1. Honorable Mentions (No Particular Order)
    Love & Mercy, Straight Outta Compton, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Slow West, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
  2. Films I Wish I Saw This Year
    Son of Saul, The Assassin, Anomalisa, Carol, The Lobster, The Tribe, Clouds of Sils Maria, Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter, Alvin & The Chipmunks: Road Chip
  3. Ex Machina
    Chamber cinema at its finest. A disturbing look at the possible advancements of technology that can operate outside of human intervention.
  4. Creed
    A lot more than just a Rocky reboot with a minority playing the lead role. It also made me realize that Sylvester Stallone can still act.
  5. Spotlight
    It's great to see Mark Ruffalo in a good role without prosthetics, Rachel McAdams in something other than True Detective Season 2, and Michael Keaton continue his streak started with Birdman. The rest of the film is very good, but the cast is what makes it great for me.
  6. Inside Out
    The film that made me realize that Pixar doesn't make kids' movies, rather that they make movies for everybody. This film creatively explores the process of growing up, and will most likely be more enjoyable to a parent than a child.
  7. Steve Jobs
    Extremely snappy dialogue, deep character relationships, and a whole new twist on the common three-act story structure. Although not accurate to Jobs' actual life, the quality of this film makes you forgive it.
  8. Fargo: Season Two
    A television season so good, it deserves to be called a film. Viewing season one isn't necessary (anthology) but recommended.
  9. The Big Short
    Adam McKay's first feature that doesn't star Will Ferrell, and arguably his best. This film studies the collapse of the housing market in 2009, a few "oddballs" who saw it coming, and the guts they had to bet against the American economy in the hopes to strike it rich. The directing is unique, the visuals take getting used to but end up being an achievement, and there are plenty of celebrity cameos to help guide you through banker terminology.
  10. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    An excellent addition to the Star Wars franchise that creates its own magic with just enough homages to the original trilogy. Full review here: THE FORCE AWAKENS - THOUGHTS AND QUALMS (SPOILER ALERT)
  11. Room
    A mature study of the psychology of tragedy and negative emotions. This film accomplishes so much by observing not only the victims during a tragedy, but the effects on them and their families after it ends. The cast is perfectly fit, and I sincerely hope Jacob Tremblay continues to pick roles like this as he grows up.
  12. The Revenant
    An incredibly brutal story about the persistence of human nature and the drive to survive. This film also captures gorgeous landscapes with the legendary Emmanuel Lubezki behind the lens using exclusively natural light throughout all of production. Everything about this film is breathtaking.