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MiB's Top 25 Movies of 2015

(Excuse my unprofessional and limited vocabulary)

2015 was the year that I really really got into film. It was the year that I watched the most movies EVER! Over 150 of them. There were a LOT of great movies. At first, I wanted to do Top 30 films because there were simply too many good movies that I saw. Then, I had to cut it down to 25. There is no way in hell I can do only top 10’s. Plus, there are still some few movies that I need to see. It disappoints me to not give attention to some of the movies that got cut out so I will just mention them here: Dheepan, Dope, Goodnight Mommy, It Follows, Spy, Talvar, & Youth.

SOME CAUTION BEFORE I START: It is all just my OPINION. It is all based on what I loved instead of which is objectively the better film. Don’t be rustled if 1) your favorite movie is not on my list 2) A movie you hate is on my list or 3) You don’t like my placement.

A lot of the films on my list are movies that you never ever heard of or seen. I will link the iMDB of each of the films if you are interested in any of them… just click on the name.

Lastly, no Star Wars since I’m not a fan...YET. Go ahead, revoke my nerd card!

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

ANOMALISA: A very authentic and profound piece of stop motion from the genius mind of Charlie Kaufman. Anomalisa had the most realistic sex scene in film history and it’s not even live action!

THE OVERNIGHT: A humorous awkward low budget film with a bit of mystery. The comedy actors such as Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, and Jason Scwartzman did a fantastic job.

SLOW WEST: Shot beautifully. Solid story. Last 15 minutes were astonishing. It would have made my top 25, but few plot holes irked me. If you are a fan of Michael Fassbender, definitely check this one out.

THEEB: Very well deserved Oscar nomination. Theeb is an Arabian western survival film. It is like the middle eastern version of The Revenant. Breathtaking cinematography with a great soundtrack. most of the people from the cast aren't actually actors

VICTORIA: Victoria was actually all shot in one take unlike Birdman. That takes a lot of skill. This takes you through a 2 hour long realtime journey of a simple Spanish girl’s one chaotic night. Amazing accomplish for a film.

25. THE PROPHET

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The Prophet is based on Kahlil Gibran’s novel with the same title. Roger Allers, the director of Lion King, handled this project. Salma Hayek was also the producer of the film. This is the most recent film that I have seen that landed on my best of list. Really surprised this movie didn't get much attention. It's heavily underrated even by critics. It's a must see film for all animation lovers. The story kind of took a backseat, but it is still solid. It has a great message behind it. It also has Liam Neeson's voice narrating some deep poetry $#!+. How can you not love it? This is a movie that both kids and adults (especially stoners) will enjoy. A love letter to animation.

24. CREED

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Don’t roast me, brothers. I did not love Creed as most others, but it’s still an exceptional entry to the Rocky franchise. Like most others, I was also surprised by how good this was. Everything just clicked and worked. Michael B Jordan must be thankful after the failure of Fant4astic. He killed it here. Sylvester Stallone played a fantastic coach figure. The romance plot was very refreshing. A perfect “passing of the torch” film. Kudos to whoever put together the soundtrack. The Conlan entrance with “Waste My TIme” playing in the background was one of my favorite movie scenes from 2015.

23. HATEFUL EIGHT

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H8ful needs no introduction. It is Quentin Tarantino's newest picture. What a fantastic cast. Everyone did a wonderful job even Channing Tatum. The reason this isn’t higher is because I found the first half of the film really slow which dragged down my enjoyment quite a bit. The last half of the film is so outrageously amazing that it made up for the first hour. I ate all the twists and turns up. This was very much a bottle film that looks like it was made 30 or 40 years ago. Ennio Morricone’s beastly soundtrack added that throwback flavour to the film. Tarantino, you did it once again you inglourious basterd!

22. BROOKLYN

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Brooklyn is a romance flick about an Irish Immigrant who finds love as she adjusts to life in New York. Then, she falls for another guy another she returns home for a period of time. I usually do not find pleasure in these type of films. It’s a romantic period piece. It’s totally not my thing. Somehow, Brooklyn was one of my favorite from last year. It is remarkably written, directed, and acted. Saoirse Ronan was excellent as the lead actress. There is love triangle, but they handle it so smoothly. Really dug how romance was written in this. Overall, a superb flick.

