The Best & Worst Films of 2015


It’s movie awards season (though if you’re brave enough to sit through the Golden Globes or the Oscars, you’re tougher than I am), so I thought I’d drop a list of what films I liked and what made me wished I’d stayed home.  Here’s my ranking breakdown of the movies I saw in 2015.  (Keep in mind, I’m still playing catchup, so this post with probably get updated.)

The Pick of the Litter

Mad Max: Fury Road
This was a nearly flawless action movie that everybody liked – unless you happen to be insecure about your masculinity.  You could argue that Max isn’t a particularly strong, well drawn protagonist, but Imperator Furiosa (and the rest of the movie) is so damn awesome, it’s hardly worth mentioning.

The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino assembles something of a dream cast in his latest Western.  It’s bold, ballsy and bloody, and that’s what I like about Tarantino movies, so if you hate listen to characters have long conversations, his latest jam isn’t going to change your opinion.  I kinda loved it – not his best, but certainly a welcome addition to his catalogue.

Bridge of Spies
This is Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks doing what they do.  It’s a classy flick, it’s exactly what you’d expect and it works like a charm.

The Good

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I think the trailers got me a little too hyped up for this one.  Once I saw the poster, I should have adjusted my expectations accordingly, but I just didn’t want to believe it was a soft reboot despite the fact that there was a Death Star staring me in the face.  Then I saw the movie, it was a soft reboot and I was initially sad, but as I got used to what the movie actually was and stopped focusing on what I wanted it to be, I was a lot happier.  Also, Episode 8 just got pushed back from May to December of 2017, so we’ll now have to wait even longer for the penultimate episode of this trilogy.

The Martian
This movie won a Golden Globe (for best comedy…) and is nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars, but I can’t see it.  Sure, I liked the movie, but there really wasn’t anything new here.  Between Apollo 13 and Gravity, I feel as though I’ve seen this movie before and while it was entertaining, I don’t think it’s necessarily worth accolades.  Just solid entertainment – no more, no less.

Marvel made a caper movie… didn’t see that coming.  It helped break up how identical the story was to the first Iron Man.  Still, it was a fun time at the movies.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Now that the series has settled down into a serious rhythm, Mission Impossible has become a lot of fun.  I just like seeing Tom Cruise play action man Ethan Hunt – it’s just enjoyable.  It’d be nice if they could vary up the stories a little.


I gotta admit… this movie was pretty good.  Interesting story elements (no big surprises, but they held my attention) and some striking visuals  I think my expectations were appropriately low, but there was something about this movie that kept me engaged… at least until it was over.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
This was probably the most surprising movie of the year for me, because I thought the first one was complete schlock, but unlike most folks, I kinda liked this one.  It had depth, scope and a constant sense of impending doom.  I thought they made some gutsy choices and the story took some interesting turns (especially the end), so for me, the franchise has arisen to new heights I never thought it was capable of.
Relax, it’s not the 1950s.


The Bad

Jurassic World
I know a lot of you folks out there liked this flick, but I was super bored.  I knew it was a soft reboot going in and having never been a fan of the franchise, I thought this was a good time for them to win me over (with Chris Pratt!), but nope.  I just didn’t get it.  I know they set up the big confrontation at the end, but I just didn’t care.  At all.

Terminator Genisys
The sequel/soft reboot/whatever the hell this is no one asked for is just kinda bad in a general way.  It’s not super bad, it’s not boring, it just kinda sucks and doesn’t need to exist.  There are worse movies that came out in 2015, that’s for sure.  Oh, and it looks like the sequel to this flick is on indefinite hold, so the franchise might be dead again.  Or until they break out the HARD reboot.

Jupiter Ascending
Holy. Tap dancing. Jesus.  This movie was awful.  Eddie Redmayne stands out as the guy who just went full scenery chewing mode.  It’s like he’s in a different bad movie than the rest of the cast… baffling.

The Leisure Class
I hate to pick on this flick, but it’s bad.  Just bad.  I don’t know how HBO let this happen, but man, did it happen.

Hell and Back
This is probably the worst movie I saw this year.  It seemed so promising, but I was struggling to stay awake during an 86 minute movie.

The Disappointing

Avengers: Age of Ultron
This premise had promise but man did they f@ck up the execution.  It’s a miracle the movie is even coherent.

Man, how can you have people this talented and still end up with a shit movie?  A flick with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler should just be funny by default, but it wasn’t.  Like, at all.  I was kinda sorry we saw it.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on January 25, 2016, in lists, movie review and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Apparently I VERY disagree with you. I’m “one of those folks” who liked Jurassic world, and I really liked the new avengers. I haven’t watched most of these movies, I did really like the new mad max, though I haven’t watched the earlier ones. I also really liked the new mission impossible. I haven’t watched any of the others. Well, good list, though I disagree with a few. 😛

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