Wrapping Up 2015: Top 5 Favorite Movies of the Year


This was a great year for movies. Not as good as 2014, but definitely a great year. We got some great independent films, some awesome blockbusters and a fantastic year financially at the box office. So as we conclude 2015, I'll still be seeing and reviewing 2015 films until the night of the Academy Awards. I want to make sure I see all the nominees before the big night. With that said, I still haven't seen many of the heavy hitters this year. I haven't been able to see films like The Revenant, The Hateful Eight, The Big Short, Carol, The Danish Girl, Brooklyn or Trumbo yet, so really this list is complete. But as of today, December 31st, here are my top 5 favorite films of the year, with a few honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions

Straight Outta Compton



I had been looking forward to this film for a while. N.W.A. is one of the most influential groups in rap history, and the story behind them is fascinating. I also didn't know a whole lot about the story before watching this movie. It was directed magnificently by F. Gary Gray, and had shining performances by Jason Mitchell and O'Shea Jackson Jr. The second half of the movie lost its excellent pace, and some historical details were glossed over in order to preserve the image of this group, but in the end, Straight Outta Compton was a thrilling film. You can read our full review for the film here.

Inside Out



I had been hearing fantastic things about this film when it hit theaters, so I knew I had to go check it out. I absolutely loved this film! It was beautiful, with so much creativity and innovation. This film really hearkens back to the older days of Pixar, and they originality in their films. They really recaptured that in this film. The voice talent behind the emotions were perfect casting choices, with Amy Poehler as Joy and Lewis Black as Anger being two of the best castings I have ever seen for a film. Everything in this movie works, and it is just a heartbreaking (and warming at the same time) movie to watch. 

The Martian



The Martian championed the return of Ridley Scott, who had lost his way for a few films. But with this movie, he returned with a vengeance, and knocked it out of the park. This film has a rapid-fire pace that is fueled by the powerhouse performance of Matt Damon, who brings a levity and comedic charm to what could have been a very depressing role. The supporting cast are all fantastic, and this movie really works to show what mankind can do if banded together. You can read our full review for the film here.

#5 Mad Max: Fury Road


This was such a beautifully stunning and gorgeous movie. I walked in with practically no expectations. I wasn't overly enthusiastic about it, but I had heard great things so I checked it out. I was blown away by Mad Max: Fury Road. It was such an adrenaline rush, with non-stop action, beautiful visual effects and badass characters. Charlize Theron steals the film as Furiosa, and makes her one of the best female characters of the year. It was just an exhilarating movie, and deserves to be recognized as one of the best of the year. You can read our full review for the film here.

#4 Steve Jobs


Steve Jobs was a magnificent film, really carried by fantastic performances. Everyone in this movie delivers to make this year's Birdman, in terms of style and execution. Michael Fassbender proves himself to be one of the best actors working today, and Seth Rogen showed that he could do dramatic acting. The film has a great pace, and is captivating to watch. Fassbender plays Jobs perfectly, and you really love to hate this guy. It's essential watching for techies, while also appealing to average people who just want to see a good movie. Overall, Steve Jobs is a fantastic film. You can read our full review for the film here.

#3 Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens


J.J. Abrams achieved the impossible with Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. He caught the audience up on 30 years of mythology, made Star Wars relevant again for older and newer generations and gave us a damn good movie all at the same time. It's a visual feast, with gorgeous practical effects and seamless special effects blending together. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega shine as the new face of the franchise, but Harrison Ford's return as Han Solo proves to be the best part of the film. Overall, The Force Awakens is a satisfying return to a beloved franchise. You can read our full review for the film here

#2 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl


This movie told a perfect story about friendship, death and relationships while also being upbeat and humorous. It didn't resort to Hollywood cliches, but instead went out of their way to point those out and go a different route. It's fourth-wall breaking narration allowed for a more interesting tale to be told. It also gave a very different look on death, and what it does to people. The performances in this film are all fantastic, combined with a super strong script and incredible direction makes Me and Earl and the Dying Girl one of the best of the year. You can read our full review for the film here.

#1 Room


This was the last film of 2015 that I saw, and it instantly took top-spot for me. It is a tragic movie, but beautiful at the same time. It has a very strong script, that throws a lot at the audience without being overbearing. It has a fantastic performance by Brie Larson, who is actually upstaged by Jacob Tremblay. The movie has a lot to say about the bond between a mother and her son, and simply relationships in general. It is hard to watch, but simply a fantastic movie to end the year with. You can read our full review for the film here.

So those are my top 5 favorite films of 2015 as of yet. Like I said before, once I see more of the Oscar contenders, this list will probably change. I also want to say thank you for all your support this year. This was a huge year for The Movie Paradise, as it was our first full year. We wrote 436 articles this year, and even got to conduct our first interview in May. This has been a great year for the site, so I want to thank you for your conditional support. See you next year!

What do you think? Do you like my picks for my top 5 list? What are your top 5 favorite movies of 2015? What are your most anticipated films of next year? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Written by: Nate
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