2015 in Films

Below are a list of all the films I saw in 2015. Each title is a link to its IMDb.com page for trailers, info and more.
  • American Sniper – (A-) – Technically a 2014 film but we saw it in Jan ‘15. Cooper did a great job of playing a very controversial guy. It deserved the Oscar noms but rightfully didn’t win.
  • Ant-Man – (B) – A lot more fun than I expected. Paul Rudd is a doll but his Peter Quill-esque attitude got a little tired towards the end.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron – (B) – Aside from some cartoony CGI at the beginning, it holds up as a worthy successor to the previous Avengers. Although Renner’s Hawkeye ruins everything he touches.
  • Bridge of Spies – (B+) – I wanted this to be a little more intense (like Argo) but it kept me interested and I learned a lot, which has subsequently left my brain. What was this about again? WWII?
  • Brooklyn – (A) – What a nice movie! It’s refreshing to see a story where things generally work out for the best. No mean people, no abusive relationships, just good acting and a group of characters you can really root for.
  • Carol – (A) – It was not about that Horatio Sanz SNL skit. Instead it’s a gorgeous, lovely, heart-healing, film about self-discovery and love in 1952. Rooney is my preferred Mara and Cate is my preferred everything!
  • Concussion – (B+) – I liked this more than I wanted too. I am not a fan of the Smith family but Will did a great job. Albert Brooks’ Cyril Wecht was a little too cartoon-y for me and the women had nothing to do in this film but it held my interests. I am sure the NFL will deny most of this. They suck anyway.
  • Creed – (C+) – People are going nuts over this film but it was so predictable and juvenile. Michael B. Jordan was very good as was Tessa Thompson. If Rocky doesn’t die in the next movie then this franchise needs to be put to pasture.
  • Ex Machina – (A-) – This movie is haunting and beautiful and creepy and unsettling and gorgeous and robotic. Domhall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac are great but Alicia Vikander steals the show.
  • Freeheld – (B-) – I am being generous with that grade only because Julianne Moore and Shadowcat were very good. Steve Carell was over-the-top and the movie came off like a decent Lifetime movie-of-the-week. Don’t bother.
  • Grandma – (B+) – Lily Tomlin plays a bawdy, bold, and boisterous woman who helps her granddaughter deal with an unwanted pregnancy. The movie is more about Lily’s character confronting her own mistakes rather than her granddaughters.
  • Hateful Eight – (A-) – The dialogue isn’t as clever as in his previous films but the first half does build up the tension pretty well leading into the second half which is a bloody mess (in a good way).
  • Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 – (C+) – Ugh. No. I mean, it followed the book so I don’t know what I was expecting but this was dark, and dull, and depressing. It says something that less people bothered with the conclusion than with Part 1.
  • Inside Out – (A-) – Sad feelings make me sad. But also Joy!
  • Iris – (B+) – A documentary about fashion icon Iris Apfel. Very interesting, she is a character for sure. It’s definitely one of those “Only in New York” moments.
  • It Follows – (A-) – No outright scares just creepy, creepy, creepy. A metaphor for AIDS or maybe just a face-value demon film. Either way it will leave you talking about it for weeks afterwards.
  • Jurassic World – (B+) – Chris Pratt makes out with raptors, what more do you want?
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service – (A-) – This movie kicks ass. It’s a bloody mess, funny, and a little ridiculous but it was oh so fun.
  • Krampus – (B-) – This teetered the line between dark and funny and unfortunately didn’t dip into either far enough. At least it stuck with the “Evil Santa Demon Kills Everyone!” plot. It’s like Gremlins but with less scares. It really stuck with me for a few days.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road – (A-) – Fun fun fun! Charlize owns this film. Thankfully Tom “mumbles” Hardy doesn’t have many lines.
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – (B) – Tweens live for sick-lit (see also: The Fault in Our Stars). It’s a more fun version of that at least. Also it was filmed in Pgh so I had to see it.
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation – (B) – Not as good as #4 but entertaining nonetheless. I enjoy these movies but they all blend together after awhile.
  • Pitch Perfect 2 – (C+) – Okay, this movie was not good. It was so disappointing especially since PP1 was so entertaining. If you LOVED PP1 then see this and be prepared to be underwhelmed.
