I saw most of the Oscar candidates this year, and some in particular (Spotlight, Room, The Big Short) were phenomenal. I also saw some films that didn't get quite the same amount of credit-- or even if they were nominated for an Oscar or two, may have flown under your radar. This is a short list, but all come highly recommended!
  1. Ex Machina
    My favorite film of the year. When man attempts to become god and Deus is lost from the equation. A surprisingly human film.
  2. End of the Tour
    David Foster Wallace: "It may be what in the old days was called a spiritual crisis or whatever. It's just the feeling as though the entire, every axiom of your life turned out to be false, and there was actually nothing, and you were nothing, and it was all a delusion. And that you were better than everyone else because you saw that it was a delusion, and yet you were worse because you couldn't function."
  3. Trumbo
    While Bryan Cranston got an Oscar nomination, I thought this was the best lead actor performance of the year and one of my favorite biopics in recent memory.
  4. Brand: a Second Coming
    This was an absolute treat (as was heading from filmmaker + Sundance winner Ondi Timoner after seeing it). Such a fantastically bizarre, interesting, and troubled man.
  5. Dope
    Got a lot of Sundance hype, but this one was great and hit hard.
  6. Wolf Totem
    A beautiful Chinese film. Average story but breathtaking Mongolian landscape and magnificent real wolves.