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When looking back at what cinema offered us throughout 2015, I suddenly realized that this year gave me the best of everything. Aside from viewing works of genius from elder master filmmakers like Jean-Luc Godard and John Boorman. Current prolific directors like Denis Villeneuve continued to astonish as well. I was treated to two extraordinary sequels to 20th century franchises (i.e. Mad Max: Fury Road and Creed). Not only that, but Disney/Pixar churned out their greatest animated film to date with Inside Out. Masterful foreign films came from an Iranian (Jafar Panahi) and a Swede (Roy Andersson) in the form of Taxi Tehran and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence. At the same time, two films from both of our bordering countries got high praise from numerous critics as well as myself. One was from Mexico and it was directed by a newcomer named Alonso Ruizpalacios and the other was made by a highly acclaimed Canadian filmmaker known as Guy Maddin. Now without further ado, I happily present my top 10 best films of 2015 and so forth below. Enjoy 🙂

1.) Goodbye to Language
(Dir: Jean-Luc Godard)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
While it may count more as a 2014 release than a 2015 one, Goodbye to Language did not reach the Illinois area until January of this year so I do not feel like I am cheating in placing it in my number one spot. As with his previous feature entitled Film Socialisme, this is yet another one of idiosyncratic French New Wave veteran Jean-Luc Godard’s deeply fascinating abstract essay films. Unlike that film though, this one is shot in 3-D and the technology coincides perfectly with his trademark linking of cinema, literature and politics all into one complete whole. No other filmmaker working today has been able to do all that as profoundly as Godard and no other cinematic experience of 2015 is as radical and unique as Goodbye to Language.

2.) Queen and Country
(Dir: John Boorman)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
No other 2015 film (with the exception of Inside Out) has been more uplifting and profound than legendary English filmmaker John Boorman’s Queen and Country. Set nearly a decade after the events of Boorman’s own similarly autobiographic Hope and Glory, the film finds the now 82-year old director effortlessly combining humor and warmth with honesty and the result is not only equal to the previous entry, but (miraculously enough) manages to surpass it with a whole new level of maturity in it’s drama. As far as live-action films of the year go, this one has the best cast and everyone gives an outstanding performance including a juicy turn by David Thewlis, who has not been this good since Mike Leigh’s Naked. Regardless as to whether or not it remains Boorman’s swan song, I can at least feel more than satisfied in declaring that I not only consider Queen and Country to be the second best film of the year, but I also see it as the crowning achievement of a cinematic career that has been perfect since day one.

3.) Inside Out
(Dir: Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen)
(Animated Film)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
Easily one of the greatest animated films of the decade (and their are plenty of contenders), Inside Out also happens to be my absolute favorite Disney/Pixar film of all-time. Aside from being beautifully animated and designed, the creative story idea this time around is executed with complete perfection. Unlike other Pixar entries, this one is actually truly funny and heartwarming all the way through. A significant amount of kudos should also be given to the entire voice cast which includes Amy Poehler as Joy, Phyllis Smith as Sadness and Richard Kind as Bing Bong among others. I saw Inside Out six times in the theaters and once on home video and perhaps the only compliment left I can give it is that it still remains a flawless masterpiece.

4.) Mad Max: Fury Road
(Dir: George Miller)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
As remarkable as Taken 3 and Furious 7 were, Mad Max: Fury Road easily stands out for me as both the greatest action extravaganza and sequel of 2015. Thirty years may have passed since Australian filmmaker George Miller last visited the title character in 1985’s Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, but the ferocious and energetic style of this now 70-year old director has not diminished at all. In fact, it coincides perfectly with all the bizarre yet awesome ideas on display throughout the film’s 120-minute running time. Similar to The Road Warrior (the now second best in the series) yet on a grander scale, Fury Road succeeds on every single level imaginable. Not unlike Inside Out, I have seen Mad Max: Fury Road more than twice in the theaters and once on home video and all I can say in conclusion is that it deserves to be seen as an atmospheric, exciting, spectacular and visually stunning masterpiece of action cinema.