  • Ricki and the Flash – (C+) – When this trailer came out I thought it looked atrocious. Then a bunch of friends said “No, it’s much better than the trailer.” It’s not.
  • Selma – (B+) – An important movie that is still relevant today. Maybe even more so.
  • Sisters – (C) – The most disappointing movie of the year. Fey and Poehler are miscast (should have been in the reverse roles). Aside from a few small funny elements the whole thing just falls flat. What a waste.
  • Spectre – (A-) – I liked this one a lot. It really tied everything from the previous Daniel Craig Bond films together. It also had a few cool callbacks to much older 007 sequences and was all around fun.
  • Spotlight – (A) – A bland title for a spectacular film. This is one of my contenders for Best Picture. It’s a great ensemble and is like a really good Law & Order: SVU
  • Spy – (B+) – Melissa McCarthy films are hit-or-miss with me. This one is a hit. I especially like that she isn’t incompetent or the butt of the joke. It’s pretty funny (and violent).
  • St.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens – (A-) – This is the Star Wars we’ve been waiting for for 30 years. Yes, it’s essentially a retread of A New Hope but it was a lot of fun. Well you know, you saw it.
  • Steve Jobs – (A-) – I was prepared to hate this movie. I don’t care about Steve Jobs and there have been enough movies about him but I was pleasantly surprised. Kate Winslet was fantastic and I liked the storytelling device they used of 4 key points in his career. This movie was too good to be overlooked like it was.
  • The Big Short – (B-) – A little hard to follow only because I don’t understand finances and Wall Street but it had that “Thank You For Smoking” aesthetic. It’s upsetting how evil these dirtbags were and yet they got away scott free.
  • The Danish Girl – (A) – Beautiful. This movie is beautiful inside and out. It’s amazing how this all transpired. Society is barely tolerant of transpeople in 2015 let alone in 1926. I won’t be surprised if the two leads get Oscars.
  • The Diary of a Teenage Girl – (D+) – Kristen Wiig really wants to branch away from straight comedy and I appreciate that but this movie was a grubby piece of crap.
  • The DUFF – (B-) – Robbie Amell will never be a star so he needs to stay supporting. This is one of those films where they take a cute girl (Mae Whitman) put her in overalls and glasses and say she’s fat and ugly. Girl power.
  • The Gift – (B-) – Jason Bateman and his wife are stalked by a weirdo in a toupee. At first it has the standard setup but then the twist midway through and the final “gotcha!” are worth sticking around for. What goes around comes around, buddy!
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. – (C+) – This film had everything going for it: great director, hot stars, espionage and action, and yet it fell flat. It was so boring I wanted to walk out. Armie Hammer’s second dead franchise in a row as it should be.
  • The Martian – (B+) – My favorite book of 2014 became one of my favorite movies of 2015. Despite Kristen Wiig being completely wasted and them watering down the source material a bit it was still a great film. Definitely worth checking out.
  • The Revenant – COMING SOON! Leo has sex with a bear. I hope Tom Hardy plays the bear.
  • The Theory of Everything – (B+) – Another 2014 film that was wide-released in Jan ‘15. If you like to watch people get debilitating diseases and over come them then this is the film for you.
  • The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – (B) – The title says it all.
  • The Wolfpack – (C) – Documentary about 7 kids that are raised in an apartment in NYC and aren’t allowed to leave for 14 years. The situation is interesting but they pass their time by re-enacting movies with full scripts and costumes and watching someone else re-enact movies is like hearing someone else’s dreams. BORING!
  • Tomorrowland – (C+) – No. Just…no. Disjointed, unfocused, boring. Plus it wraps up way too easily and predictably.
  • Welcome to Me – (B-) – Kristen Wiig plays a wacko who wins the lottery and starts her own bizarre talk show. I really wanted the movie to be funnier but it’s kind of sad. It’s really about mental illness and how society deals with it. It’s one of those movies I want everyone to rent so we can talk about it.
  • What We Do In The Shadows – (B) – A New Zealand mockumentary about Vampires. Think “The Real World: Twilight” if created by Christopher Guest. It was a lot funnier than I was expecting.