Matt's Blog

Matt's Top 10 Films Of 2015


For the 20th time, I’ve put together my annual top 10 of the year!  You can check out all my previous lists by clicking here.  I went through the list on 612ABC Brisbane a week or so ago and we took a few calls from listeners.  You can listen to the podcast here.

I’ve seen 190 films in 2015 which isn’t too bad I guess.  I missed a few of the smaller releases but it’s tough juggling up all aspects of one’s life to see so many movies.

I must briefly mention my worst films of the year – Ruben Guthrie, Mortdecai, Hot Pursuit, Fantastic Four, Alex & Eve, The Wedding Ringer, Aloha, Absolutely Anything, Get Hard, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, The Interview, Dumb & Dumber To and Burnt.  That’s enough about them.

Honourable mentions for my best of the year list go to Unbroken, Birdman, Legend, The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby, It Follows, Southpaw, ’71, Mr Holmes, Shaun The Sheep Movie, Holding The Man, Spy, Wild Tales and Madame Bovary.

On that note though, here are my top 10 films of 2015 in reverse order…


Top 10 Films Of 2015
 

Sicario

10. Sicario (out Sep 24) is a stylishly shot thriller about a group of "law enforcement" agents who start acting outside of the law in pursuit of a greater good - bringing down the head of a Mexican drug cartel. Deftly illustrating the blurry line between right and wrong, this is great stuff. Super performances from Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin.


Still Alice

9. Still Alice (out Jan 29) is a moving drama centred on a fifty-something woman (Julianne Moore) battling the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. It's more than just a tear jerker though. The film's even-handed look at the changing family dynamic is interesting and thought provoking..


Leviathan

8. Leviathan (out Mar 26) is a Russian drama that earned a foreign language Oscar nomination. Director Andrey Zvyagintsev challenges the audience by not showing several key events. As a result, you need to focus not on what happens... but rather how characters react. The plot is forever shifting and this is a riveting, unsettling piece of cinema.


Straight Outta Compton

7. Straight Outta Compton (out Sep 3) chronicles the rise of a group of African American rappers (including Ice Cube and Dr. Dre) in the late 1980s. This film has it all - comedy, drama, tragedy and contract law. Some have been critical of its factual accuracy but I found it be an absorbing look inside a world previously unfamiliar to me.


Citizenfour

6. Citizenfour (out Feb 19) is something quite special. It's a riveting documentary that takes us inside the world of Edward Snowden as he blew the whistle on the National Security Authority's secret surveillance activities in 2013. The actions of the NSA will shock. The approach of Snowden will intrigue.


The Walk

5. The Walk (out Oct 15) tells the incredible true story of Philippe Petit. In 1974, he rigged a metal wire between the rooves of the World Trade Centre towers in New York City and used it as a tight rope. Perhaps my fear of heights was a contributing factor but this provides a film-going experience unlike anything I’ve seen this year. Shot using astonishing 3D imagery, it left me with sweaty palms and a light head.


The Diary Of A Teenage Girl

4. The Diary Of A Teenage Girl (out Sep 24) is riveting, disturbing and thought-provoking. Based on the graphic novel and set in the 1970s, it's centered on a 15-year-old girl who enters into a purely sexual relationship with her mother's 35-year-old boyfriend. Not often you see a film that asks so many questions of its characters.


Mad Max: Fury Road

3. Mad Max: Fury Road (out May 14) is one of the more creative action films that we’ve seen in recent years. It begins with a well-choreographed chase sequence that never really stops. Except for a handful of very short detours, this is two hours of unrelenting warfare. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an action film with less dialogue. Intense and easily to follow.


Selma

2. Selma (out Feb 12) was the last of the Academy's best picture nominees to make it to Australia but it was worth the wait. It's a fascinating exploration at the tactics used by Martin Luther King to change voter registration laws in Alabama 1965. Great performances. Great film.


Inside Out

1. Inside Out (out Jun 18) is a Pixar animated feature that takes us inside the head of a vibrant, impressionable 11-year-old girl. It’s a fascinating concept that is rich in detail. The film’s most impressive attribute is the way it explores human emotions and the way they are so often intertwined. A stunning achievement that blends creativity, humour and emotion.