5.) Gueros
(Dir: Alonso Ruizpalacios)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
In my opinion, Gueros is not only the best directorial debut feature of the year, but it also happens to be the most unique film of 2015 to come from one of America’s two bordering countries. Being a huge fan of French New Wave cinema myself, I was more than happy to learn that aside from delivering a loving homage to it’s style, director/writer Alonso Ruizpalacios also happens to be one of the few young filmmakers working today to actually and truly understand it’s humanity. While it can certainly be viewed as a witty satire on art house cinema, I truly feel that as a comedy, it comes off as surprisingly profound. Ever since it’s release, critics have been implying that Gueros is the greatest Mexican film in recent years and the only praise left that I can offer is that I wholeheartedly agree.

6.) Creed
(Dir: Ryan Coogler)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
If one were to ask me what my absolute favorite sports film of 2015 is, my response would be Creed, the seventh entry in the Rocky series. Director/co-writer Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) has taken the close to 40-year old franchise and effectively updates it in new and interesting ways while still remaining every bit as inspiring and poignant as both the 1976 original and the underrated Rocky Balboa from 2006 as well. At the same time, Coogler effortlessly manages to get outstanding performances from his cast, which includes Michael B. Jordan as the lead character along with Sylvester Stallone and Tessa Thompson in supporting roles. Together with Mad Max: Fury Road, Creed stands out as one of the greatest sequels (or in this case, spinoffs) of 2015 to be linked to a 20th century franchise. 

7.) Taxi Tehran
(Dir: Jafar Panahi)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
Out of all the socially conscious films of 2015 (American or otherwise), Jafar Panahi’s docudrama Taxi Tehran stands out as not only the best of the lot, but it also happens to be the most daring, hard-hitting and thought-provoking of them as well. Despite the 20-year ban on filmmaking imposed on him by his own government, the aforementioned Iranian filmmaker still effortlessly manages to direct (and in this case illegally) such profound masterpieces as this one. By disguising himself as a taxi driver, Panahi is able to get his passengers to express their views which can be summed up as fascinating, honest, sad and even witty in describing how fellow Iranians feel about Iran in general. Occasionally, it can be said that the camera is mightier than the sword and no other filmmaker this year has illustrated that more perfectly than Jafar Panahi has done here with Taxi Tehran.

8.) Sicario
(Dir: Denis Villeneuve)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
Taking into consideration that this is not a remake or sequel, I think it is safe to proclaim that Sicario is the year’s most exhilarating action thriller to be set in the present day 21st century. Similar to what director George Miller had achieved earlier in the year with Mad Max: Fury Road, French-Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve makes perfect use of all the technical aspects given to him in creating spectacular action sequences that are not only suspenseful, but visually thrilling as well. Aside from offering a deeply fascinating examination of the complex drama that drives the film and the morality behind the kind of decisions the characters make, Villeneuve is also able to get excellent performances from his three lead actors, which include Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin. Exciting and thought-provoking in equal measures, Sicario is a knockout on every single level imaginable.

9.) A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
(Dir: Roy Andersson)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
Along with Gueros, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence easily ranks as the most original foreign film of 2015. The plot of the third entry in Swedish director/writer Roy Andersson’s “Living trilogy” may not be easy to describe, but the result is a unique surrealistic comedy that is at times observational and witty as it is occasionally frightening and sad. If one were to take the styles of great artists like Luis Bunuel, Terry Gilliam, Buster Keaton and Jacques Tati and blend them together into one, this would probably be what the resulting film would look like. I do not know If my description gave it justice, but it is undeniable that A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence stands tall as one of the year’s must-see films.

10.) The Forbidden Room
(Dir: Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
Aside from being both weird and fascinating at the same time, The Forbidden Room also happens to rank alongside Gueros as one of the year’s most unique films to be made in a country that borders the United States. Throughout the film’s 119-minute running time, Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin (along with Evan Johnson) gives us all sorts of bizarre imagery that is not only too much to list here, but just way too awesome and mind-blowing to spoil for you readers. I will single out two of many impressive examples though: one story involves pancakes and the other deals with a mustache and a widow. To sum it all up as a whole, If you are looking for a strange and exciting cinematic experience of independent cinema, look no further than The Forbidden Room.

