The Oscars are tomorrow and well, it's a good as time as any to finally write about my favorite movies from the past year. I always preface by saying I haven't seen much. There are a ton of movies I wanna see but haven't. Some include Carol, Brooklyn, Inside Out, Anomalisa, The End of the Tour, Mistress America, Chi-Raq, It Follows, Love & Mercy, The Look of Silence, etc. Anyways, here it is. I also want to add, these are my favorite movies, not the best. You might think a movie is better than another movie, and I might agree. So hopefully that is clear.
It's ridiculous but in a good way. Kinda like an inner city Ferris Bueller. It's funny, colorful, has good music and all the characters are memorable in their own way. Very solid, even if it gets too cute at times.
24. Going Clear
I find Scientology fascinating and actually read a big chunk of the book this doc is based on. It's just so crazy that it's hard to believe it's real. I'm not a big doc guy but I couldn't get enough of this stuff.
I like David O. Russell's frantic style. I think his movies work best when they are on the verge of imploding. So I like Joy, which I feel should have gone deeper down that edge. But hey, JLaw is great.
22. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
There were a few great spy movies this year. Sadly none of them were James Bond. But I dig this movies throwback style and Henry Cavill had me smitten, showing off way more charisma here than he has in that Superman costume.
I hated the beginning of this movie. I think it's awful. But once you get past that, and embrace the style and just utter strangeness, it's actually a pretty good movie. And latter half is especially strong and Mya Taylor really should have been nominated for best supporting actress, she's incredible.
20. The Walk
It's very old school and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's French accent is dubious at best, but it won me over by being very entertaining, having some nice heart and the actual walk scenes are really great.
19. Slow West
Probably my favorite "true" Western this year, even though it's kinda an anti-Western. Fassbender is also great and the story is truly unique, with a fresh style.
18. The Hateful Eight
Really surprised that looking at this list that I have this movie so low, because I really liked it. Especially after watching it in 70mm. The experience was great and truly special. The movie itself isn't half bad either, even if it's probably lesser Tarantino.
My favorite doc of the year. It's a heartbreaking look at the tragic career of Amy Winehouse, who has such a great voice but lacked the resolve to fight off her demons. It's much better than the good not great Nina Simone doc.
16. What We Do in the Shadows
When it comes to pure comedy, I don't think any movie made me laugh more than this strange mockumentary about vampires by the guys behind Flight of the Concords. Figures.
You wanna sweat while watching a movie? Watch Room. It's intense. Loved the stuff in the actual room. But, spoiler alert, felt it looses momentum once they are out of said room. Hence why it's so low on the list. Oh and Brie Larson is bae.
14. Mission: Impossible - Rouge Nation
My favorite spy movie of the year and my third favorite pure blockbuster. Is it as good as Ghost Protocol? Nah, but it's damn close.
13. Ex Machina
Perfectly cast and very well made. I believed the girl was a damn robot without effort. And it's twisted, dark, intriguing and okay frustrating too but hey, you can't have it all.
12. Steve Jobs
I'm happy they made the movie the way they did. I don't want to see a standard fare biopic about Jobs. I don't care. I just want moments that show what he may or maynot have been like. Show me the maddening genius, and I think it does.
11. The Big Short
First off, this movie will piss you off, not because it's bad, because it's so good at illiciting the reaction it wants to. It's also pretty funny, Ryan Gosling is amazing and it makes a very bitter pill easy to swallow.
10. Straight Outta Compton
Way better than it had any right to be. The casting is nearly perfect. And even though it's probably 15 minutes too long, I enjoyed it very much, especially figuring out how to tell the story of NWA without making it come off cheap, tone deaf, condescending or corny.
Not only the best Rocky movie since the original, but it is so well shot and acted that it might give the original a run for it's money. Okay, maybe not.
8. The Martian
Do you like science? Watch the Martian.
7. Beast of No Nation
If this wasn't on Netflix, this movie would be talked about way more and taken much more seriously, because it's truly remarkable. The kid and Idris Alba are amazing and the movie will shake you to your core. I was speechless afterwards.
6. Bridge of Spies
The trailer for this movie is terrible. Like god awful. It's over dramatic and sells the movie so poorly. Which is such a shame because this movie is very understated but expertly crafted. It's a sneaky great Spielberg film.
5. The Revenant
I know the movie is getting backlash, especially Leo's performance, but I don't care. I was engulfed into this movie and that bear attack scene, my god. It looked great, the acting was great and the story was simple. It doesn't have to be complicated. He's left for dead. But he wants to get back home and exact revenge. What else do we need.
4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Strange putting this here since I am not a big Star Wars guy. But for the first 30 minutes of this movie, I was grinning like an idiot and felt like I was 10 years old. That's special. That's something that doesn't happen very often. It was magical. And I loved it.
The tension in Sicario is so thick, you can cut it with a knife. The most intense movie I saw all year. Reminded me a lot of Zero Dark Thirty. That's a good thing.
Spotlight is so plain and understated, it makes it strange. It doesn't show off, there aren't any huge scenes that knock your socks off. It's just a movie that tells it's story well, presents it with just the right sense of patience, pacing and restraint. It's the best acted movie I saw all year and probably the best overall movie I saw all year. It's damn near perfect and love the fact is shows old school journalism the way I wish it was like more often.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max creates a world so effortlessly, at a breakneck speed that doesn't let you catch your breathe, and all while having a shoe string of a story. It's one giant chase scene. That's it. But we don't need anything more. It looks great, the stunts are bonkers, the sound is epic, Charlize Theron is a badass and Tom Hardy is maybe a better Max than Mel ever was. I was on an adrenaline high the whole movie. It's f*cking fantastic.