Before we announce our film of the year for 2015, we take a quick look back at some of the numerous honourable mentions that didn’t quite make the Top 10, as well as shame some of the regrettable stinkers.
Ex Machina:- Alex Garland’s directorial debut aimed big, with lots of deep and profound conversations about the evolution of artificial intelligence. Great performances from Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander and Oscar Isaac make this triple header jump off the screen.
Inherent Vice:- Often baffling, occasionally maddening, Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest is a befuddling, intoxicating slice of nihilistic neo-noir.
Uzumasa Limelight:- Ken Ochiai’s loving tribute to old Samurai dramas, telling the story of an ageing extra who has spent his career dying in elaborate ways onscreen. Melancholic and poignant. Would have made the top 10 but wasn’t given a wide release in the UK in 2015.
Love is Strange:- John Lithgow and Alfred Molina exhibit a delightful chemistry in this charming, and quietly heart-breaking, love story.
Still Alice:- A respectful examination of living with Alzheimer’s disease, a worthy look at an important subject matter. Is there anything more distressing than watching the lovely Julianne Moore slowly lose her memory?
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Midnight:- Worth recognition on the list for it’s use of White Lies’ Death alone, as it happens there is plenty more to appreciate in this superb Iranian vampire film.
Love and Mercy:- Paul Dano is always terrific. Paul Giamatti can play sleazy scumbag in his sleep. Elizabeth Banks shows surprising depth. Brings the music of The Beach Boys to life in glorious fashion.
Girlhood:- The standout coming-of-age film of the year, with remarkable performances from its young cast. As honest a depiction of urban teenage life as you are likely to see.
Song of the Sea:- The other standout animated film of the year. A beautiful Irish folk tale, animated like a pop-up book come to life.
Worst of the Worst
Unfinished Business:- Charmless, witless, pointless. Poor Tom Wilkinson
Home:- A decent premise beaten into submission by a relentlessly terrible, poptastic soundtrack from J-Lo and Rihanna.
Danny Collins:- Al Pacino channels his inner Alan Partridge. Nowhere near as funny as it sounds.
Pixels:- A promising (if unoriginal) idea completely destroyed by the hubris of Adam Sandler.
Captive:- Condescending and uninteresting Bible-bashing thriller makes waste of its talented cast.