It’s the last day of the year, so what better time to reflect on the last 365 days in cinema? Looking back on 2015, it was actually a remarkable time for big screen events – and I don’t just mean big blockbusters like Star Wars: The Force Awakens or Jurassic World. Some really brilliant movies were released in every quarter, and while some didn’t get quite the immediate recognition that others did, time will be kind. Because of the quality of big screen releases this year, I had an incredible challenge on my hands narrowing down the Top 10… but the work is over and my list is done.

Admittedly my tastes are a bit all over the map, and the following list contains multiple animated features, a few indies, and a couple blockbusters. But what they all have in common is that they left me feeling in awe of the power of film. With no further delay, below is my Top 10:

10. Room
Re-watchability often has a significant role to play in my Top 10 selections, as one thing that I really love about movies is revisiting them and discovering certain things that only appear after you know all of the story and the characters. For Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, however, I will make an exception; as while I don’t think I have the will to be hit again by the emotional gut punch it delivers, it also deserves recognition for that impact.

I’m no longer surprised when I come across a great Brie Larson performance (that ship sailed after seeing Short Term 12), but she is truly phenomenal in this film – given an intensely complicated role to play and executing it with deep truth and emotion. Of course, praise of Larson has to also coincide with compliments for the stunning Jacob Tremblay – who amazingly delivers the perspective of a child who has an entirely different world perspective than our own. Just be careful when it comes to the mood that you watch it in, because I can promise you that you that at times it is completely emotionally devastating.

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