-Runner Ups-
11.) The Young & Prodigious T.S. Spivet
(Dir: Jean-Pierre Jeunet)
12.) Coming Home
(Dir: Zhang Yimou)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
13.) The Way He Looks
(Dir: Daniel Ribeiro)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
14.) In the Name of My Daughter
(Dir: Andre Techine)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
15.) Knock Knock
(Dir: Eli Roth)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
16.) Life of Riley
(Dir: Alain Resnais)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
17. The Green Inferno
(Dir: Eli Roth)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
18.) Maps to the Stars
(Dir: David Cronenberg)
(* * * * out of * * * *)

19.) The Stanford Prison Experiment
(Dir: Kyle Patrick Alvarez)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
20.) Welcome to New York

(Dir: Abel Ferrara)
(* * * * out of * * * *)

-Honorable Mentions-
21.) Black Souls
(Dir: Francesco Munzi)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
22.) La Sapienza
(Dir: Eugene Green)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
23.) Eastern Boys
(Dir: Robin Campillo)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
24.) Appropriate Behavior
(Dir: Desiree Akhaven)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
25.) Salvation Army
(Dir: Abdellah Taia)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
26.) Two Days, One Night

(Dir: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
27.) Girlhood
(Dir: Celine Sciamma)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
28.) She’s Funny That Way
(Dir: Peter Bogdanovich)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
29.) Macbeth
(Dir: Justin Kurzel)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
30.) The Duke of Burgundy
(Dir: Peter Strickland)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
31.) Furious 7
(Dir: James Wan)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
32.) The New Girlfriend

(Dir; Francois Ozon)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
33.) Love at First Fight
(Dir: Thomas Cailley)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
34.) Don Verdean
(Dir; Jared Hess)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
35.) Taken 3
(Dir: Olivier Megaton)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
36.) Black or White
(Dir: Mike Binder)
(* * * * out of * * * *)

-Stocking Stuffers-
1.) Joy
(Dir: David O. Russell)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
2.) Brooklyn
(Dir: John Crowley)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
3.) What We Do in the Shadows
(Dir: Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi)
(* * * * out of * * * *)
4.) The Assassin
(Dir: Hou Hsiao-hsien)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
5.) Crimson Peak
(Dir: Guillermo del Toro)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
6.) Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles
(Dir: Chuck Workman)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
7.) Shaun the Sheep Movie
(Dir: Mark Burton and Richard Starzak)
(Animated Film)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
8.) Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films
(Dir: Mark Hartley)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
9.) Paddington
(Dir: Paul King)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
10.) Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
(Dir: Christopher McQuarrie)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
11.) Hotel Transylvania 2
(Dir: Gendy Tartakovsky)
(Animated Film)
(* * * * out of * * * *)

12.) Jurassic World
(Dir: Colin Trevorrow)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
13.) Burnt
(Dir: John Wells)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
14.) Cinderella
(Dir: Kenneth Branagh)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
15.) American Sniper
(Dir: Clint Eastwood)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
16.) Danny Collins
(Dir; Dan Fogelman)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
17.) The Intern
(Dir: Nancy Meyers)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
18.) Bone Tomahawk
(Dir: S. Craig Zahler)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
19.) A Christmas Horror Story
(Dir: Grant Harvey, Steve Hoban and Brett Sullivan)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
20.) Insidious: Chapter 3
(Dir: Leigh Whannell)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
21.) The Cobbler
(Dir: Tom McCarthy)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
22.) Scotus Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
(Dir: Christopher B. Landon)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
23.) The Voices

(Dir: Marjane Satrapi)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
24.) 5 Flights Up
(Dir: Richard Loncraine)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
25.) The Final Girls

(Dir: Todd Strauss-Schulson)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
26.) It Follows
(Dir: David Robert Mitchell)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
27.) Slow West
(Dir: John Maclean)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
28.) The Gift
(Dir: Joel Edgerton)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
29.) The Salvation
(Dir: Kristian Levring)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
30.) Tangerine
(Dir: Sean Baker)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
31.) Get Hard
(Dir: Etan Cohen) 
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)     
32.) Mistress America
(Dir: Noah Baumbach)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
33.) Burying the Ex
(Dir: Joe Dante)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
34.) Ant-Man
(Dir: Peyton Reed)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)
35.) Pixels
(Dir: Chris Columbus)
(* * * 1/2 out of * * * *)

