Best & Worst Movies of 2015

Well we’ve made it guys! Another year, and what a great year it has been for movies.

Couple of clarifications here, I am going by the UK release date of these films; obviously release dates vary so some of these may have been released elsewhere in 2014, but I saw them in 2015, therefore they make the list! Also, and this may seem obvious, but I can only rank the films that I have seen! I saw 59 different films at the cinema in 2015 so there were plenty to choose from, but probably lots I missed out on as well. If your favourites or most hated ones are missing from the list, then please feel free to let me know why you loved or hated them in the comments section.

With all that being said, let’s crack on with the Sarah Saw A Movie best & worst films of 2015!

 

The 10 Worst Films of 2015

  1. The Good Dinosaur

Disney___Pixar_s__The_Good_Dinosaur__Off_3516490000_24835455_ver1.0_640_480A Pixar film shouldn’t be in a worst list of anything, but unfortunately this 16th offering from the animation studios giant was nothing but a crushing disappointment. It was never going to be an easy gig following Inside Out, but that is no excuse for the absolute lack of passion behind this lacklustre offering. That being said, the animation is absolutely stunning, but it is not enough to save the dull storyline and this ultimately flawed film.

Read my full review here.

  1. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

89731I often ponder whether this series and the Divergent series would be more popular if they had come before The Hunger Games. All based on Young Adult books, they have very similar plots about dystopian societies, but The Hunger Games lead the way with the film adaptations and is unquestionably the most successful of the three. The concept of the Maze Runner series is interesting, but I found the first part distinctly average, and this second outing very disappointing. The characters have little to do and I don’t care about them any more or less than I did in the first film.

Read my full review here.

  1. 50 Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of GrayI was never expecting good things from this as the books are absolutely terrible! It pretty much had its spot on this list before I even saw it, and seeing it was only confirmation that it deserved its place here. I don’t really have anything else to say about it; of course the films will continue to be wildly popular just as the books were and there’s nothing we can do to stop it!

  1. Into the Woods

2071I can file this film under the “showed promise but ultimately disappointed” category. It has a sterling cast and a lot of talent behind it, but it just doesn’t work somehow. It’s too long, boring and the payoff is totally unsatisfying. It seems to have faded completely out of recognition, and that doesn’t surprise me at all. I’d rather pretend it doesn’t exist.

  1. Tomorrowland

tomorrowland07Again, this film showed huge amounts of promise in the trailers. They deliberately gave very little away but I was really looking forward to seeing the futuristic world that we glimpsed in the previews. Unfortunately we see very little of it, and too much of the story is spent in the build up, with little time for anything else. The attempts at any moral takeaways are patronising and went completely over my head, let alone the heads of the child audience that this film was supposedly aimed at. Too heavy-handed in its approach, tonally confused and very dull!

  1. Kingsman: The Secret Service

kingsman_tough_crowd_htmlNow, here’s the controversial placing! I have read many other Best & Worst Films of 2015 posts, and a large number of those have placed this in their top. I saw this film with 6 other people at the cinema and they all loved it; I didn’t just dislike it, but I loathed it with a burning passion that I struggle to explain. I hated everything about it. I found the humour was way off and very misplaced, I found the action over the top and unnecessarily graphic. To make a comparison, Kick-Ass was very graphic but it knew when to stop. Its sequel, Kick-Ass 2, was like Kick Ass on steroids, grossly over the top and pushing a boundary which had already been stretched. For me, Kingsman, like Kick-Ass 2, pushed that boundary too far, and tried to make you laugh whilst it was doing it. It wasn’t big, it wasn’t clever, and if it wasn’t for the existence of some truly godawful films, it would easily be at the very bottom of this list.

  1. We Are Your Friends

maxresdefaultI knew I would hate this film before I saw it, but nothing could prepare me for the vapid emptiness of this soul-destroyingly dull film. It had a whole cast of characters who were impossible to care about and a meaningless story which dragged at a depressingly dull pace. Any attempts at emotion or character development happened too late and were hidden behind the pulsating soundtrack and bright colours. See through that, and there is a vast ocean of nothingness, each endlessly crashing wave bringing another thing you don’t have the time or the energy to care about.

