We are already a couple of weeks into 2016, and I apologize for the delay. I’ve been distracted by a little Netflix show called, Making a Murderer. I still have a few episodes left, but figured this was the first non-holiday weekend and I should do this.
As I look over my list of new movies I saw in 2015, I’m sad to report that I only hit 58 movies, which is a little lower than what I average each year. I think some of that might have to do with my waiting on a few movies cause I know they are going to be up for Best Picture at the Oscars and I always do the Best Picture Showcase. I can also imagine there are a few movies I missed in theaters that I will check out once they come out on Blu-ray.
Top ten movie lists are purely subjective, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. There really isn’t a definitive list as to the best movies of the year are, because it’s all a matter of personal taste. It’s difficult to argue how Inside Out might be better than The Big Short. Try to compare why Spotlight is better than Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It doesn’t do any of us any good trying to rank Room over or below Mad Max Fury Road.
Anyone can put up a ranking, and no one list is the same as any other. But I guess that is what makes the practice of making these lists so appealing. Reading and arguing which films deserve to be in a yearly top ten, or even take the title of the year’s best.
I watch a lot of television – A LOT. And in 2015, there were a bunch of shows I watched, yet didn’t review (The Goldbergs, The Vampire Diaries, General Hospital, House of Cards to name a few), and there were many, many shows that were in my brain queue, of which I hope to get to eventually (I’m talking about you, Six Feet Under!). So this is a mix for me. I picked 10 of the plethora of holy s*** TV moments I’ve experienced in 2015, whether sad, shocking, awesome, funny, lovely – ones where when the moment was over, I turned and said, “I can’t believe that… did you see that?” Or, “That was the _________ moment on television ever.”
Spoilers if you haven’t watched much TV this year… seriously.
So whether you agree or disagree (and I might agree with your disagreement), check out the list below of my Top 10 Favorite Television Episodes of 2015.
More than any other year this decade, 2015 had a sufficient amount of prestigious films that had distinct narratives about women being considerably perplexed and troubled with their particular situations. Perusing the films on my list, I started to realize that a vast number of them contained women longing to attain an ideal, a passion, or a faint semblance of hope that the future can and will be brighter. From all over the globe these individuals sought love and respect only to encounter threatening obstacles, some that could be overcome and others that could barely be comprehended, let alone endured.
The atmosphere that Harley found herself in in Heaven Knows What was beyond volatile and dangerous, but it didn’t prohibit her from dreaming of a better existence for herself and her lover. A lethal assassin is summoned back to her homeland to carry out a murder but is unable to do so due to her growing consciousness in The Assassin. Two women who fall spellbindingly in love in Carol each possess desires to create a lasting bond with each other despite society’s unbending morality. Looking to move up in the ranks of the FBI and make a name for herself, Kate unquestionably steps too far out of her comfort zone where she quickly meets the most ruthless of men in Sicario. And the women of Mad Max: Fury Road are acquainted with an impossible to comprehend evil but are willing to go through an unrelenting gauntlet to attain their ideal.
The annual ritual of narrowing down hundreds of titles to just 10 is a cruel but necessary discipline as a film critic. Over the past 12 months, I’ve seen 100 new releases. I spent a combined eight days watching movies this year, and I’m happy to report that 2015 has been a pretty great year for cinema.
We saw new work by visionary filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, Todd Haynes, George Miller, and Denis Villeneuve. We witnessed noteworthy performances by Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Oscar Isaac, Michael B. Jordan, Saoirse Ronan, and Brie Larson. And we were entertained and awe-struck by blockbusters like Mad Max: Fury Road, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
I saw some truly great movies that renewed my love for cinema and kept my cynicism and negativity buried beneath joy and optimism this year. Here are the ones that did just that: 10 films that moved, inspired, and reinvigorated me.