Top 10 Movies of 2015 & #OscarsSoWhite

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#OscarsSoWhite, the hashtag heard around the world, has officially upstaged the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio may win his first Oscar this year. Academy Award winner Leonardo DiCaprio is on the verge of being an afterthought.

The hashtag has been around since last years’ Oscars, and it’s being used to talk about the lack of diversity in the Oscars. People on twitter are using it to vie for movies like Straight Outta Compton, which only received one nomination for Best Original Screenplay, or for performances by Will Smith and Idris Elba.

Despite the fact that my top 10 list, along with many other bloggers, is diverse in representation, Spike Lee is pissy at what the Academy thinks and about the “lily-white Oscar nominations” this year. And he’s not the only one.

Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, was so aghast with the lack if diversity in this year’s nominee list (read: her husband wasn’t nominated) that she staged a boycott against the Oscars blaming the Academy for the lack of diversity in the industry. The lack of diversity is a disappointment, but the finger-blaming needs to be at the industry where this whole process begins, not the Academy.

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And to make matters worse, the Academy is actually taking the bullet for the backlash against the white-washed Oscars. WHY?

From a different perspective on the matter, Ice Cube said he “can’t be mad” because Academy members can’t see the value in Straight Outta Compton. The film scored over $200 million worldwide, and Cube’s “not surprised” because an Oscars snub is “what they do.” While visiting with The Graham Norton Show, Cube elaborates more. He’s not planning to boycott the ceremony because he “never used to go anyway.” He threw out some more knowledge regarding the issue:

“We don’t do movies for the industry. We do movies for the fans, for the people. And the industry, you know, if they give you a trophy or not or pat you on the back or not, it’s nice but its not something that you should dwell on. We got accolades from all levels, from our core fans to our curious fans, from people who didn’t even think they wanted to see that movie. I think an older generation got an understanding on why we did that kind of music and the younger generation got a history lesson, and we got so much praise for the movie.”

Here’s my list of top 10 personal favorites of 2015. 

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“One day the AIs are going to look back on us the same way we look at fossil skeletons on the plains of Africa. An upright ape living in dust with crude language and tools, all set for extinction.”

Plot: “A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I.”

Bottom Line: One of the more profound explorations into the not soon distant future of AI technology. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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IMG_5314-1“As long as you can still grab a breath, you fight. You breathe. Keep breathing. When there is a storm. And you stand in front of a tree. If you look at its branches, you swear it will fall. But if you watch the trunk, you will see its stability.”

Plot: “A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.”

Bottom Line: Visually as powerful as it is painful to watch at times. Nature overload. Dicaprio will win his first Oscar for his endurance.

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Rocky Balboa: [pointing toward Adonis’ reflection in the mirror] “That’s the toughest opponent you’re ever going to have to face.”

Plot: “The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.”

Bottom Line: Reinvigorates an old franchise and does it the right way with standout performances by all involved. Stallone is an Oscar front-runner.

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IMG_5320“You don’t believe me do you?”

Plot: “A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after getting involved in a sexual encounter.”

Bottom Line: One of the more clever and horrifying movies I’ve seen in a long time…not to mention brilliantly shot!

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IMG_5312“Let me tell you what I see here: a lot of raw talent. Swagger. Bravado. People are scared of you guys. They think you’re dangerous, but the world needs to hear it.”

Plot: “The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.”

Bottom Line: Although the story may be watered down, it’s a powerful story to be told regarding success and the complications that accompany it. Significant Oscar snubs here regarding performances and movie.

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IMG_5310“Sun, why are you shining on this world? I am wanting to catch you in my hands, to squeeze you until you cannot shine no more. That way, everything is always dark and nobodys ever having to see all the terrible things that are happening here.”

Plot: “A drama based on the experiences of Agu, a child soldier fighting in the civil war of an unnamed African country.”

Bottom Line: The most harrowing story told on screen in 2016 with some of the year’s best performances. Another example of Oscar snubbing.

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IMG_5311“When you get to hell, John, tell them Daisy sent you…”

Plot: “In the dead of a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter and his prisoner find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection of nefarious characters.”

Bottom Line: Another gem from Tarantino; albeit it’s not his best work, but it’s damn good work with tremendous acting and great dialogue.

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IMG_5317“You should move to a small town, somewhere the rule of law still exists. You will not survive here. You are not a wolf, and this is a land of wolves now.”

Plot: “An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by a government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.”

