MY FAVORITE MOVIES OF THE YEAR

Movies I've heard are great but unfortunately haven't gotten around to seeing: Spotlight, Sicario, The Revenant, Brooklyn, Carol, The Hateful Eight, Room
  1. End of the Tour
    The best kind of movies are the ones that are actually about more than they seem they are. The End of the Tour is an incredible glance at David Lipsky's interview with the eccentric author David Foster Wallace, joining him on the last few stops of his book tour. What this film does so well is portray the conflict between Lipsky seeking glory and prestige and Wallace wanting to be a regular guy, and how both are jealous of each other and can't bear to see each other waste what they want.
  2. Inside Out
    What this film so beautifully and impactfully achieves is that it tells two stories- one about two little beings who get separated from headquarters and race against time to get back and save their world. The other is about a girl growing up and dealing with problems in her life. Both, if done well, could be very good movies. But when these two stories are combined and associated, a completely new meaning is created, a beautiful story built out of others.
  3. Bridge of Spies
    Leave it to the Coens to find and adapt the perfect true story to convey the subject. The dialogue in this film is impeccable. Every scene is perfectly scripted, and perfectly performed at that. Mark Rylance is great, Tom Hanks is awesome, and this film is overall riveting, even though it is mostly dialogue, save for some incredible sequences, my favorites being the plane scene and the opening train station sequence.
  4. Mad Max: Fury Road
    The new Star Wars film was good, but it only met franchise expectations (which isn't really its own fault, considering Star Wars's reputation). Mad Max takes the expectations and lights them on fire, immolating them in the name of Valhalla all while yelling "witness me" through chrome teeth. This movie is incredible, and somehow stands on its own. I haven't seen any of the other Mad Max films, but I definitely intend to.
  5. The Big Short
    This film is marvelous, one of the most interesting 'true story' movies in recent years. What the film does so well is boil down a complex issue to a form in which it is accessible, comprehensible, but still very informative. Adam McKay's unique storytelling style certainly lends itself to this film, using his quirky take on the serious issue to sharpen its teeth and also to lighten the mood.
  6. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    By far the most anticipated film of the year, The Force Awakens certainly does all it can to live up to its high expectations. And to a remarkable degree, it does. It doesn't necessarily strive to be excellent or groundbreaking, just good enough to revamp the franchise. And with such high expectations, good enough is pretty good.
  7. The Good Dinosaur
    A playful reimagining of prehistory through a fun medley of styles, The Good Dinosaur is a great, emotionally riveting film that, while a little dependent on the so-called "Pixar formula", gives everyone a fun, harmless time. Well, some kids may be scared, but it's definitely a fun time for the adults in the audience. It's quite original, although not as creative story-wise as I would have hoped, although Pixar more than made up for this earlier in the year.