Best Films of 2015


It always takes some time to feel ready to post the best movies of the year. While I get to the Oscar nominees pretty early, there are the dozens of fantastic smaller and ignored films that take some time (and are still coming to DVD or Streaming). There are many left on “to see” list of 2015.


This year saw some real entertainment from Hollywood and fewer of the super depressing films they’ve made in recent years. So with no apologies for getting it all wrong, here’s my Top 20 for 2015.

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Mini-Review: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

PG-13, 131 Minutes

missionimpossibleroguenationStarring: Tom Cruise at his charismatic best, Jeremy Renner as Throwaway Second Fiddle, Simon Pegg as Comic Relief, Rebecca Ferguson as New Girl, and Ving Rhames as I am the 1 Black Person in each of the 5 films

Best Thing About It: Ridiculous over-the-top students (and knowing Cruise did his own stunt work)

Worst Thing About It: Prime Minister’s being the only voice for the Red Box. What if there were new elections?

Oddest Thing About It: How much Rebecca Ferguson looks like previous M:I star Michelle Monaghan. Ethan Hunt has a type.

Overall: High-octane and lots of fun. A great popcorn film amazing carried once again by 53-year-old cruise

Rating: 3 ½ RaMaKs


The OUTsiders

Although I was the right age, I never read The Outsiders. I also never saw the Francis Ford Coppola movie (released in 1983). But after hearing a typically amazing installament of  “American Icons” on Studio 360 on the book and the movie, I finally watched the film nearly 30 years after its release.

And I liked it. But I’m an adult, not a middle school student for whom the story is intended, so I didn’t LOVE it. How did the movie & book affect those of you were young teens when you first encountered it?

I noticed a few things:

  1. Totally understand why girls have loved this film (and presumably the book) – It’s about hot wrong-side-of-the-tracks bad boys who are secretly sensitive in a harsh world.
  2. There is a great movie make-over as Ponyboy gets his hair first cut by a pocket knife and then dyed by a 16-year-old greaser – and yet it looks fabulous!
  3. What a cast! Mostly unknowns or barely-knowns, they all became famous: Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Diane Lane, Lief Garrett and Glenn Withrow. Continue reading