Monday, June 29, 2015

The Best Movies of the Year 2015 (So Far)

We are now halfway through the year and as has become an annual tradition here at The End, it's time to look back at the best movies of the year so far. As I discussed in the 2013 halfway post, the consensus movie-dating system is nonsensical and posits New York as the center of the universe. Far more logical (and much easier to use) is a system reliant on imdb's dating system, which locates a film in whatever year it first played for an audience. That's what we use here at The End as it's the most fair to all eras and areas. (A dating system reliant on playing in a certain locality I think can be valuable for a publication that is geographically specific, like a local newspaper or website. We'll be putting together a Seattle-specific lists for Seattle Screen Scene later this week, for example. But here at The End, we have a global reach.)

A by-product of the system is that a number of films that first go into wide-release in any given year actually had their premiere in the year before. A number of the films on many critics' halfway-thorough lists include these films, films that find their proper home here on my 2014 list. And so here we have two lists: the Best Movies of 2015, following the strict imdb dating system, and the Best 2014 Movies of 2015, which includes those films from last year that you might find on a more chronologically-illogical list. In new additions this year, I'm adding a third list, of 2014 films that have yet to see a New York release and therefore don't (yet) exist by the standards of most critics. And a fourth list, a halfway version of my annual Best Older Movies list, counting the top movies I saw for the first time this year that are more than a few years old.

The Top 10 Movies of 2015 (So Far):



1. Blackhat (Michael Mann)


2. Mistress America (Noah Baumbach)


3. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller)


4. World of Tomorrow (Don Hertzfeldt)


5. The Royal Road (Jenni Olson)


6. Results (Andrew Bujalski)


7. Jupiter Ascending (The Wachowskis)


8. Sleeping with Other People (Leslye Headland)


9. Bitter Lake (Adam Curtis)


10. Pitch Perfect 2 (Elizabeth Banks)



The Top 17 2014 Movies of 2015 (So Far):



1. Jauja (Lisandro Alonso)


2. The Taking of Tiger Mountain (Tsui Hark)


3. La Sapienza (Eugène Green)


4. Ballet 422 (Jody Lee Lipes)


5. Heaven Knows What (Josh & Benny Safdie)


6. Eden (Mia Hansen-Løve)


7. Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas)


8. While We're Young (Noah Baumbach)


9. Approaching the Elephant (Amanda Wilder)


10. When Marnie Was There (Hiromasa Yonebayashi)


11. The Last Five Years (Richard LaGravenese)


12. Wild Tales (Damián Szifrón)


13. Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg)


14. The Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland)


15. Ned Rifle (Hal Hartley)


16. Amour fou (Jessica Hausner)


17. Kung Fu Jungle (Teddy Chan)



The Top 25 "Unreleased" Movies of 2014 (So Far):



1. The Midnight After (Fruit Chan)


2. Hill of Freedom (Hong Sangsoo)


3. Horse Money (Pedro Costa)


4. Phoenix (Christian Petzold)


5. A Matter of Interpretation (Lee Kwangkuk)


6. Journey to the West (Tsai Ming-liang)


7. Tokyo Tribe (Sion Sono)


8. Hit 2 Pass (Kurt Walker)


9. White, Heat, Lights (Takashi Nakajima)


10. The Coffin in the Mountain (Xin Yukun)


11. Dearest (Peter Chan)


12. Uncertain Relationships Society (Heiward Mak)


13. Welcome to New York (Abel Ferrara)


14. Black Coal, Thin Ice (Diao Yinan)


15. Beyond Zero 1914-1918 (Bill Morrison)


16. The Rehearsal (Carl-Antonyn Dufault)


17. Natural History (James Benning)


18. Women Who Know How to Flirt are the Luckiest (Pang Ho-cheung)


19. The Iron Ministry (JP Sniadecki)


20. A Hard Day (Kim Seonghun)


21. Transformers: the Premake (Kevin B. Lee)


22. The Teacher's Diary (Nithiwat Tharathorn)


23. Inside Voices (Ryland Walker Knight)


24. Golden Chickensss (Matt Chow)


25. Once Upon a Time in Shanghai (Wong Ching-po)



The Best Older Movies I saw in 2015 (So Far):




1. Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955)


2. Linda Linda Linda (Nobuhiro Yamashita, 2005)



3. It Felt Like a Kiss (Adam Curtis, 2009)


4. Gimme Shelter (The Maysles Brothers and Charlotte Zwerin, 1970)


5. Aparajito (Satyajit Ray, 1956)


6. Three Crowns of the Sailor (Raúl Ruiz, 1983)


7. The Terrorizers (Edward Yang, 1986)


8. The Sun Shines Bright (John Ford, 1953)


9. Pride and Prejudice (Simon Langton, 1995)


10. The East is Red (Ching Siu-tung & Raymond Lee, 1993)


11. Alexander (Oliver Stone, 2004)


12. The World of Apu (Satyajit Ray, 1959)


13. Taipei Story (Edward Yang, 1985)


14. The Triplets of Belleville (Sylvain Chomet, 2003)


15. A Borrowed Life (Wu Nien-jen, 1994)


16. Balloon Land (Ub Iwerks, 1935)


17. ¡Que Viva Mexico! (Sergei Eisenstein and Grigori Aleksandrov, 1932)


18. Lady Snowblood (Toshiba Fujita, 1973)


19. Into the Woods (James Lapine, 1991)


20. The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom (Adam Curtis, 2007)


21. Ali (Michael Mann, 2001)


22. Christine (John Carpenter, 1983)


23. Company (Lonny Price, 2011)


24. Twin Dragons (Tsui Hark & Ringo Lam, 1992)


25. A Separation (Asghar Farhadai, 2009)


26. The Spring River Flows East (Cai Chusheng & Zheng Junli, 1947)


27. Himalaya Singh (Wai Ka-fai, 2005)


28. The Power of Nightmares (Adam Curtis, 2004)


29. The True Story of Wong Fei-hung: Whiplash Snuffs the Candle Flame (Wu Peng, 1949)


30. Red Line 7000 (Howard Hawks, 1965)


31. Fay Grim (Hal Hartley, 2006)


32. The Century of the Self (Adam Curtis, 2002)


33. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (Justin Lin, 2003)


34. J. Edgar (Clint Eastwood, 2011)


35. Where Danger Lives (John Farrow, 1950)