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Year-End List 2015: 20 Best Movies

As in any year, plenty of movies inspired boredom, disgust, annoyance, anger, and irritation, but there was also lots to enjoy. Can I be honest though? It was unusually hard coming up with the list this year. Not because there were too many, but because there weren't enough. 

I was hoping to expand the list to 25 just to align it with the rest of the blog's year-end lists, but I just couldn't get myself to include movies that weren't THAT great just to fill the rest of the list. No, I didn't have enough time (or money) to see every movie released every year - so maybe I left out some of the fantastic ones - but from what I saw, it was a tough one. 

That said, there were some spectacular films in 2015 and with 2016 upon us, it's a good time to look back on the movies that this year has brought us. 

As always, the usual caveats apply: I’m willing to concede that these may all simply be movies that happened to land in front of my eyeballs on the day I needed them to. So yes, I wasn’t able to see every movie this year, so absence from the list may suggest one I missed.

Also, the particular order of the list changed several times over the course of its writing, and will doubtless continue changing in my head long after publication. Let's get to it.

Read on to see what made the shortlists and let us know in the comments what made yours. 

"To sell a sophisticated comedy to a youth-obsessed audience was a gamble that would surely signal a train wreck by default, but The Intern pulled that daunting task with aplomb."

"I was seriously expecting Cinderella to be godawful - how many adaptations can this story have? - but it shockingly turned out to be quite magnificent and somehow seemed magical."

18. Spy

"It was unashamedly funny, there were a lot of hysterical moments, and I was fairly impressed by how sharp the writing was. Never devoid of laugh and charm, Spy was one of the most delightfully funny movies of the year."

"The stop-motion animation was a superbly executed, it was visually vibrant, the backdrops were exquisitely rendered, the soundtrack and scoring was sublime, and the voice acting was well done."

"It delivered on a technical standpoint as it had a plethora of testosterone fueled action sequences and an abundance of mind blowing visual effects, especially the sweeping canvas of different worlds - possibly one of the most visually impressive films I have seen this year."

".. largely character-driven, but it was far from a quiet, intimate drama. The fear, aggression, thrill and emotions were well represented throughout the film and that made this not only an engaging drama, but a gripping thriller."

"Deliriously entertaining! Kingsman: The Secret Service was an attempt to take the usual spy formula and push it into a hipper, darkly comedic, and excessively violent territory."

".. turned out to be quite riveting and strangely comical - almost to a fault. It packed a powerful wallop and it made me think, and that's all too rare."

".. an intense and gripping war film that had me in a constant state of worry and stress, but ultimately a great movie that only gets better the more I think about it. "

"Just beautiful. That Thing Called Tadhana was not a typical Filipino romance comedy film. It wasn't complex with no overbearing drama, no forced conflicts, or any gratuitous slow-mos for added kilig effect, and yet it was easily one of the more riveting Filipino films under this genre."

10. Ant-Man

".. arguably, one of the strongest solo Marvel films in the last couple of years and probably one of the most self-aware and hysterical Marvel movies to date. It didn't take itself too seriously, which made it less predictable and extremely entertaining. "

".. this was just flat out spectacular! With an immense casting, decent story, and visuals that put Transformers blur to shame, Avengers: Age of Ultron was a terrific blockbuster film."

"Incredibly fascinating. The Imitation Game was a powerful film backed by an exceptional story and superb acting."

"Furious 7 wasn't a perfect film, but then again, it wasn't supposed to be. What it should be was special, and in that, it succeeded. Besides, how often can you get a quality film seven movies deep? Very rare. RIP Paul Walker."

Complex and thought provoking. I didn't expect much from Ex Machina, but this has to be one of the greatest science fiction films in recent memory. The last few minutes in particular were, in equal parts, intense, exciting, and absolutely horrifying.

"Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation reinforced the freshness of the series as this delivered a thrilling and slick blockbuster that has enough substance to match the style. To say that this was exhilarating was an understatement."

04. Sicario

Gritty. Dark. Brutal. Sicario was a completely visceral experience, which was ironically also pretty hard to watch. It was expertly crafted with some superb performances and masterful direction. 

"Emotional. Riveting. Exquisite. The Martian was completely immersive and compelling and there's something wonderfully optimistic about the film."

"In an era where most Hollywood movies are either reboots, adaptations, sequels, and remakes, Inside Out was an outstanding breath of fresh air. A film that created such lasting and resonant memories in my mind making it one of the best animation films in recent memory."

"Gritty. Absurd. Nasty. Insane. Brilliant. I needed some time to process what I've just witnessed. I can't heap enough praise upon Mad Max: Fury Road. It's a modern masterpiece. See it."
Year-End List 2015: 20 Best Movies Reviewed by DAM on 10:54 PM Rating: 5

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