I started compiling a list of my favorite 2015 movies, but it was really lame. I got bored just writing it so I can’t imagine how much it would suck for the poor person reading it. The last thing anyone wants right now is another dry Top 10 List, right? I have one, which I will post at the end of this, but it actually excluded some of the coolest theater experiences I had this year. That’s why I decided to compile a list of The Best, Worst and Weirdest of 2015 Film.
Let’s start with the Best Place to Watch a Movie, because the theater itself can make all the difference in the world. My current favorite is the Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson. I love them because the food is good and the drinks are excellent, but I REALLY love how serious they are about being quiet during the movie. I took my one of my daughters to see Creed there and she was actually offended by all the BE QUIET threats. I, on the other hand, have walked out of movies because of loud jerks so please, make all the threats you WANT, Alamo Drafthouse! Their new location in Dallas is COMING SOON (hopefully mid-February) so stay tuned for details!
My Least Favorite Place to Watch a Movie currently is the AMC Northpark. It’s not because of the theaters themselves because they’re actually pretty nice. No, their stupid bar has me outraged by overcharging for drinks. A double glass of wine (don’t ask me to watch a 120 minute long movie without one) costs over $20 now, which is ridiculous. They’ll charge you even more to fill the cup to the top. I don’t know exactly how much they charge because I’ve stopped buying drinks there. That’s why the AMC Northpark is also my Favorite Place to Smuggle In Alcohol.
Three films were released in 2015 that fall into the Films That Make Me Question My Abilities as a Film Critic category. The first was Pixels, which I watched with my daughters and loved. We weren’t expecting much from it and were delighted by the first enjoyable Adam Sandler in YEARS. I gave Pixels a B and my girls gave it enthusiastic As, but it’s currently registering only 17% on the film critic website, Rotten Tomatoes. I was shocked and my girls, well…they were just heartbroken.
It was the same story in reverse when we saw Shaun the Sheep, which has always registered in the high 90’s on Rotten Tomatoes. I saw the great reviews and rounded up a large group of friends to see the film, but everyone hated it. You still can’t mention Shaun the Sheep around my kids without getting an eye-roll and groan in response.
The lowest point I hit as a Film Critic though, had to be when I saw the movie Magic Mike XXL. I attended a screening with three girlfriends and we hooted and hollered like we were at an actual strip club. We even threw fake dollar bills (provided by the theater) at the screen during the hottest dance numbers. We brought one man with us, who was thoroughly disgusted by our behavior. He also didn’t understand WHY we loved watching Channing Tatum writhe around when perfectly smutty porn is available online every day. We tried to explain why actual porn made us uncomfortable, and how we couldn’t justify the cost of REAL strippers, but it fell on deaf ears. I gave Magic Mike XXL a jubilant A+, which caused my fellow film critics to gasp and take one giant step back. Hell, I still don’t care. I’d like to open a theater that shows Magic Mike XXL all year long. We’ll sell cheap drinks and hand out fake dollar bills to the patrons. Maybe we’ll even call it The Package Shop.
My Funniest Movie Moment of 2015 didn’t actually happen while I was watching a comedy. No, it happened during The Visit, which is an M. Night Shyamalan picture about some kids who meet their grandparents for the first time. The well-placed vomit and elderly nudity had me laughing and screaming so loud that other people in the theater started laughing at me. The Visit is ridiculous, but it has moments that are so purely shocking, you can’t help but scream, then slip into a fit of giggles. I can’t explain it, but everyone in the theater seemed to have the same reaction. That or they were all laughing at me. I’ll never really know, but I had a blast either way.
My Scariest Movie Moment of 2015 also didn’t come from a horror movie. It was during The Walk, when Philip Petit (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) first stepped out on the wire he had strung between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The physical reaction I had to that scene was something akin to being followed by an actual shark, or maybe being chased by a swarm of bees. It was also so beautiful that I spontaneously burst into tears. If you missed seeing The Walk in theaters, I highly encourage you to rent it once it’s available, then watch it with your friend who has the biggest TV. You should probably bring some beer and pizza, too.
My Biggest Surprise of 2015 came while watching the movie Creed. “Making a new Rocky movie” has become synonymous with beating a dead horse, but this film surged with the same pure energy as the first. I was especially thrilled by Sylverster Stallone’s no-ego portrayal of the aging Rocky Balboa. He probably won’t win any awards for Creed (or will he?) but he sure won back my respect.
My Biggest Disappointment of 2015 goes to Jennifer Lawrence in Joy and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. I don’t blame Lawrence personally for the how badly those movies sucked, but I do think it’s time for her to reassess her choices. I hope that JLaw finds time to work with some new and interesting directors, and maybe take a break from the blockbusters. Well, after X-Men: Apocalypse, of course, and don’t get mad at me for giving her a hard time. Jennifer Lawrence recently admitted to making out with Liam Hemsworth and getting high before awards ceremonies. She’s doing just fine!
My Worst Movie Experience of 2015 goes to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s positively dreadful By The Sea. If a movie is REALLY BAD, I actually enjoy writing the review and I had a blast writing this one. Click HERE to read it.
My Favorite Movie Experience of 2015 goes to, and I feel like this one goes without saying, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I loved it the first time I saw it but it was even BETTER the second time, when I took my family. I surprised them all with tickets Christmas morning and we saw it right after lunch that day. My girls LOVED it, but the best response came from my husband, who was like a gleeful little boy again. Sharing Star Wars: The Force Awakens with them was the best Christmas gift I gave or received in 2015.
I feel I should take a minute to thank everyone out there who read my reviews in 2015. I’d write reviews even if no one looked at them (I’m not above talking to myself) but it warms my heart anytime someone says they read one. THANK YOU! Below you will find my Top 10 Movies of 2015, but I should add that I haven’t seen The Hateful 8, yet. I missed the screening because my 11-year-old had a major math test the next day and needed help studying. Sorry Tarrantino, but you took the backseat to Algebra that day. Plus, it’s over 3 hours long and I’m not sure there’s enough wine in the world to get me through that. Well, we all know I’m willing to try! Happy New Year!!!
10. Mad Max: Fury Road
9. Straight Outta Compton
8. The Walk
6. Ex Machina
4. The Martian
2. The Revenant
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens