Click here for so bad, it's good films, here and here for my worst lists 28-11 and 10-1 respectively, and here for my best list 28-11
Montage of Heck
“I know this love of mine will never
die, and I love her.”
It has been
a great year for musician documentaries, and this one was my favourite.
Rather than obsess over Cobain’s death (in fact it never explicitly goes into
it), it instead chooses to focus on Cobain’s life, what made him him and a
well-rounded insight into a fascinating life.
great sense of intimacy here. Outside of some really personable and honest
interviews about the man, there are a lot of his private notes and drawings
found and even animated. Whoever did the animation for the longer, more
detailed segments honestly deserves an award. They are moody and stunning to
watch. The story Cobain tells about an encounter with a disabled girl will stay
documentary has garnered a lot of controversy and suspicion on its authenticity
(particularly Courtney Love’s involvement), and I can’t imagine you’ll learn
anything more about Cobain’s life from it. They tend to focus more on an emotional/psychological
outlook than a purely analytical fact-based one. I’d say give it a chance and
draw your own conclusions, because there are points in it that aren’t as black
and white as people are claiming they are. It’s a lyrical, beautiful portrait
of a man who was the figurehead of a generation.
“If I was white, would you even have
to ask me the question?”
the best way to break down damaging racial stereotypes and modern day ghetto
problems is to have a laugh about it.
may sound insensitive or overbearing, Dope plays this smart by having its
political nature mostly stand in the background and is here to tell a hilarious
tale. A tribute to 90s urban films while being a great one itself, it
follows three nerds as they inadvertently become involved in a drug deal due to
a series of mishaps.
coming-of-age tale primarily focused on Malcolm, played by Shameik Moore, one
of the breakout stars of the year as far as I’m concerned. Most of its humour
comes from characters wry and hilarious observations, and it constantly remains
witty and fun with some excellent delivery and timing.
mention its great pop culture savviness and use of modern day ephemera that
does not feel forced. These guys aren’t just comic book/computer geeks, they’re
90s hip hop geeks and that’s a really cool way of showing how ‘geekiness’ has
expanded well beyond its former limiting nature in our culture. Every character
feels nuanced and human, there are no stock clichés. This movie set the
template of how I will judge modern day comedies, even ignoring its darker
themes and elements.
comes to the climax of this film, it doesn’t pull punches and delivers one of my favourite speeches of the year. Dope stands
out at being a subtle and excellently thoughtful film about breaking down
societal expectations and playing the system to come out on top. It’s not
afraid to be dark, and it’s definitely not afraid to be funny. Also, the
soundtrack kicks ass.
“Take her to the moon for me.”
the champions of animation for over a decade, Pixar took a bit of a slump in
terms of quality. While their later release, The Good Dinosaur, may indicate
it’s not exactly out of the doghouse, Inside Out is a true return to form and
one of their best movies overall.
The premise is incredibly innovative (note:
NOT original, before I hear a murmur of ‘Herman’s Head’) and can be taken into
several directions as per the writer’s whim. True to form, Pixar take a rather
fascinating and poignant path by telling the tale of a girl growing up, facing
new challenges and understanding that emotions are not always built to be
straightforward and easy to decipher as she thought as a child.
Never have I
seen a children’s movie with the outright stones to say that sometimes sadness
is necessary to life. Joy and Sadness’ arc is all about accepting that you
can’t be happy all the time, and being afraid or negative about sadness is
naïve and unrealistic. It actually makes Joy kind of unlikable in certain parts
of the story, but she’s never outright loathsome, she
just wants Riley to be happy. It’s a mature and incredibly touching message,
helping children come to grips with how complex emotions can be and a lesson
even some adults could take to heart. Also, goddamn, some of these scenes will
break you, man! I won’t say which, but believe me when I say you’ll know the
moments everyone cried at.
that, it’s really funny and creative! They use every possibility they can with
the premise, delivering some killer jokes and a lot of really clever background
features and observational humour that Pixar is known for. Al the characters
feel well-rounded, even the emotions (though they, of course, resort to their
default states for a lot of scenes). This world inside Riley’s head is built
excellently, and has such imaginative and hilarious places (the
abstract bit is so goddamn clever) that I wish we could just keep on exploring.
I don’t think this movie really needs a sequel, but if it gets one, I can’t say
I’d be overly disappointed.
easily Pixar’s best since Toy Story 3. It’s brimming with heart and creativity,
with a great voice casts and moments that will make you laugh and cry in equal
measure. It’s joyful and sad and everything in-between.
are not fully lived if we're not willing to die for those we love, for what we
Dope takes a
biting but humourous look at racial issues in America, Selma is a rallying call
to resolve them.
focusing on Martin Luther King’s legendary walk across Selma, Alabama, director
Ava DuVernay gives us a bold and provocative take on how he operated. Rather
than sanctifying the man, she is willing to show him as politically savvy,
manipulative and flawed, and this makes him so much more a hero. The lengths he
would go for his cause, despite it hurting his personal life, is admirable and
inspiring, helped all the way by David Oyelowo’s overlooked but powerful
performance. This was easily my favourite performance of 2015, as he shows why
Doctor King was a man worth following as well as very human.
makes Selma stand out in terms of other biopics is its willingness to make
parallel to how modern racial issues are fought. The idea of ‘The more things
change, the more they stay the same’ is not a happy one, but it never feels
defeatist or hopeless. It’s charged in a way that doesn’t feel false, helped by
one of the major linchpins of the film being the relationship between Doctor
King and Lyndon B. Johnson. Tom Wilkinson really embodies the role without
making it clichéd and has excellent chemistry with Oyelowo. In a way, their
interactions set up what the movie is all about: a force of revolution taking
on a force of political power that is seen as more in the right in the eyes of
the public than this ragtag group are. The subplot with Oprah Winfrey felt a
little out of place at the start, but the more I thought about it, the more it
really shows who really suffered in this conflict and from this sense of
like a debate: a contentious topic, a conflict of interest, a reasonable
assertion, a counter, a rebuttal, a complete dismissal, a larger display and a
triumphant resolution with not everything left resolved, Selma will get you
talking and thinking about how issues in the 60s can still be seen today. It’s
one of the best biopics I’ve ever seen, and is powerfully active as it is brilliantly
your nearest friends into your worst enemies. After that you think all you can
do is either leave the country or pray to return to that hole. So there is only
one thing to do: not care.”
is an Iranian filmmaker who was arrested for crimes against the state and given
a 20-year ban on filmmaking. It’s lucky for all of us, then, that Jafar Panahi
doesn’t exactly see eye-to-eye with the terms of his sentence.
