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Top (And Bottom) Ten Films Of 2015

Another year, a bunch more movies. Here's a summary of what I considered to be the best (and worst) films I had the privilege (and misfortune) of seeing in 2015.

Best Of 2015

10. Movie: The Peanuts Movie (2015)
Rating: ****1/2 out of *****
Notes: An excellent contemporization and a finely-tuned nostalgia machine for all ages.

9. Movie: Big Bad Wolves (2013)
Rating: ****1/2 out of *****
Notes: Darkly comic and pitch-perfect, will make you squirm and laugh right up to the big twist ending.

8. Movie: Nebraska (2013)
Rating: ****1/2 out of *****
Notes: Surprisingly enjoyable and charming small-town story with more humor than expected.

7. Movie: Eva (2011)
Rating: ****1/2 out of *****
Notes: Forget "Ex Machina," this was the better recent AI-related suspense drama.

6. Movie: The Martian (2015)
Rating: ****1/2 out of *****
Notes: Crowd-pleasing and hit the sweet spot. Very difficult for anyone to not enjoy this feel-good space survival story.

5. Movie: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Rating: ****1/2 out of *****
Notes: Wes Anderson at his quirky best. Fast-paced, comic, and choreographed like an orchestral piece.

4. Movie: Snowpiercer (2013)
Rating: ****1/2 out of *****
Notes: It's like Jean Pierre Jeunet, Paul Verhoeven, and Chan wook-Park had a baby. A rare visionary treat.

3. Movie: I Am Divine (2013)
Rating: ****1/2 out of *****
Notes: One of the most enjoyable bio-docs you'll ever see about one of the most outrageous characters ever to grace the screen.

2. Movie: Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)
Rating: ****1/2 out of *****
Notes: Best hard sci-fi film in years. Hilarious, action-packed, and ingenious. So much more than "Groundhog Day".

1. Movie: Mr. Nobody (2009)
Rating: ***** out of *****
Notes: Epic and thoughtful masterpiece of alternating sci-fi and drama that unbelievably went under the radar.

Worst Of 2015

10. Movie: It Follows (2014)
Rating: *1/2 out of *****
Notes: An interesting premise until you realize there's only half a movie.

9. Movie: Man from Reno (2014)
Rating: *1/2 out of *****
Notes: A far too boring and obfuscated puzzle for almost any viewer.

8. Movie: A Touch Of Sin (2013)
Rating: *1/2 out of *****
Notes: And then, nothing happened. There's arthouse and then there's this.

7. Movie: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
Rating: *1/2 out of *****
Notes: The least interesting vampires you'll ever meet.

6. Movie: Bad Milo! (2013)
Rating: *1/2 out of *****
Notes: A Chucky-like hemorrhoid that comes out at night and kills people. It's exactly as bad as it sounds.

5. Movie: Witching & Bitching (2013)
Rating: *1/2 out of *****
Notes: Excessive dialogue and truly atrocious CG ruin what little promise this Spanish horror/comedy had.

4. Movie: Stranger By The Lake (2013)
Rating: *1/2 out of *****
Notes: Long, awkward silences and tepid conversations interrupted by gay porn.

3. Movie: Kink (2013)
Rating: *1/2 out of *****
Notes: BDSM doc that tries to put the fetish in a good light, but only succeeds in making it look even worse. Little more than behind-the-scenes porno.

2. Movie: A Most Wanted Man (2014)
Rating: * out of *****
Notes: Hoffman's last role is his least interesting, and the film's ending says, "You wasted your time."

1. Movie: The Rover (2014)
Rating: * out of *****
Notes: 90 minutes of dull, meaningless, sociopathic violence to set up a stupid punchline that wasn't worth waiting for.

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