2015 In Review: Lisa Picks The 30 Best Films of 2015!


Well, the time has arrived!  It’s time for the list that you’ve all been waiting for!  Here are my top 30 films of 2015!

Now, as some of you may know, I am currently in the process of playing catch up as far as all of my reviews are concerned.  Sadly, I haven’t posted a review for every film listed below.  However, as I continue to post reviews tonight and tomorrow, I will be sure to add links to this list!

Finally, I have only considered and listed 2015 films that I have actually seen.  Unfortunately, Anomalisa has not opened in my part of the world yet and neither has Son of Saul.  So, I could not consider either one of them for the list below.  However, I have seen every other “prestige” picture to have been released over the past few weeks.  So, if you look at this list below and wonder if I actually saw Spotlight, The Hateful Eight, and The Big Short, rest assured that I did.  And none of them made my list.

With all that in mind, here are my picks for the 30 best films of 2015!

mara_blanchett_carol

  1. Carol
  2. Brooklyn
  3. Inside Out
  4. Mad Max Fury Road
  5. Ex Machina
  6. Room
  7. Clouds of Sils Maria
  8. Sicario
  9. Straight Outta Compton
  10. The Final Girls
  11. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  12. Beasts of No Nation
  13. 88
  14. Love & Mercy
  15. The Tribe
  16. The End of the Tour
  17. Furious Seven
  18. The Walk
  19. Crimson Peak
  20. Unfriended
  21. Trainwreck
  22. The Revenant
  23. Creed
  24. Shaun the Sheep
  25. The Gift
  26. The Stanford Prison Experiment
  27. A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflection On Existence
  28. Spring
  29. Maggie
  30. The Green Inferno
Katherine Isabelle in 88

Katharine Isabelle in 88

You can check out my picks for previous years by clicking on 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014!

Agree?  Disagree?  Have a list of your own?  Let us know in the comments!

Previous Entries In The Best of 2015:

  1. Valerie Troutman’s 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw in 2015
  2. Necromoonyeti’s Top 15 Metal Albums of 2015
  3. 2015 In Review: The Best of SyFy
  4. 2015 in Review: The Best of Lifetime
  5. 2015 In Review: Lisa’s Picks For The 16 Worst Films of 2015
  6. 2015 in Review: Lisa Marie’s 10 Favorite Songs of 2015
  7. 2015 in Review: 16 Good Things Lisa Saw On TV
  8. 2015 in Review: Lisa’s 10 Favorite Non-Fiction Books of 2015
  9. 2015 in Review: Lisa’s 20 Favorite Novels of 2015
  10. TFG’s Top Ten Comic Series of 2015

Embracing the Melodrama Part II #125: Spring (dir by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead)


Spring_(2014_film)_POSTERWhen was the last time that a film truly took your be surprise?

Well, regardless of what you may think of the film overall, Spring will take you by surprise.  The film takes two different genres — talky romance and body horror — and mashes them together.  It’s the sort of thing that shouldn’t work and, yet, it somehow does.  If Richard Linklater and David Cronenberg spliced their DNA, the result would be Spring.

Spring opens in Los Angeles, with Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) sitting at the bedside of his cancer-stricken mother and watching her die.  After the funeral, Evan is drinking at a bar when a drunk and obnoxious toadsucker picks a fight with him.  Though Evan, at first, tries to avoid the confrontation, he eventually ends up punching the man.  (Evan spends the majority of the film trying to avoid confrontation.  He’s actually a genuinely likable character and when was the last time you saw that in a film?)  With the man now looking to kill him and the police possibly interested in pressing assault charges, the distraught Evan impulsively decides to take a trip to Italy.

He spends a while wandering around Italy.  He hangs out with obnoxious and continually drunk tourists, the type who will be familiar to anyone who has ever spent the summer after high school graduation in Europe.  And, eventually, he ends up in a beautiful Italian village, where he meets the mysterious Louise (Nadia Hilker).

Louise is a researcher and, at first, it would seem like she and Evan have little in common.  (She’s an intellectual.  Evan, cute as he is, most definitely is not.)  But, over the course of a week, they get to know each other and Evan starts to fall in love with Louise.  These scenes are full of nonstop conversation, covering topics of culture, history, and philosophy.  It’s an obvious homage to Richard Linklater’s films with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy and it works perfectly.  Both Pucci and Hilker are likable performers and they have a lot of chemistry.

However, there’s another story unfolding.  At night, a strange creature roams the city, eating stray animals and eventually killing one of the most obnoxious American tourists to ever appear in a film.  How do these two stories connect?

Well, I’m not going to tell you.  You need to see the movie for yourself.

To be honest, when I started this review, I thought I was going to be a lot more critical of Spring.  As often happens with ambitious but low-budget indie films, there are a few scenes where the pacing is off and, once the solution to the film’s big mystery has been revealed, the explanation goes on for a bit too long.  I appreciate the filmmakers attempt to make everything plausible but, sometimes, it’s better to just gloss over the exact details.

But you know what?

As I sit here writing this review, I realize that those criticisms may be valid but, in the big picture, they don’t really matter.  So what if the film has flaws?  All films have flaws!  Spring tells a unique and interesting story and it will take you by surprise.  Plus, it captures the romance of Italy!  So, instead of getting all nitpicky, I’m just going to recommend that you see the film.