Thursday, March 31, 2016

Brian's Top 50 Films of 2015

As the character Michael Stone says in Anomalisa (which didn't make my list): "What is it to be human? What is it to ache? What is it to be alive?"

Welcome to my Top Films of 2015 list! I would have loved to publish this earlier in the year but I was constantly tracking down or discovering new cinematic blindspots from 2015. Even now there's dozens of films I wanted to watch (and agonized over not being able to) in preparation for this project but I decided I couldn't let this beast bleed over into April. At the end of this post I'll share a few of my regrets i.e. films I wasn't able to squeeze in before this list's publication.

One final note, I watched nearly 800 films last year including several hundreds of 2015 releases. With the exception of movies released exclusively to streaming platforms like Netflix or VOD I watched the majority of these theatrically on the big screen (as I encourage others to do). Many of my selections I revisited multiple times to gain deeper insight toward and to help determine their placement in my list. Without any further adieu here's Brian's Top Films of 2015:

* Revised - 10/1/16


50. Appropriate Behaviour (Akhavan)

49. Aloha (Crowe)

48. Arrêt Pipi (Groen)

47. Knock Knock (Roth)

46. Dope (Fumuyiwa) / Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Gomez-Rejon)

45. The Salt of the Earth (Salgado, Wenders)

44. Ex-Machina (Garland)

43. Cobain: Montage of Heck (Morgen)

43. Mad Max: Fury Road (Miller)

41. The Good Dinosaur (Sohn)

40. Mustang (Ergüven)

39 Carol (Haynes)

38. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (Nelson)

37.World of Tomorrow (Hertzfeldt)

36. The Wolfpack (Moselle)

35. Call Me Lucky (Goldthwait) / Seymour: An Introduction (Hawke)

34. Güeros (Ruizpalacios)

33.  Timbuktu (Sissako)

32. Tangerine (Baker)

31. Spring (Benson, Moorhead) / It Follows (Mitchell)

30. Manson Family Vacation (Davis)

29. Beasts of No Nation (Fukunaga)

28. Phoenix (Petzold)

27. Uncle John (Piet)

26. Digging for Fire (Swanberg)


25. The Duke of Burgundy (Strickland)

24. The Stanford Prison Experiment (Alvarez)

23. Horse Money (Costa)

22. When Marnie Was There (Yonebayashi)

21. The End of the Tour (Ponsoldt)

20. Goosebumps (Letterman) / The Peanuts Movie (Martino)

19. The Assassin (Hsiao-Hsien, 2015)

18. Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (Lee)

17. Stations of the Cross (Brüggemann)

16. James White (Mond)

15. Sicario (Villeneuve)

14. Straight Outta Compton (Gray)

13. Clouds of Sils Maria (Assayas)

12. Queen of Earth (Perry)

11. Room (Abrahamson)

10. The Mend (Magary)

9. Love & Mercy (Pohlad)

8. Creep (Brice)

7. Chi-Raq (Lee)

6. Mistress America (Baumbach)

5. Hard to Be a God (German)

4. Son of Saul (Nemes)

3. Jauja (Alonso)

2. Inside Out (Docter, Carmen)

1. Heaven Knows What (Safdie, Safdie)


As promised here's a list of ever-growing blindspots I was unable to see before the the publication of this list: Love (Noé), Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (Elkabetz, Elkabetz), The Tribe (Slaboshpytskyi), Cartel Land (Heineman), A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Amirpour), Black Coal, Thin Ice (Diao), Faults (Stearns), Victora (Schipper), Experimenter (Almereyda), Magic Mike XXL (Jacobs), La Sapienza (Green), About Elly (Farhadi), Landmine Goes Click (Bakhia), and so many, many more.