My favorite movies watched in 2015

In 2015, I watched 63 movies, down from 100+ in 2014. I came very close to completing my rewatching-all-my-old-favorites project, but didn't quite make it.

Below is a list of my favorite fifteen that I watched in 2015, ten of which were movies I'd seen before. So you could also look at this as a list of my five favorites that were new to me.

Repeated numbers indicate approximate ties.

1. Terminator
(Rewatching.) Still a solid science fiction movie, despite a grounding in horror tropes. Good acting, good writing, mostly good effects (except for one bit that looked like bad stop-motion and bad bluescreening). Nicely done all around.
1. The Lion in Winter
(Rewatching.) Most of the movie consists of smart and clever people being nastily witty to each other. Which is not normally my kind of thing, but it's so well done here that I loved it anyway. The dialogue is incredibly good. (And some bits are iambic!) O'Toole and Hepburn are magnificent. There are no likable characters in this; they're all vicious, all intent on hurting each other. A family in which everyone lies so often, and so thoroughly, that nothing anyone says can be believed. And yet: really well done.
2. Inside Out
Despite my dubiousness going into it, I was thoroughly charmed within the first ten minutes. And throughout the movie there's a fair bit of laugh-out-loud funny stuff, and several bits that made me cry at least a little. I don't feel like the worldbuilding of the interior world holds up to close examination; not a big deal, but it distracted me a little from my otherwise thorough enjoyment of the movie.
2. Minions
Delightful and charming and frequently hilarious. Sadly doesn't do as well on gender as I'd have hoped, but also doesn't do as badly as I'd feared. Chock-full of entertaining sight gags; if you don't like one, another will be along momentarily.
2. The Martian
Enjoyed the heck out of it. Some minor lapses here and there, and some things were glossed over for better storytelling, but really liked it overall. Funny and dramatic; nicely diverse cast; well put together.
3. The Wedding Banquet
(Rewatching.) Overall very sweet, and intermittently funny. But also sad. It was probably the best it could've been for its time. I wish there had been more consent, or at least less clear non-consent, in one particular scene.
3. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
(Rewatching.) It was important in 1967, and it has some great moments, and I like the way that it points out that white liberals can be racist. But I don't love the movie as much as I once did. I especially don't love the long speech/lecture at the end. But I do like Hepburn, as always, and I like the charmingly blasé old Irish priest.
3. Watership Down
(Rewatching.) Good stuff. Lovely art, lovely ending. There are aspects that don't thrill me, like the treatment of does/female rabbits, but I suspect even those aspects are pretty true to the book (which I don't remember well). I don't love it as much as I did last time I watched it, though, in 1997.
4. Annie [2014]
Delightful and fun and charming. The sound volume wasn't quite loud enough (or else my hearing is going), and there were a few bits that didn't grab me (my favorite three songs are at the start, so it was a bit downhill from there, music-wise); but I mostly didn't notice the autotuning, and I really enjoyed most of the characters and most of the plot and most of the updating (plus small nods to the original) and almost all of the social-media stuff.
4. Iron Man 2
(Rewatching.) Quite a bit of fun; I think I laughed a lot at Stark, more or less nonstop through the first few scenes; but I think the fight scenes went on too long. And I found the movie overall somewhat forgettable.
4. Holiday
(Rewatching.) (Not to be confused with Roman Holiday, which is a different movie with a different Hepburn in it.) Still a lovely movie. Very sweet. Rather too on-the-nose, but charming. And includes Edward Everett Horton in what may be my favorite role of his; Horton and Jean Dixon are hilarious as Grant's character's friends Nick and Susan Potter.
4. Jeffrey
(Rewatching.) I think this is the fourth time I've seen this, but the last time was in 1996. Comments on this viewing: Not brilliant, and has some winceworthy moments, and is a little episodic and sketch-comedy-ish; but also sometimes hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking. And Patrick Stewart is still fabulous.
4. Strictly Ballroom
(Rewatching.) Thoroughly sweet and charming. Low-budget, but stylized enough that it works quite well overall.
4. Birdy
(Rewatching.) Didn't love it as much as the first two times I saw it (in the '80s), but still a good movie overall. I continue to use the description that was all a friend would tell me about it when she told me to see it: “It's about a guy who likes birds.”
5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Enjoyed it quite a bit. A lot of very fun moments. A few somewhat moving moments. All in all, not brilliant, but very satisfying. Probably my favorite of the whole Star Wars series so far.

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