OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS, I AM SOOOOOOOO EXCITED TO PUBLISH THIS POST. I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks, actually – ever since I got the idea for it. I thought it would be fun to write up my opinions on the movies I’ve seen this year.
Some of the movies, mind you. This list is not comprehensive. These are merely the movies that left the biggest impressions on me – good or bad. Also, this is a way for me to talk about these movies without writing huge reviews for each one… because if there’s anything I’m worse at staying up to date on than book reviews, it’s movie and TV reviews. (I still want to write longer posts about most of these films, though. Just not at the moment. And this kind of thing fit better into a wrap-up post, anyway.)
While this list may not be comprehensive, it is in chronological order. Because I’m nitpicky like that. It was kind of fun to see what I watched when and with whom. Anyway, let’s get started!
I have less respect for this movie now than I did after originally seeing it: Upon further inspection, I realized that Benedict Cumberbatch’s acting here is as wooden as always, somehow managing to turn Turing into more or less the same person as all of his other roles – Holmes, Khan, et cetera – even though their respective personalities are wildly different. I’m not too pleased with some of the things he said about autistic people in interviews, either. (Alan Turing is thought to have been autistic.)
On the other hand, I’m grateful that this movie made more people aware of Alan Turing’s contributions to technology, because he’s been one of my heroes for a long time. Also, this movie has great costuming and a fantastic film score…
This movie was a treat for the eyes! SO MUCH GLITTER AND SO MANY COLORS AHHH OMG. I left the theater feeling happy. The message was a bit trite and the romance wasn’t anything to write home about, but sometimes it’s fun to watch a movie that makes you relive the fairy tale daydreams of your childhood.
Where do I even start?! I am so glad that Joss Whedon is leaving Marvel Studios for good, because this movie was a trainwreck. Like, he screwed up the characterization of Captain America AND Iron Man AND Black Widow AND Hawkeye AND the Hulk AND Scarlet Witch AND Quicksilver. I AM A SMALL BUNDLE OF RAGE. I was soooo excited for this movie, but by the end I regretted spending money on a ticket. Why, Whedon, why?
imagine me & you
When I started watching this movie, I had no idea it would mean so much to me. It’s a lesbian romcom from 2005, and it’s utterly freaking adorable, and also the movie I didn’t know I needed. I’ve watched it multiple times since this summer, including with friends, one of whom rarely likes romantic comedies… but she loved this one. (SO. MUCH. SQUEEING.)
It basically combines all the cute fanfic tropes into one movie, and… and I didn’t know how much I needed it. Imagine Me & You was the first LGBTQ+ film I ever saw, and I’m so glad that I started with something happy, because god knows there are enough sad lesbian stories out there. This movie is lighthearted and ridiculous, but it also feels like hope. Whenever I watch it, it makes me feel not quite so alone, for a time.
I AM SO GLAD I DIDN’T PAY TO SEE THIS. (I went with my 4-H group, and we got in for free.) Jurassic World was – and still is – one of my favorite movies ever, but this movie was terrible. It was so bad that I might even hate it more than Age of Ultron. Please excuse me while I go sulk in a corner about the suckiness of this film. I mean, the LEAST they could have done was to bring back John Williams as the composer, because then at least we’d have had that gorgeous, gorgeous main theme to distract us.
I regret not seeing this movie in theaters when I had the chance – instead, I borrowed the DVD from the library and watched it on my laptop. And, well, that still counts as watching the movie, but I do kind of wonder if I might have loved this incredible movie on the big screen even more.
I can’t say enough good things about this film. It combines dystopian science fiction with epic science fiction, which I love, and the father/daughter relationship made me cry so much. SO. MUCH. The film score is absolutely fantastic as well – one of the best I’ve heard in ages. I’m still mad that Hans Zimmer didn’t win an Oscar for Best Original Score.