Bottom Line: This is definitely one of my favorites of the year with some great performances by Benicio del Toro and Emily Blunt and a lot of nail-biting scenes. Oscar snubs again.

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IMG_5318“My name is Max. My world is fire. And blood.”

Plot: “A woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in postapocalyptic Australia in search for her home-land with the help of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshipper, and a drifter named Max.”

Bottom Line: Anyone familiar with the Mad Max franchise knows certain components of this post-apocalypic world are guaranteed: over-the-top car chases, daring stunts, macho cars and the patriarch behind it all–Max Rockatansky. As someone unfamiliar with the Mad Max movies, I’m VERY impressed with this reboot.

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“THAT’S NOT HOW THE FORCE WORKS.”

Plot: “Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.”

Bottom Line: J. J. Abrams successfully tackled the vast universe of Star Wars and made it his own. This is a blockbuster that I think is safe to say can be considered a classic of the year.

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Did I miss anything? Let me know! 

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30 thoughts on “Top 10 Movies of 2015 & #OscarsSoWhite

  1. I am so sick of the #OscarsSoWhite nonsense. It is such a misguided movement. You said it, Oscar isn’t the problem. Look at the studios and the industry itself. I happen to think the Academy did a really good job with nominations this year (even though I would have picked a few others if I was in charge). But the lack of diversity goes back to Hollywood and that is where the ire should be aimed.

  2. Nice top 10 Courtney!! We share 4 films :)) I really agree with the Oscars so white thing although the problem is more systemic and goes back to the very first stages of casting. I’m so happy you love Beasts! Great taste haha 😊. All in all, a smahing list!

  3. Jada speaking of accomplishments of whatever is hysterical. What accomplishments does she have exactly? Love your list and that Harrison gif ^^ So please to see Sicario this high up! LOL The moanin’ and crawlin’ barely gets in my top 20 😀

  4. Don’t think it was a particularly spectacular year for films. I did notice too that Jada’s argument happened the year her husband starred in a more serious role and wasn’t nominated.

  5. I’m so over #OscarsSoWhite. The problem isn’t just with the Oscars.

    Great list! I had a lot of these on my own as well. I still need to see Straight Outta Compton and Creed.

  6. Of all the snubs mentions for this year’s Oscars, Oscar Isaacs for Ex Machina truly stunned me. I wasn’t a big fan of the film but his performance was eccentric, scary, and so good. Great list!

  7. Great to see Star Wars and Mad Max so high! Straight Outta Compton was an enjoyable history lesson. Of the films I loved that missed your list, those would be Inside Out, Far from the Madding Crowd, and Victoria.

  8. Great recap here. I like what Ice Cube said, and I think Chris Rock addressed some of the diversity issues head on last night by calling out Hollywood AND the people boycotting.

    As for your list, we have some in common, three movies here are on my top 10 list of 2015 (Ex Machina, Fury Road, & Creed). I wish I had seen Sicario sooner, that would’ve made my top 10 for sure. I was rooting for Fury Road to sweep everything, including Best Director and Best Picture, but I’m glad Spotlight win over The Revenant though.

  9. Well, I think we’ll have different list. I haven’t posted mine yet, just draft but I have something really different. I didn’t like Star Wars Force Awakens like you, it was a nice nostalgic movie to me.

    I think Oscars really back bite the whole boycott on the event, through Chris Rock. Especially when they interviewed the black people and they said they didn’t watch any Oscar nominated movies except Straight Oughta Compton.

  10. Nice list. As you know, we share Hateful Eight and Fury Road, both of which are top-notch movies in my book. While I appreciated elements from both It Follows and Ex Machina, I felt the form suffered from the typical horror tropes and the latter featured strong performances by Isaac and Vikander, Gleeson felt miscast in my view. Don’t get me wrong, I think both are good movies but I was disappointed given the critical hype for those pictures.

  11. I love this list! Not high on everything but I believe most, except for It Follows in my opinion, are deserving of consideration for the Top 10.

    Sicario may be my top from 2015. I’d somehow try to find love for Inside Out, The Gift, Spotlight, and maybe The Big Short, too.

  12. WOW! Loved this list you were brave enough to do a top 10 whilst I only could do a Top 5 because I am that indecisive. Star Wars was sorta my number 1 but I could not rank them. Haha. Great list of films too and you encapsulated the story and quotes that represent each movie in such a strong yet succinct way.

  13. Now I absolutely need to watch Ex Machina. It has been on my To Watch list for ages and keep coming across such positive posts about it! As for Mad Max – it just blew me away – what a brilliant piece of art!

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