-The Chicago Film Critics Association: Nominees, Winners and Personal Picks-
The Chicago Film Critics Association held it’s annual Awards gala on Wednesday, December 16th 2015 and I could not be more happier with the results in the main categories. The extraordinary action masterpiece entitled Mad Max: Fury Road took home five awards including Best Picture, Director (George Miller), Cinematography, Film Editing and Art Direction/Production Design. I am also happy that they chose Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out as the Best Animated Film of the year too 🙂 I am so proud of the Chicago Film Critics and the Chicago Film Critics Association and the city of Chicago (located in my home state of Illinois) for not only choosing wisely, but extraordinarily as well 🙂 I wish the Chicago critics, the Chicago Film Critics Association, my city and my home state a very Happy 2016 🙂 Here are the additional results below including the nominees, winners, my personal picks and my additional nominees. Enjoy 🙂 

Best Picture
Inside Out
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road
Personal Choice: Mad Max: Fury Road
My Additions: Creed, The Duke of Burgundy, The Forbidden Room, Queen and Country and Sicario

Best Actor
James White: Christopher Abbott
The Revenant: Leonardo DiCaprio
Steve Jobs: Michael Fassbender
The Danish Girl: Eddie Redmayne
The End of the Tour: Jason Segal

Winner: The Revenant: Leonardo DiCaprio
Personal Choice: N/A
My Additions: Burnt: Bradley Cooper, Black or White: Kevin Costner, The Intern: Robert De Niro, Welcome to New York: Gerard Depardieu, Macbeth: Michael Fassbender, 5 Flights Up: Morgan Freeman, Creed: Michael B. Jordan, Danny Collins: Al Pacino, Don Verdean: Sam Rockwell, Bone Tomahawk: Kurt Russell, The Cobbler: Adam Sandler and Queen and Country: Callum Turner

Best Actress
Carol: Cate Blanchett
Room: Brie Larson
45 Years: Charlotte Rampling
Brooklyn: Saoirse Ronan
Mad Max: Fury Road: Charlize Theron

Winner: Room: Brie Larson
Personal Choice: Brooklyn: Saoirse Ronan or Mad Max: Fury Road: Charlize Theron
My Additions: Sicario: Emily Blunt, Macbeth: Marion Cotillard, Mistress America: Greta Gerwig, The Intern: Anne Hathaway, Cinderella: Lily James, 5 Flights Up: Diane Keaton, Joy: Jennifer Lawrence and Inside Out: Amy Poehler

Best Supporting Actor
Sicario: Benicio Del Toro
Grandma: Sam Elliott
Bridge of Spies: Mark Rylance
99 Homes: Michael Shannon
Creed: Sylvester Stallone

Winner: Sicario: Benicio Del Toro
Personal Choice: Sicario: Benicio Del Toro or Creed: Sylvester Stallone
My Additions: Sicario: Josh Brolin, Brooklyn: Emory CohenJoy: Robert De Niro, Brooklyn: Domhnall GleesonBone Tomahawk: Richard Jenkins, Queen and Country: Caleb Landry Jones, Inside Out: Richard Kind and Queen and Country: David Thewlis

Best Supporting Actress
Anomalisa: Jennifer Jason Leigh
The Hateful Eight: Jennifer Jason Leigh
James White: Cynthia Nixon
Clouds of Sils Maria: Kristen Stewart
Ex Machina: Alicia Vikander

Winner: Ex Machina: Alicia Vikander
Personal Choice: N/A
My Additions: Cinderella: Cate BlanchettQueen and Country: Tamsin Egerton, Queen and Country: Vanessa Kirby, Joy: Diane Ladd, Inside Out: Phyllis Smith, Black or White: Octavia Spencer, Creed: Tessa Thompson and Brooklyn: Julie Walters

Best Director
Carol: Todd Haynes
The Revenant: Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu
Spotlight: Tom McCarthy
The Big Short: Adam McKay
Mad Max: Fury Road: George Miller

Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road: George Miller
Personal Choice: Mad Max: Fury Road: George Miller
My Additions: Queen and Country: John Boorman, Creed: Ryan Coogler, Inside Out: Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen, The Forbidden Room: Guy Maddin and Evan JohnsonThe Duke of Burgundy: Peter Strickland and Sicario: Denis Villeneuve

