie: The Lazarus Effect
Worst Comedy Movie: Kill Me Three Times
Worst Movie of the Year: The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)

Worst Movies of the Year

The Lazarus Effect - Another mainstream horror movie that fails to capture or create a truly terrifying scenario (this is basically a knock-off of the superior movie, Flatliners). The main problem here is the story (and backstory they choose to address?) which isn't interesting enough to carry the movie where it needs to go. Instantly forgettable. (3/10) 

Chappie - In short, Chappie is just a cold-hearted story with unlikeable characters with no redeeming qualities. Die Antwoord stars in the film for some ungodly reason and what they lack in acting they make up for with their over the top weirdness. Rumors swirled about behind the scenes tension and it clearly shows up in the movie. For a movie that wanted to be thought-provoking and intellectual, it ended up being dimwitted. (4/10)

Charlie's Farm - To be fair, this is just another cabin in the woods slasher that didn't try to be anything else but. Predictable, formula-matic, there isn't anything here you haven't already seen in a slasher before. The only redeeming quality is Nathan Jones (who plays the villain), the movie fully takes advantage of his enormous 7'0" foot, 350-pound frame. If you like run-of-the-mill slashers or over-the-top violence, you might find something to like here. (4/10)

Kill Me Three Times - Even the mighty Simon Pegg couldn't save this mess. Yes, Simon Pegg plays a great assassin who makes the most of his screen time, but everything else is scattershot. The movie features too many other characters who are all too unlikable and not the least bit funny. This is the definition of forgettable. (3/10)

Child 44 - A wasted cast and a waste of an interesting story. The movie makes a mistake of putting the serial killer storyline on the back burner and making this a political thriller of sorts. And when it is time for the big reveal, the movie rushes through the motions. Also, Tom Hardy's thick Russian accent that doesn't help matters. Nothing but disappointment here. (4/10)

True Story - Classic case of a movie's trailer being better than the movie itself. Whereas the trailer made this one out to be a creepy did-he-really-do-it mystery, instead, the movie itself was a dry drama where nothing seemed to happen. Not to mention the unnecessary amount of close-up shots of the actor's faces. I can only assume they were supposed to create tension on screen, which it clearly failed at. Another instantly forgettable movie within James Franco's enormous filmography. (5/10)

The Green Inferno - After years of being built up as it was stuck in release hell, the movie was finally released and it certainly didn't live up to the hype. That is mostly thanks to Eli Roth choosing to incorporate some very odd comedic touches to the movie which only made things worse. Yeah the practical effects and kill scenes look great and are intense, but everything else is laughable (and I'm not talking about laughing with the movie). (4/10)

Southpaw - That's right, I consider this to be one of the years worst (but certainly not THE worst). This is about as basic as a boxing movie could be. A former champion loses it all only to be given one last shot at redemption while his life is falling apart around him. Yawn. (5/10)

Captive - This one might come as a surprise but the film as a whole is just bare. It's based on a true story that might sound interesting to some, but the movie itself is a bore. There is no style, no flair, nothing. The blame most likely falls on the director who just seemed to be going through the motions. (5/10)

The Human Centipede III - Does this movie need any explanation for being here? The first film actually had a few (and I mean a few) merits and the second one was intentionally pure vileness poking fun at critics. The third film doesn't try to be anything else other than garbage. It's racist, misogynistic, offensive, etc. There are no redeeming qualities here. Who keeps giving this guy money? (1/10)

Best Hidden Gems

Slow West - This is a slow moving, romantic-western starring none other than the great, Michael Fassbender. It's one of the year's best and features some gorgeous camera work. It might not be the most exciting movie of the year, but it's a nice character drama between an outlaw and young gun who has no business in the Wild West. (8/10)

The Gift - Arguably the best director debut movie of the year and one of the biggest surprises. The Gift was a creepy mystery movie with some great social commentary. Some consider the movie a horror movie and some don't, but one thing is for sure, it's tense as hell. Not to mention the movie has one of the best endings of 2015. Truly a surprise hit. (8/10)

What We Do in the Shadows - By far the best comedy of the year (and one of the best movies of the year), this is destined to be a comedy classic. The movie follows a bunch of vampires in today's time (shot as a mockumentary) and the laughs are almost nonstop. A likable cast and brilliant writing make this movie something special. Watching the ancient vampires clash with today's technology is nothing but pure enjoyment. Here's hoping the sequel is just as good! (9/10) 

Black Sea - This is a small-scale tale of paranoia and madness set on a submarine. It's nothing special, but it's nothing to write off either. It's intriguing, scary (submarines are seriously scary!), and all too real. If you are looking for a movie to kill some time that will keep your attention, this will most likely do! (6/10)

Creep - I'll admit I misjudged this movie the first time around, I still don't think the movie is great, but it is good enough to recommend to people seeking a solid horror movie (it's on Netflix). Just as the title suggests, the movie is indeed quite creepy and features a strong second half with a chilling ending. One of the better horror movies of the year. (6/10)

Goodnight Mommy - Outside of an obvious twist that ruined the ride for many, there is a lot to like here. The atmosphere is creepy and bleak, the cinematography is beautiful, and the general premise is so simple that it's dazzling. This is another foreign horror movie worthy of being labeled one of the year's best horror movies. (7/10)

