For the past three years, I’ve been ranking every film I see- just the new releases, from January 1st to December 31st. The rankings are subjective, based entirely on how much I enjoyed and/or connected with or appreciated the film rather than on some sort of objective artistic criteria. Basically, this is a list of 140 films released in 2015 ranked according to how much I liked them.
Read the Full 2015 List HERE.
The worst of the worst are out of the way so let’s get on with the merely dreadful…
121. Our Brand is Crisis
The problem with this well-cast politics movie is that it tries for tonal balance when it really needs to make a decision- melancholy and brutal morality drama or wacky behind-the-scenes adventure? Either could have been great; together, they are not.
122. Boy Meets Girl
There are some really lovely moments in this simple rom-com about a transgender girl in Kentucky who dreams of going to fashion school and falls for the town rich girl but there are plenty of broad-strokes characters, at least two pretty random twists, the leading lady isn’t very natural in front of the camera (though I give the producers so much credit for finding a real transgender actress rather than attempting to fake it) and the ending (the whole movie, really) is super cheesy. Moving, but cheesy. Somewhere in act three the film falls into one of my biggest pet peeves about movie romance but it kind of works, entirely because Michael Welch is crazy charming. It’s cute. Overly simple, but cute.
I don’t know why we keep giving Cameron Crowe a pass on making some of the worst movies ever but this predictable, pandering, absurd film about unprofessional military people is just plain awful despite its incredible cast. John Krasinski’s the best thing about it by a mile, and this is coming from a die-hard Cooper fan.
Did the world need a rom-com about damaged personal trainers? Absolutely not. But here it is nonetheless, making pathetic use of a strong cast that includes Cobie Smulders and Constance Zimmer (Guy Pearce too but he’s not as criminally misused). Who wants to watch unlikeable people do pushups? Certainly not me.
125. The Cobbler
This movie made no sense and stirred nothing in me. And here I was hoping for that unlikely Sandler-as-digestible-cultural-staple renaissance.
127. Mockingjay Part 2
I LOVED the first Hunger Games movie. It was a fantastic adaptation that harnessed what made the book special and took advantage of the translation to a new medium to sidestep some of the book’s landmines (like first person narration) while keenly streamlining certain elements to make room for the expansion of others and make sure no thematic impact was lost. Every single Hunger Games film that followed that first one has been a little bit worse. Maybe the last one’s not as bad as the third, which is merely a placeholder film, but still. None of the film’s nuance made the jump to the screen. None of its searing moral ambiguity. None of its stirring pessimism. The incredible supporting cast is completely wasted and Jennifer Lawrence is asked to do nothing more than that patented deadpan-then-scream bit she’s gotten so good at.
128. 50 Shades of Grey
Sensationalist and dull at the same time, this is a thing that just shouldn’t exist.
This movie’s just dumb. I know geniuses come in all forms and Chris Hemsworth is definitely smarter than he seems but I just can’t buy him as the kind of rough-and-tumble astronomical genius needed to sell this ridiculous plot.
My love of Dev Patel knows few bounds but holy moly this shoddy sci-fi morality tale pushed the limits.