Every year I say I’m not going to make another best-of list, and every year, like clockwork, I cave. Part of the motivation this year is how much shit has been talked that 2015 was a terrible year for film. People who say that haven’t watched enough movies, and certainly haven’t watched the right ones. Sure, there was a ton of total garbage out there, but there’s a ton of total garbage every year. But there were also a slew of amazing, interesting, moving motion pictures available for you to see if you cared to look, the kind of movies that make me realize, over and over again, why I love cinema like I do.

My tastes are varied, and the list of my favorite movies of the year reflects that. There are massive blockbusters, no-budget indies, documentaries, dramas, action spectacles, and blood-spurting horrors to be found. Though I’ve watched hundreds of movies this year, there are some that I haven’t seen yet that could very well make the list. But all things considered, I’m confident in my selections, at least for the moment. I hate ranking things, and I’m terrible at it, so the order will most certainly evolve in the future, but rest assured, if it’s on this list in any slot, it blew my hair back in 2015.

10. Brooklyn
Before I watched John Crowley’s Brooklyn a friend described it as like a Baz Luhrmann movie without all the fuss and bluster, and while I didn’t understand that at first, it’s an apt description in retrospect. John Crowley and Nick Hornsby’s adaptation of Colm Toibin’s novel creates a complete, meticulous, immersive world. The story of a young immigrant traveling from Ireland to New York in the 1950s is lush and gorgeous, and the period design is immaculate and flawless in every scene. Saoirse Ronan quietly delivers a career-best performance as Eilis, a shy, timid young woman, and watching her stunning transformation is one of 2015’s greatest pleasures.

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