Year in Review: The Best and Worst Movies of 2015

Last year I provided a roundup of the best and worst movies of 2014 for my readers, and I'm back again this year with my 2015 list.

I can't believe that it's already January 2016, too - which means award season is upon us! The Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and Critics Choice Awards all take place this month, and I'll be tuning in to all three of them to see who and what movies take home the honors.

(Golden Globes - Sun. 1/10)
(Critics Choice Awards - Sun. 1/17)
(SAG Awards - Sat. 1/30)

A lot of people always ask me what my favorite movie of the year is/was, and that's a hard question to answer. I didn't give ANY 5/5 star reviews this year, except for East Side Sushi, a lovely film I saw at the Cinetopia festival; however, I believe the film still doesn't have distribution. 

I did give a few 4/5 and 4.5/5 star reviews, though, including Room, which was based on a book of which I'm also a big fan. 

*all links listed are Amazon affiliate links - FYI. I sometimes make pennies off them but I do appreciate you clicking, if you see a movie here you want to buy/rent from Amazon.

(last year: 95. Guess I was busier this year!)

*this number is probably more like 70-80 total if you include ones I did not review - off the top of my head, Maze Runner: Scorch Trials; Joy; Star Wars Episode VII; Straight Outta Compton; Creed; Secret in Their Eyes; Trumbo; Spectre; Burnt; Love & Mercy; The Gunman; Still Alice; Foxcatcher; A Most Violent Year; American Sniper; Mad Max: Fury Road; Big Eyes, Minions, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Steve Jobs ... = 18, so that would bring it up to 85.

YES movies (in alphabetical order):

MAYBE movies:
(Either there were mostly good movies last year or I was a bit nicer with my reviews than in 2014!)

NO movies:
  • Only ONE this year, from way back in January '15! Mortdecai. {not even going to give a link ... I remember that one as being awful.}

Favorites, by category:

Favorite movie based on a book: Room (runner-up: The Martian). So sad, but very good.
Movie based on a book that was a little disappointing: The DUFF. I'm a huge fan of the book (+ all of Kody Keplinger's books) and the movie was cute, but nothing fantastic.
Favorite drama: This is a hard one. The one that stands out in my mind most vividly from the Yes list above is Our Brand is Crisis, though that was more a "dramedy" (drama + comedy). Black Mass was also very good - the story was fascinating.
Favorite comedy: Tie: Spy + Trainwreck
Most fun movie of the year: Kingsman: The Secret Service. I saw it twice at screenings because I missed the first 10-15 minutes the first time around (long popcorn line ...) and wanted to see it again.
Favorite "chick flick": Miss You Already
Favorite dystopian film: Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 2
Favorite animated movie: Inside Out. I found it to be very clever.
Favorite superhero movie: Avengers: Age of Ultron
Favorite musical(-ish) movie: Danny Collins
Favorite movie from a series: Jurassic World
Favorite indie movie, not counting film festivals: The End of the Tour
Favorite horror movie: The Visit. (to be fair, might be the ONLY horror film I saw this year ... but I actually really liked it)
Favorite film most relevant to 2015 issues: Tie: Freeheld + The Danish Girl
Favorite movie that most critics hated, but I liked: We Are Your Friends (runner-up: Pan)
Favorite sports movie: Tie - Southpaw + Creed (I didn't review Creed, but would give it 4/5 stars)
BEST surprising movie (that I thought would be so-so, but was good): No Escape. Super unrealistic, IMO, but also really good.
WORST surprising movie (that I thought would be good, but was so-so): Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. Not a BAD movie per say, but the original (Maze Runner #1) was much better. (I didn't do a theatrical review of this one, but stay tuned for a Blu-ray review coming soon)
Sequel that wasn't as good as the original: Pitch Perfect 2. I still enjoyed it but the original was a bit better.
Sequel that was BETTER than the original: Magic Mike XXL
Most unique movie: The Walk
Best historical movie (based on real events): Selma. I gave it 4.5/5 stars.
Movie that I enjoyed, but hated the ending: The Intern
Best use of 3-D: Ant-Man
My review that most people will probably disagree with: The Big Short. I liked it but a lot of the financial stuff went over my head, and although it's already received a bajillion award nominations - as it should, since the acting was great in it - it wasn't one of my favorites of the year.

What were some of your favorite movies that you saw in theaters in 2015, and why?

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