This is the
third film the politically-charged artist has made since this ban, and he
frames away he gets around this as part of the story. You see, Panahi
plays…himself, as a taxi driver, driving around Tehran while everything is shot
with the security camera our ‘driver’ liberally spins around to get more of our
surroundings. It is a middle finger in just the best way, as it also provides
us with one of the most astute and carefully thought out takedowns on
government censorship and the social issues of the country, while also
critiquing narrative and the ways a film can be made. Par for the course for this daring and brilliant auteur.
worship of this man aside, it’s a wonderful runaround that looks at
gender, religion, film fanaticism, morality, pretty much whatever problem
Panahi finds in his taxi. The docudrama aspects are extremely well-implemented
as it constantly plays on your expectations and what exactly is ‘real’ in the
world of the movie, if any of it even is. Props to the blocking as well, as
there is a lot of kinetic movement without it ever feeling overloaded.
political filmmaking as its most daring and intelligent; defying a harsh ruling
while also being a profound and multi-layered work all on its own. Everything’s
framed carefully, the actors feel both authentic and fake depending on what our
maestro wants to emit; it’s feels equally as real as it does fake. It’s a great
dichotomy of the art and on how it is controlled by certain forces, and I urge
you to watch it if you have any wonder how film can be revolutionary.
5. 45 Years
“It's a shame to not have more photos around the house. I guess we didn't see the point of taking pictures of ourselves. It's a shame.”
This is probably one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever seen.
resolves around a retired couple as they plan their 45th wedding anniversary
that’s a week away. After the husband (Tom Courtenay) is faced by
something from his past, his wife (Charlotte Rampling) discovers this secret he
had never told her in the decades they have been together. As we count down the week, the wife begins to
question every facet of their marriage.
This is one
of the most perfectly real examples of a long-term married couple I have ever
seen. The two actors have such a rich and layered chemistry that I truly
believe they have a history we are never privy to. The limitations of their age
are also played up, in both frustrating and frankly embarrassing ways. This
movie is directed by Andrew Haigh, and after this and the seminal Weekend he’s
quickly becoming one of my favourite directors. He knows exactly how to capture
the aching drama in mundanity, and the interactions with these two while
Rampling’s character Kate struggles with this revelation feels utterly natural.
You forget you are watching two actors interact.
that, the framing device of the week is cleverly used as well. It offers a
ticking clock to a marriage that has now revealed to be a sham, punctuated by
random and strange weather. This could just be a symptom of living in England,
but it really helps symbolise how erratic and tumultuous the situation is. Everything
is shot with this beautiful sense of reality, while also giving us some
stunning shots that help everything feel more like a tragic tale. As with
Weekend, everything is made to feel more theatrical and grandiose than it
actually is without every losing its quiet and contemplative nature.
Rampling (who recently got nominated for this performance) and Tom Courtenay give
career-best work, and Haigh has cemented himself as a great British talent to
keep an eye on. This is an achingly beautiful and melancholy piece of how
easily a marriage can crumble, and the depressing realities that keep it
afloat. It’s touching in a way that feels like you’ve known this couple all
your life, and it hurts all the more when the movie concludes.
4. Diary of
a Teenage Girl
nobody loves me. Maybe nobody will ever love me. But maybe it's not about being
loved by somebody else.”
This is a
teen coming of age comedy-drama. And from the second our lead ‘marks’ her much
older lover (read: statutory rapist) with her hymen blood, you know right from
the off that it’s not exactly one that wants to sugar coat the experience.
Set in the
1970s and based on a play that was based on a comic book that was partially
self-biographical, it follows the life of 15-year old Minnie, played expertly
by newcomer Bel Powley, and her escapades after losing her virginity to her
mother’s much older boyfriend Monroe, played by Alexander Skarsgard. The
casting in this movie is great, included Bev’s neglectful bohemian mother
Charlotte by Kristen Wiig at the top of her game, but what truly makes it shine
is the atmosphere. It is soaked in the sexual politics and messed up culture of
the 70s, and actually shooting in San Francisco helps get that cultural melting
pot vibe out so perfectly.
animation is also stunning and really well handled. Minnie herself is an
artist, it truly evokes the complexity and artistic ambitions in her head and
fit the tone extremely well. Despite taking on some pretty heavy subject
matter, they manage to keep a bit of a soft and fun-loving tone while also
earning its darker, dramatic moments. This is mostly due to it being focused
more on Minnie’s perspective, and while you may not have had a teenage
experience like hers (or maybe you did, I don’t know you), you had the mindset
she has. It gets perfectly that kind of faux-maturity and strive for
experimentation that propagates the teenage world while seeing it through an
adult lens. If you’re creeped out by Monroe’s predatory behaviour, don’t worry,
so does the movie. He is a fascinating character in of himself:
in a constant state of adolescence and refuses to think about his actions, but
never do you forget how creepy and pathetic he really is.
graphic sexual content or casual drug use of the teenage characters turns you
off this, I can get that. But this is a perfect coming of age story that
matures with its character, and it’s refreshing to see a young girl with that
kind of sexual confidence and self-assuredness not often given to women, but
she also has room to learn as she slowly begins to realise that all these
things she craved whilst growing up don’t give her the satisfaction or
fulfilment she needs. It’s one of the best character studies of a young girl
simply growing up in a confused time surrounded by confused people, and is one
of the best reasons to be uncomfortable this year.
“You will not survive here. You are not a wolf, and this is a land of wolves now.”
another one that will make you uncomfortable, but for seriously different
Villeneuve is one a dominating force in Hollywood at the moment, and is making
some of the most intelligent and thought provoking thrillers in the industry.
This is his latest one, and goddamn is it a doozy. It has the best tension I
have felt in any movie-every frame is so tightly thought out and set up that it
comes together to put our lead, and you, into a situation we are completely
unsure of. The way cinematographer Roger Deakins manages to weave the
establishing shots into the mood and tone of the piece is just artistry, and
his trademark eye for an effective colour palette helps characterise this movie
in a way it wouldn’t have achieved otherwise.
just the visuals or technical prowess that make this, however. There have been
many works both in fact and fiction that have tackled the Mexican war on drugs,
but I have not yet seen it looked at with this sense of honesty or discomfort.
It’s about accepting how principles are not always what is needed to fight something
as socially fuelled as this drug culture is, and it gives us one of the most
nuanced and carefully planned character studies in Emily Blunt’s Kate Macer.
