Jacob Hall’s Top 10 Movies of 2015

top 10 movies of 2015

When I sat down to create my top 10 movies of 2015 list, I decided to jot down a quick list of every single movie that I felt was a contender. You know, just to get the creative juices flowing. Over 30 titles later, I realized I had to start getting picky.

2015 was one hell of a year for cinema and the rare year where major Hollywood productions often seemed to match the independent scene step-for-step. One of the distinct pleasures of this past year wasn’t just the sheer number of good movies, but the variety. Animation and comedy and horror and drama and action films all found a place on my top 10. The fact that the mold-shattering biopic Steve Jobs and the effortlessly entertaining and inspiring The Martian didn’t make the cut boggles my mind. How could I not find room for the oddly romantic and deeply funny S&M oddity that is The Duke of Burgundy? The sobering Spotlight probably should have been on this list. The Big Short, too. In any other year, the elegant thrills of  Bridge of Spies would have been a shoo-in for this list.

But try as I might, there is only room for 10 movies in my top 10 list. These are the movies that still cling to me in the early days of 2016, the films that, for one reason or another, feel like they matter the most. Not all of them will cling to you in the same way and that’s okay. These lists are less about making definitive statements and more about encouraging conversation. No, I didn’t “forget” anything on my list, but I’d certainly love to hear what’s on your personal top 10. Let’s start talking.

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DJANGO UNCHAINED

Now that the police unions have abandoned their bizarre, supervillain-esque plot to take down Quentin Tarantino, it’s someone else’s turn to put a metaphorical target on his back. Just his new film The Hateful Eight rolls into theaters, Tarantino is getting sued over his last movie, Django Unchained, by two screenwriters who claim he ripped off their own original screenplay. More about the Django Unchained lawsuit after the jump.  Read More »

The Hateful Eight Expanding

The Hateful Eight expanding its release sooner than expected is hardly bad news. Quentin Tarantino‘s western has already grossed almost $5.66M at the box office in the past week, playing on just 100 screens. Who would’ve thought people would’ve been this excited about the ninth film from Tarantino? Following The Hateful Eight‘s success, The Weinstein Company is now making the film available to a mass audience.

Find out more after the jump.

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quentin tarantino movies ranked

I’ve spent the past few weeks immersing myself in the world of Quentin Tarantino. To prepare for the release of his latest film, The Hateful Eight, I ranked each and every one of his characters. Then I wrote about The Hateful Eight itself, which I saw in its glorious “roadshow” version. Now, it’s time to close the book on this subject for a little while… or until Mr. Tarantino decides to get around to making another movie. It’s time to rank all of his movies. Because this is the internet and ranking things is what we do.

So how do you rank the work of a filmmaker whose worst movie is still an exceptional piece of cinema? With great difficulty. This kind of thing isn’t science. This isn’t definitive by any means. Consider this an opportunity to talk about Tarantino’s work, to debate and discuss his movies. You will most certainly disagree with this ranking and that’s kind of the point.

Now, let’s dive in.

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the hateful eight roadshow

Quentin Tarantino‘s The Hateful Eight opened on 100 screens this past week as part of a unique, limited engagement. These 100 theaters would not be screening the movie through digital projection, but on 70mm film, a format that is all but extinct. That alone is an ordeal and a half, but that unique projection would only be one aspect of this “roadshow” release. There would also be an overture. And an intermission. And souvenir programs. Tarantino’s obsession with classic film presentation has climaxed – to watch The Hateful Eight in this format is to take a three-hour journey back in time, to an age where movies were truly sold as proper events.

As a sucker for Tarantino’s work (did rank all 122 of his characters) and an even bigger sucker for unique, one-of-a-kind theatrical experiences, I knew there was no way I was going to miss seeing The Hateful Eight in “glorious” 70mm. So, here’s how it all went down.

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Quentin Tarantio cinematography

We all know how annoying it is when a cell phone goes off during the middle of a movie. Now, imagine how much more bothersome it is for a cell to go off during the shooting of a movie. Just think of some actor giving a scene their all, the lighting is perfect, and right before they get the perfect shot.. it’s killed by somebody’s android phone. That must happen, and apparently, it’s occurred more than a few times to Quentin Tarantino.

Learn why the writer-director behind The Hateful Eight doesn’t permit cellular telephones on his sets after the jump.

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Mad Max Fury Road - Max and Furiosa

The top 10 list I always look forward to the most towards the end of any year is the one from writer-director Quentin Tarantino. His taste is not only varied, but sometimes a little outside of the box. The director once included Woody Allen‘s Anything Else on a list featuring his favorite movies of the past 20 years or so — which, ever since he did that, has made me want to reevaluate Anything Else. Unlike the past few years, Tarantino has yet to reveal his top picks of the year, but he has declared his love for director George Miller‘s Mad Max: Fury Road.

Read about Quentin Tarantino’s favorite movie of 2015 after the jump.

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the hateful eight featurette

The Hateful Eight is the sixth time Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson have collaborated on a film in some capacity and their ongoing partnership is one worth celebrating. Hell, when finished ranking every single Tarantino character, three of Jackson’s performances made it into the top 20. They bring out the best in one another – no one is as good at making Tarantino’s stylized dialogue sing quite like Jackson, who makes lengthy monologues and sudden violence look effortless.

Much of the marketing for The Hateful Eight has put Jackson’s Major Marquis Warren, a former slave turned Civil War officer turned bounty hunter, front-and-center and for good reason: the man is an electric performer whose mere presence in a trailer sends chills down the spine. Now, the Weinstein Company has released a special video focusing on Jackson’s role in the film and you can watch it after the jump.

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DJANGO UNCHAINED

Here we are: the grand finale of the ridiculous endeavor to rank all 122 significant characters in Quentin Tarantino‘s filmography. In case you missed them, you can find Part One and Part Two of every Quentin Tarantino character rankedby clicking on those links. And now it’s time to end this.

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