It’s here! The One Room With A View Top 20 films of 2015 has landed. It’s been an extraordinary year of cinema, and this was one of the closest years we’ve seen in the vote. With positions constantly changing, it’s fair to say that 2015 was a year to remember.
First up we’ll run down our 20 to 11 positioned films. Over the coming days, we’ll be announcing our top 10 films day by day with an essay vouching for their excellence.
Thank you all for your support, and I hope you enjoy.
David Brake, Editor of One Room With A View
N.B. As our site is UK based, we work off the selection of films released in cinemas in the UK in 2015.
Jurassic World is the culmination of over a decade of waiting – plus the latest CGI and the brains behind Safety Not Guaranteed – which together create a smash hit with (nearly) the biggest box office weekend of the year.
The gentle keys of Michael Giacchino’s score are all that it takes for avid fans and dino-nerds to go crazy; when the piano sweeps in alongside the monorail, and the audience enters Jurassic Park as it was meant to be – as we’ve always wanted it to be – then you know that we’re back in the car again. We’re home.
– Andrew Daley
David Robert Mitchell’s breakout film is almost the stuff of legend: a simple, interesting and terrifying horror film. Remarkably tangible, visceral and horrifying, Mitchell has created something incredible.
Mitchell receives immeasurable support through Maika Monroe’s tremendous lead performance; a resourceful, relatable, realised character who navigates the audience through each unforgettable turn.
The creature at its centre slots into the realms of myth perfectly. There’s genius in the clarity and simplicity of its rules, but this is not a monster doing a job. It’s a malicious entity, and it’s in those revealing moments that It Follows is at its most wonderfully chilling. It Follows is fresh, brilliant and redefines the genre it inhabits.
– Maddie Joint
With only 100 words to play with, let’s agree to refer to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl as MEDG. MEDG, the Sundance darling that looked set to hoover up the same business as young peepy-weepy The Fault in Our Stars. It didn’t, but it sure deserved to.
Its poorly aimed publicity almost ensured audiences going in to MEDG blind – well, aside from the title – and, kept unsteady by our unreliable narrator and protagonist (Thomas Mann), we’re never certain what’s going to unfold. Mercifully, what does is hilarious, heartbreaking and hellbent on transcending the clichés that affect its familiars.
– Stephen O’Nion
Sorkin is desperate for the last word on Jobs. Pitched as a two-hour version of the opening scene of The Social Network, Sorkin crafts the perfect portrait of a pioneer.
Wikipedia be damned. This is an artistic film about a genius (with his head up his ass).
Sorkin indulges in self-aggrandising rhetoric throughout, yet this only entertains for so long. While Fassbender is a grand anchor, Boyle is the true mastermind. He works behind the scenes, compressing the opulent talent below him until it erupts with quality. Ambitious, inquisitive, calm and emotional, Boyle delivers a classic.
– David Brake
In 2015 two super-spies of world renown went rogue in glamorous locations to save their world from shadowy criminal organisations with mysterious leaders – there could only be one winner.
Ethan Hunt beat James Bond to the box office after a surprise fast-forwarded release, and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation delivered a stronger, slicker, funnier film than its British cousin.
Spectacular stunts, a snappy screenplay and a strong supporting cast with a kick-ass new female counterpart combine to produce the series’ best. That Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie are together again for M:I6 is good news for everyone, except maybe Daniel Craig’s MI6.
– Bertie Archer
Part-biography, part-science class, part-medical examination, The Theory of Everything is above all a relationship story. Behind the famous Professor Hawking there was and is his wife Jane, played brilliantly with strength and dignity by Felicity Jones.
Filled with giddy highs and crippling lows, The Theory of Everything charts the clash between a mind of infinite discovery and a body of restricted ability.
It took an actor as talented as Eddie Redmayne to inflect every stumble, twitch and blink from his ever-decreasing repertoire of movements with the full emotional range; his engrossing transformation is an acting powerhouse.
– Bertie Archer
Who’d have thought that one of the year’s most nail-biting sequences would take place during a traffic jam?
Underlined by a throbbing score from Jóhann Jóhannsson and typically magisterial work from Roger Deakins, Denis Villeneuve’s gritty war-on-drugs drama – starring Messrs Blunt, Brolin and Del Toro – plunges us into the disorienting underworld of borderland drug trafficking.
Much like Blunt’s FBI agent, we’re never really sure where the film will turn next – all we know is that it’s gonna be bad for someone. A masterful exhibition in tension and suspense, with a truly menacing performance from Del Toro.
– Patrick Taylor
It seems unusual to refer to a film centred around an avalanche as subtle – yet it is from the tiny facial flickers that betray our true selves, rather than the awesome might of nature, that Force Majeure derives its considerable staying power.
A savagely smart deconstruction of family values, relationships and machismo, Force Majeure shreds its characters down to their very core through its subtext-drenched dialogue and nuanced, intricately detailed performances. The chilly but gorgeous production design and framing provide the perfect setting as we are forced to question our very selves. Perceptive and revealing, a date movie this ain’t.
– Nick Evan-Cook
Xavier Dolan’s seminal Mommy addresses issues surrounding maternal love and shows that it always does, and always will, endure. It endures, and it’s suffocating.
In bringing the walls back to photography, Dolan has forced film form to once again question its standards – both physically and dramatically. Though it takes little thought to imagine the thematic impact of sitting in a box, Mommy blinds and binds without any hope of liberation.
A field, a road, a room – a prison, by any other name, is still a prison, and this is where Dolan puts us.
– Cameron Ward
Beyond its surface charms – including Greta Gerwig, the comedy stylings of a Georgian farce, and a killer soundtrack – Mistress America is an exceptionally intelligently-assembled addition to Noah Baumbach’s oeuvre.
Gerwig’s brash, opinionated Brooke may be the most forceful character, but it’s Tracy’s (Lola Kirke) incisive narration that ensures the film’s coherence and insightfulness, and prevents it from becoming Frances Ha 2.0.
Despite their apparently narrow recurring theme – contemporary commentary through New York character studies – Baumbach and co-writer Gerwig continue to produce nuance. Mistress America distinguishes itself by obliquely expressing heartbreaking observations-cum-warnings beneath the script’s lashings of glib humour.
– Rachel Brook
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is a vampire movie, but not as you know it. Gloriously bold in black and white, artful as it is subversive, it’s garnered the moniker ‘Iranian vampire western’, but its style and mood exceed this.
The film revels in the unexpected, delivering the oddly satisfying visual clash of a chador-clad spectre atop a skateboard, and a premise that sees the eponymous girl as nocturnal threat, rather than prey.
Sheila Vand broods with unsettling magnetism – a silent shroud gliding across a brick-walled backdrop – but is no blood-lusty fiend; rather a vigilante vampire, serving sweet sanguineous justice to the low-lifes of Bad City.
– Jessamy Queree
Poised to nestle beside recent opuses There Will Be Blood and The Master, Inherent Vice stands as yet another sublime masterpiece in Paul Thomas Anderson’s oeuvre, another testament to its director’s soaring, unequivocal genius. Anderson certainly rose to the occasion in bringing Pynchon’s labyrinthine odyssey to the screen, an unenviable task that he accomplished with humour and style intact.
Joaquin Phoenix excels as Doc Sportello, the drug-addled private eye who meanders through LA’s dope-tinged underworld in search of his missing ex-girlfriend. Destined for cult adoration, this sunlit noir basks playfully (and deservedly) in Chinatown’s long shadow.
– Eddie Falvey
Tune in each day to follow us as we chart our Top 10 Films of 2015!