While this is her movie and she owns it, the other two leads are pretty amazing
too-every actor is on the top of their game.
saying much, the pay-off for everything happening in the story leads to some of
the best cinema of 2015. The pacing, the tone, the character dynamics on
display, how it amps up the tension to uncomfortable levels-to say anything
else would just give it away. Just watch it.
the best thriller of the year, and one of the best in a long while. It says a
lot of uncomfortable things about how we can exacerbate an international
crisis, and gives us some excellent characters to help guide us along this
path. This film wold have been great otherwise, but it’s that last 20-30
minutes that really turns this into a must watch. If you haven’t seen it
already, do so as fast as you can.
“A mother doesn’t just wake up one day not loving her son. If anything, she loves him more and more, as he loves her less and less.”
It’s hard to
look into the complex dynamic between parent and child without coming across as
disingenuous or schmaltzy. Mommy manages to deliver not only that, but
something even more complex; dealing with a child with severe, dangerous mental
Dolan’s humanistic drama focuses on a woman, who recently lost her social status
after her husband died, being forced to take back in her unpredictable son after
he gets kicked out of a detention centre. They befriend a neighbour who home
schools the boy, Steve, as she is on sabbatical from her teaching position.
From there, the entire story locks into these three characters, and god bless
how great they are, because it absolutely soars based on their
performances. They all equally share the story and show what it’s like to live
after the fallout of a horrific life altering event. None of the characters
seem to want to improve, and their struggles to just live their lives is so
is very colloquial and really grounds the movie, despite it being a little bit
more theatrical than grounded. The script has great punchy moments and, like
all great scripts, isn’t afraid to be controversial for the sake of its story.
The soundtrack is also amazing, again, in how colloquial it is. Dolan didn’t
just get random obscure artists he could pay easily, there are some pretty well
known, popular tracks that give this story a sense of character. It made a Dido
song work in context; that says at all!
Now the film
is framed in this tight aspect ratio, almost like portrait mode on an iPhone. Don’t
let this deter you, it’s used in an incredibly intelligent way that pays off
narratively and is not just thrown in for the sake of it. A lot of the framing
techniques and shots area very carefully chosen to reflect something subtler
about the story, showing that this director really knows how to play on his
audience’s emotions. This comes to ahead with a certain scene near the
end-trust me when I say you’ll know when you get to it.
Mommy is a
beautiful, funny, moving, at times kind of disturbing, movie about how strong
the bonds you make in life can be, and how they may not be enough in the weight
of what life has to offer you. The performances are amazing, and it has one of
the most dynamic and interesting mother/son relationships I have seen in quite
or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
“You’re not important. Get used to
Yeah, it’s no surprise this was my favourite movie of 2015.
Why is it, you may ask? Because it has so many elements I just
love about filmmaking. The script is intelligent and rarely strays off point. Riggan
Thomson is one of the best characters in cinema; a self-centered actor trying
to regain the glory he will never have again. I use the term ‘career best’ a
lot, but there are FOUR career-best performances in this flick! Aljeandro Inarritu
is a master of framing and staging, managing to work around his ‘one take’
trick like a dream. The cuts range from obvious to mind-bogglingly clever. The score
is great; a nice jazz feel to fit the tone of the Broadway show (same with how
the oner almost recreates the active energy of a play).
At its heart, it’s a story that anybody can relate to but
nobody can. It’s a man who wants to recapture the glory of a past that he doesn’t
even seem to look back fondly at. He just thinks relevance will make him feel
better, not realising it likely won’t. I know a lot of people hark on its
commentary and criticism of superhero movies, but it really is critical of all
forms of artistic expression as narcissistic self-aggrandising claptrap filled
with people trying to be adored and beloved by a fickle, uncaring public
(great use of social media and even the city of New York to get that across).
Is the movie essentially making fun of itself? Well,
probably; I never feel it wants to be put on a pedestal either. It’s a comedy,
and a pretty dry and sharp one at that. It’s clearly building itself up as one
of those arthouse flicks it itself wants to take down on top of a theatrical production. Fancy text sitting around the place, staging to get a sense of realness
in an unreal state; it constantly flips back to this unreality, and it’s a
truth Riggan desperately wants to escape.
Birdman is the best movie of the year because I haven’t
scratched the surface of how intelligent and well-crafted the whole thing is
(like how each character represents a part of Thomson himself, the film’s
relationship to the superhero genre, or the use of Raymond Carver’s story,
etc.). It’s a work of art that hits me on several levels, and yet manages to be
a subversive and cynical comedy that I can really get behind in terms of
humour. It’s got the magic of the stage and completely shits on it, and it
wouldn’t have it any other way. For it stones and its wit, I gladly call this
my favourite film of 2015 and I look forward to rediscovering it page by page, as
if flicking through a comic book of a sad man’s lonely life surrounded by
actually been quite a fascinating year for film. While the mainstream and
highly marketed hits were mostly average or forgettable (with exceptions), the
really interesting stuff in the movies were more off the beaten track. There were
some highly creative and experimental films released, with the usual great
thoughtful character pieces or even fun run arounds.
apply as always: the movie must be legally available to watch in Ireland during
the year 2015. Obviously, I need to have watched it, so while I really wanted
to check out Victoria and Dheepan, they sadly cannot be counted. Some films I
saw this year that I loved were Mr. Turner, Winter Sleep, What We Do in the
Shadows and A Doctor’s Sword, but they technically came out in 2014 so they
don’t count. I only mention them because you should check ‘em out.
always, some honorary mentions before moving onto the main list:
Call Me Lucky,
Crimson Peak, The Duke of Burgundy, Ex Machina, The Gift, John Wick, Joy Kevin,
Kumiko the Treasure Hunter, The Lobster, Love and Mercy, The Martian, Mia
Madre, My Love Don’t Cross that River, Song of the Sea, Spring, Theeb, The
Theory of Everything, Toto and his Sisters, The Wanted 18, White God, Wild
28. The Salt of the Earth
This powerful documentary looks at the life and work of Brazilian photographer Sebatiao Salgado. His career has spanned over four decades, and he has taken photos all over the world. His work tends to be pretty political in nature, and while that does seep into the film, it keeps the story focused and trust its viewers to take in the horror of the places and events he has captured.
