My Top 10 Films of 2015

Obligatory end of year ‘best of’ alert!

So last year I did my top 20 films, but I’ve been proper rubbish with blogging this year so haven’t had chance to go into that much detail. As such, I’ll be keeping it to a top 10, which actually makes everything that bit tougher as I try and whittle them down.

As with last year, I’m including films that came out in the UK in 2015, even if they had a US release in 2014, and of course there are loads that I didn’t get round to seeing that may well have made the list, but that’s how it goes.

First, a few honorable mentions:

  • Spectre
  • The Gift
  • Ant-Man
  • Mr Holmes
  • Me & Earl & The Dying Girl
  • Crimson Peak
  • The Martian
  • Macbeth
  • The Walk

Without further ado…

10. Carol

Cate Blanchett & Rooney Mara in Carol

Todd Hayne’s story of middle-aged Carol (Cate Blanchett) and her relationship with the younger Therese (Rooney Mara) is a lesson in nuance and subtlety. Just as much is conveyed in the touch of a hand or glance across the room as the entirety of lesser scripts. The cinematography is also a vital part of the machine, the whole 1950s’ aesthetic feeling like a hazy dream.

9. Foxcatcher

Channing Tatum & Steve Carell in FoxcatcherOne from right at the start of 2015, Foxcatcher is a real slow-burner. However, even though it crawls along, the three central performances, particularly that of Steve Carell as the creepy-as-hell John Du Pont, are mesmerising. Not one you’ll watch often, but Foxcatcher knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat whilst also keeping everything low-key.

Read my Foxcatcher review.

8. Sicario

Emily Blunt in SicarioFew films this year have been as tense as Sicario. The story may have been frustratingly vague (purposely so), but a series of fantastic set-pieces had me holding my breath and the trio of Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro were all excellent.

7. Everest

Everest filmIt probably won’t show up on many people’s end of year lists but Everest really struck a chord with me. It might have been a little by the numbers and emotionally manipulative but few other films have left me thinking about them for days afterwards. Everest did.

6. Birdman

Michael Keaton & Edward Norton in BirdmanAnother from right at the start of the year. Birdman did the goods at the Oscars thanks to its clever one-shot formula, great cinematography, fantastic acting and layers upon layers of subtext. Some have taken against it, but it’s utterly bonkers and that’s why I think it’s brilliant.

Read my Birdman review.

5. Ex Machina

Alicia Vikander in Ex MachinaThe subject of artificial intelligence in films isn’t a new one, but, for me, Ex Machina is one of the most original films of 2015. It’s science fiction but feels like it’s not too far away from being science fact and consequently is really quite creepy. Oscar Isaacs’ Nathan is suitably disturbing and Alicia Vikander’s AI Ava is the most human of any of the characters.

4. Mad Max: Fury Road

Charlize Theron as FuriosaAlmost everyone’s biggest surprise of the year. Mad Max: Fury Road was spectacular in almost every way, from the bombastic visuals and effects to the fact that Max himself very much took a backseat to Charlize Theron’s Furiosa. I still maintain it’s a little light on story, but that doesn’t stop it being one of the year’s standout films.

Read my Mad Max: Fury Road review.

3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force AwakensAnd breathe. After all the hype and the waiting, it actually turned out to be really quite good. JJ Abrams had a gargantuan task on his hands but he played a blinder and made something that really felt like a Star Wars film. It did pay homage to (or downright copy) the original trilogy a little to much, and this bothered me more than it probably should, but it still made me grin from ear to ear throughout and that’s all I can ask it to do.

2. Whiplash

Miles Teller in WhiplashBreathless from start to finish. Whiplash is just a simply stunning piece of filmmaking. The sound, the acting, the editing, everything is just wonderful. Both Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons go at it full throttle, with the last scene in particular a real assault on the senses.

Read my Whiplash review.

1. Inside Out

Emotions in Inside OutPixar are great, aren’t they? They rarely put a foot wrong, but with Inside Out they didn’t just make a fantastic film, but, as I explained in this post, an incredibly important one. The complexity of the themes on offer are ridiculous and will hopefully tap into a whole generation of young adults who are struggling with the emotions displayed in the film. A masterpiece.

That was tough. What do you reckon? How have I ballsed it up?

20 thoughts on “My Top 10 Films of 2015

  1. Mark Walker says:

    Good to see you posting Chris. 🙂

    I wouldn’t say you’ve ballsed anything up. It’s an interesting and given your love for Inside Out, I’m not surprised it topped the list. Great to see Ex Machina here and, like you say, Star Wars was actually great!

    I don’t do my list until much later and normally work it from the Oscars. If it’s eligible for the Oscars, that’s what I guage my list on so I’ve yet to catch quite a few flicks before I do it.

  2. le0pard13 says:

    Great list, and I echo Mark’s thoughts on your return, Chris. Happy New Year. 🙂

  3. Stu says:

    Nice to see you, to see you…nice. Good to read your top ten Chris, and hope all is well…plenty of crackers above. Happy new year!

  4. Hey Chris, good to read your list and to see you back. Mighty fine list too; I loved Inside Out and am glad to see it at numero uno.

  5. 70srichard says:

    Here in the States, three of your films would be from last year and two of them were on my list for that year (Whiplash was number one in my book). This year I have Ex-Machina as my number one film, glad to see it is on your list as well. Look forward to seeing your posts again, hope all is well with the new year.

  6. claratsi says:

    Inside out was probably the best film I saw too, perhaps Mad Max. Good list but I was personally disappointed in The Force Awakens ( but I think I’m the only person in the world who was)

  7. Amonymous says:

    Solid list. A couple of your honourable mentions made it into my Top 10.

  8. Keith says:

    WAIT!!! Is the THE Chris of TMPC??? Dude its good to hear from you. Hope things are well.

    It’s interesting how release schedules and muck things up. Several of those films were over here last year. At the same time there are a handful I really wanted to see this year but that haven’t made it.

    I recently posted my list and we do share some movies. I love that you included Everest. It was in my 11 through 20 but I am a big fan of it too.

    Great stuff bro.

    • The one and the same! I’m still lurking around these parts from time to time!

      I’ll pop over and take a look at your list mate, see what made the cut. Glad to hear you liked Everest though, was a real nice surprise for me.

  9. Nothing dodgy up there Chris, all great stuff. I actually got a lot out of Everest too, so it’s nice to see it on a top 10 list. And Foxcatcher too; even after 12 months, that film is still lingering around in my head.

  10. ruth says:

    Hey Chris! Sorry I’m late to the party, but glad to see you posted your top 10. Thrilled to see Fury Road on here which was my #1 film of the year. I saw Sicario after I posted my list, that’d have made my list as well. Ex Machina was in my top 5 and Birdman was actually my #1 film of 2014, so yay!

  11. Daniel Prinn says:

    Good list! Not a big fan of Foxcatcher but I’m glad you picked Inside Out as #1. Awesome movie 🙂

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