No year-in-review of mine would be complete without a list of superlatives. I’ve been putting up a list like this since 2009 when I blatantly stole the idea from my friends Rene Rodriguez and Connie Ogle at the Miami Herald. Before moving forward, it’ll help if you browsed through by Best of 2015 article. It’ll serve as a primer for some of my picks below. Without further ado, here’s one final look back into the last 12 months.
2014: THE YEAR IN SUPERLATIVES:
Best Film of the Year: The Revenant
Worst Film of the Year: The Danish Girl.
Best Animated Feature: Inside Out. Pixar’s back!
Best Foreign-language Film: Xavier Dolan’s Mommy
Best Documentary: Asif Kapadia’s stirring Amy
Best Blockbuster: Mad Max: Fury Road. Obviously.
Best Mind-Fuck: The bizarre but bat-shit insane action-comedy Kung Fury
Weirdest Movie: Jupiter Ascending. Just, WTF?
Best Sequel: The all-conquering Mad Max: Fury Road
Worst Sequel: The putrid Jurassic World
Most Unnecessary Sequel: Star Wars: The For… just kidding. Terminator: Genysis. Just why?
Best Remake: Kenneth Branagh’s sumptuous Cinderella
Worst Remake: The languid Secret in Their Eyes
Biggest Surprise: Creed, which defied all expectations to become a WOM sensation.
Biggest Disappointment: Aloha. What happened to you, Cameron?
Most Ambitious Movie: The Revenant. Let’s shoot it in natural night in the dead of winter in Canada. AGI’s got cojones the size of his ego.
Biggest Guilty Pleasure: Spectre – I’m a Bond nut, surprise!
Best Movie That Deserved a Bigger Audience: The Coenesque western Slow West
Best Older Film That I Watched for the First Time in 2015: Memories of Murder (2003)
Most Overrated Movie: Straight Outta Compton. Great first 45 minutes. Boring rest.
Most Underrated Movie: Dope. Best contemporary coming-of-age movie of 2015.
Best Comedy: What We Do in the Shadows
Worst Comedy: Minions. This is a 20 minute short at best.
Best Unintentional Comedy: The Boy Next Door. “I have a first edition of The Illiad”
Best Science Fiction: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Science Fiction, Art House Edition: Ex Machina
Best Superhero Movie: Ant-Man. This was so much better than the initial buzz made it out to be.
Worst Superhero Movie: Avengers: Age of Ultron. Just a big ol’ Nope.
Best Action Movie: Again, Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Horror Movie: It Follows
Best Biopic: Steve Jobs. It wasn’t great but compared to the rest…
Worst Biopic: The Danish Girl. Fuck you, Tom Hooper
Best Romance: Carol. A fever dream.
Best Thriller: Sicario. That night-vision sequence… The border shoot-out… that dinner… the list goes on.
Best Actor: Michael B. Jordan in Creed
Best Actress: Brie Larson in Room
Best Supporting Actor: Michael Shannon in 99 Homes
Best Supporting Actress: Elizabeth Banks in Love & Mercy
Best Comedic Performance: Melissa McCarthy in Spy
Best Ensemble: Spotlight (Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d’Arcy James, Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup)
Best Breakthrough Performance – Male: Abraham Attah – Beasts of No Nation
Best Breakthrough Performance – Female: Rebecca Ferguson – Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Wackiest performance: Tom Hardy and Tom Hardy in Legend
Best Performance in a Bad Movie: Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl
Worst Performance in a Good Movie: John Cusack in Love & Mercy
Biggest Scene-Stealer: Jason Statham in Spy
Best On-Screen Chemistry: Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in Carol
Worst On-Screen Chemistry: Bradley Cooper with either Rachel McAdams or Emma Stone in Aloha
BEHIND THE SCENES
Best Director: George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Breakthrough Filmmaker: László Nemes for Son of Saul
Best Adapted Screenplay: Phyllis Nagy for Carol
Best Original Screenplay: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer for Spotlight
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki for The Revenant
Best Costume Design: Sandy Powell for Cinderella
Best Film Editing: Margaret Sixel for Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Makeup & Hairstyling: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Original Score: Junkie XL for Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Song: “One Kind of Love” from Love & Mercy
Best Soundtrack: Dope
Film Composition of the Year: “Brothers in Arms” from Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Production Design: Adam Stockhausen for Bridge of Spies
Best Sound Mixing: The Revenant
Best Sound Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Visual Effects: Mad Max: Fury Road
ODDS AND ENDS
Character of the Year: Emperosa Furiosa (Charlize Theron) in Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Hero: Furiosa (Charlize Theron) in Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Villain: The Commandant (Idris Elba) in Beasts of No Nation
Best On-Screen team: The Spotlight team in Spotlight
Most memorable character intro: Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Where’s Ethan? On the damn plane!