Wenders is a legend, and one I’m sad to say I haven’t seen a lot of despite him
making one of my favourite movies. He is on top form here, giving everything a
heavy sense of majesty while never losing a sense of intimacy. It was also
co-directed by Sebastio’s son Juliano Riberio Salgado, and while the parts he
focuses on are noticeable, they blend well together and offer a familiarity to
the subject we may not have otherwise gotten.
being about the horrors and inhumanity that this photographer tends to capture,
it has a legitimate sense of optimism and belief in the human spirit. Without
giving too much away, Salgado’s accomplishments are amazing and he’s truly an
inspirational figure. While it can drag in places, and the repetition of seeing
a reel of Salgado’s work can get tiresome, this truly is a special film. It’s a
rare documentary focusing on the world’s ills that doesn’t leave you feeling
numb or defeated, as well as an excellent character piece on a remarkable man.
27. Goodnight Mommy
Austrian horror movie is definitely one of the most uncomfortable watches of
the year. The plot focuses on two brothers who begin to get concerned about
their mother, just out of hospital for facial reconstruction surgery, and whose
behaviour is quite erratic. To say anything else would spoil some of the
amazing and frightening events the film has to offer, but believe me when I say
that it has some of the best build-up and pay off. Everything is intense and
extremely uneasy, helped by some excellent cinematography and tight, careful
do dip into ridiculous and contrived territory near the end, and some of the
acting from the two boys (who otherwise do an excellent job) can be slightly
off, this is one of those beautifully rare horrors that plays on your expectations
and densely unnerving atmosphere rather than ‘Boo!’ scares and gratuitous gore
(though they aren’t afraid to get gory). It’s an extremely nihilistic story that
will make you afraid for humanity.
26. Back Home (Acasa la tata)
all over one day, this heavy drama focuses on a man forced to come back to his hated
hometown and reunite with old faces he hasn’t seen in years. Probably the
strongest thing about this movie is that everything feels so natural: the script
is so interwoven and carefully planned out that all the conversations feel
layered with history and a sense of connectivity. It truly buys that ‘fish out
of water’ idea of somebody coming home after a long time. The cast are amazing too, feeling authentic and comfortable in
you to watch to the end is just how awkward everything is. It certainly makes
you question life’s purpose and how people can change as they get older and
life makes them harder and more jaded. It’s an honest but also quite funny
portrait of a man completely lost in his own childhood home. Carrying the film
is wonderful direction from Andrei Cohn; it’s great just how consistent the
timeline is, and the bleak shooting and static moments throughout truly give a
sense of isolation and disconnection. Not a lot of people are talking about
this one, or likely even heard about it, but it’s great and worth checking out
if you like taut, depressingly realistic outlooks into how unsatisfying
day-to-day life can be, and how you sometimes cannot escape this monotony even if you’ve
convinced yourself you have.
all-too-ordinary scenario to one that’s far from it.
been some surprisingly great Westerns out this year considering how difficult
it is to stand out in the oft-done genre. While people have been praising the
more traditional and incredibly well made Slow West, this one just captured my
imagination more with its unique pacing and surreal sense of wonderment.
It stars Viggo
Mortensen as an army captain who has to find his young daughter through a
strange desert after she ran off with a soldier. Most of the story just follows
Mortensen through this treacherous terrain filled with dangerous people as he
desperately tries to rescue his daughter from harm. It’s deliberately sluggish
and agonising, but it’s done to play off a sense of isolation and dread as
anything could attack our lead, including the inevitable fatigue of his
possibly fruitless quest. This is until the final act, however, where the story
takes a turn into the surreal and unexplainable. The ending is fascinating as
it is frustrating, and will leave you pondering until long after the credits
with some wonderfully restrained performances, beautifully sharp and harsh
cinematography, an offbeat sense of humour in parts and a hauntingly beautiful
score, Jauja is one to be remembered and looked into for years to come. It has
the makings of a staple for those who love challenging and cerebral cinema, and
has probably the best single shot in any film I’ve seen all year. It may be
hard to breach, but its well worth the journey.
hides its eccentricities from the surface, Crumbs bathes in them.
One of the
most original and creative sci-fi movies in years, especially on a budget it
has, Crumbs looks at a world devastated by war and has society completely
focused on a strange spacecraft in the sky. Our hero seeks out Santa Claus in
order to try to figure out how to go onto the ship, believing himself to be an
alien that once inhabited it. He lives in a bowling alley with his beautiful
girlfriend, and routinely barters items with a local merchant.
It’s a film
that is both bizarre yet utterly telling about our obsession with commodities
and pop culture brought to their natural conclusion. The ways they organise
modern day figures and products into religious idolatries and coveted items is hilarious, but is quite reflective on what history has made of our own relics, except that these will be more preserved thanks to their plastic
casings and sturdier quality.
Outside of it being an intelligent and biting
commentary, it’s a wonderfully realised world. The
cinematography is stunning and the characters are all likable and fully
realised. What brings it down is the plot, which is pretty meandering and not
well thought out, though the story does have a fairytale-like quality to it.
Whether you want to watch a crazy sci-fi flick, a metatextual commentary on
man’s consumerism and the futility of idolisation, or just a funny
little wander in a strange dystopian future, Crumbs has a lot to offer, and is
a unique little Ethiopian venture.
23. The Wolfpack
immersive documentary focuses on a family of seven children who were confined
to a New York apartment by their father and act out scenes from their
favourite movies as an outlet. It’s a treat for film fans out there, as the
kids’ ingenuity in props and fiery enthusiasm can resonate with a lot of people
who have done this or wanted to. Besides that, it’s a pretty harrowing story
about trying to break free and the crippling effects of forced isolation. None
of the family members are portrayed in a positive or negative way-it just
follows them for five years as they slowly try to explore the world outside of
their apartment. The direction is excellent, with the passage of time clearly
marked by improved equipment and how many family members are willing to
participate in it (even the father starts giving interviews eventually). It’s a
wonderful use of low-budget filmmaking.
have been questions about the ethics of the movie, particularly when it comes
to the father’s mental state and how young the children were when filming
started, it’s an honest and quite provocative story that gives a rather
uncomfortable picture of how people can live in this rather unhealthy
conditions. Whether that makes up for what could or could not be moral issues
in how the story was told and filmed is a call you make yourself, but I thought
it was great and well worth checking out. It’s a powerful movie about the power
Winehouse is a figure of great significance and reverence even over four years
after her tragic demise at 27. This movie takes a rather revealing look at the
soulful and troubled artist to paint the portrait of a woman with a lot of
passion and zest for life that was destroyed by her own success.