21. SPRING

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Another romance film, but this one is quite different. I saw this on Valentines Day and holy $#!+ this was a perfect movie for that date. Watch this with yo girl/guy and you’re set. Spring possessed the perfect mix of horror, romance, and beautiful Italian cinematography. The main actress is hot as hell. The main actor was decent but could have been better. A few cliche scenes/dialogue but overall very creative and original. This is a film that I will remember for a while.

20. EX MACHINA

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Ex Machina is a sci-fi A.I. based film from one of my favorite writer and creator, Alex Garland. We will start to see more and more movies like this involving A.I. Garland is one of first to tell a very captivating and inventive tale in this genre. The three main characters from this movie are all hollywood’s rising actors. They all had a fabulous 2015. Domhall Gleeson with Star Wars, The Revenant, and Brooklyn. Oscar Isaac with Star Wars and Show me a Hero. Alicia Vikander with The Danish Girl and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The small cast of characters all played well with one another. There is a cryptic feeling throughout the movie. You don’t know who good or bad. The sequences that occur in the last 15 minutes of Ex Machina is so twisted. Also, dat dance sequence tho.

19. THE REVENANT

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Leo back at it with another award-worthy performance. The Revenant has been a huge critical and box office success. It might even sweep the Oscars. Wow, what a movie. It’s an experience watching this film. The unbearable hardships the crew had to face to create this film is unbelievable. Alejandro G. Iñárritu is one talented-@$$ director. The gloomy cold cinematography is breathtaking! All the side characters did a nice job, but let’s talk about DiCaprio. Leo had to eat a raw heart, sleep in a carcass, and get sexually assaulted by a bear. God damn! What will be do next if he doesn’t finally win the Oscar this year? Crawl Leo Crawl! My only issue with this movie is the length. It is 2 hours and 40 minutes. It is kinda unnecessarily long in my opinion. A lot of scenes cut have been cut down and shortened.

18. THE MARTIAN

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Matt Damon stuck in space. Someone has to save his @$$...again! We get at least one of these space movies every year. This year, it was The Martian. It was entertaining seeing Matt Damon overcome obstacles left and right. Often, these type of movies are all doom and gloom. I appreciated the little comedy thrown in their. I don’t really have to say about this except that it’s just great. The film was even mostly scientifically accurate according to sciencegawd Neil Degrasse Tyson. That’s a plus in my book.

17. THE WALK

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The Walk is the dramatized film based on the real life event of high-wire artist Philippe Petit played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This movie went under the radar and unfortunately failed at the box office. It deserved to make more money. This is such a well made film from the legendary director Robert Zemeckis. The visuals are incredible. The first hour of the film is decent with a dose of cheesiness, but the last 45 minutes just got better and better. It was so pulled into the story and special effects that I was sweating. I knew he wasn’t going to fall performing his act between the twin towers but I still got scared every time he walked on the wires. It was also great seeing the Twin Towers again.

16. SICARIO

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In Sicario, a FBI agent is pulled into the harsh world of the cartel. This picture is directed by one of my favorite modern director Denis Villeneuve. I will watch anything he creates. I wasn’t completely blown away by Sicario but it is still an outstanding motion picture. I was confused at many parts of the movie just like Emily Blunt’s character. I believe that feeling is intentional. Roger Deakin’s cinematography is exceptional. The music is Sicario is incredibly heart-pounding. Benicio Del Toro is the sleeper star in this. His story arc until the end is bloody and brutal. Such a fascinating character.

15. PHOENIX

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Phoenix is a German film that not many people have seen. It is about a disfigured concentration camp survivor who goes searching for her husband who sold her out to the Nazis. This is great, but the ending ascends it into an amazing movie. Nina Hoss is the main actress. This is her movie. I don’t want to say or reveal too much. It’s best to go into Phoenix without knowing much about it. All movie buffs should absolutely check this film out.

14. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

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At this point, I think almost everyone has seen this movie. Who would have thought Mad Max was going to be the most talked about and loved movie of 2015. Everybody and their mother is praising the $#!+ out of this. It is even on #1 favorite film from last year. If you are one of those people, don’t kill me for putting Fury Road at #14. I fancied the movie but not much as everyone else. What can I say about Fury Road? It’s a 2 hour action-packed non-stop joyride. George Miller returned to the franchise after many years and made it even better than it already was. I would give the best director award to Miller. The movie was just never-ending fun. We also were introduced to the breakout character of 2015, Charlize Theron’s Furiosa! Miller also gave us more memorable characters such as Nux, Immortan Joe and the guitar dude! I am a person who enjoys story over action/substance. Fury Road’s plot was very simple. I wish there was more of story but all the crazy action was enough to satisfy me. It’s a masterpiece of a fun action movie.

13. STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON

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The dramatized story of the rap group involving Dr. Dre, Eazy E, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella. Even though I’m a huge hip hop head, I didn’t have much expectations for this bio-pic. I’m glad it turned out to be so fantastic. This is like the Avengers for hip hop heads. I loved seeing the formation of N.W.A. play out on screen. The actors portraying all the rappers did a phenomenal job. Ice Cube’s son as Ice Cube is spot on. Jason Mitchell as Eazy E was the best performance in the film. One thing I didn’t like is that they left out some things that would make the look bad. I get why. They wanted the audience to be more sympathetic towards them.

12. THE VOICES

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The Voices was quite the underrated gem from last year and I loved it. This film was basically Ryan Reynolds preparing himself for Deadpool. It is royally messed up. Reynolds plays a character with mental illness who loses himself once he stops taking his medication. Reynolds also voices two animal characters in the film. He is so good at it that you won’t even realize it’s him. The director Marjane Satrapi did her best with the available budget. The Voices also had two of my favorite actresses Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick. Wait until you see what happens when you see this movie. A very mature, graphic and bloody film. You will love it if you love Deadpool and Reynolds.

11. KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE

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Kingsman is film based on another one of Mark Millar's comic. Who knew this would be that good? I’m glad that this also did well at the box office as rated R. This was probably my favorite blockbuster from 2015. There were decent amount of spy films released last year and I think this was the the best. The newcomer Taron Egerton was a great spy-in-training. Samuel Jackson as the villain was superfun. Colin Firth was terrific. Everyone did a good job in this movie. Kingsman also had one of the best scene from the year. That church scene was insane! I’m looking forward to the sequel.

10. SHAUN THE SHEEP

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I never ever saw the show. I don’t know why or how I enjoyed this so much. It was just so good. Inside Out and Anomalisa are all good and all but Shaun the Sheep is the best animated movie I have seen from 2015! Loved every minute of it! There were so many small jokes and references that made me laugh out loud. There is a scene where all the sheeps break out into a musical. It was glorious.

9. ME, EARL, AND THE DYING GIRL

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A high school kid and his friend befriend a girl with cancer. I am always put off my these type of films. I always proclaim, “Oh god, not another teenage coming of age movie.” I finally watched it. I will shut up now. What a heavy flick. This a quirky and emotional movie that totally pulled me in. The way their friendship emerges is told so adequately. It felt natural. Earl was a great side character also. I really dug the way the narration was presented. The main character and his friend make parodies of classic films. It’s a gimmick that I really liked seeing. It didn’t make me cry because I’m a savage but it will atleast get you teary-eyed by the end.

8. WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS

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What We Do in the Shadows is about 4 distinctive vampires who live in a modern New Zealand. This list would not be complete without an excellent comedy. They are very rare these days. This movie is hilarious. ALmost every joke lands. The way the characters deal with living as a vampire is comical. I love that it is done in a mockumentary way just like one of my favorite show Parks and Recreation. It gets more and more absurd but never stops being funny.

7. 99 HOMES

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Peter Parker and General Zod team up to evict people from their homes. I could watch them do this all day. Seriously, this movie has gone way under the radar. I wasn't a fan of Andrew Garfield after I saw him in the Spider-Man films. Now, I’m a fan. Garfield acted his @$$ off here. On the other hand, Michael Shannon is simply fabulous by doing so little. He’s a caliber actor. Shannon’s character is such a squirmy dude. You hate him but understand his motives. It is heartbreaking seeing people’s faces when they get evicted in 99 Homes. The Big Short covers pretty much the same subject matter. That film is getting all the attention but this movie deserves it also.

