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.
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