This is from
the same director of the excellent Senna, Asif Kapadia, and his use of interview
dialogue over archived footage is fantastic. It truly puts the audience in this
reminiscent state as if we’re experiencing the memories with the people who
knew Amy. This along with his splicing said archived footage with personal and
home videos really creates a fascinating timeline of who this woman was from
the eyes of the public and those who loved her. It carefully shows her
succumbing to the pressures of fame and drug addiction, painting both a
hardworking and damaged human being that the press often ignored.
I only have
a few minor complaints about the movie. Some of the editing in one scene was
choppy and took me out of the moment, plus some of the transitions could have
gone a little smoother. Outside of this, however, this is a beautifully realised
portrayal of a woman who was funny, heartfelt, talented, soulful catty, flawed,
famous and human.
21. The Tale of Princess Kaguya
Takahata is one of the unsung heroes of Studio Ghibli. While a lot of
well-deserved attention is paid to hist contemporary Hayao Miyazaki, Takahata has a
skill for storytelling and emotion that Miyazaki cannot reach. This is
Takahata’s latest movie, and it’s absolutely spell-binding. Adapting an
ancient Japanese folk tale, it adds a lot of heart and humanity to the original
story. Kaguya herself is a wonderfully realised character-adoring the natural
beauty of the world, but resentful of the place enforced on her by her father.
At the same time, he’s not portrayed as wholly in the wrong, clearly doing what
he thinks is best for his daughter.
It’s hard to
talk much about this film that spoils the experience, so believe me when I say
it’s a treat. The animation is absolutely spellbinding-very downbeat and muted,
but expressive and bright in its own unique way. There’s a moment where the
style changes, and it’s one of the most visually perfect representations of
confusion and frustration I have ever seen in animation. It’s a gorgeously told
movie, magical and emotionally driven. It manages to pay tribute to its classic origins
while being an accessible telling all on its own. Be sure to sit down
and hear this masterfully realised tale of the Bamboo Cutter.
will make people irrationally afraid of music teachers.
movie is tuned and timed out like a well-rehearsed
orchestral piece. A slow build, rising action, intense middle, a dropped beat,
and an incredibly brilliant finale to leave everyone blown away. And man were
people blown away by this one! Damian Chazelle keeps everything tight and
perfectly paced, knowing exactly when to get the action going and when to bring
it down to develop the plot. This has some of the best film and sound editing
I’ve seen all year; every note hits its right beat and every cut feels
makes this, however, is the surprising double act of Miles Teller and J.K.
Simmons. While Teller hadn’t really impressed that much since coming onto the
scene, he does an admirable job and has a very watchable chemistry with his
co-star. His character is intensely well-written; managing to set up his
comfortable social life as well as his ambitious nature so perfectly you really
feel it when they start to clash. It’s J.K. Simmons who steals the show here,
however, as an excellent foil and a force much more menacing than any horror
figure you are likely to see. It’s a well-earned Oscar winning performance, and
is electric throughout.
It’s a dark
and frantic story about the wills of ambitions and the lengths people are
willing to go to succeed. Brilliantly written, directed and performed, Whiplash
is one you will click to faster than Fletcher’s tempo.
If you need any proof that anybody can make a great film
nowadays, here it is.
This downbeat comedy-drama focuses on two trans women
prostitutes as one finds out from the other that her drug dealing boyfriend
cheated on her while she was in prison, and goes to confront him about it. The
entire production was made essentially guerrilla-style, shot all around Los
Angeles on an iPhone. The fact that it looks this good is impressive, but it
has some absolutely gorgeous shots I'm amazed they got on the equipment they shot with. Some major props goes
to the cinematography on display, and it shows a clear talent in framing and
blocking. Setting up some of these angles and scenes could not have been easy.
Not only is it hilarious and quickly paced, but it tackles
issues of transphobia, prostitution and the dangers of inner-city living, while
also showing the struggles of people trying to break away and make something
better for themselves (the LA setting is very appropriate). Until the final
scene, most of this is not brought up on the surface, and the film has a fun
and pretty frantic build-up, leading to a climax I will not dare ruin
here. The leads, Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor, are both trans women and
give fantastically layered performances. This is both their first major roles
and I hope to see more for them in the future.
This is a shining example in progressive filmmaking, both
technically and socially, and is one of the most important to come out all
year. Thankfully, it’s hilarious and very entertaining without being too heavy,
so it’s a blast to watch.
18. Turbo Kid
This one is
also a blast, it’s just balls to the wall 80s fun.
There was massive
hype toward the trailer for Kung Fury, a glorious takedown of 80s action
tropes. And while that short is certainly fun, it feels more like a scornful
derision of 80s films. This is a freaking love letter. It gets everything that
makes a movie from that decade down: practical effects, lighting,
cinematography, score, excessive but not gratuitous violence, and a crazy plot
about dystopian future.
80s to the extreme, what it also remembers to be is a really good story. It’s
well paced and has a lot of heart and love to it. The two leads are well-acted
and very likable; you don’t just watch this for a throwback, you genuinely want
to see them pull through. On top of that, the villains are suitably menacing
and incredibly bad-ass. Michael Ironside is always a treat, and here he is
really having a blast as the main antagonist.
has everything you want in a successful throwback: fun and funny, while also
remembering to be sweet and driven by story rather than nostalgia. It’s oozing
with charm and everything you could want from an 80s flick and just a flick in
17. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
been a lot of great movies out this year directed by women about women. What I
really appreciate about this one is that it keeps its more feminist leanings to
the side; you can enjoy it as a critique about a woman’s place in a
male-dominated society and how pushing all men into that one category is not
the healthiest or smartest attitude, or you can just enjoy it as an atmospheric
little vampire movie.
Described as ‘An Iranian Vampire Spaghetti Western’, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Nihgt is the feature
debut of Iranian-American filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour. Despite being shot in
California, the film is in Persian and immerses itself in its depraved modern
world of people using people and looking for the best possible way to find
It’s beautifully directed; every shot is perfectly thought out and
all the sequences work brilliantly. The tone is pitch perfect, having subtle
moments of comedy and levity that work really well with the starkness, it
thankfully never takes itself too seriously. The acting is fantastic,
particularly from the two leads. They play two people desperately wanting to
escape their darkened world in the best way they know how. But what really
makes this movie is the soundtrack. It has the best soundtrack I have heard all
year, and every track works perfectly to every scene it’s used. The scene in
the bedroom is one of the most magnetic and powerful scenes in any film I've seen.
It’s a great
debut and I look forward to seeing more of Amirpour’s work. You may be sick of
vampire films at this stage, but I urge you to check this one out, it completely
embraces its own unique nature.