6. Creep

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Creep is about a dying man who hire a cameraman to document his final days. At the beginning of the year, Creep was my favorite film of 2015. It took a while until I saw 5 other movies that I loved more than Creep. This is the most low-budget film on my top 25. Creep was also directed by Patrick Brice. He also directed The Overnight, which is on my honorable mentions. Not everyone will his either of his movies. Only certain types will enjoy this movie. It is also a “found footage” film which will drive away more people. I’m one of few people in the world who actually likes found footage movies IF they are done well. Creep is not only done well, but it has a reason for being “found footage.” This is the creepiest movie that I have ever seen. Holy $#!+. Mark Duplass adopted this eerie persona and took it to a whole new level. There is no supernatural at play. Everything is down to earth. That’s the type of horror that really scares me. The ending is also super twisted. This movie is not for everyone, but if it sounds like something that you will like, check it out.

5. PREDESTINATION

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Predestination is a time-travel epic starring Ethan Hawke. This picture came out over a year ago. Even if some people have already seen and liked it, they will forget how good it was. This one has stuck with me all the way through. The twist of this was so brilliant that I can not shake it off me. First off, I love the noir look this film maintained. The cinematography is stunning. The plot is unbelievably complicated yet fascinating. You really have to pay attention to grasp the whole story. Ethan Hawke is phenomenal but the true star of Predestination is the unknown actress Sarah Snook. She took her role and hit the home run. I can’t wait to see more of her in the future. I’m a sucker for time-travel films and this is one of my all time favorites.

4. BEASTS OF NO NATION

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I was looking forward to Beasts of No Nation right when I saw the trailer and it did not disappoint. The main lead, Agu falls into a worthless civil war as a child soldier. We witness the distressing downfall of Agu’s life as he loses everything he loves. This is Cary Joji Fukunaga big netflix project that he put all his talent into. He was the factor that made True Detective’s season 1 great. He knows how to direct some beautiful sequences and he brings that gift onto this film. The cinematography is gorgeous. The subject matter is tackled appropriately. Abraham Atu, the actor that plays Agu, was another fantastic kid actor from 2015. I can’t forget about Idris Elba either. He was excellent as usual. This is a film that you have to reflect on after you finish watching. It took me awhile to realize how good Beasts of No Nation was. Surely deserved an Oscar nod.

3. MUSTANG

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Mustang tells the tale of five orphaned girls living in a small Turkish village where their lives take a turn for the worse due to an innocent playful incident..I think this is the movie that will stick me with the most from 2015. I used to live in a country where this type of things happens all the time. Even though it’s fictionalized, this movie was more than real. It is depressing. This is not a biopic but it might as well be. The story is told amazingly with a beautiful cinematography and score. Deniz Gamze Ergüven, the creator of this foreign film, went through a lot to get this movie created. I’m happy she succeeded. The girl actors are all phenomenal. Kudos on getting nominated for the Oscars. If Son of Saul doesn’t win, this film deserves it.

2. STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT

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I don’t think anyone has this movie that high on their “Best of” list let alone at #2. For most people, this is just a good movie but I was blown away. This movie is based on a real psychological prison experiment that happened at Stanford in 1971. I never knew about this “study” until I saw this movie. It was insane what happened. This film retold the depiction very accurately yet every other scene is incredibly tense. All the young actors did a great job. It is shown how each of the prisoner and cop’s behavior changes causing raging conflict. The way the tension rises every 10 minutes is so well done. I was on the edge of my seat throughout.

1. ROOM

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We are finally here . Number one. My favorite film from 2015 is Room! No Lisa, not THE Room! You’re tearing me apart!!! Oh hai Mark. Room is adapted from Emma Donoghue's novel. She also wrote the screenplay for the film. It is about a boy and his mom who escape from the room he has grown up in. This is another film that you shouldn’t know much about. Go in fresh. This is the best picture nominee that most people will like out of all the others. It just has a story that most people will can connect to. It is absolutely one of the most emotional and heart wrenching film from last year. I loved everything about this film. The direction, visuals, acting, music, storytelling, pacing were all top-notch. Brie Larson is this year’s J.K. Simmons. She will win every award in the best actress category that she is nominated. She gave a performance of a lifetime. I can’t forget about the kid actor. I’m shocked at how many good kid actors were this year in several films. Jacob Tremblay, who plays Jack, was unbelievably amazing. He even blows away many adult actors. The way he behaves at different point of the movie is very realistic. I can imagine a kid going through the same thing in real life. His discovery of the world around him is such a joy to watch. It’s the must see film of the year for everybody.

~MiB

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