The Best Movies Released in 2015

We’re counting down the best movies of 2015! 2015 was a really good year for film. There were several recording breaking films released this year, like Jurassic World, which soared past breaking records into the #3 spot of Highest Grossing Films of All Time. But then Star Wars: The Force Awakens came to shut the movie game down, having the biggest midnight release ever. Picking the “best movies” of the year is tough, but we sat through a lot of movies and came out with some very strong opinions about the movies on this list.

Cinderella is a Disney classic and this remake did it justice. While there was no singing in this film, the costumes and sets were exceptional. Helena Bonham-Carter should be everyone's fairy godmother.
Pitch Perfect 2
Fans loved this movie enough to get the cast on board for a Pitch Perfect 3. It's soundtrack isn't as epic and awesome as the first movie, but Fat Amy will always make us laugh.
The Divergent Series: Insurgent
YA movies are what keep teenagers running to the theaters in droves. Insurgent brought the intensity that Divergent didn't have, while maintaining a healthy balance between book-to-movie.
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Everyone is obsessed with the minions. This movie actually gave us the cutest minion to exist, Bob AKA King Bob. This movie was as ridiculous as you'd expect a movie about minions to be, yet it made us all a little emotional.
Trainwreck was hilarious, but in a much more raw way. It's been called the most polarizing comedy of the year. It is very honest and is a kind-of of sad way to look at relationships. We learned more about how what we see growing up can define us.
This movie was essentially Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but for the 21st century - but it didn't feel like a ripoff at all, it felt pure in a way so few new movies can. It also had an amazing abundance of '90s fashion and music that made it iconic.
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If you saw trailers for The Duff, chances are you didn't expect the movie to be good. But then a friend made you see it and you realized that Mae Whitman is a comedic-timing GENIUS. Robbie Amell isn't so bad himself. If you got past the odd concept of having a designated ugly fat friend, then you know that The Duff was a hilarious movie.
Paper Towns
Paper Towns came to us from the same guys that gave us The Fault In Our Stars. It wasn't as heartbreaking and awesome as TFIOS, but it held it's own. It also had a very interesting message about people who intentionally get lost that spoke to us on a much deeper level.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
Mockingjay - Part 2 is the epic conclusion to the Hunger Games series. With some changes to the script and revisions, this film still stuck closely to the books while packing on as much action (and angst) as possible. It might not be the best film in the 4-part series, it was definitely a great way to say goodbye to Katniss and Panem as we once knew it.
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Love & Mercy
For years we've heard stories about Brian Wilson's time with the Beach Boys, but Love & Mercy gave us the kind of insight that made us feel like were apart of his life. It was often not pretty, but it was a movie about something bigger than just the group.
Southpaw hit us hard, but in a good way. Jake Gyllenhaal trained intensely for months to become a boxer and that helped make the fight scenes very realistic. This film also had a very interesting father-daughter relationship dynamic that we have never seen on screen before.
Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs is a film that will not make everyone love Steve Job (it's a very dark light on this genius) but it will make you respect him...or at least, his brilliance. Michael Fassbender was beyond brilliant as Jobs and made you love and hate him all in one scene. Seth Rogen initially had seemed like odd casting for Steve Wozniak, but he brought Wozniak's struggles with Jobs to light in a way we'd never seen before.
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The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
If a movie is able to satisfy a new generation and fans of the original, then you know it's a success. Tying Superman to something, and finding a way to get David Beckham minorly involved is obviously the best way to make something a hit.
Furious 7
This movie was one of the most emotional movies we saw all year, thanks to "See You Again" and that ending with Paul Walker. It's the craziest movie in the franchise (did The Rock really drive an ambulance into a drone?) but it was entertaining as hell.
The Fresh Prince has clearly made a comeback in 2015, first with his thriller Focus, and now with his most recent drama Concussion. Will Smith was nominated for a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian coroner who discovered the horrific affects head trauma has on NFL players. Though the film doesn’t quite have the fast-paced tone Focus had, Smith holds his own here (despite his tragic Nigerian accent) as a man who would do anything to bring the truth to light. Concussion is a story about a beloved sport that has given us great joy and sorrow.
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Todd HaynesCarol is a quiet but visually arresting tale of a young Manhattan woman Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara)’s infatuation with an older stunning housewife named Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett). It’s a tale of forbidden romance in a past time that though lacking in robust dialogue is filled in with longing gazes.
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Mad Max franchise made us wait 30 years between movies, and Fury Road was well worth the wait. It was the most intense, crazy thrill ride we went on this year, and we saw Furious 7 twice.
