Scott’s Top 10 Films of 2015

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Hello boys and girls, Scott here with my 4th annual top ten list. I know, I know I’m late on this one, but I had six or seven movies I wanted to see before I hashed out my list. There were some really great movies that didn’t crack my top ten. I loved some of the smaller films you will most likely see rack up awards like ROOM, SPOTLIGHT, EX-MACHINA, SICARIO, ANOMALISA and some of  the more popular films like TRAINWRECK, CINDERELLA and KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE also deserve mention because I struggled with trying to find a spot for every single one of them. At the end of the day, after seeing close to 200 movies in 2015, the following ten films are the ones I enjoyed the most. So, without wasting anymore of your precious time…..Here we go.

10. THE GIFT

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Joel Edgerton’s The Gift is a flawless, slow burn that is filled with some dark humor and for most of it’s run time, deeply disturbing. The Gift is brilliant. It’s that rare film in which an argument can be made for the protagonist and the antagonist until you ultimately realize you don’t really know who the protagonist and antagonist really are.  Joel Edgerton’s The Gift was exactly that.

9. BRIDGE OF SPIES

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Another year, another Steven Spielberg film on my list. Bridge of Spies is a suspenseful true story about a lawyer who negotiates the swap of prisoners between Russia and the United States during the Cold War. Tom Hanks is fantastic and Mark Rylance gives one of the years best performances as a Soviet spy.  Just another work of art to add to Spielberg’s ever growing catalog of classics.

8. IT FOLLOWS

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It Follows was my favorite surprise of 2015. The film just nails every aspect of what made 1980′s horror great. The film about a sort of demonic curse passed from partner to partner during intercourse is one of the best horror films in years. Like last year’s The Babadook, It Follows came out of nowhere to creep the hell out of me and was a lock to be one of my top 10 films of 2015. Superb!

7. CREED

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I wasn’t looking forward to Creed. I had seen enough of the Rocky films and walked into the theater expecting Southpaw (which I also enjoyed) with the Rocky brand attached to it. Boy was I wrong. Creed floored me. Every time Sly Stallone appeared on screen, my heart was in my throat. He gives such a fantastic performance and director Ryan Coogler instantly injects life into a floundering franchise that looked ready to flat-line. I am looking forward to seeing more of Michael b. Jordan and future Creed installments.

6. THE MARTIAN

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So this is what a restrained Ridley Scott film looks like? The Martian is essentially Castaway in space with Matt Damon playing the role of Tom Hanks and the “Hab” playing the role of Wilson the volleyball.  The Martian is often funny, touching, and fantastic in 3D and it all wouldn’t work without Damon’s masterful performance as Mark Watney. This is the movie that had people blurting out the phrase” science the shit out of” repeatedly. Thrilling entertainment.

5. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

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I get people’s complaints about how Star Wars: The Force Awakens feels like the younger version of the older, big brother 1977 Star Wars. I loved every bit of the film and just to make sure I wasn’t caught up in the nostalgia and hype, I watched the film three times.  Yes, The Force Awakens feels like the old Star Wars ( which isn’t such a bad thing) but, J.J Abrams has introduced us to new characters that everyone has fallen in love with. I would love to watch a stand alone film starring any of the new characters- Rey,Finn, Poe Dameron, or Kylo Ren and be intrigued. It wasn’t Han, Luke, or Leia that grabbed my attention, it was the young cast. As fandom goes, the second best time I’ve had in a theater all year.

4. THE HATEFUL EIGHT

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The Hateful Eight is classic Tarantino. Just like Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds, this one isn’t for everyone. Me? I have seen the 70mm Roadshow version of the film twice now and in a way, it’s like Star Wars. It’s an event, a cinematic experience unlike anything you will see this year. It’s like going to see a Broadway show. The whole cast is absolutely fantastic and as usual, Tarantino’s script crackles with wit throughout and ends with a bloodbath. This could be QT’s best film.

3. CAROL

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Carol could EASILY be my number one film of the year. It is a masterpiece. It’s devastating, it’s beautiful and every single scene demands your attention. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara will absolutely break your heart and don’t be surprised for one second if Carol is your 2015 Best picture Oscar winner, it is that great. There were numerous times I was flip flopping one through three and I’m still not sure this wasn’t my favorite film of 2015. Ask me again in twenty minutes.

2. THE REVENANT

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Like Carol, The Revenant was in that revolving door when it came to my favorite movie of the year. The film is absolutely stunning. The cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki might be the best I’ve ever seen and that is saying something considering the cinematography in Carol.  Much has been made about the “bear” scene in which a bear attacks and absolutely maims Leonardo DiCaprio’s character and I assure you that scene itself will have you paralyzed waiting for it  to end. Speaking of DiCaprio, all of that talk about the best actor to have not won an Oscar will be a moot point in about a month. He makes Max Rockatansky look like a wordsmith as his performance is 99% physical.  I’m waiting to see The Revenant again in a couple days because it’s hard to grasp just how great director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s film is in one sitting.

1. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

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Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t just the best action film I’ve seen since 1988′s Die Hard (my favorite action movie of all time), it’s a transcendent piece of film making that’s has a title character that might say less than 20 words the entire film and a female lead who was my favorite character in any film I saw this year.  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa. I want to see a new franchise built strictly around her. She makes Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor look like housewives.  Director George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road might just be the greatest action movie of all time. I’ve now seen the film 6 times and it never seizes to blow my mind. I just hope the Academy has the balls to reward it’s greatness. 2015 belonged to Max!