Every December, I make a list of my 10 favourite movies of the year. We’ll call it “Top 10 movies of 2015”, but it doesn’t reflect box office performance, critical reception, or public consensus. This is just one person’s recommendation of 10 great films that were released in the past year. Now, counting down to #1 – Floris’ Top 10 movies of 2015:

10. Jurassic World

The latest in the modern trend of combining reboot and remake in one film, Jurassic World succeeded in respecting and acknowledging the original film, but not ruining its premise. This franchise has a lot of potential for more sequels, especially when treated well and in the hands of great directors like Colin Trevorrow.

9. The Imitation Game

The least surprising casting choice of the year: Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing – the tortured genius mathematician widely considered to being the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.

8. The Diary of a Teenage Girl

A confident, clever, and daring coming-of-age film about one girl’s first sexual experiences in 1970’s San Fransisco. Minnie is a 15-year-old girl who starts a relationship with her mother’s boyfriend in this film based on a graphic novel. It’s a genuine and funny narrative about growing up, becoming a grownup, and the difference between the two.

7. Nightcrawler

Can you say “creepy”? Jake Gyllenhaal definitely creates a creepy, unpredictable character in Nightcrawler. It’s a fascinating look at desperation, attention-seeking, and the lengths some people would go to in order to reach their idea of “success”.

6. The Martian

Matt Damon and Ridley Scott are both at the top of their game with The Martian. This is a sciency sci-fi thriller about getting stuck and surviving on Mars – another visceral reminder that it’s way safer to just stay on Earth.

5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars returns with a bang. Although many have called The Force Awakens a by-the-numbers Star Wars flick and a pseudo-remake of the 1977 original, there’s enough fun and fresh action and laughs in Episode VII to thrill fans, excite newcomers, and keep everyone on the edge of their seat.

4. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

A cinephile flick that’s not really about film. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl mixes a coming-of-age narrative and fun characters with cancer drama and a film about art and fitting in.

3. Whiplash

An intense drama about mentors, encouragement, and what it takes to truly be great. JK Simmons is definitely deserving of his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this film, and it’s a pity that Miles Teller didn’t get a statue too.

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

In a word: Spectacular. You’ve never seen any film like Mad Max: Fury Road. Even if it’s only for its uniqueness, this film will be remembered for a long time.

1. Birdman

Birdman, about a washed-up superhero movie star (Michael Keaton) who tries to reinvent himself as a serious actor, is fascinating on many levels. And definitely one of those films that warrant a ton of thought and discussion long after the cinema lights have come on again.

Close contenders:

[Links to trailers]


Movies I’m looking forward to seeing in 2016

[Links to trailers, where possible]