slashfilm top 15 steve jobs

5. Steve Jobs

29 points

The Danny Boyle-directed, Aaron Sorkin-scripted Steve Jobs is the first movie on the /Film top 15 to appear on every individual top 15, giving it serious edge when the points were tallied. Although the highest it ranked on any personal list was spot number six, the fact that everyone liked this movie enough to give it points allowed it to effortlessly shoot into the top five.

“…this biopic takes a new approach by painting a brutally honest, albeit exaggerated and inflated, portrait of the technological innovator with just three different events spread out over a few decades. Michael Fassbender looks nothing like Steve Jobs, but you forget that quickly with his masterful delivery of Aaron Sorkin‘s signature snappy dialogue.” -EA

“Admittedly, sometimes the narrative is a little too convenient — which Sorkin pokes some fun at in the third act — but it’s hardly a problem. Steve Jobs is an invigorating portrait of ambition, fatherhood, and missing the big picture.” -JG

“Rather than mythologize a man who hardly needs further mythologizing, Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin go in the complete opposite direction, laying bare the bleeding, beating heart behind Apple’s clean white curves.” -AH

slashfilm top 15 ex machina

4. Ex Machina

30 points

When it came time to tally numbers for the top five, two films tied for third place: Ex Machina and Spotlight, forcing us to choose between a creepy and intense science fiction thriller and a respectable, quietly riveting procedural. When the first round of tie-breaking votes resulted in another tie, the group decision was made to place Ex Machina in fourth place. The decision was a tough one, but seeing a film as thrilling and unique as Alex Garland‘s directorial debut in the top five left everyone feeling good about the decision.

“As a sci-fi thriller, Ex Machina is absorbing and frightening stuff. As a sly commentary on how men in the tech industry treats and views women, it is nothing short of a genre masterpiece.” -JH

“What would really happen if some alcoholic super genius bro created A.I.? It wouldn’t be a pretty picture, and that’s certainly the case in Garland’s cynical (or honest) sci-fi thriller.” -JG

“It starts out as a fairy tale for the digital age, evolves into a cautionary tale for the artificial intelligence age, and then finally reveals itself as an origin myth for the future.” -AH

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3. Spotlight

30 points

Much like how it quietly took over the larger awards conversation and emerged as an early Oscar frontrunner, Tom McCarthy‘s Spotlight slipped its way into our top three and no one had any arguments to make against it. After a brief discussion, it edged out Ex Machina in the tie-breaker because of higher individual rankings on several personal lists. Number-crunching and inside baseball aside, Spotlight is a terrific movie and more than worthy of being ranked this high.

“In the case of Spotlight, director Tom McCarthy doesn’t turn the whistleblowers of the Catholic sex scandal into a story of clear-cut heroes … Spotlight left me with a bad taste in my mouth and a pit in my stomach, but this is a story that needed to be told and should never be forgotten.” -EA

“Director Tom McCarthy paints a picture of the bystanders who, unwilling or unable to notice the unpleasantness within their community, allow a vile disease to fester — and the bystanders who were finally forced, kicking and screaming in some cases, to wake up and do something about it. Spotlight may be a movie about the Church, but it’s not a story about God. It’s a story about human nature, in all its imperfection.” -AH

slashfilm top 15 what we do in the shadows

2. What We Do in the Shadows

37 points

None of us saw this one coming. We didn’t conspire to place this hilarious and big-hearted vampire comedy onto each of our personal top 15 lists, but it happened. This small faux documentary from New Zealand about a group of undead bloodsuckers sharing a house in Wellington is /Film’s second favorite movie of the year. Some of this is due to everyone liking it to some extent, even if they didn’t like it as much as films they rank higher. The rest of it is due to What We Do in the Shadows being the funniest movie of 2015 and the best horror comedy since Shaun of the Dead.

“The result is a movie that deserves to be spoken of in the same breath as Shaun of the Dead, a movie that’s as sweet as it is funny as it is bloody. You may not know it yet, but this is your new favorite movie.” -JH

“Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement do for vampires what This Is Spinal Tap or Clement’s own Flight of the Conchords did for rock stars, puncturing their aura of glamour to get to the hilariously mundane “reality” underneath.” -AH

“This vampire world feels more rich and developed than any of the myriad vampire stories that have come to the big screen since Twilight, and it’s also downright hilarious. It’s like Shaun of the Dead meets The Office, with a script that is just as tight, funny and inspired as the former.” -EA

“If you tallied up all the jokes in What We Do in the Shadows and then counted how many of them are flat-out great, Taika Wititi and Jemaine Clement would end up with an insanely high batting average. It’s rare for a comedy with this many jokes to have so few gags fall flat.” -JG

slashfilm top 15 mad max fury road

1. Mad Max: Fury Road

57 points

George Miller‘s magnum opus placed first or second on every list – no other movie stood a chance. How often is the best movie of the year also the most fun? How often is one of the most complex movies of the year so simple and straightforward in its execution? How often are gigantic, action-packed blockbusters this weird and unique and willing to trust their audience? Hot damn, this movie is a masterpiece.

“I’m almost tired of talking about how dazzled I was by Mad Max: Fury Road, but here goes: In a year that delivered genetically enhanced dinosaurs, an A-list star dangling off a moving airplane, and our first trip to a galaxy far, far away in a decade, Mad Max: Fury Road was still the most thrilling experience at the movies this year.” -AH

“The fact that you absorb the necessary facts at 70mph while engines roar and chainsaws whir and tornadoes tear convoys asunder is a miracle. That Max and Furiosa change and their relationship subtlety evolves through the carnage is a testament to Miller’s skills as a storyteller.” -JH

“The film doesn’t need any subplots to keep the pace going, as the non-stop chase is all the fuel this fire needs to burn. Witness.” -EA

“Its clean, bold plot points breeze by almost unnoticed, thanks to minimal dialogue, while the visceral momentum of its nonstop chase propels the audience towards a cathartic conclusion.” -JG

***

To see the individual ballots, click over to the next page.

Continue Reading /Film’s Top 15 of 2015 >>

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