And a two sentence review of each.
  1. Spotlight
    Understated and straightforward, but emotionally gripping all the same. Not a single weak link in the fantastic ensemble cast. (Also RUFFALOOOOO)
  2. Room
    Fascinating and empathetic without being preachy. Why wasn't Jacob Tremblay nominated?
  3. The Martian
    Peak Matt Damon. The second time I saw it was on the iPad of the person sitting next to me on an airplane (he caught me peeking more than once) and I was still enthralled. And I would be remiss not to mention that Jessica Chastain is a marvel and a goddess.
  4. The Big Short
    Entertaining handling of really technical subject matter. It got a little campy though, and I don't feel particularly compelled to see it a second time.
  5. Mad Max: Fury Road
    Not really my type of movie, but way more fun than I anticipated. Obviously impressive visually, but not all that substantive plot-wise.
  6. The Revenant
    Breathtaking cinematography, lighting, and editing, but completely devoid of any reason to emotionally invest. Also they probably could have cut out at least 20 minutes of Leo grunting face first in the snow.
  7. Bridge of Spies
    Completely generic Spielberg war-time drama; it felt like he and Hanks just mailed it in. I wasn't surprised or moved at any point. Not entirely sure why this was nominated, beyond the Academy blindly stamping anything with Spielberg or Hanks name on it.
  8. Brooklyn
    I didn't see this one...sorry Saoirse Ronan.