16. The One I Love
has one of the most ingenious and well-executed set ups I have ever seen. I just kind of want to leave it at that, just go check it out yourself and see if it works for you. All I’ll say about the plot is that Mark
Duplass and Elisabeth Moss play a long-term couple who go to a getaway cabin in
order to fix their relationship issues. They soon find out that it’s not all
cracked up to be what it seems.
kind of reminds me of The Gift (another great film this year just barely
missing this list) in terms of tone. It’s a seemingly normal situation, but it
has this sense of awkward discomfort that only becomes more apparent as the
film goes on. What really sets The One I Love apart, however, is how perfectly
the reveal offsets the characters’ arcs and really informs their story. It’s
clever and twisted, and will always keep you guessing as you’re going along.
that, the performances are great. Duplass and Moss bring a lot to pretty
challenging roles and their subtle nuances really help sell the story. It’s got
perfect pacing, taking great use of its 91 minute run time to really delve into
the complexities of this story without feeling like information overload. It’s
got a great, isolated setting, the writing is just incredibly revealing all
around and the tension keeps on racking up before its manic climax. It’s a
hidden gem I mostly found out of a recommendation, and is well worth checking
out what the real issues relationships can face.
15. Inherent Vice
This was a
polarising one. This is anecdotal, but a lot of people I know really didn’t
like this film. I think by proxy of this being so high (heh) on the list that
it’s safe to say I don’t agree with them, but I really don’t think people
appreciate how clever and subversive this movie is.
Based on the
Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name, Inherent Vice seems to be a story based
entirely around incompetence and anti-climax. The reason the story seems so
complex and spread out is because nobody really seems to know what is going on,
particularly Juaquin Phoenix’ detective character Larry “Doc” Sportello. At one
point, he just seems as strung along for the ride as the rest of us are, only
really motivated to help his ex-girlfriend and figure out what the hell is
it’s insane, drug-fuelled, mullet-haired craziness with the kind of panache and
loving tribute that only Paul Thomas Anderson can really pull off. Doc is just
a really entertaining character; as competent as he is pathetic, he has the odd
mannerisms and jerky reactions we expect from this stoner PI the second we meet
him. Juaquin Phoenix just envelopes himself in the role, matched only by Josh
Brolin’s Detective “Bigfoot” Bjornsen as the stringent, uptight officer hot on
glint is fully embraced, landing viewers into this madcap, almost dreamlike
faux-noir tale of backstabbing, set-ups, drug busts, manipulations, occultisms,
crazy car rides, and everything you’d expect from a stoner comedy disguising
itself as a detective noir. It’s hilarious and seriously clever, with some
excellent filmmaking from a master, as well as a wonderful cast who seem as
lost as we are. It’s convoluted, somewhat pointless and deliberately
underwhelming narrative may not rub people the right way, but this
inherent vice still holds up despite the strange and unstable threads holding
14. Hard to be a God
honest, this movie may be higher if I had more time to think about it.
probably one of the best made, best realised, and best executed movie to come
out this year. If you thought Inherent Vice was narratively impenetrable, however,
give this one a skip. This may seem like a weird recommendation for a film I apparently
love, but trust me when I say when you’re in the right mood for this film, it’s
a goddamn experience.
clever science fiction piece is based on a novel from the 60s where a scientist
goes to an alternate universe where the Medieval Age never ended and
enlightened or progressive thinkers are executed. He is disguised as a lord and
has to help them progress without outwardly interfering with their
world. It was the final film by Russian filmmaker Aleksei German, who is a
legend in his country despite having a very scattered release history with his
work right up since the 60s. If this one is anything to go by, I need to look into the late man’s work.
makes this is the immersion; you feel every squelch in the mud, you almost
smell the filth and decay. Huge props goes to the production and sound editing,
it’s damn near perfect. Outside of that, it’s an intelligent and probing story about watching the folly of mankind and being powerless to stop it. What would
you do if you were in this situation? How hard is it to be a god?
saying too much about it, and its 3-hour running time may be another turn off,
but It’s well worth it for those who have the patience for its grander ideas. The
camera work is sweeping and really encompasses the surroundings. Its premise is
brilliant and says a lot of uncomfortable things about humanity and our
frustrated passivity as the world (figuratively) burns. It's also one of the best realised ‘alternate’
worlds I’ve ever seen, perfectly capturing what it would be like if the
Medieval period of our history never ended. It’s grossly beautiful and I highly recommend you go check out for something different and quietly
13. Mad Max: Fury Road
What a flick, what a
exactly hard to see why Fury Road got such a massively positive reception when
it was released. It was initially just seen as a cynical cash grab of another
popular 80s franchise, but returning series creator George Miller helped this
be a much smarter creation.
Similar to Road Warrior, he attached a social
message prevalent in the modern day cultural vernacular, and managed to underplay
that by giving us a kick ass action movie that’s perfectly designed, paced,
framed, and (apologies for the pun) executed.
Tom Hardy is
great in the role. He really knows how to play up that quiet intensity of Max
while never feeling like he’s aping Mel Gibson’s portrayal of the role. Who really
steals the show, however, is Charlize Theron as Furiosa. She’s driven,
hot-headed, tactical, quick-witted, single-minded and very broken, but she rises
above that to be a true heroine in her own rights. She’s one of the best female
characters to be put onscreen, and I hope to see her in future instalments.
I mean, what
else can I say to the three people who haven’t seen it, and the even less
people who loved it? This is how you make a summer blockbuster: subtly
political, constantly acion-packed, great characters, wonderfully creepy
villain, never letting up and always keeping you engaged all the way through.
It’s a lovely ride down the fury road.
So Love may
be the most flawed movies on my list. Inasmuch as it’s got some odd acting due
to the actors being inexperienced and the dialogue being mostly improvised. You can
see the little quirks and foibles that these decisions make. However, this is
all deliberate, as Love is also one of the most honest movies on my list.
Love is an exploration
of Gaspar Noé himself through the lens of 70s sexualised psychodramas. Similar to
last year’s similarly flawed Nymphomaniac, though it’s not as self-indulgent
and this one seems to focus on the director himself rather than just his work. It’s
a melancholy, direct and haunting piece, similar to his previous works, but
this one just feels so much more raw and personal. Like he put a part of
himself onscreen, and no, I’m not referring to *that* scene.
the subtler metatextual commentary, it’s a great exploration into the power of
sexual desire and exploration, and how somebody can be led by it. Our lead,
Michael, is a very selfish and pretty despicable protagonist (again, not new to
the director), but his feelings and thought process feel very human and well
rounded. Our female leads are similarly well developed, particularly Electra,
and the actors do have a decent amount of chemistry despite being unknowns.
may not win everyone over, but it’s emotionally and sexually charged,
intelligently subtle and a fascinating insight for anybody who is a fan of the
polarising director. It’s bare bones and in your face both psychologically and
with its sexual content.
