15 Movies I Loved in 2015

  1. 1.
    Mad Max: Fury Road
    The most viscerally intense two hours of cinema I've experienced maybe ever?
  2. 2.
    Room
    Beautiful, heart-expanding story told without a single false note. During one scene I thought my heart would beat out of my goddamn chest.
  3. 3.
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    Exactly what I wanted.
  4. 4.
    Love & Mercy
    Mostly for Paul Dano's breathtaking performance as a young Brian Wilson conceiving and recording Pet Sounds alongside his early experiences with mental illness. Made me weep out of empathy and awe at genius.
  5. 5.
    Magic Mike XXL
    A celebration of sex and fun and dance and physical beauty that actually seeks to make everyone feel included and wanted. I cried tears of pure delight.
  6. 6.
    Ex Machina
    To me, science fiction is supposed to be about philosophy and grappling with tough questions — not about cool spaceships or special effects. Ex Machina does the questions without relying on easy answers, and the underlying messages about patriarchy, the egos of men, and the way we all use and project on each other are undertold rather than overdone. Plus: Oscar Isaac dancing.
  7. 7.
    The Big Short
    An unbelievably entertaining movie about something deeply, deeply depressing.
  8. 8.
    Creed
    Perfectly executed and acted, particularly by Michael B. Jordan, who is a star I can't wait to keep watching for the next 50 years.
  9. 9.
    Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
    An indie movie that takes delightful, whimsical risks you don't expect. Arty and heart-y.
  10. 10.
    Spotlight
    Tells one important story incredibly well. Felt like it passed in five minutes, and the best use of an epilogue maybe ever.
  11. 11.
    Carol
    A rare movie these days in that it seemed to me that it was primarily interested in beautiful images, and gosh they were (beautiful). I fell in love with both leads instantly and spent the next two hours in the warm glow of infatuation.
  12. 12.
    Inside Out
    Incredibly original and #relatable and works on so many different levels.
  13. 13.
    The DUFF
    I'm a sucker for a solid teen romance romp and this was a really good one!! I had a smile on my face the entire time.
  14. 14.
    The Lobster
    A mind-bendingly strange setting and intentionally oddball performances... yet ultimately, surprisingly human.
  15. 15.
    The Danish Girl
    Alicia Vikander stole this movie for me as the compassionate, brilliant, beautiful parter of Eddie Redmayne's Lili. The most gorgeous scenes — mostly in the first half of the film as Lili discovers herself — took my breath away.