The Good Dinosaur
2015 was a good year for animated films, and while everyone hailed Inside Out as the greatest of them all, we think The Good Dinosaur, Pixar's second film of the year, stands out as well. A heartbreaking story about a little dinosaur who gets separated from his family, this film is beautifully executed cinematically and tells a much different story than we're used to seeing from Pixar. It was a welcome change that made us laugh and cry (a lot).
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A satisfying part three to the Daniel Craig trilogy (let's just ignore Quantum of Solace). While Casino Royale sought to bring Bond into the 21st Century and Skyfall was a celebration of 50 years of Bond history, Spectre was a return to old-school Bond films, with cool gadgets, witty one liners, and some familiar villains. It wasn't as gritty as Casino Royale or as gorgeous as Skyfall, but it was a Bond movie through and through.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
This movie kicked ass. It kicked our ass, if we're being honest. We had no idea this movie was going have that much action, while still keeping us concerned with Eggsy's life and what happened to Colin Firth.
The Hateful Eight
Quentin  Tarantino’s 8th feature film doesn’t disappoint. The  western murder mystery, which is set against a blistery winter mountains, is a twisty tale full of Tarantino-esque dialogue and some old favorites. This is the auteur director at his best, he’s gathered a perfect ensemble and the perfect story for this wild ride.
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Everyone laughed when they heard Marvel was releasing Ant-Man, because how could a superhero movie about a man who can shrink to the size of an ant be good? You cast Paul Rudd as the lead and trust that Marvel can work it's magic (and forgive & forget about The Incredible Hulk). Ant-Man had mini-action-packed scenes and so many moments that made you laugh (Luis stole the show), it couldn't have failed.
"It's these survivors who give Spotlight its beating heart." Peter Travers for Rolling Stone said it best. With is excellent cast, this film begins with a small bud of an idea and develops into a monumental, emotional story that will make you feel many different ways and desperate to tell someone else about what you saw.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron
We so badly wanted this to be the best movie of 2015, but it was beat out not only in the box office, but in our hearts. We will always enjoy an Avengers film and Ultron was a scary-ass villain, while the movie was amazing, it was not just not #1 worthy.
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Creed has been hailed as the best Rocky film since the original and we have to agree. This film is a total knockout and proved that it's more than just an underdog, if Sylvester Stallone's Oscar consideration and Golden Globe nomination is anything to go by. We haven't seen an actor become so invested in a role the way that Michael B. Jordan was for Creed in years. His dedication bled into the film and made is a hit.
Jurassic World
Jurassic World is the movie that Jurassic Park fans waited over 21 years for. Special effects have finally caught up with the idea behind this movie and that made it an ultra-realistic dinosaur experience. Plus, it doesn't hurt to have Chris Pratt as your lead.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
JJ Abrams proclaimed "I want The Force Awakens to make you feel like a kid again" and he seems to have accomplished this goal. It'll make you laugh. It'll make you cry. It'll make you go home and research lightsaber techniques for three hours straight. The most anticipated movie of the year lived up to the hype.
On opening night, Episode VII drew praise from stars and Star Wars fans like Patton Oswalt and Rob LoweThe Force Awakens nabbed $238 million during its opening weekend, which included $100 million from Friday alone (the largest single day gross ever) and the biggest midnight release of all-time. As of right now, The Force Awakens is well on its way to becoming the highest grossing Disney film of all-time (let that sink in for a minute).
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The Martian
The Martian was the unexpected reminder that Matt Damon is excellent. This film was a great adaptation on the book and delivered in a way that made it refreshing and surprisingly funny. With a stellar ensemble, The Martian is most likely going to bring home quite a few awards this awards season.
Inside Out
Inside Out is easily the best animated film of the year, maybe even of the last few years. It's message "you can't have happiness without sadness" is simple enough for children to understand, but deep enough for adults to emotionally connect to. We still haven't forgiven Pixar for breaking out hearts with that Bing Bong scene.
Straight Outta Compton
This N.W.A. biopic takes the top spot because we didn't even see this coming. Back in January, had you told us SOC would be our favorite movie of 2015 and a box office smash hit, we wouldn't have believed you. With all the summer blockbusters and hype for Star Wars, we truly believed one of those would take the cake, but SOC is the real star of the year. The entire cast was beyond excellent, but the real breakout star was Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E. We still can't get over his hospital scenes. Is it crazy to say he deserves an Oscar nomination? Because he does. He sadly wasn't nominated for a Golden Globe, but we're holding out hope!