Gabrielle Bondi’s Top 10 Movies of 2015
Here is the usual disclaimer that I haven’t seen all of the movies that 2015 has to offer, but most of what I have seen has been great, proving that 2015 has been another solid year for cinema. These are the 10 movies that personally moved and entertained me the most.
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I’m suppressing rolling my eyes at myself for including the new Star Wars movie, which is far from perfect. It has some big flaws, but I can’t deny how much I love watching it. The new characters are so much fun, and this movie gave me an awesome female character like Rey, who completely blew me away in one of the end scenes.
- Mad Max: Fury Road
This is another film that took me awhile to process and eventually realize just how much I loved it. Fast, ultra-stylish and purely badass, George Miller’s return to Mad Max was well worth the wait and all of those Happy Feet movies.
Phoenix has one of the most powerful and satisfying final scenes of the year. The slow and haunting emotional build makes the end so effective and unforgettable.
- Ex Machina
This film took awhile for me to really love. At first, I didn’t find it all that groundbreaking, but after a second watch and thinking about some specific moments from the film, Ex Machina is amazing. Living in a time where the line between humanity and technology continues to get blurrier, it does what most science fiction films should do, challenging the way we live and explore what happens when things are taken a little bit too far.
A simply astonishing drama about how the power of love and faith in one another can make people survive the most awful situations. Jacob Tremblay is the standout here, playing a five-year-old whose world is harshly broken wide open. Tremblay brought so much nuance to a difficult role, while Brie Larson is heartbreaking as his mother, who made sure that her son’s worldview was not confined to the room they had been locked in for years.
- Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
This is a young adult movie, which most people seem to forget because Me and Earl is uniquely filmed, incredibly performed and genuinely moving and funny. Unfortunately, the bad stigma attached to YA adaptations seems to shutter the film out of the category. However, Me and Earl is what happens when you adapt YA fiction right. It makes you cry, laugh and think.
- The End of the Tour
The End of the Tour is just the type of smart and unconventional drama that knows how to draw me in. Poignant and thought-provoking, Jason Segel transforms into David Foster Wallace, and we get glimpse into his thoughts about life, love, and humanity.
A sucker for newsroom dramas, I was bound to like Spotlight no matter what. Yet, the gripping thriller-like detective story at the heart of the film makes it exceptional. With incredible performances from the ensemble cast, the film treats the material properly with anger, frustration, sadness and even remorse. It’s the type of film that leaves you speechless by the enormity of their story and just how widely it reaches.
Sweet and charming, Saoirse Ronan shines in this story about a girl moving across the Atlantic and feeling the pull of her home country and relishing the exciting opportunities in her new home. It showcases the type of classic romantic storytelling that makes me completely swoon. Boasted by lovely performances, Brooklyn is full of life, taking its time on long moments to remind us about the beauty of love and happiness.
This is one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen. I didn’t think a movie would capture my heart more than Brooklyn did this year, but Carol did just that. It’s a fairly straightforward story that’s directed so immaculately, but the weight of the performances from Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara make Carol more than aesthetically stunning.
Honorable Mentions: The Big Short, The Revenant, Youth, Creed, Inside Out