Best Original Screenplay
Bridge of Spies: Matt Charman, Joel and Ethan Coen
Ex Machina: Alex Garland
The Hateful Eight: Quentin Tarantino
Inside Out: Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley
Spotlight: Tom McCarthy

Winner: Spotlight: Tom McCarthy
Personal Choice: Inside Out: Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley
My Additions: Black or White: Mike Binder, Don Verdean: Jared and Joshua Hess, The Duke of Burgundy: Peter Strickland, Joy: Annie Mumolo and David O. Russell, She’s Funny That Way: Peter Bogdanovich and Louise Stratten, Sicario: Taylor Sheridan, The Stanford Prison Experiment: Tim Talbott, and Welcome to New York: Abel Ferrara and Christ Zois

Best Adapted Screenplay
Anomalisa: Charlie Kaufman
The Big Short: Adam McKay and Charles Randolph
Brooklyn: Nick Hornby
Room: Emma Donoghue
Steve Jobs: Aaron Sorkin

Winner: The Big Short: Adam McKay and Charles Randolph
Personal Choice: Brooklyn: Nick Hornby
My Additions: Creed: Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington, Macbeth: Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie and Todd Louiso and Queen and Country: John Boorman

Best Cinematography
Carol: Edward Lachman
The Hateful Eight: Robert Richardson
Mad Max: Fury Road: John Seale
The Revenant: Emmanuel Lubezki
Sicario: Roger Deakins

Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road: John Seale
Personal Choice: Mad Max: Fury Road: John Seale
My Additions: Brooklyn: Yves Belanger, The Duke of Burgundy: Nicholas D. Knowland and Macbeth: Adam Arkapaw

Best Art Direction/Production Design
The Assassin
Crimson Peak
Mad Max: Fury Road

Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road
Personal Choice: Mad Max: Fury Road
My Additions: Cinderella, The Forbidden Room,and Macbeth

Best Film Editing
The Big Short: Hank Corwin
Mad Max: Fury Road: Jason Ballantine and Margaret Sixel
The Martian: Pietro Scalia
The Revenant: Stephen Mirrione
Spotlight: Tom McArdle

Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road: Jason Ballantine and Margaret Sixel
Personal Choice: Mad Max: Fury Road: Jason Ballantine and Margaret Sixel
My Additions: Creed: Claudia Castello and Michael P. Shawver, The Duke of Burgundy: Matyas FeketeThe Forbidden Room: John Gurdebeke, Furious 7: Christian Wagner, Dylan Highsmith, Kirk Morri and Leigh Folsom Boyd and Sicario: Joe Walker

Best Original Score
Carol: Carter Burwell
The Hateful Eight: Ennio Morricone
Inside Out: Michael Giacchino
It Follows: Rich Vreeland (as Disasterpeace)
Mad Max: Fury Road: Junkie XL

Winner: The Hateful Eight: Ennio Morricone
Personal Choice: Inside Out: Michael Giacchino or Mad Max: Fury Road: Junkie XL
My Additions: Brooklyn: Michael Brook, Creed: Ludwig Goransson, The Duke of Burgundy: Cat’s Eyes and Sicario: Johann Johannsson

Best Documentary
Cartel Land
The Hunting Ground
The Look of Silence
Where to Invade Next

Winner: Amy
Personal Choice: N/A
My Additions: Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films, and Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles

Best Foreign Language Film
The Assassin
The Look of Silence
Son of Saul
White God

Winner: Son of Saul
Personal Choice: The Assassin
My Additions: Black Souls, Coming Home, Gueros, La Sapienza, The New Girlfriend, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence and Taxi Tehran

Best Animated Film
The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

Winner: Inside Out
Personal Choice: Inside Out
My Additions: Hotel Transylvania 2

Best Animated Feature
The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

Winner: Inside Out
Personal Choice: Inside Out
My Additions: Hotel Transylvania 2

Most Promising Performer
James White: Christopher Abbott
The Diary of a Teenage Girl: Bel Powley
Son of Saul: Geza Rohrig
Trainwreck: Amy Schumer
Room: Jacob Tremblay

Winner: Room: Jacob Tremblay
Personal Choice: N/A
My Additions: Black or White: Jillian Estell and Queen and Country: Callum Turner

