Top Ten Movies of 2015 - Caleb Jones

I’ve seen a hell of a lot of movies this year, many good, many bad. Today I’ll list my top ten movies for 2015. Emphasis on the word “my.” This list is entirely subjective and you are free to disagree. These aren’t the top ten most well-made or critically acclaimed movies of 2015; these are just the ten movies that I enjoyed the most this year, even if some weren’t objectively good if measured by a more scientific standard.

Also, a few of these movies were “marked” as 2014 movies but didn’t make it out to the theaters in my city until 2015, thus I’m considering them 2015 movies.

Movies I Missed

It might make sense to list the 2015 movies I really wanted to see but missed, that might have made it onto this list had I seen them. I plan on watching all of these in 2016.

Bone Tomahawk
Legend
The Revenant
Straight Outta Compton
Steve Jobs

Honorable Mentions

These are movies I really enjoyed last year but didn’t quite make it to the top 10.

– Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I really liked it and will probably see it a second time, but it had two huge flaws that keep kept it off my top ten list.
– The first 25 minutes of Terminator Genisys. The first 25 minutes or so were non-stop Terminator nerd fun. Loved it. The rest of the movie was horrible.
Ex Machina. A near-flawless intellectual sci-fi film, right out of the 1970s. I wish they made more of these kinds of movies.
Black Sea. A crew of modern day pirates, all of whom hate each other, use a submarine to go after Hitler’s gold at the bottom of the Black Sea. A grimey, kickass movie.
Sicario. Accurate, very dark, and politically incorrect. Can’t ask for much more than that. The female hero is not a hero at all, and the villains are evil as hell.

Alrightee, now for the top ten.

Number 10
Ted 2

Better than the first one, which is really hard to pull off these days. I don’t remember laughing this hard or this often at a movie. This movie really made me laugh. And if you had told me back in the 1990s that Markie Mark would be in a good comedy movie 20 years later, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Number 9
Predestination

This is one of the most insane, mind-blowing, plot-twisty movies of all time. I like to think I’m pretty good at figuring out plot twists in advance, but this movie kicked my ass. The logic and the story are completely twisted, but it all actually works and makes sense. Amazing.

Number 8
Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Critics didn’t really like this one, but this was one of the few pure Alpha Male movies of the year, and I loved it. The two leads are pitch perfect. They’re very Alpha, very skilled, and very flawed. It’s great to see two Alpha Male characters bounce off each other and demonstrate their power while still making mistakes and not being perfect supermen. Great movie.

Number 7
Avengers: Age of Ulton

Not nearly as good as the first one, not even as good as Captain America: Winter Soldier, but still very good. The villain was much less dark than I expected, which was a letdown, but was still interesting. I have a feeling the next Avengers movie will be better.

Number 6
Spectre

Very good James Bond movie, as most of Daniel Craig’s are (except Quantum of Solace). Still no where near as good as the amazing Casino Royale, but a great Bond movie nonetheless.

Number 5
Kingsman: The Secret Service

The biggest pleasant surprise of 2015. This was by far my favorite 2015 movie for most of the year until the rest below came out. It’s subversive but completely self-aware. I loved every minute of it.

Number 4
The Big Short

Most of this movie was about things I already knew, since I’m pretty well read on how the big banks and the government have teamed up to screw the middle class. The movie is geared for the average person who doesn’t know what a credit default swap is, or what a CDO is. Yet even with all of its explanations of concepts I understood, I was still riveted. Watching this movie will make you realize how truly evil the big banks are (if you didn’t know it already). Perfect acting, perfect pacing, weird comedy that works, and characters constantly breaking the fourth wall. I will be watching this movie several more times on video. You should too.

Number 3
Mad Max: Fury Road

This is seriously either the best or second best (after The Raid 2) action movie of the last 10 years, at least. Yes, it had a little feminsty stuff sprinkled into certain parts, but that didn’t ruin the movie for me (not like it ruined Star Wars anyway). This movie is a visual masterpiece, and I think it’s going to be a very long time before we see another action movie top it in terms of visuals, pacing, action, and setting. Fantastic stuff.

