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Updated by Guy Gordon on Sep 21, 2017
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Guy Gordon Guy Gordon
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10 Favorite Films Of 2015

Going back through recent years to single out my 10 favorite films for each year. Here are my choices for 2015.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Put simply, I love this movie. At the time of writing this, a year and a half or so later, I've seen it a couple dozen times. This is director George Miller's mic drop movie. Amid a variety of huge action directors, most of them half his age, Miller shoots one of the greatest action movies ever made, at the age of 70. Its fusing of insane in-camera material with complementary and supporting VFX work is a guide book for all directors to figure out how its done. More than just the action, though, I really love most everything about this one. The cast is excellent (Charlize Theron proving yet again that she can do anything), the music score from Tom Holkenborg is a big departure from the work of Brian May and Maurice Jarre on the previous films but works amazingly well, and the scripting is pretty simple in structure but ads many great layers and character development. This movie will be one of the ones in constant rotation for me for many years, I'm sure.

Inside Out

I'm a big PIXAR fan, and have been from the early days (even pre-Toy Story), and have at least enjoyed all of their movies to some degree, but they have no shortage of absolute classics. For me, Inside Out will rank among the top of their films to date. The animation is, of course, amazing. The voice performances are spot-on. The story works very well, from the broad strokes down to the fun details.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Yeah, I'm sure I love this movie more than most anybody else apparently did. I'm a fan of the original series, but that's not really why I love the movie. It takes a stylistically different approach to the material while keeping a nice respect for both the original material and the genre in general. This is easily Guy Ritchie's best movie to date. The cast is wonderful (Alicia Vikander also stars in the next movie on this list). The cinematography and editing is wonderfully fun. And composer Daniel Pemberton's music is delightfully brilliant. I really, REALLY want one or more sequels for this one. Pretty please?

The Big Short

A docudramedy about a financial crisis shouldn't be so entertaining while being equally sobering. This movie will simultaneously keep a smile plastered on your face while making your jaw drop to the floor. Directed with a very careful tone by comedy director Adam McKay, the world-class cast brings it all to crazy, over-the-top life.

Ex Machina

The genre of sentient AI is coming of age lately, with good reason. It's seeming more science than fiction these days, and there will surely be more movies of the kind coming. Along with this movie, another recent example would be Her. So far, this is the best movie on the subject, and it all works very well. Great cast, clean and top-notch production and some clever writing make it all come together nicely.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Is The Force Awakens perfect? No, it is not. But that's OK, because it's awesome enough to work, and it's an absolute blast of fun. JJ Abrams directs it with such energy and gleeful fanboy fun that it's almost impossible to not feel the love for the franchise flowing from scene to scene. This is how you recover from the lumbering prequel trilogy.

The Martian

Directed by Ridley Scott? Check. Based on a best-selling book? Check. A solid supporting cast? Check. But, this movie lives or dies on Matt Damon's performance, and he absolutely delivers. Damon has a strong filmography, and this stands high on that list. It's a major career milestone. The movie is highly enjoyable, and works well with multiple viewings.

Bridge Of Spies

One of my favorite Spielberg films in years. A top notch cast brings a small but interesting bit of history to life, with seeming ease. It's one of those productions that involves so many talented and experienced people that it's hard for it to not work well.

Shaun the Sheep Movie

Never mind me being a fan of Aardman animation, and a big fan of Shaun The Sheep as a series. This is a delightful, charming, funny, clever, goofy movie that's wonderfully enjoyable for all ages. And, any feature length movie that can pull off the dialog-free challenge deserves a heck of a lot of credit.

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

Ever since JJ Abrams and his Bad Robot production team took the reigns of the Mission Impossible franchise with the third film, I've quite enjoyed the movies. This one may not be perfect (I really dislike the entire sequence with the underwater data security vault, but the rest of the film makes up for it. Hopefully future entries in the franchise will be equally enjoyable.