11. The Witch
this is an amazing debut feature! One of the creepiest, most unnerving and most
mentally exhausting horror film I’ve seen all year, everything about The Witch
feels natural. From its less flashy cinematography to most impressively its
amazing dialogue. The script was based on writings from the 17th century time period
the movie is set in (around the Salem Witch Trials) and that little extra
effort really sells its authenticity. It’s not just a period piece where people
speak ‘old timey’, they really sound like they’re from the period.
On top of
that, it’s a powerful and quite scary examination on the impact of religion and
how it tears down this family and reinforces their actions in the worst way
possible. The cast are incredible, particularly newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy who
has to carry a lot as the focus of the story and does so admirably. Special mentions
goes to the fantastic performance by Harvey Scrimshaw, and you’ll see why once
you watch it.
else to say on this. It’s a beautifully realised period horror piece with some
great effects and even greater dialogue. Allow it to transport you back to the
puritan times of old and be ready to be afraid of every little oddity it has to
Click here for the so bad, it's good list of 2015, and here for the worst of 2015 from 28-11. Now with that out of the way, let's finish off the worst of 2015:
of movies this year have failed to live up to the promise of great premises
(try saying that ten times fast), here’s one with a great framing device. Told
entirely from the POV of the protagonist, we follow her story as she interacts
with her friends through her laptop screen. We see her open and close tabs,
switch out (affordable) song choices on iTunes, browse the web and write messages she sends people on private chat and Facebook. The horror
element comes when a random user in their Skype conversation decides to attack
them through their online activity.
It’s a shame
then that this great idea is wasted on such a horribly written, produced and
acted mess. A lot of the sound effects and software functions don’t actually
line up to how they work in real life and destroy any immersion this premise
has. Worst still are the characters; they are all stock and incredibly
unlikeable. Any motivation you could have for following these people is not
there, not even the satisfaction of seeing them die.
There is a
great movie to be made out of this idea, and hopefully this won’t be the last
to implement it, but if this proves anything, it’s that any clever idea to suck
an audience into a story can be turned to shit in the right hands.
9. The Gambler
Wahlberg plays a literature professor. Need I say more?
seriousness, The Gambler is a perfect sway to try to modernise a classic movie
and remove any kind of intrigue or relevance it had. A terribly paced story
with a boring and unsympathetic lead, the entire experience is peppered with
everybody trying their best not to care. The one exception of this being
Jessica Lange, whose amazing performance adds further insult to injury that
nobody else decided to even attempt to reach her level.
this with poor direction, a non-existence sense of urgency or pace, an
incredibly weak and awkward romance subplot with Wahlberg and his student (Brie
Larsen), and a script full of every boring gambling clichés you could find, you have one of the weakest and pitiable entries into the cinematic oeuvre all
year. Not much to say about this one, it wears its ineptitude on its sleeve.
8. The Boy Next Door
Lopez plays a high school English teacher. Need I say more? Wait…
thing feels like a Lifetime movie taken way too seriously. An absolutely
atrocious script with no real understanding of how human beings act at all,
coupled with actors and direction that seem to be on the same wavelength of the
scriptwriter. Jennifer Lopez’ character seems both demonised and
coddled for her actions, her character just has the oddest sense of
motivations, and a ton of contrivances are put in place to get her to sleep
with somebody much younger than her which seem wholly unnecessary.
And then we
move onto the actual ridiculousness of the ‘thriller’ part in this erotic(less)
thriller. The switch in Ryan Guzman’s character after Lopez sleeps with him is
beyond ridiculous, and he’s so freaking terrible that it makes everything he
does laughable instead of scary. This would honestly be okay if most of the
film wasn’t just so terribly dull; the flat direction and characters not
exactly devolving into farcical actions (Guzman notwithstanding) makes the
events feel lacklustre instead of entertaining. The Boy Next Door is a
snorefest, and even one entertainingly awful character is enough to salvage it
as trashy fun.
7. Lost River
Gosling’s debut feature that rather infamously got booed at Cannes Film
Festival. And yeah, too good for it.
confused and meandering little arthouse piece in the style of Malick, Lynch and
even Gosling’s contemporary and former collaborator Nicolas Winding Refn.
However, the entire enterprise completely lacks of sense of uniqueness or a
strong leading voice, and the results is a tedious runaround in a bizarre plot
without anything profound or interesting to give.
direction is sadly amateurish and proves that young Gosling has a lot to learn
about this craft. His who’s-who of actor buddies he got involved are
serviceable, but don’t have a lot to work with and their strengths seem to come
more from their own talent. The exception being Matt Smith’s Bully, who is so
embarrassingly bad in this that it leaves you in this stringent state of
discomfort whenever he’s onscreen.
This feels more like a misfire than an outright indication that Ryan Gosling should
quit while he’s ahead. He’s clearly got a vision and he could have a great film
within him. However, that doesn’t save this over-ambitious clusterfuck of a
movie. Let it be booed away as the failure that it is.
6. 50 Shades of Grey
adaptation of the global phenomenon (that later became the world’s most abandoned
book) lives up to the book's reputation and more. Or less as the case may be.
Gone is the
general trashiness and hilarity of the novel, and replaced with this dry, try
hard ‘romance’ drama that tries to class up and take a very silly and poorly
written story with a great degree of seriousness. All this tends to do is make
the questionable and disturbing ways Christian Grey treats Anastasia Steele more
to light, and you will go from tittering at how terribly written and strange
everything is and pretty damn offended and annoyed by what is being presented
as a legitimate BDSM relationship.
have absolutely zero chemistry together. I’ve seen planks a balsa wood that
want to have sex with each other more than these people. Jamie Dornan is barely
passable given how awful his role is, but Dakota Johnson is just extremely
miscast and looks pretty uncomfortable about the entire situation. Everything
about this film is dry and pedestrian, leaving its creepier and more disturbing
undercurrent become all the more apparent (here is a video that compares
Christian Grey’s ‘persuasions’ to cult indoctrination). There is absolutely no
enjoyment to be gotten out of this terrible adaptation of a terrible book.