Number 2
Creed

Despite the fact I see tons of movies, only about once a year or two do I actually see a movie that elicits an emotional response from me. In 2014 that was Whiplash. This year it was Creed. Theses success movies, when they’re well done, really get to me. I wish Hollywood made more, but most Alpha movies these days are either mindless action or Alpha Female films. Creed was the only movie I’ve seen in years that actually made me want to cry. I had no idea I would love this movie as much as I did. Stallone proves here that he’s still got it, and this was the first movie where he really embraced his age. If you’re a man, or have a son, or ever want to have a son, this movie is mandatory viewing in my opinion.

Number 1
The Hateful Eight

Perfect movies are rare. They do happen sometimes, almost by accident (Die Hard, Terminator 2, Predator), but they’re rare. The very end of 2015 gave us another one, The Hateful Eight. It’s over three hours long and you will be glued to the screen the entire time. There wasn’t one minute of this movie where I wasn’t enjoying myself and wanting to see more. Every performance is perfect. The usual Quentin Tarantino dialog is juicy and fun. The characters are evil as hell, which is always nice. Best of all, there isn’t any political correctness in this movie anywhere to be found; it’s truly old school. Pure awesomeness.

That brings 2015 to a close. In 2016 we’ll be up to our ass in superhero movies. Maybe some will actually be good.

4 Comments on “Top Ten Movies of 2015

  1. I’m a little surprised that you put “The Big Short” on there. Of course it did reveal the mendacity of the big bankers however the principle villain was utterly absent. As far as I can tell nowhere does the movie point out the very obvious, namely that bad government policy and gross government interference, and silly “emotional appeal to the voters” thinking were completely at the root cause of all this stuff.

    Neither did it point out that after the crisis the same government did, literally, exactly the opposite of what they should have done (the correct thing being, as is usually the case, “bugger all” and allowed these scummy banks to collapse in a pile of their own shit.)

    Me? I couldn’t possibly put a movie that so grossly pushed the “all evil comes from rich capitalist bastards” in such a biased manner, onto my list of top movies. Watching that sort of Orwellian propaganda just makes me want to wretch. But that is just my POV. Haven’t seem some of the others, and I’ll check them out.

    And since I am doing a political rant about movies, if you didn’t watch it you should watch the hunger games series. For those who love liberty it has a quite delightful story that rings true, and a twist in the tail that is absolutely delightful in the truth it conveys. It is a miracle that Hollywood made that movie, or at least made it without eviscerating the core political message.

  2. As far as I can tell nowhere does the movie point out the very obvious, namely that bad government policy and gross government interference

    True, it focused more on what the banks did rather than what the government did, because it was made by left-wing Hollywood and those guys are (virtually) never going to make an anti-goverment movie unless it’s about war or right-wingers.

    However, in terms of what it described the banks were doing, it was very accurate.

    Just because government is part of the problem doesn’t mean the banks are innocent. They’re shitheads too. The big banks do not practice free market capitalism.

    And since I am doing a political rant about movies, if you didn’t watch it you should watch the hunger games series.

    I watched all three with my daughter. They were well-made but the latter two were a little boring.

    The only reason it got through the Hollywood filter is that you can place left-wing perception on those movies and say that the oppressive goverment in those movies represented right-wing conservatives (which according to the author it didn’t). I’ve seen a lot of this “observation” by left-wingers on the internet.

  3. SPOILER ALERT!!!

    > say that the oppressive goverment in those movies represented right-wing conservatives

    Not sure if you saw the fourth and most recently movie, but to me the great thing about it from a Libertarian point of view is this: there was a dreadfully oppressive government. A movement arises to bring them down and replace them with a new, better government. The revolution is successful. The new government is installed. The new government is just as bad as the old one and starts behaving pretty much the same. So irrespective of whether you start with a left wing or a right wing government the message is the same — government of any stripe is intrinsically oppressive.

    Hey, that is about as good as it gets from a libertarian movie perspective. Who is better? Trump or Clinton? Neither, they are both monstrous..

  4. The revolution is successful. The new government is installed. The new government is just as bad as the old one and starts behaving pretty much the same. So irrespective of whether you start with a left wing or a right wing government the message is the same — government of any stripe is intrinsically oppressive.

    Yeah that was good. That scenario is often repeated in literature too. The Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher, that I read as a teenager, ended pretty much the same way.

    Who is better? Trump or Clinton? Neither, they are both monstrous..

    Yup. Amen.

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