Best Quote: “Oh, what a day! What a lovely day!” – Mad Max: Fury Road
Most likely to start a franchise: Kingsman: The Secret Service
Most likely to end a franchise: Terminator: Genysis
Most likely to rejuvenate a franchise: Mad Max: Fury Road
Most deserving of a franchise: Spy
Most likely to kill plans for a franchise: Fantastic Four
Dumbest Movie: Jurassic World
Most Shameless Oscar Bait: The Danish Girl
Failed Oscar Bait Class of 2015: Black Mass, Legend, Suffragette, Concussion
Best musical moment in a musical: Ice Cube breaks into “No Vaseline” in Straight Outta Compton
Best Use of Music in a non-musical: The “Wonderwall” montage in Mommy
Best Dance Sequence in a musical:
Joe Manganiello dances to the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want it That Way” in a convenience store in Magic Mike XXL. HERE
Best Dance Sequene in a non-musical: (tie)
The girls dance to Rihanna’s “Diamonds” in Girlhood. HERE
Oscar Isaac shows you how it’s done in Ex Machina.
Best Sex Scene: Carol
Best Worst Sex Scene: The hilarious sex scene with John Cena and Amy Schumer in Trainwreck
Most Unnecessary Anal Sex Joke: The ending of Kingsman: The Secret Service
Best Example of Truth in Advertising: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Biggest Cash-Grab: Minions
Best Finale that makes the preceding hour worth it: The Walk
Worst Finale that makes the preceding hours worthless: SPECTRE
Best Movie Ruined by a Third Act Environmental Lecture: Tomorrowland
Bloodiest Movie: The Hateful Eight
Best Opening: Tom Cruise jumps on a plane and flies off with it in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Best Ending: Nina Hoss performs “Speak Low” in Phoenix
Lamest Ending: The realization that I’d wasted two hours of my time after watching Focus.
Bleakest Ending: The final shot of Charlotte Rampling’s face in 45 Years
Best use of IMAX and 3D: The Walk
Best Opening Credits: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Best End Credits: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
The Spy Movies of 2015 Ranked: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation > Bridge of Spies > Spy > The Man from U.N.C.L.E. > SPECTRE > Kingsman: The Secret Service
Worst Credits: That awful octopus-laden hentai credits sequence in SPECTRE which is only made worse by Sam Smith’s grating title song. SEE IT HERE.
Most Suspenseful Scene: The Opera house set-piece in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Saddest Scene: Bing Bong’s final scene in Inside Out
Best Action Sequence: The finale of Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Fight Scene: The brutal fight between Max, Furiosa, the Brides and Nux in Mad Max: Fury Road
Funniest Scene: Inside the minds of the parents in Inside Out.
The So Fucking Bad It’s Hilarious Scene: The flying scarf in The Danish Girl. FUCK YOU, Tom Hooper, you desperate Oscar whore. Why don’t YOU just go fly away for good.
Best Scene in an Otherwise Forgettable Movie: The Super Bowl sequence in Focus
Most Disturbing/Unwatchable Sequence: The abortion sequence in The Tribe
Best Opening Shot: The five-minute long take in SPECTRE
Best Closing Shot: A face and a hint of a smile in Carol
Best Technological Achievement: The single-shot Victoria
Actor/filmmaker whose name I had the most trouble spelling this year:
Class of 2015: Saoirse Ronan
Class of 2014: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Class of 2013: Adèle Exarchopoulos
Class of 2012: Quvenzhané Wallis
Class of 2011: Michel Hazanavicius
Best Single Shot of the Year: The single-take fight sequence in Creed
Best CGI Enhanced Single-Take of the Year: Welcome to Tomorrowland
Best Scene of the Year: The bear attack in The Revenant
The Scott Rudin Producer of the Year: Steve Golin who served as a producer on both The Revenant and Spotlight – both Best Picture Oscar frontrunners, and both which he is nominated for.
The Nicolas Cage Prostitute of the Year: Adam Sandler for starring in three garbage movies in 2015: The Cobbler, Pixels and The Ridiculous Six
The Samuel L. Jackson Hardest Worker: Alicia Vikander who appeared in six movies in 2015 (Testament of Youth, Seventh Son, Ex Machina, Burnt, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Danish Girl)
The Matthew McConaughey Career Turnaround Award: Ridley Scott for The Martian
The Gary Oldman Versatility Award: Tom Hardy for his variety of performances in The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road, Legend, London Road and Child 44
Most Effective Marketing Campaign: The Revenant’s “This movie was so hard to make that everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio to Alejandro G. Inarritu to Emmanuel Lubezki almost died making it. Now give us our Oscars” campaign. As much as I love The Revenant, this campaign was pompous as fuck. We get it, it was hard to make! Just shut the fuck up, already! But 12 Oscar nominations and $350 million later… hey, it worked.
Best TV Show: Master of None: Season 1 and The Americans: Season 3
2016 movie I’m most excited for: Martin Scorsese’s Silence
Mad Max: Fury Road
(tie) The Hateful Eight & Magic Mike XXL