Here are some of my favorite films that were released in 2015. Between going to the theater or renting them on VOD or DVD, you can catch all of these movies one way or another.
Mad Max: Fury Road – The fourth Mad Max movie is not only an exceptional action movie, but it also has deep thoughts and meaning. In the post-apocalyptic future, lone warrior Max (Tom Hardy in an effectively quiet performance) helps a group of women (led by the furiously fantastic Charlize Theron) escape a tyrannical ruler (Hugh Keays-Byrne). This is an absolute marvel of visual storytelling and cinema at its purest.
Spotlight – This true newspaper drama about The Boston Globe's investigation of a massive cover-up of child molestation in the Catholic Church is utterly riveting and shocking. Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams all shine in an all-star cast.
Trumbo – The first half of this Louisiana-shot biographical drama does a good if familiar job of showing the House Un-American Activities Committee and their investigation of Communist influences in the film industry in the late 1940s, which resulted in the blacklisting of filmmakers, one of which was top screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. However, the second half really gets cooking as it chronicles the blacklisted Trumbo (an excellent Bryan Cranston) scrambling to provide for his family by doing what he does best – writing scripts, even if that means penning exploitation B-pictures under a pseudonym for independent studios.
Youth – Michael Cain stars as a retired orchestra conductor on holiday in this strange and wonderfully oddball film by The Great Beauty director Paolo Sorrentino. Cain and Harvey Keitel, as a filmmaker friend, have a great back-and-forth, and while it is essentially only a cameo, Jane Fonda, as Keitel's actress ex-wife, has never been better.