I watched most of the X-Men movies this summer, actually, but I’m just listing this one because… well, because it’s the first, and because it’s the one that got me hooked. If 2014 was the year I started reading comics, then 2015 was the year I explored them in more depth, and this extends to watching various movies and TV shows – X-Men, Agent Carter, Daredevil, et cetera.
And I loved this series! I love the heroes and the villains and the allegories and dfkgjhdfkgjdfg I just love it all so much. This movie is now one of my favorite superhero movies, along with The Dark Knight and the Captain America movies.
…I have a lot of happy memories associated with the next batch of movies, including this one, because I saw them with my new friends from college. AHHHHH REMEMBERING THAT JUST NOW MADE ME SO HAPPY.
Anyway, this movie tells the story of an aging and ever more forgetful Sherlock Holmes… and it was amazing. Ian McKellen is one of my favorite actors, and it was a joy to see him here as the famous detective. I loved the way this film explored what Holmes is like without Watson – who had died – because you just don’t see that very often.
Another thing I absolutely loved was this film’s refusal to hurry. It was a rather slow-paced film, and all the better for it. I like films that take their time, developing their characters slowly but surely. That’s not something you see often, either.
mad max: fury road
I did not go see this movie when it first came out because I didn’t think it was my kind of thing. Even after it received an outrageous amount of praise from both critics and the general population – even after people started talking about how feminist it was – I didn’t go see it, because I hadn’t seen the previous three films and didn’t think this one would make any sense.
My friend practically dragged me to go see it at the school’s movie theater our first week at college, though, saying, “It has FIRE TORNADOES, Engie. Come on…. pleeeeease…” I can now say that without a doubt, it is the best $2 I have ever spent. (The school movie theater has really cheap tickets because it shows movies that have already left the bigger theaters.)
This movie has some of the most gorgeous cinematography and design I’ve ever seen. SERIOUSLY. Its use of color and cutaway scenes was amazing… and I’m always interested in seeing someone else’s ideas about what the future will look like. (I LOVED the way everything in this movie was scavenged and brutally functional.) I really hope this movie wins an Oscar for design.
The film score is stunning, too. I listen to it a lot while I write! It’s like a jolt of adrenaline straight to the heart.
I love all the main characters, but especially Furiosa. I HAVE SUCH A CRUSH ON HER OH MY GOD. She’s probably my favorite character from either a book or a movie that I read or watched in 2015. I just… god. I’m gonna need to write an entire post about her, aren’t it? I love everything about her so much – her resourcefulness and her badass fighting skills and her bravery. And her kindness. And I love that she uses a prosthetic, because how often do you see disabled characters in, well, any genre at all?
Oh yes, and this movie also has FIRE TORNADOES OF FEMINISM. Furiosa is really the main character – Max is just along for the ride. (…pun totally intend. I’m sorry.) It’s a movie about the sexual violation of women that manages not to objectify those women at all, which… shouldn’t be a big deal, but unfortunately we live in a world full of crappy, creepy sexualization, and so this movie stands out.
This article sums it up so well: “George Miller seems almost surprised at the movie he ultimately came up with – like it genuinely just occurred to him midway through that subverting the stereotypical macho action-pic plot would make it a better, more original movie.” (Also, he apparently asked his wife to edit it because he thought she would make a better action movie. AHHHHH THAT’S SO CUTE.)
I love this movie so much.
This was my first ever Studio Ghibli film! I loved that there were so many sides to this movie, and that it made you realize that all of the characters had some good ideas and some bad ideas. Also, yay for movies with an ecological theme! That wasn’t what I originally thought it was going to be about, but it ended up delivering a great allegory.
dear white people
I watched this as part of a Spectrum UI meeting! (We were discussing intersectionality at the time.) This movie is a great place to start if you want to become a better ally to POC. Honestly, I think my Intro to Gender, Women’s, & Sexuality Studies course would’ve been 10000% better if we’d watched this instead of reading a kazillion and one articles about white people’s thoughts about race, but… whatever.
This film reminded me of my favorite book, The Miseducation of Cameron Post! Both are about queer teens who are subjected to conversion therapy, although Miseducation is a bit more bittersweet while But I’m A Cheerleader is humorous. Black humor, though – where you make jokes about something because the only alternative would be to cry about it.
Also? Whoever designed this movie did a really good job. I loved the use of color in this film!
This is a GREAT animated Irish children’s movie! It sparked my interest in selkies, and ever since then I’ve been doing a lot of googling and making notes about stuff to include in my stories. THE ARTWORK HERE IS WONDERFUL.
This was such a cute movie! It reminded me a bit of Up in that it’s a kid’s movie that works on more than one level – there’s a lot for kids to enjoy, but I think teens and adults will find a deeper meaning in it, and maybe even enjoy it more than kids would.
Also, I just want everyone to know that I am Sadness and Sadness is me. My friend – who had already seen the movie – told me as we went into the theater that I reminded her of Sadness and at first I wasn’t sure what to think of that, but by the end of the movie I was all like, “STAY INSIDE THE CIRCLE OF SADNESS.”
Though imperfect, this movie made the most of what it had. For example, it was always going to feel like half of a movie – but the filmmakers did the best they could, and their best was pretty damn good. I loved the lighting in this movie – I know that’s a weird comment to make, but if you’ve seen the movie then you’ll know what I’m talking about – and the film score was amazing. The only thing I’m really upset about is that they cut out most of Johanna’s scenes. OH MY GOD THAT WAS SO RUDE CONSIDERING HOW I SHIP KATNISS/JOHANNA.
The novel this is based on – The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith – was one of my top ten reads from 2015, but that didn’t influence my high opinion of this movie at all, considering how grumpy and critical I am about book-to-movie adaptations. I HATE the adapations of most of my favorite books – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Giver, et cetera.
But this adaptation? This is where it’s at. As much as we might like them to, adaptations will never be exactly the same as the books they are based upon – so it’s up to the filmmakers to get as close as possible. And this movie did, cutting out extraneous characters and streamlining the plot and changing tiny details such as characters’ jobs.
Also, come on: VINTAGE LESBIANS. And this was the second movie in 2015 alone that made me have a big old gay crush on Cate Blanchett. (She was also in Cinderella… see, there’s another reason why I liked that film!)
I was SUPER worried about this movie because… well, I don’t really trust J.J. Abrams when it comes to making reboots of things titled Star _____. This was a REALLY enjoyable film, though, and the hype is well deserved.
I loved the new characters, and I loved seeing the old ones again. I loved that this movie had a female lead, and that there was absolutely no sexualization or objectification of female characters in this movie. (Something that’s rare in science fiction or… any genre, really.) And I loved the film score by John Williams, of course! That’s just a given.
Now, out of all of these movies, which ones were my favorites? I’m splitting this into two parts: Movies made in 2015, and movies made before 2015.
My favorite made-before-2015 movie was Interstellar, and the honorable mention goes to Imagine Me & You. These two films are vastly different from one another, and yet just what I love.
The honorable mentions for made-in-2015 movies go to Carol and Mr. Holmes – two quiet, leisurely-paced films about the past – while the “favorite made-in-2015 movie” award goes to… Mad Max: Fury Road, a post-apocalyptic film that made me want to drive a flaming truck in the world’s most intense, explosion-filled car chase. I hope these three movies win all of the awards, despite their… rather vast differences of genre.
Aaaaand my favorite movie out of ANY that I watched in 2015? Oh, god. Uhhhhh… you can’t do this to me. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME DECIDE. IT’S TOO HARD.
…I meant to figure out whether I liked Interstellar or Mad Max: Fury Road more, but… I can’t. I can’t, you guys. I just can’t. I think it’s probably dependent on which movie I rewatched lately, but even then I’m so confused because I rewatched both within a few days of one another, and my brain is filled with thoughts of astronauts and flames. Thanks, brain.
Tell me: What were the best movies that YOU saw in 2015? (And why?!)