Movies of 2015

1. Mad Max: Fury Road
The praise for this movie has reached the rare incandescence granted to the sort of religious texts that start cults, or to the first season of the Sopranos. Goddamn if it ain’t earned. It’s hard to avoid metatextual details here (How, how did George Miller outdo his earlier movies 30 years later?), but the movie stands without them, all unforgettable imagery and eyeball-burning stunts — one long chase scene that never let you stop feeling the stakes. The acid test of a great movie is whether you smile when you remember it. This one passes.
2. Spotlight
Forget what I said about smiling.
3. Amy
4. Mistress America
Noah Baumbach’s work has inspired and frustrated me in equal measure, but Greta Gerwig is the best thing that ever happened to him.
5. Sicario
6. Inside Out
7. Ex Machina
8. What We Do in the Shadows
9. The Martian
10. It Follows
11. Avengers: Age of Ultron
12. Tangerine
13. Creed
14. The Big Short
15. Clouds of Sils Maria
16. Ant-Man
17. While We’re Young
18. Straight Outta Compton
19. Brooklyn
20. Love and Mercy
21. The Hateful Eight
22. Trainwreck
23. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
24. Magic Mike XXL
25. Spy
26. The Revenant
27. Mr. Holmes
28. Steve Jobs
29. Jurassic World
30. Kingsman: The Secret Service
31. Far From the Madding Crowd
32. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
33. People Places Things
34. The End of the Tour
35. Paddington
36. Queen of Earth
37. Pitch Perfect 2
38. Spectre
39. Crimson Peak
40. Joy
41. The Overnight
42. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
43. Welcome to Me
44. Jupiter Ascending
45. Truth
46. Maggie
47. Furious 7
48. The Wolfpack
49. Tomorrowland
50. Black Mass
51. Chappie
52. Terminator: Genisys
53. Fantastic Four
54. Ted 2
55. Fifty Shades of Grey
56. The Human Centipede: Final Sequence
57. Aloha
58. Hot Tub Time Machine 2
If a truly great movie raises your dopamine levels, a truly bad one makes you want to sit down and drink in the sorrows of wasted talent. A murderer’s row of talent is, well, murdered — Adam Scott, Gillian Jacobs, Rob Corddry, Clark Duke, all subsumed by a dark, homophobic saga of revenge and greed. Like light devoured in a black hole, otherwise wonderful people become grim.