The Big Short - This movie felt all too real and that's probably not a good thing. It shows the financial crisis of 07-08 and it's both surprising and not surprising. In one sense you aren't surprised by how the majority of the people acted when presented with the inevitable truth. And what is surprising is the tale of the few who saw it coming and what they did. Not only is the movie entertaining and eye-opening, it's also quite humorous as well! (8/10)

The Voices - I'm personally mixed on this one, it didn't live up to the relatively small hype it received but it's unforgettable because of how bizarre it is. A lunatic actually talks to his pet dog and pet cat....and they talk back. Each has their own unique personality which makes for quite a bit of unusual fun. If you want to watch something different, this is as different as they come. (6/10)

Bone Tomahawk - Kurt Russell proves once again he is the manliness man in the room. Bone Tomahawk is arguably the best horror-western ever made. It's a tad slow in the beginning but once the movie gets going and the characters band together the movie totally clicks. Not to mention the ending being one of the most frightening situations imaginable. This is another movie sure to gain a cult following as the years go by. (8/10)

Sicario - Not quite a hidden gem thanks to great reviews, but the movie still hasn't been seen my enough people. The movie features some unbearable tension, great cinematography and a chilling, ominous score (seriously, check out the song, 'The Beast' and tell me it's not amazing). Emily Blunt shines here, as well as the surrounding cast, especially Benicio Del Toro. Still bummed this is getting a sequel, totally unnecessary. But overall one of the year's most tension fueled movies. (9/10)

The Final Girls - One of the most self-aware and meta horror movies of all time. The Final Girls does a great job mixing comedy with common horror tropes. The movie is very light on the horror side of things and the second half of the movie isn't as strong as the first, but there are plenty of things to enjoy here. This is actually a story that could be expanded with a sequel (you won't hear me say that very often). (8/10)

Love & Mercy - Easily the second best biography movie of the year outside of Spotlight. This is a sad story based on a real individual and it's powerful. A moving drama with some great insight into the life of one of music's greatest bands, The Beach Boys. The acting is fantastic (Paul Dano and John Cusack nailed their roles), the music riveting, and the story moving. Though it might be a tad dry at times, which might bore some people, it still packs an emotional punch. (7/10)

Predestination - One of the most mind-bending movies ever created. This is the classic tale of time travel and all the fun, puzzling aspects that come with that. As with most time travel movies, it's a mystery at its core so it keeps you guessing. Though it is not something you might want to watch again and again, the initial viewing is great. Don't look too into this because it might get spoiled. (7/10)

Krampus - Again this is another movie I probably judged a bit too harsh. The movie is actual entertaining to an extent and will most likely become a horror-holiday classic as time goes by. You have to give the movie props for creating a fantastic setting, one of those movies where you can feel the cold within the movie. This is one of those movies you throw on in the background during the holiday season to entertain guests. (5/10)

Spotlight - Again, another high profile movie (and major Oscar contender) that received a limited release. This is just an all around great movie, from the actors on screen, to those involved behind the scenes. The script, directing, score, all are on point. Not to mention the story being extremely eye-opening (if you are like me and was too young to understand to impact the real life events had). Easily one of the years best movies, and likely frontrunner for Best Picture. (9/10)

Trumbo - This is one hell of an interesting story about a man and his beliefs vs Hollywood (of all opponents). It is a sad story (though the movie doesn't make it out as such) but more importantly, it's a powerful tale of one man's resilience. This is one of those movies where after watching the film you run to your computer to look up the actual events. If you are a fan of movies and the movie industry, this is a must see. (7/10)

My Top 5 Movies of the Year

[Other movies in my top 10 - Spotlight / The Revenant / The Martian / Slow West / Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation]

5. Sicario - Another knockout movie from director, Denis Villeneuve. Sicario is one of the most intense movies of the year. Again, this is another movie that benefits from an original soundtrack that only amps up the suspense. One of the high points of the movie is Del Toro, who is a frightening, cryptic member of the group, capable of just about anything.

4. Mad Max: Fury Road - The surprise movie of the year. I don't think anyone expected Fury Road to be this great. Not only is it the best action movie of the year but one of the best action movies of all time (yeah I said it!). Action aside, the movie had a great original score, beautiful saturated color schemes, and potent feminism. All those things together created a wild ride worthy of being labeled one of the year's best.

3. What We Do in the Shadows - By far the best comedy of the year (and one of the best comedies in years). Shadows is a riot thanks to its likable cast and clever script. There are plenty of nods to other vampire classics which are fun to pick up on, but it still manages to be original in its own way within the historic genre. 

2. Ex Machina - I'll admit this isn't a movie I'd want to watch over and over, but the initial viewing was captivating. It was eerie, tense, and thought-provoking. Mixing A.I. with sexuality made the movie all the more interesting and one of the best sci-fi movies of the decade. This is classic, hard-sci-fi at its best.

1. It Follows - This should be no surprise (being the horror fanatic that I am). It Follows was something special, from it's terrifying original premise to the best horror soundtrack in decades! Last year we had The Babadook, this year we have It Follows to carry on the horror torch. The brilliance stems from the curse itself, most horror movies don't present a morally complicated solution like the one found here. It's flashy, clever, and more importantly, thought-provoking.


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