2015 was definitely a year, and that year had movies. Some of them were good, some of them were bad. How to know which is which? Well, allow me to be your machete as you hack your way through this dense thicket of #CONTENT.
A lot of people wonder why I don’t start at the bottom first, treat this like a real countdown. There’s a simple reason for that. Aside from the fact that I’m not much for stagecraft, who ever thinks about what their 15th favorite movie is? No, me, I start at the top, with number one, because that’s what I’m most confident in. Sort of like wearing your nice underwear on the first date. Start strong and fizzle out, that’s my life advice.
As always, all opinions are final, and I will fight you. KNIVES OUT!
1. Anomalisa (original review)
I know, I know, what a hipster. (I vote a moratorium on this word in ’16, BTW.) I am, picking a movie that almost no one reading this has even seen, one that didn’t open in New York and L.A. until this week. I’m sorry! I swear I didn’t choose it to be cool!
To be honest, it was a tough decision trying to decide between Anomalisa or Fury Road at number one. I ended up going with Anomalisa simply because I feel like I’ll end up thinking about it the most. It offered that ol’ “Insight Into The Human Condition,” and did it in a cheeky, clever way. It took what could’ve been a depressive observation on the illusory nature of attraction and was so eloquent in the telling that it made it feel inspiring. Thank God for Charlie Kaufman. There was no other movie I saw where I had less of an idea where it was going, or was happier when it got there. It was like one long pleasant surprise, and I think it will stay with me a long time. It’s up there with Charlie Kaufman’s best, and with him that’s saying something.
2. Mad Max: Fury Road (original review)
Mad Max: Fury Road is probably the populist pick, and mostly the correct one, which is a rare thing. If more sequels were like Fury Road, I would love sequels. Fury Road makes The Road Warrior seem almost quaint by comparison. George Miller didn’t just build a world, he built it, and then invented a logic of how it would develop, and went crazy with it. He did world building so well that the story barely even mattered. I’d watch any story that took place amongst a gang of engine-worshipping marauders who huff chrome and name their tumors, so the fact that the stunt work was the best of the last 10 or 15 years was just added value. Did Mad Max: Fury Road forever kill the shaky cam? I hope so.
3. Brooklyn (original review)
Brooklyn is the kind of movie I feel like I can recommend to anyone, because it was patently not “my kind of movie” and I still ended up loving it, intensely. Describing why is much harder, especially when you’re talking to your shoot-’em-up-action-movie-loving dude friends.