Directed by Todd Haynes.
Starring Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Jake Lacy, John Magaro and Kyle Chandler.
Todd Haynes’ romantic drama Carol explores the relationship between Rooney Mara’s aspiring photography and Cate Blanchett’s glamourous older woman in 1950s New York. The film was the pick of the year for four members of our writing team, and claims #5 in our overall countdown.
“As an assault on senses, Carol is hands down one of the finest creations of the year. There isn’t a single scene that is anything less than stunning to look at, as the movie features out-of-this-world shot composition.” – Robert Kojder
4. Inside Out
Directed by Pete Docter.
Starring Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, and Kyle MacLachlan
After skipping 2014, Pixar returned with two original movies this year in Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, and it’s the first of those that proved to be a hit with our writers, topping one of our individual lists and earning enough votes to claim #4 in our countdown.
“Thoughtful, exciting and earnest, it’s a triumph for all involved and will only get better with repeat viewings such are the ideas on show here. In the Pixar list, Inside Out easily sit alongside those in the top echelons of their formidable line-up that just keeps surprising.” – Scott Davis
3. Mad Max: Fury Road
Directed by George Miller.
Starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Nathan Jones, Megan Gale, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, Josh Helman, Jennifer Hagan, Abbey Lee Kershaw and Courtney Easton.
George Miller returned to the wasteland this year as Tom Hardy took on the role of Max Rockatansky for Mad Max: Fury Road. The action-packed post-apocalyptic epic topped two of our writers’ individual lists, and just missed out on second place by a single vote.
“Everything about Mad Max: Fury Road comes across as the antithesis to the modern blockbuster. It is a bloody violent R-rated action flick using the cinematic tricks of yesteryear to create something that can fit in wonderfully alongside what has now been accepted as the standard.” – Robert Kojder
2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Directed by J.J. Abrams.
Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, Tim Rose, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Ken Leung, Miltos Yerolemou, Max von Sydow, Jessica Henwick, Christina Chong, Simon Pegg, Billie Lourd.
Topping six of our writers’ individual lists and shattering box office records left, right and centre is Disney’s first foray to the galaxy far, far away, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Episode VII did much to repair the damage of the Prequel Trilogy, but it could only manage the #2 spot in our list…
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens is ultimately a return to form for one of the biggest franchises in cinema history. It’s got a great blend of characters, action and heart while opening new and intriguing doors for future films.” – Ricky Church
1. Ex Machina
Written and Directed by Alex Garland.
Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander and Sonoya Mizuno.
Taking first place this year is Alex Garland’s directorial debut, the psychological sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, which follows a computer programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) who is tasked by his employer (Oscar Isaac) with administering a version of the Turing test on the humanoid robot Ava (Alicia Vikander). Topping seven of our writers’ individual lists and featuring in the top ten of another eleven, Ex Machina led the field by some distance, and is Flickering Myth’s best movie of 2015.
“Ex Machina is destined to become a cult classic. Whereas many sci-fi gems tend to focus on special effects and an extravagant scope in storytelling, writer and first-time director Alex Garland takes the dialed back approach to whip up something unforgettably unique that can stand apart from just about everything in its genre. Even though there are multiple plot twists that add a great degree of excitement to the film, at the end of the day you will be left contemplating the ideas and motifs that the film brings up, and its very horrifying yet surreal ending.” – Robert Kojder
Click the link below to continue on for those films which just missed our on a place in the top ten, how our top ten would have looked had we gone with UK release date, and our writers’ individual favourites of the year…