Our Critics Pick Their Best (and Worst) Films of 2015

Now that the calendar has turned over to 2016, some of our critics decided to compile their annual “Best of/Worse of” lists of the films of 2015. You can listen to them list their choices, as well as their reasons, on this week’s “Behind the Mikes” Podcast – http://behindthemikes.podomatic.com/entry/2016-01-03T02_32_33-08_00

Michael Smith

Before I list my favorites, I have an honorary film, “Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” It narrowly missed being a part of my Top 10 but, as the most anticipated film of the year, it delivered everything I wanted and more. My “Best of” choices:

1. The Revenant
2. Bridge of Spies
3. The Connection
4. Creed
5. The Gift
6. Mad Max: Fury Road
7. Sicario
8. Spotlight

9. Here I chose (3) smaller films that didn’t gain a wide release but are still “must sees” in my book:

5-7 – A sweet, May-December romance starring Anton Yelchin and Berenice Marhloe that I called, “cleverly acted by a cast that believes in the material.”

The Looking Glass – A well written, thoughtfully directed character directed film, featuring strong performances by veteran actress Dorothy Tristan, who also wrote the script, and newcomer Grace Tarnow.

Radio America – the story of two men, friends since childhood, who pursue their musical ambitions and learn that sometimes having your dreams come true is costly. Also has a great soundtrack of original music.

10. Straight Outta Compton

Thankfully I was spared many of this years stinkers. My bottom four:
1. Love the Coopers
2. The Last Witch Hunter
3. The Kingsman: The Secret Service
4. Tomorrowland

Jeremy Werner’s Top 10
1. Inside Out
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
3. Sicario
4. Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens
5. It Follows
6. The Look of Silence
7. Spotlight
8. The Martian
9. Room
10. Carol

And the stinkers:
1. Point Break
2. The Human Centipede 3
3. Hitman: Agent 47
4. The Fantastic Four
5. The Ridiculous Six

Lauren Damon’s Top 7:
1. (tie) Crimson Peak and Ex Machina
2. The Hateful Eight
3. What We Do In the Shadows
4. The Martian
5. Jurassic World
6. Mad Max: Fury Road
7. Cinderella

And Lauren’s terrible 2:
Self/Less
Blackhat

Podcast Contributor Loey Lockerby’s Top 10:
1. Room
2. The Martian
3. Inside Out
4. The Big Short
5. It Follows
6. Ex Machina
7. The Hateful Eight
8. Carol
9. Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens
10. Mad Max: Fury Road

Loey says they were spared having to watch anything horrible this past year. You can read Loey’s full reviews at www.suchacritic.com

[Editor’s note, an earlier version of this post had Lauren lacking worst picks. She had them.]

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