If you love film, you probably spent a lot of 2015 alternately lauding it and decrying the death of the American form. There didn’t seem to be much middle room in the dialogue. On the one hand, 2015 has seen one revolutionary piece of cinema after the next, from new visions of dystopian hell to films made with technology that could demolish so many of the industry barriers around the production of cinema to documentaries that it’s amazing even exist at all. On the other, this was the year when we roundly cemented ourselves within the Universe Era, as every major American studio spent its summer attempting to score some of that sweet, untouchable Marvel money by expanding everything you’ve liked in the past couple decades into mega-budget brand strategies. Some of ’em were good, most weren’t.
But we’re not here to rehash these arguments any further. No, this is a celebration of our favorite films of 2015, from the highbrow to the People’s Eyebrow, from the shiny and chrome glories of the Fury Road to the brutality of nature in the old frontier. There were superb biopics that questioned and broke down the very idea of the biopic. There were reinventions of long-running franchises that managed to breathe new and exciting life into them. There were fringe creations that assaulted the boundaries of watchable cinema. This is the exhilaration of a moviegoing year like this one, a year where even the big, loud garbage fades into the background when you actually take a minute to appreciate how much essential filmmaking has emerged, in theaters or on streaming platforms or in any of the increasingly high number of places that great cinema can be found.
With that, let’s get to it with no further preamble. This is Consequence of Sound‘s top 25 movies of the year. Enjoy, share yours, and just don’t bring up how much more you all enjoyed Jurassic World than we did. We know.