a maverick director in the 90s, further proves to be a flash-in-the-pan
filmmaker with every post-Askewniverse film he makes, hence him constantly returning
to that well. I would say Tusk is his worst movie, but that would imply I watched
Jersey Girl and Cop Out all the way through, so the jury’s still out.
and toneless body horror comedy fails to be anything substantive outside of
stupid Canadian jokes. Justin Long’s obnoxiously loathsome lead is so terrible
that not even the joy of seeing him being turned into a walrus is enough to
keep you invested all the way through, not helped that the rest of the cast are
kept mostly to the side. The exception being Michael Parks, who is the only
saving grace of this mess.
all this with some truly awful effects and flat, ugly cinematography and the
entire thing is pretty hard to watch. Then in comes Johnny Depp to make the
transition to unwatchable. This is one of the most embarrassing performances I
have seen in a movie in 2015, to the point where words cannot do it justice. Just
imagine the most ridiculous Depp has been in any part he’s played and multiply
that by 150.
is there to set up the next movie in Smith’s ‘North’ trilogy, including having
the two men’s daughters in a scene. If Tusk is anything to go by, the rest of
the trilogy is better to be skipped.
4. Absolutely Anything
reunion of the surviving members of Monty Python on the big screen for the first time in 30 years,
along with this being the final credited role of Robin Williams before his
passing in 2014, you’d think that Absolutely Anything would be something
special. That it’s this bad makes it hurt all the more.
how miscast Williams feels, the entire process has this feeling of ‘been there,
done that’. None of the jokes hit, the premise itself feels overdone, the
effects on the aliens is laughably terrible and the Pythons themselves are
given nothing funny in this awkward and stilted script. The characters aren’t
even annoying or unlikeable-they just barely register as anything. The complete
detachment from anything entertaining or compelling makes you wonder if anybody
in the crew really cared about this film doing well; it’s just a by-the-numbers
outing with no sense of passion or comedic wit.
It’s a poor
reunion of the Pythons, a woeful final performance from Williams, another
disastrous comedic vehicle for Simon Pegg, and indication that Terry Jones, his
first movie in nearly two decades, just doesn’t have it like he used to. They could
do absolutely anything and handed us crap.
3. Saving Christmas
caused some buzz last year simply because of how awful it is, plus its star Kirk
Cameron starting a (failed) campaign to get its Rotten Tomatoes score up.
Having now seen the film, that RT rating was a bit too fair.
massive undercurrent of cynicism with this propaganda piece. Instead of going
against people who ‘try to take the Christ out of Christmas’, it wants to fight
against Christians who are sick of the commercialisation of the holidays. They’re
not being Christmassy enough I guess. This seems to be built to celebrate
buying stuff and keeping on tacky traditions, and how those doubters are doing
Jesus a disservice by not fully embracing this fake sense of celebrations and
social pressuring by seeing it in however they wish to. It’s like Kirk was paid
to get people to buy crap.
this, it’s just a terribly made movie in its own right. It’s cheap looking, horribly
paced, and so painfully padded that getting it down to the meat would make it
about 10 minutes long, a lot of this is clearly there to justify feature
length. The ‘meat’ takes place entirely in a car, cutting away to fantasy
scenarios where Kirk ‘defends’ modern Christmas tropes and tries to place them
in the canon of the Bible and history of Christendom. These scenes are terribly
arranged, as there are a lot of long and painful pauses that could have been
easily cut out, and Kirk’s ‘yay Christmas trees!’ speeches are enough to make
you want to boycott the holiday every December. Also there’s a scene where a
Lord of the Rings-style Santa beats the shit out of somebody to a dubstep
however you want, and be sick of how soullessly commercial it’s all become if
you so wish. Just don’t listen to this misguided, terribly produced propaganda shit
centred on a guy who lost any sense of self-awareness years ago. One to avoid
like awkward conversations with relatives around the season.
This is my first
interaction with one Tarsem Singh, director of pretty films that don’t mean
anything. Hopefully, this is my last for a while.
terrible sci-fi film takes whatever interesting ideas it could potentially take
from the premise (of wealthy older people ‘buying’ new bodies) and takes every
goddamn predictable route you could take with it. Every move in this poorly thought
out and lifeless script is telegraphed so badly, you’re amazed the director
doesn’t come on screen and go ‘THIS IS WHERE THIS IS GOING!!!!’.
On top of
the plot taking too simple a route, everything about the movie looks tacky. There
are some decent shots, but most of it is let down by gaUdy production values
that are as unsubtle as possible (HIS HOUSE IS GOLD BECAUSE HE IS RICH AND
THEREFORE UNCARING!!!!!!), and the lab facility at the end is laughable. Even with
the attempts at lavish setting, one wonders where its 26 million
actually went. Also Ryan Gosling kills a man by slamming his head into a toilet
and breaking it. This doesn’t really fit with what I was saying here, I just
thought I should mention it.
science fiction movie that goes out of its way to be unremarkable and unfulfilling.
Terrible script, a bored cast who all feel wrong for their parts, awful set
designs, lighting so bog-standard it looks more like a shampoo commercial than
a film, and a crazily average director who has no idea what he is doing with any
of these elements he has to play with. Here’s hoping that Tarsem Singh can either
learn how to develop and implement a great premise in the future, or just stop
working in movies.
this pretty early on in the year, I thought it would be my worst movie of 2015.
this movie is emblematic of various trends in Hollywood just crashing together
and creating a beautiful mess of shit. A huge cast of named actors to try to
get people in seats, an adaptation of a popular novel AND a revival of a classic story, a unbearably bright and cheery tone, a clear attempt at getting a
franchise off the ground and an actor’s attempt to get back into the good
graces of the public after several critical failings, and none of thisworks at
all. The direction by frequent scriptwriter David Koepp is annoyingly over the
top and fails to capture any sense of adventure of fun. The plot is a complete
shambles, and you’ll be hard pressed to remember anything that really happens in
the film while you’re watching it. Johnny Depp manages to compete with…Johnny
Depp as the worst performance of this year, the difference being he’s in this a
lot more. He has absolutely zero chemistry with Gwenyth Paltrow, who stands
around daydreaming about what to have for dinner that night. Its camera work is
annoying, its effects are annoying, its characters are annoying, its score is
annoying, everything in its annoying. It’s the cinematic equivalent of nails on
a chalkboard, and if I never think of this wretched, obnoxious disaster again, it’ll
be too freaking soon! The worst film of 2015, and one of the worst films I have
ever seen, let it rot in a certain part of cinematic hell where it deserves to
got the worst, but what about the best of 2015? Click here and here to find out!