  1. Fantastic Four

fantastic four; fant4stic; marvel; supeheroes; superhero; comic book; comics; heroes; stan lee; mr fantastic; the thing; Dr Doom;I’m not sure anyone was convinced this would be good, especially as the director essentially wrote it off before it had even appeared in cinemas! It is an absolute dud, a pointless and plodding affair which tirelessly builds up to a film that never happens and is over before it even begins to get going. The cast are great on paper, but they have absolutely nothing to do, and most of them look entirely bored throughout. The dialogue is cringey, the action and effects are incredibly flawed, and the story is absolutely atrocious. Without Marvel Studios behind it, I firmly believe this franchise will never work, and maybe now after two unsuccessful attempts to get it going, it is time to give up on it.

Read my full review here.

  1. Pixels

PixelsI still firmly believe that with a different cast and a better script that there is a good film in Pixels. But unfortunately it stars Adam Sandler, and is one of the most offensively bad films of the entire year. It might have been pipped to the post but it thoroughly deserves its spot in the very bottom of this list. Adam Sandler delivers the most phoned-in performance of his career, looking like a bad impersonator of a bad impersonator doing a bad Adam Sandler impression. It’s representation of women is absolutely disgusting, the plot is lazy, uninteresting and no amount of flashy graphics can make up for this.

Review my full review here.

  1. Entourage

150529_cbox_entouragemovie-crop-promo-mediumlargeThere could be no other film at the bottom of this list, and the “prize” for the worst film of the year of course goes to Entourage. Based on the supposedly popular TV series, Entourage follows a group of hateful misogynistic pigs, who are impossible to like even a little bit, saying and doing despicably awful things. The people around them applaud every move, and like a group of seals, we are expected to applaud them as well. There is absolutely nothing to like about this film, there is no message to take away, it simply says that if you are an awful, sorry excuse of a human being that is homophobic, racist, sexist and bigoted that you will be lavished with riches and praise. Absolutely sickening. If you enjoyed this film, please take a long hard look at yourself!

Dishonourable mentions to: The Duff, Magic Mike XXL, Hot Pursuit & While We’re Young

 

The 10 Best Films of 2016

  1. Ant-Man

ant man; ant-man; Paul Rudd; MCU; Marvel; Yellowjacket; Avengers; Superheroes; Superhero; Stan Lee;In the year that I thought Age of Ultron would easily be the best Marvel movie of the year, along came Ant-Man! I really hoped this film would be good, being a big fan of Marvel, but even I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Possibly one of the best origin stories Marvel have done, this offered just the right amount of background story, and seeing the hero in action. It was also incredibly funny, and like Guardians of the Galaxy, had just the right balance of comedy and action. The action scene involving Thomas the Tank Engine is still one of my favourite scenes in any film of this year!

Read my full review here.

  1. Big Hero 6

BIG HERO 6I almost entirely forgot that this film was released in 2015 as I’ve now seen it so many times it feels like it has always existed! Proving once again that the latest batch of Disney animated films can easily stand up there with Pixar, Big Hero 6 was an exciting, action packed tale of superheroes, friends and beating bad guys! It has a great heart as well as being tremendously funny and is easily one of my favourite films this year. Now where do I find my very own personal healthcare companion?

  1. Brooklyn

saoirse-ronan-brooklyn-01-600x350I absolutely adored this film, and I fear it may have gone unnoticed when it was released. It is simply a gorgeous film with a wonderful lead performance from Saoirse Ronan. It is wonderfully emotional without deliberately tugging at your heartstrings, it is sweet and romantic without being sickeningly sweet. I sincerely hope Saoirse Ronan gets the recognition she deserves come awards season.

Read my full review here.

  1. The Martian

the martian, martian, matt damn, ridley scott, mars, space, astronautOne of the big surprises for me this year. I was expecting amazing effects and plenty of drama, but I wasn’t expecting how utterly delightful this film was. It’s a plucky story of never giving up, but at no point is it cheesy. Stranded on Mars, astronaut and botanist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) uses his wit and his will to survive, in a story that seems completely believable; I’m no scientist but you could probably grow potatoes on Mars based on this film’s logic! The suppporting cast are great as well, but really this is a one-man show and Matt Damon carries this film tremendously the whole way through. Totally life-affirming, wonderfully funny and ultimately brilliant.

  1. Ex Machina

1401x788-exmachina_alicia-vikanderI didn’t fully appreciate this film when I first saw it, even though I absolutely loved it. On repeated viewings, I was able to see just how outstanding this film really is. It’s beautiful to look at, understated in places and completely insane in others. Alicia Vikander gives an amazing performance as Ava, and it raises lots of questions and ponderings about our relationship with technology and the slightly scary future of it as well. It stayed with me for a really long time afterwards, and the finale still totally takes my breath away.

