1. The Babadook
    Lots of mystery and psychoanalysis in this one. Is it about coping with single motherhood? Autism? Functional schizophrenia? Also it's scary as hell.
  2. Ex Machina
    Some of the best cgi work this year. Amazing spaces and weird feelings. Wrought with themes of personhood and it fits nicely into the series of 9th wave feminist films that came out this year. Did anyone else notice the parallels to the Black Mirror episode with the same actor?
  3. Tangerine
    This all-shot-on-iPhone film at first seems like a student film with its overbearing soundtrack and cheap looking shots, however Tangerine quickly develops into an in depth look at the t-girls of LA and has a pretty interesting story arc.
  4. It Follows
    Bringing back a Carepenteresque film style complete with a heavy synthesizer OST (which stands well by itself) and a group of teenagers navigating their adolescent sex lives and, of course, getting chased by monsters.
  5. Goodnight Mommy
    Lots of great horror installments this year. Without saying too much about this film it's clear that the director has some serious mommy issues. It's a roller coaster of trust and deception with amazing cinematography.
  6. Mad Max: Fury Road
    Nothing to say that hasn't been said but this just turned out to be a great film. Awesome leading ladies, badass cars, saturated colors. Yup.
  7. Diary of a Teenage Girl
    Depicting the tangled sex life of a teenage girl in 1970s San Francisco this film had great characters that seemed rich with emotions. Also featuring some great illustrative animation and a great ending.
  8. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
    Technically this came out last year but it had a second theatrical release this year and I was glad to catch it the second time around. It's hard to explain exactly why this film was so wonderful. It was both dark and funny, sometimes uncomfortable and also very touching. It's follows a girl on a potentially hopeless treasure hunt who leaves a destructive path of human relationships in her wake.
  9. Star Wars: the Force Awakens
    Last minute addition. This film exceeded all my expectations. A perfect mix of fan service, new characters and beautiful cinematography made me wish JJ Abrams has gotten on the Star Wars train earlier. I can't wait to see what comes next.