The Best Films of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival

Racing Extinction

5. Racing Extinction

The Cove director Louie Psihoyos returns to Sundance in 2015 with a new call to action. Racing Extinction is a more wide-ranging documentary than its predecessor, albeit one that is just as sharply produced, and no less stirring. Psihoyos says his intention was to go a lot bigger, and the film follows through by offering a sort of omnibus catalog of several interrelated problems facing life on Earth. If anything, Racing Extinction is too broad to give ample time to every subject, but the sum total of Psihoyos’ efforts is devastatingly effective.

That’s an excerpt from Russ’ full review. Read it here.

The End of the Tour

4. The End of the Tour

The End of the Tour is based on the true story of David Lipsky, a Rolling Stone reporter who interviewed legendary author David Foster Wallace for five days in 1996. Lipsky catches up with the author as he’s about to hit the final stop on the book tour for the release of Infinite Jest, then and now considered one of the great novels written in our lifetimes. Over the course of the next few days, the reporter develops a complicated relationship with the icon.

Jesse Eisenberg plays the reporter, Jason Segal the subject and for 100 minutes, the men become friends, enemies, philosophical equals, sexual rivals, artistic counterparts and much, much more. The End of the Tour is a universal story about a great many things. The screenplay, and in particular the dialogue, is absolutely stunning , both Eisenberg but especially Segel are magnificent in their roles, and [director James] Ponsoldt exhibits some real maturity in his direction.

That’s an excerpt from Germain’s full review. Read it here.

Finders Keepers review

3. Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers is a hilarious, bizarre and sometimes devastating documentary about the true life story of two men. Shannon Whisnant purchases a storage unit at auction and is surprised to find a severed human leg inside a used bbq grill. The other man, John Wood, wants his leg back, but Whisnant isn’t about to let that happen.

The story offers much more depth than its “pulled from the headlines”  story might lead you to expect. In fact, it’s less about the sensationalistic hook and more about the compelling characters involved in this crazy story.  I love documentary films like King of Kong and Trekkies that let us explore the world of quirky “weirdos”. With Finders Keepers, producers Seth Gordon (King of Kong) and Adam Goldberg (The Goldbergs) give us a fascinating slice of moldy Americana.

That’s an excerpt from Peter’s full review. Read it here.

Dope

2. Dope

[Dope] has the energy of a 90?s indie film but feels cleverly contemporary. I was impressed that the screenplay, also written by 40-something Rick Famuyiwa, was filled with often-time clever yet organic references to Bitcoin, Amazon, Find My iPhone, Waze, Snapchat, and much more. There is a party sequence which is shown in retrospect through the brilliant use of social media. Another standout is the amazing, from start to finish, 90s hip hop soundtrack. Without a doubt, the best 1990s movie soundtrack since The WacknessDope is charming and poignant — an incredibly relatable urban dramedy that works on almost every level.

That’s an excerpt from Peter’s full review. Read it here.

Me Earl and the Dying Girl

1. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is one of those movies we come to the Sundance Film Festival to see. The tonal balance of comedy and drama is perfect. It tries different things in its form, it loves that it’s a film and is aware of its time and place in history. It’s a very special, emotional and exciting movie that we’re sure to be talking about for years to come.

That’s an excerpt from Germain’s full review. Read it here.

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