  1. Whiplash

brody-whiplash-1200I saw this film so long ago, I almost entirely forgot it was in 2015! I was delighted to see it was, so I could talk about how much I love it. However it also made me completely redo my Top 10 list and pushed some other very worthy films out the way! It is difficult to describe how this film made me feel when I saw it, but I was completely in awe. Who knew a story about drumming could be this freakin’ tense?! It is nerve-shredding, visceral, horrifying, and glorious all at the same time. Miles Teller and JK Simmons give two outstanding lead performances, with Simmons in particular being the standout. It is a pounding, heart-stopping masterclass in filmmaking, and absolutely needs to be seen if you haven’t already!

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road

maxresdefault1I saw the trailers to this and wasn’t sure if I would like it. Silly me. How could I not like it? Not only is it the most visually stunning film of the year, it is unrelenting in it’s action, and creates a world that you don’t need to understand but can completely appreciate from the moment it begins. The music is also incredible, with the dramatic score perfectly lending itself to the completely over the top action. For all the undeserved criticism it received for not really being about Max at all, this film instead introduces us to the character of Furiosa; a total badass and a new feminist icon for the ages. Completely mind-blowing, and a film I can enjoy and watch over and over again.

  1. Sicario

sicario, hitman, mexico, drugs, war on drugs, emily blunt, josh brolin, benicio del toro, film, movie, sicario review,This film. Every time I think about it, I am suddenly filled with that feeling I had when I first saw it; WOW. It is very rare that I am lost for words after a film, but I was completely stunned by how amazing this film is. It is not just incredibly tense and exciting with great acting, but it is probably the most well made film I have seen all year. It is an absolute masterclass in creating tension, and the ominous score is stunning. This is the only film I have reviewed this year that I simply couldn’t find a flaw in. It only doesn’t come in at number one because the quality of films was so good this year!

Read my full review here.

  1. Inside Out

inside out; disney; pixar; disney pixar; emotions; joy; sadness; fear; disgust; anger; animated; film; movieThis was number one in my films of 2015 for a really long time. Then another film happened…but we’ll get to that shortly! I am a huge Pixar fan, and was slightly concerned about the declining quality of their films in recent years. Then along comes Inside Out! Easily one of the best films of the year, easily one of the best Pixar films, and over time may easily move it’s way higher up my favourite films ever. It is absolutely perfect. It’s colourful, funny, wonderfully intelligent and will leave you completely amazed. It is also probably the saddest film Pixar have ever made; I ugly cry over Bing Bong every time, and I think I always will. Simply outstanding.

Read my full review here.

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

kylo-ren-amongst-the-smoldering-ruins-of-a-jakku-village-star-wars-the-force-awakensI mean, what else was it going to be? Firstly, I fully accept that there are better films than this, but it is undoubtedly the film I enjoyed most out of all the films I saw this year, as well as being a genuinely great film. Therefore I think I can fully justify its place as number one in my list, and please feel free to disagree! I have never been more excited and nervous about seeing a film in my life. Fortunately The Force Awakens was everything that I needed out of a Star Wars film, and crucially, contained all of the elements that made me love Star Wars in the first place. It took me a long time to collect my thoughts as I was so overwhelmed after the first viewing, but thankfully it has held up to a second (and at the time of writing, sixth!) viewing. It is funny, exciting, and is seamlessly able to combine the elements of the old films as well as introducing us to the new group of heroes that we will follow in the upcoming films. It’s so wonderful that Star Wars will continue to delight a new generation of fans, and I can’t wait to see where the new films will go from here!

Read my full review here.    

Honourable mentions to: Age of Ultron, Spectre, Straight Outta Compton, Trainwreck, Jurassic World, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part Two, Steve Jobs and Carol

Over to you…

I asked my friends & followers to let me know their best and worst movies of the year. Here is what they thought…

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@shaneminham – “for me the Martian was the best And the worst was fantastic 4 …”

Well there we have it, my best & worst films of 2015! Agree with everything I’ve said, or am I a terribly misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Please let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to share as well.

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11 comments

  1. I only saw four of the movies on your list. You already know that I think more of The Good Dinosaur than you do. So, I’m sure it would have ranked higher on my list if I had seen all the movies you did. (Saying it would have been fourth on my personal list isn’t saying much.) I do agree with your ordering of the four I have seen, though. 1. Force Awakens. 2. Inside Out. 3. Big Hero 6. 4. The Good Dinosaur.

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