CGB Top Ten Best Movies of 2015

Now that I’ve unleashed my cathartic list of this year’s worst movies, it’s time to showcase the Top Ten Best Movies of 2015!

For a film to be my favorite, it has to give me an emotional experience.  The movies on this list made me laugh, cry, think and even challenged me.
Without further ado, here is my list of the Top Ten Best Movies of 2015!

10. Serena
Hey Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence!  You two made it on this list!  Hooray!
In all seriousness, I thoroughly enjoyed this period piece drama.  The dynamic between Cooper and Lawrence is wonderful to watch and the evolution of their characters is well-handled in this tragic tale of love and ambition.
CGB Review of Serena here:

9. Mad Max Fury Road
This was a pleasant surprise for me.  I don’t normally gravitate towards high-testosterone films like these, but I found myself enjoying Mad Max more than I thought I would.  Imperator Furiosa is an amazing lead character, the chase sequences did get my adrenaline going, and the color palate choices were ingenious.
CGB Review of Mad Max Fury Road coming soon.

8. Ex_Machina
Did you love Oscar Isaac in Force Awakens?  You’re gonna love this movie that features Oscar Isaac as the shady scientist Nathan.  I found this hidden sci-fi gem to be an intelligent perspective on humanity, love and what it means to be alive.  All of the actors are three-dimensional and interesting to watch, the clausterphobic cinematography was crisp and cool, and the film’s tasteful handling of its own ideas earns Ex_Machina the #8 spot.
CGB Review of Ex_Machina here:

7. Do You Believe?
Hey, look, a Christian film made it on this list!  Given that the Christian film is a hit-or-miss genre (with more misses than homeruns), Do You Believe is in my opinion a daring entry in the genre.  When a movie can handle the subjects of self-injury, PTSD, homelessness, gang violence and broken families with tact and grace, that is worth commending.  I really hope that Christian filmmakers watch this movie and take inspiration from it.
CGB Review of Do You Believe here:

6. The Intern
Another pleasant surprise!  I honestly wasn’t expecting this to end up on the list.  This Nancy Meyers comedy is charming without being cheesy, heartwarming without oversentimentality, and a great story of platonic love and friendship.  Cuddle up with the one you love and enjoy this delightful date night flick.
My TCR Review of The Intern here:

5. Black Mass
Wow, what a terrifying crime drama with a mesmerizing performance from Johnny Depp.  All of the performances are masterful, the musical score is haunting and the cinematography captures the terror of the Boston crime scene.  Johnny Depp should take a break from Tim Burton for a while and instead begin starring in more films like this engaging biopic of James “Whitey” Bulger.
My TCR Review of Black Mass here:

4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Forget David O. Russell’s clusterfrick film Joy; this is a movie that showcases Jennifer Lawrence’s strength as an actor.  This is a satisfying conclusion to the innovative Hunger Games film series.   Jennifer Lawrence completes Katniss’ arch with a quiet, thoughtful performance, the sewer scene in particular is horrifying and action-packed, and all loose ends are tied in this final chapter of my favorite young adult film series.
My CGB Review of Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2 here:

3. American Sniper
Okay, technically this came out in limited release on December 25th, 2014.  However I put it on the list based on its wide release in January of this year.
The reason why bad Bradley Cooper films frustrate me is because this was the movie that showed me what Bradley Cooper is capable of.  His performance as Chris Kyle is heartbreaking.  By the second act, I had completely forgotten that I was watching an actor.  Director Clint Eastwood handles his subject matter with sensitivity and candor.  On a side note, I ask that you pray for our men and women in uniform, for the turmoil they face when coming home is just as great a burden as the agony they endure on the battlefield.
My CGB Review of American Sniper here:

2. Inside Out
Ladies and gentlemen, Pixar is back and they’ve hit a homerun with this wonderful animated gem!  The characters are adorable, the film tackles the subject of the mind’s inner workings and coming-of-age in a creative, relatable way and the comedy is top-notch.   This movie made me cry three times when I first saw it (in a good way, of course) and I think this is the perfect family film for all ages.
My CGB Review of Inside Out here:

Before we get to the #1 pick, here are some honorable mentions:
Age of Adeline: A lovely romance as well as a good character study of the titular Adeline.
The Walk: A thrilling love letter to the arts and a fun biopic of Phillipe Petit.
Sicario: A disturbing, heart-pounding drama with brilliant performances.
The Martian: A humorous and intense story that pays tribute to the human spirit.

All right, we’ve come to my #1 pick, which just so happens to be two movies.  Yes, there were two movies this year that absolutely blew me away.  I looked over my notes for both of these movies and found that I just couldn’t say that one is better than the other.  These two films succeed in what they set out to do and I would like to add that both contain subtle Christian symbolism that are clear as day once you find those symbols.
The two films that both won the #1 spot on this list are…


1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens AND Cinderella!!!!

Yes, you read that right.  The Force Awakens and Cinderella are equally superb!  I’ve seen Force Awakens twice and Cinderella three times.  These two movies get better with each viewing.
Cinderella is sweet and delightful without being saccharine.  The Force Awakens pays homage to the original Star Wars trilogy while having its own identity.  Cinderella is the best demonstration of Theology of the Body that I have ever seen, while Force Awakens’ Rey has quite a few Marian qualities to her character.  Oh, and did I mention that both movies are very respectful of women?
Cinderella and Star Wars: The Force Awakens are excellent films.  They’re the kind of films that both kids and adults will enjoy, which is exactly why they have both earned the #1 spot on the CGB Top Ten Best Movies of 2015!
My TCR Review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens here:
CGB Review of Cinderella coming soon.

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