Most Promising Filmmaker
Ex Machina: Alex Garland
The Diary of a Teenage Girl: Marielle Heller
James White: Josh Mond
Son of Saul: Laszlo Nemes
Love & Mercy: Bill Pohlad

Winner: Ex Machina: Alex Garland
Personal Choice: N/A
My Additions: Bone Tomahawk: S. Craig Zahler, The Gift: Joel Edgerton, Gueros: Alonso Ruizpalacios, Insidious: Chapter 3: Leigh Whannell, It Follows: David Robert Mitchell and Slow West: John Maclean

-The Worst of 2015-

For every great film of 2015, we get tons of bad ones too. Now the ones I have listed are not the only ones that I felt were awful, but the ones that I feel that defined the year perfectly. Notice I did not put Fifty Shades of Grey on there, but that is only because I did not see it nor do I plan to (it looks horrible). Now I did not rank these in any particular order because let’s face it, when one is covering the worst of the year, it gets pretty depressing. Either way, in no particular order, here are 2015’s cinematic lumps of coal (i.e. the worst of the year).

1.) Vice
(Dir: Brian A. Miller)
(ZERO stars out of * * * * stars)
2.) Mortdecai
(Dir: David Koepp)
(ZERO stars out of * * * * stars)
3.) Blackhat
(Dir: Michael Mann)
(* out of * * * *)
4.) The Boy Next Door
(Dir: Rob Cohen)
(Half a star out of * * * *)
5.) Jupiter Ascending
(Dir: Andy and Lana Wachowski)
(* 1/2 out of * * * *)
6.) Outcast
(Dir: Nick Powell)
(Zero out of * * * *)
7.) Focus
(Dir: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa)
(* 1/2 out of * * * *)
8.) Chappie
(Dir: Neil Blomkamp)
(Half a star out of * * * *)
9.) The Walking Deceased
(Dir: Scott Dow)
(ZERO stars out of * * * *)
10.) Pan
(Dir: Joe Wright)
(ZERO stars out of * * * *) 
11.) Nightlight
(Dir: Scott Beck and Bryan Woods)
(* out of * * * *)
12.) Last Knights
(Dir: Kazuaki Kiriya)
(Half a star out of * * * *)
13.) True Story
(Dir: Rupert Goold)
(* out of * * * *)
14.) Beyond the Reach
(Dir: Jean-Baptiste Leonetti)
(Half a star out of * * * *)
15.) Child 44
(Dir: Daniel Espinosa)
(* out of * * * *)
16.) Victor Frankenstein
(Dir: Paul McGuigan)
(* out of * * * *)
17.) Survivor
(Dir: James McTeigue)
(* 1/2 out of * * * *)
18.) Aloha
(Dir: Cameron Crowe)
(ZERO stars out of * * * *)
19.) L.A. Slasher
(Dir: Martin Owen)
(ZERO stars out of * * * *)
20.) Black Mass
(Dir: Scott Cooper)
(* 1/2 out of * * * *)
21.) Self/Less
(Dir: Tarsem Singh)
(* out of * * * *)
22.) The Gallows
(Dir: Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing)
(* 1/2 out of * * * *)
23.) The Gunman
(Dir: Pierre Morel)
(* 1/2 out of * * * *)
24.) Fantastic Four
(Dir: Josh Trank)
(ZERO stars out of * * * *)
25.) No Escape
(Dir: John Erick Dowdle)
(* out of * * * *)
26.) Rock the Kasbah
(Dir: Barry Levinson)
(ZERO stars out of * * * *) 
27.) Hell & Back
(Dir: Tom Gianas and Ross Shuman)
(Animated Film)
(Half a star out of * * * *)
28.) Extraction
(Dir: Steven C. Miller)
(* 1/2 out of * * * *)
29.) Point Break
(Dir: Ericson Core)
(Half a star out of * * * *)
30.) Trumbo
(Dir: Jay Roach)
(* 1/2 out of * * * *)

-2016: Stuff to look forward to-

As far as future 2016 theatrical releases go, I am most looking forward to seeing Joel and Ethan Coen’s period comedy Hail, Caesar, which opens in February and Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book The BFG which has a July Summer 2016 release. In closing, I would love to wish all readers of my blog a Happy 2016 and let us hope that  this upcoming year is as great as 2015. 🙂