Louie Coruzzolo's Top Ten Films of 2015
Another year flew by, which means another group of great films came out. Here is my annual top ten list:
1. Room - Room is one of the most- if not the most- powerful, beautiful, heartbreaking, and inspiring films you will ever see. It is extremely genuine, emotionally gripping, and even life affirming. With excellent performances from Brie Larson and youngster Jacob Tremblay, Room showcases an uplifting story about one of the purest things in the world- a mother’s love for her child.
2. The Revenant - The retelling of the frontier story/myth of Hugh Glass is a beautifully visceral film. Alejandro González Iñárritu and Emanuel Lubezki have once again crafted a visually compelling, ambitious, and awe-inspiring film about the human spirit and will to live. Led by an outstanding physical performance by Leonardo DiCaprio and a blood-chilling villainous turn by Tom Hardy, The Revenant reaches out to you and shakes you to your core.
3. The Big Short - Making his first dramatic feature, writer, director, and all around funnyman Adam McKay brilliantly serves up a film that is a scathing look into the financial and mortgage crisis that has plagued America. McKay manages to find a way to vitalize the material. The Big Short is extremely funny, intelligent, and self-aware. With a cast that is firing on all cylinders, McKay has made a film that is both entertaining and informational.
4. Inside Out - Disney/Pixar has done it yet again. Inside Out is one of the most genuinely sweet and moving animation films that have ever been made. It never stops being entertaining and bold. No other studio could have dealt with sadness and depression in such a beautiful and heartfelt way.
5. Spotlight - With Spotlight, writer and director Tom McCarthy has constructed a compelling callback to films about newspaper journalism. It is meticulously paced and slowly gathers harrowing information about how the Catholic Church covered-up countless offenses. Everything is done right in this film. It is well-acted and well-crafted. The impact felt in this film should be felt around the world.
6. The Hateful Eight - From the brilliantly disturbed mind of writer/director Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight is a wickedly dark, relevant, and sometimes funny tale of outlaw revenge. It is gloriously shot, wonderfully acted, smartly put together, and of course excessively bloody.
7. Ex Machina - Making his directorial debut, writer Alex Garland, has created one of the most interesting and spellbinding science fiction films in recent years. The movie is smart, tense, elegant, and stylish. With the help of Alicia Vikander’s bold and seductive performance, Ex Machina leaves you mesmerized by humanity’s need to create and destroy.
8. Mad Max: Fury Road - Director George Miller has now shown everybody the textbook definition on how to reboot a franchise. Mad Max: Fury Road is a nonstop, high-octane action flick that leaves you on the edge of your seat. All of the glorious stunts and effects will make your jaw drop, but the most impressive aspect of this film is that George Miller was able to make an uncompromised film about survival, redemption, and female empowerment.
9. Star Wars: The Force Awakens - J.J. Abrahams had the impossible task at directing a new Star Wars film. While some might think he failed and just rehashed old material, I thought he did a great job at bridging together Star Wars’ past and future. The film has a rewarding nostalgic feel to it, and contains great new characters. It is simply one of the most fun blockbusters of last year and leaves you with a newfound hope in the Star Wars franchise.
10. The Martian - Ridley Scott’s return to space is a triumph. Getting the best from his cast and an engaging performance from the always-likeable Matt Damon, The Martian is a terrific science fiction film that does not rely on cheap thrills. It is very much a thrilling experience thanks to its commitment to depicting accurate science and technological advances that are very possible in the near future if not already today.