straight_outta_compton_featured

10. Straight Outta Compton

A treat for rap experts and neophytes alike, F. Gary Gray’s N.W.A biopic is two-thirds of a great film. That it falters down the stretch isn’t enough to take away from its surplus of excellent performances and raucous concert scenes. Full Review…

sicario_featured

9. Sicario

“Sicario” similarly stumbles in its final act, but Emily Blunt’s Kate Macer represents one of the year’s great female protagonists – in a world few filmmakers have allowed them to go. Suspenseful drug-trafficking pic is not for the faint of heart. Full Review…

crimson_peak_featured

8. Crimson Peak

Guillermo del Toro is one of our most frustrating filmmakers, too often wasting his talents on junk like “Pacific Rim.” But “Crimson Peak” is his best film in ages, absolute heaven for fans of cinematic eye candy – not just relying on CGI but stunningly beautiful set and costume design. Full Review…

bridge_of_spies_featured

7. Bridge Of Spies

“Bridge Of Spies” is a deceptively simple spy yarn that makes terrific use of its period and cast both. It might even be the best collab between Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks to date. Full Review…

end_of_the_tour_featured

6. The End Of The Tour

Those unfamiliar with the late author David Foster Wallace will get just as much out of “The End Of The Tour” as his fans. Jason Segel drives this dialogue-heavy dramedy with the confidence of a longtime dramatic heavyweight. Full Review…

anomalisa_featured

5. Anomalisa

The writer of “Being John Malkovich” makes his second directorial effort one to remember. Charlie Kaufman’s stop-motion “Anomalisa” is bliss for the kind of moviegoer that wants to be challenged and delighted all at once. It won’t beat “Inside Out” for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, but it should. Full Review…

hateful_eight_featured

4. The Hateful Eight

Where “The Hateful Eight” ultimately lands in Quentin Tarantino’s filmography is anyone’s guess, but that it’s his freshest offering since “Jackie Brown” certainly helps its prospects. Full Review…

steve_jobs_featured_2

3. Steve Jobs

All but ignored at the box office, Danny Boyle’s “Steve Jobs” should one day ascend to its rightful place as definitive 21st century biopic. That it’s not a traditional biopic only helps its case. Michael Fassbender is dynamite as the late Steve Jobs. Full Review…

while_we're_young_featured

2. While We’re Young

Noah Baumbach’s “While We’re Young” is as smart as it is funny, fashioning a bizarre hybrid of comedy and thriller out of an unlikely cast. Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried, and Charles Grodin are all great, but strangely enough it wasn’t Baumbach’s best work in 2015. Full Review…

mistress_america_featured

1. Mistress America

That’s because 2015 also saw Baumbach deliver an endlessly rewatchable goldmine of a comedy called “Mistress America.” Co-written by and starring his beau, Greta Gerwig, the picture is as great as it is underseen (it made a dinky $2.5 million worldwide). Consider it the best movie John Hughes never made. Full Review…

One year, two of its very best films. If that’s not the mark of genius, nothing is.

-J. Olson