Top 5 Movies of 2015 Top 10 Films of 2015

Best films from the year 2015 that you absolutely must see

Listed by a Malaysian

It has been a great year of blockbusters but I believe most would agree that there weren’t as many groundbreaking films as 2014. Hence making a top-5 list is perhaps fair. Unlike for the Top 5 Worst Movies of 2015 list, I did watch most of the highly rated and critically acclaimed films before making this list, which was why it took me this long.

As usual, the films were ranked based on the level of entertainment, production, originality, performances, social-impact and purpose. They weren’t ranked by the ratings from my reviews as those were given mostly within genre and only the films that were released in Malaysia had a full review by me. Is Straight Outta Compton in this list? Hells no. #ColourlessOpinionsSoWhite. But seriously, I watched it and I thought it was good, but is it Best Picture material or does it even have a performance stronger compared to the other candidates? Not to me. Neither is The Martian, actually. But hey, at least it was nominated for Best Original Screenplay in the Oscars.

Anyway, without further ado, here are my top 5 personal favourite films of 2015;


5. Ex Machina

(Not released in Malaysia)

ex machina movie still

Although it’s a science fiction, the technology in the film’s story is very convincingly possible. Merged with today’s already available database and algorithms in the internet, the film may have somewhat predicted where we’re headed, even if not specifically. However, what’s fascinating isn’t just about the technology but also its purpose of exploring the flaws of human and society. Slow-burning but thoroughly compelling, gripping and thought-provoking with stylish visuals. Absolutely brilliant work for first-time director Alex Garland and engaging performances by all three actors. Definitely one of the best non-action sci-fi in recent years.


4. The Revenant

(20th Century Fox Malaysia)

leonardo dicaprio hugh glass revenant still

‘Fun’ is probably not the word I’d use to describe the film, definitely not the kind of fun we got from Alejandro G. Innaritu’s Birdman, but it’s truly an engagingly immersive experience of pain, grief, constant suffering and genuine sense of danger. Not to mention the spectacularly crazy camera work. I still have not a clue how some of the scenes were shot. Not only that I sympathised Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, but it also felt as though I was in that cold harsh environment enduring it all with him in slow burning pace throughout almost 2 1/2 hours of the film. Great performance by Leo (although not my favourite) and Tom Hardy. >> Read full review


3. Mad Max: Fury Road

(Warner Bros. Pictures Malaysia)

tom hardy mad max 4 fury road still

If you’re familiar with the Mad Max films, you would know just how fun and thrillingly engaging each action sequence can be in a single scene. It’s not just car chasing, gun-fighting, crashes, destruction and explosions — each action scene has a lot something else that’s happening at the same time while the vehicles are moving at seemingly high speed, and amazingly, none of the action is repeated. The creative and inspiring choreography and writing have certainly upped the bar for action flicks. Hands down, one of the most entertaining and well produced action movies of all time. Welcome back, practical effects, you’ve filled up the void of CGI. >> Read full review


2. Spotlight

(Not released in Malaysia)

spotlight movie still

I’m sure there might have been a dilemma for our authorities — if this film was released here, we can show the world that this religion can be corrupted and perverted, but it might also encourage the press to do the right thing and report the truth even though doing so would put them in jeopardy. Not sure why it wasn’t released here. It may be just because the distributor didn’t want to put in the effort to market it. Anyway, great storytelling and performances. Based on true story and facts, the film’s shocking and scary but necessary for the people to know about what happened, and even the “holy” ones would attempt to cover up the most sinful actions. I liked how the film doesn’t portray the main characters as heroes, but instead, also guilty for not performing their responsibilities much earlier.


1. Room

(Not released in Malaysia)

brie larson room 2015 movie still

Based on a novel that’s sort of inspired by a real case, the depiction of this situation is done in a unique way. I could feel the pain of the characters, I was at the edge of my seat, I was in tears in many scenes and at the end of it, it was truly rewarding. There’s thrill, there are tears and it faces the problems boldly with purpose instead of ending it where many thought it would. Brie Larson’s performance is dramatically the strongest of the year, better than all the male actors too I’d say. Dare I say, no other film in 2015 has more heart than this one.


Honourable Mentions

– Steve Jobs (not released in Malaysia)
– Creed (not released in Malaysia)
Sicario (TGV Pictures)
Inside Out

Highly rated films I’ve not seen

– Carol (not released in Malaysia)
– The Danish Girl (not released in Malaysia)
– Brooklyn (not released in Malaysia)
– Trumbo (not released in Malaysia)
– 45 Years (not released in Malaysia)
– Anomalisa (not released in Malaysia)
– Boy & The World (not released in Malaysia)
– Shaun the Sheep Movie (not released in Malaysia)
– When Marnie Was There (not released in Malaysia)
– (… and all highly rated foreign films)

<< View Top 10 Worst Movies of 2015
<< View Top 10 Movies of 2014

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  1. jeerou

    Have you watched Beasts of No Nation? It was on Netflix but definitely one of the best movies in 2015. Too bad Idris Elba and Abraham Attah were not nominated for their performances in the movie-maybe because it's on Netflix, because all the nominees for the Best Actor category last year was rather weak in my opinion.

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