Star Wars: The Force Awakens – In a sense, I’ve been waiting for this movie since I was five-years-old, as it continues the legacy of what the original Star Wars started almost 40 years ago. Clearly, J.J. Abrams was the man for the job. He gives us a true new addition to the Star Wars universe. The best part? Daisy Ridley. She’s pure power and charisma on screen, and she’s supported by a very strong new cast. It’s also terrific seeing Harrison Ford again as Han Solo. I could go on, but you’ve heard it all. Suffice to say, this is my favorite film of the year.
Mad Max: Fury Road – This movie had me grinning like an idiot nearly the whole way through; it’s pure fun. It’s also one of the most raw and visceral cinematic experiences I can remember, pure jaw-dropping cinema. Wow.
The Revenant – Please see my brief review here. This movie is amazing.
Trainwreck – I don’t think I laughed harder at anything all year. Man, this is a funny film. I’ve been an Amy Schumer fan since I first saw her stand-up, and her sketch comedy show is one of the smartest satires on television. Schumer wrote and stars in Trainwreck, and it proves what her fans already knew: she’s one of the greatest comedians out there. Brilliant.
The Martian – The film is a perfect adaptation of a wonderful book, not that we would expect anything less from Ridley Scott. Drew Goddard’s script deftly plucks the best elements from Andy Weir’s novel, and forgivingly leaves out the tedium. (Not that I don’t appreciate hard science, but it doesn’t always make for the most compelling read.) The hilarious Matt Damon perfectly nails the role of astronaut Mark Watney, and the rest of the cast is wonderful. It all adds up to something really special.
Worst of the Year: Aloha – Awful in every way, just gross. How could so many talented people go so wrong?
Looking forward to what 2016 brings!