Finally, after copious amounts of blood, sweat and tears, not to mention pondering, I have compiled my top twelve films of 2015, and ranked all the others. Enjoy!
On the twelfth day of Christmas
The movies gave to me
Twelve Collins hits
Eleven Jobs of Steve
Ten Stars A-warring
Nine Scottish plays
Eight stranded Martians
Six dates with Carol
Five Vi’lent Years
Four hacking Blackhats
Three Ex Machinas
Two Broadway Birdmen
And emotions Inside Out!
In more traditional list format:
- Inside Out
A hilarious, moving, brilliantly inventive, consistently creative evocation of imagination and the need to laugh and cry.
- Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
A fearless, relentless, tragicomic blasterpiece.
- Ex Machina
An eerie, beguiling and enthralling exploration of identity, consciousness and personhood.
A gripping and enthralling existential thriller of identity in a world of anonymity.
- A Most Violent Year
A measured, compelling and de-romanticised portrayal of the American Dream.
A meticulously crafted, exquisitely mournful period romance of forbidden love.
An entrancingly beautiful, unremittingly bleak portrayal of unflinching ugliness.
- The Martian
A stunning, breathtaking, frequently hilarious extraterrestrial survival story.
A brooding, bloody and blasted vision of ambition, madness and death.
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
A blistering, barnstorming, blockbusting bonanza where the Force undergoes a fast, visceral, referential, reverential reawakening.
- Steve Jobs
A dynamic, electrifying portrayal of an inscrutable and fascinating mind.
- Danny Collins
A warm, witty, hilarious, bittersweet, moving tale of redemption, family and the choices we make.
A gloriously refreshing, wildly hilarious re-invigoration of the spy comedy-thriller.
- Crimson Peak
A gorgeous, sumptuous, tragic Gothic romance, simmering with invention and emotion.
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
A grim, thrilling, sometimes shocking yet also redemptive finale to a mighty saga.
- Bridge of Spies
A meticulously measured period spy/legal/political/absurdist dramedy.
A grim and oppressive tale of isolation and the struggle for a soul.
An intricate, powerful tale of great events told through the lens of shared, social experience.
- Still Alice
A moving, heartbreaking and yet loving portrayal of a life falling apart.
An urgent, compelling, gripping portrayal of political activism and the distance we still have to go.
- Big Hero 6
A joyous, thrilling, moving, endearing, hilarious, exhilarating and dazzling animated adventure.
A dazzlingly unapologetic, beautifully romantic fairy tale, exquisitely nuanced in all the right ways.
- A Little Chaos
A beautifully intimate and gorgeously landscaped horticultural costume drama.
A fresh, funny, zinging superheroic heist adventure.
- The Intern
An adorable, intelligent friendship comedy that keeps a man static while a woman develops.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
An enormously ambitious and mostly successful tale of fear and faith within a bulging, blistering superhero slobberknocker.
- American Sniper
A powerful and highly ambivalent tale of macho militarism and its consequences.
A hilarious, gross-out, inventive, spiky, heart-warming rom-com that just survives slipping into cliché.
A sly, witty, visceral, somewhat unbalanced but still engaging and thrilling tale of duty, redemption, haunting, power and choice.
- The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
A suave, slick, smart, darkly comic, impeccably tongue-in-cheek period spy bromance pastiche.
- Song of the Sea
A beautiful, enchanting portrayal of magic, family and feeling.
- Black Mass
A grim, compelling, intricate gangster tale of violence, corruption and loyalty.
- Jupiter Ascending
A narratively unwieldy and preposterously overwritten, thematically confused yet gorgeously designed and furiously stylish noble failure of a sci-fi action epic that blends Star Wars, Stargate, Flash Gordon, Brazil and Soylent Green and could benefit equally from expansion or streamlining.
- Child 44
A grim, bleak tale of the struggle for redemption against the relentless machinery of the state.
A charming, frenetic, brutal, confused and disparate sci-fi fable.
- In The Heart of the Sea
A solid, stirring and at times humbling portrayal of humanity’s relationship with nature.
A zany, bonkers riot of slapstick humour, lunacy and BANANA!
- The Theory of Everything
A touching, lyrical biopic with great performances, marred by distracting cinematography.
- Fifty Shades of Grey
An exquisitely designed, beautifully paced romantic drama, botched by a rushed climax.
- Kingsman: The Secret Service
A wacky, profane, bloody, funny satire/parody of the spy film.
- Mad Max: Fury Road
A blistering, relentless, visceral destructo-derby.
- San Andreas
An unsteady but still gripping disaster flick of family, courage and ingenuity.
- Into The Woods
A boisterous, barnbusting musical that runs out of steam part way through.
- Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
A solid spy thriller undermined by a mish-mash of style and tone.
- Jurassic World
A nostalgic and self-aware if rather mechanical and lacklustre dinosaur adventure.
- Testament of Youth
A handsome but sterile story of war and loss that suffers from an excess of “Englishness.”
A muddled yet sometimes heartbreaking telling of a remarkable true story.
- Fantastic Four
A dour super body horror drama of growing pains, friendship and ambition.
An energetic but hollow portrayal of obsession that raises ideas before frustratingly abandoning them.
- Irrational Man
A lacklustre philosophical thought experiment on existence and meaning.
A flimsy and unconvincing sci-fi action thriller.
Turkey of the Year
- Terminator Genisys
A retrograde regurgitation that retches its wretched innards over a brilliant and intelligent franchise.