It is finally time to unveil my favorite movie of 2015. Thank you to all of you who have read this list at one point or another. This has been fun to do this and I cannot wait to write more lists, reviews, and other things for this page. The last entry received 400-plus reads, which is amazing. I appreciate you all reading these things. If you have not read any other addition to this list, go back and read the other posts. Here is my favorite movie of 2015.
#1: Mad Max: Fury Road
If you were expecting The Force Awakens, I apologize for disappointing. My favorite movie of the year is one that has received ten Oscar nominations, rejuvenated a franchise back to the life, proved practical effects are still awesome, and took audiences on an exhilarating ride through a wasteland. Mad Max begins with Max being chased down by Warboys who captured him and steal his vehicle. While in captivity, Max is utilized as a “blood bag” for one of the Warboys. When Furiosa hijacks the tanker of her colony, the hunt is on to recapture the tanker and the wives of Immortal Joe. Max and his Warboy become a part of both the hunt then Furiosa’s escape across the wasteland. As the movie progresses, the hunt becomes more epic and crazier until the very end of the movie.
Where to start with this movie? As usual, I will break down the cast and their acting. The star of the movie is clearly Charlize Theron as Furiosa. While the movie is titled after Max, Theron steals the spotlight throughout the movie. Her performance as Furiosa is definitely worthy of an Academy Award nomination. She perfectly portrays a strong leader who has to demonstrate courage and strength in the face of underwhelming odds. During the majority of the movie, she is that character. However, the one scene where she is not this is the best emotional part of the movie. When she is informed that her former homeland has turned into a desolate marsh pit, she breaks down to her knees. It is a strong moment that contends with any emotional moment in any film this year. Her moment of losing her last shred of hope is the pinnacle of the movie from a plot and acting standpoint. Meanwhile, Tom Hardy is fantastic as the replacement for Mel Gibson as Max. While some say that he does little in this movie (both in terms of acting and character), I argue that his role holds strong importance to the movie (not simply because the movie is called Mad Max). Hardy does not need to say much in the film since most of his acting is physical. His body language and facial expressions speak louder than any words could have in his scenes. The fact that there will be at least two more movies of Hardy as Mad Max is exciting based off of his performance in this role. Hardy is able to show the audience how Max’s past is affecting him (even without the hallucinations). The character visually looks troubled and carrying the weight of trauma around with him. Part of that credit has to go to George Miller, but the rest of it has to be awarded to Tom Hardy. The most surprising performance in this movie is Nicholas Holt as Nux. Based solely on the trailer, I was worried about this character. Other than the “lovely day” quote, nothing about him read as an important or a quality part of this movie. Also, I did not realize that is was Nicholas Holt until I saw the movie. However, his performance was electrifying as Nux. Another strong emotional moment in the film is when Nux is essentially disowned by Immortal Joe. Holt ideally demonstrates the anguish that a person would feel of being scorned out of a cult that one truly believes in. Holt also has to be the only character who goes through an arch of change. He starts the movie willing to die for Immortal Joe to stop Furiosa, then he ends the movie dying for the success of Furiosa against Immortal Joe. Another challenging addition to this role is playing the outsider who has to convince everyone that he has had a change of heart. This movie is packed with strong acting performances, highlighted by the Theron, Hardy, and Holt.
George Miller is perhaps one of the only directors working who could revisit his own franchise and create the best version of the franchise yet (arguably). In recent history, we have seen George Lucas and Steven Spielberg return to their beloved franchises and fail to produce a quality movie. George Miller succeeded better than anybody expected him to with this movie. This movie is an absolute masterpiece from start to finish. Miller’s best decision was to spend extra money to ensure that the effects looked realistic. Not only are they realistic, they are freaking awesome. Every car chase scene is breathtaking with the violence and driving stunts. Leaving audiences on the edge of their seats with these stunts, Miller tells the story with action packed eye candy. This must be a huge part of the reason why he is nominated for Best Director. The fact that this movie was nominated for Best Picture is shocking because of the genre that is falls in. Nobody would have guessed that this movie would even be considered for any Academy Award nomination last year (other than special effects categories). Mad Max: Fury Road has the second most nominations this year, falling only behind the Leonardo DiCaprio Oscar bait The Revenant. To be clear, I am not stating that The Revenant is solely for the Academy Awards for DiCaprio. I am saying that the movie is definitely set up for Oscar season rather than a movie about a wasteland where people chase and kill each other via vehicles. George Miller turned an action movie into an Academy Award nominated powerhouse.
This is the only movie that I paid twice to see in theaters. From start to finish, Mad Max: Fury Road floored me with action and visual candy. My heart was racing for the majority of the movie as I was getting amped from the car chase sequences. For those who say that there was a lack of a plot, my response is two parted. Part one: the movie is outstanding enough that it does not need much of a plot to be a success. Part two: there actually is a solid plot that focuses on the themes of hope and redemption. Perhaps my favorite character is entire movie is the Doof warrior. That flame-guitar wielding musician should be featured in any movie that has rock music in it. He is completely awesome. My girlfriend said she thought he was stupid and pointless, so I ignored her on the way home from the theater. But in all seriousness, Mad Max: Fury Road was the one movie I saw before November that met the high expectations I had for it after watching the trailer. Other movies disappointed me during the summer time, but Mad Max left me with a giant smile on my face. Once I revisit my top ten favorite movies ever, there is a strong chance that this one will find its way in there.
That is the list in its entirety. Before I do my standard sign off where I beg you guys to follow me, I would like to address a couple of movies that were completely left off of this list. As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, The Force Awakens did not make it. This is not because I did not like the movie. It was ranked eighth for me when I made my list before I started writing these posts. Yesterday, I saw both Bridge of Spies and Spotlight in theaters. Both movies were incredible and most likely would have had strong contention on this list. In fact, I know Spotlight would have ranked in the list, knocking out Creed.
Thank you for reading this article on my favorite movie of 2015. I hope that you enjoyed this series. Please leave comments below to suggest what else I should write about, whether it is for one article or another list. Follow this page on Moviepilot if you enjoyed what you have read at moviepilot.com/talkmoviestome. Also, you can find me on Twitter @talkmoviestome. I have been more active on there in the past week. Please show some support if you have enjoyed my posts. Once again, thank you all for reading and I hope you return for my next article in the next day or two.