Friday, January 1, 2016

Top 15 Films & TV Shows of 2015

My goal for the past couple years has been to watch at least 52 movies, documentaries, or TV shows--one per week-- every year and both years I have exceeded it! If you're curious to know what else I watched in 2015, here's a full list, but the main reason for this post is to share my top 15 movies and TV shows of 2015! A quick run-down of how I do this:
  • This lists includes things I've watched for the first time; some of these are 2015 releases, some are not.
  • They are listed in the order I watched them, both on this top 15 list and the master list.
  • I count TV shows by the season for condensing purposes, but for this post I'm going to shove the seasons into one slot.
  • I rate any form of media as a reviewer, not a critic. Meaning: I might mention some technical aspects of a movie or book that I really liked/disliked, but I rate them based on my overall enjoyment. My rating scale is as follows:
  • 5 stars - Rarely use them, but when I do, they imply: I loved it and considered it perfect
  • 4 stars - Not perfect, but loved it!
  • 3 stars - I enjoyed it.
  • 2 stars - Some aspects were decent.
  • 1 star - Did not enjoy.

My Favorite Films & TV Shows of 2015:

Edit: I didn't realize until it was too late that I never included my all-time favorite TV show, Parenthood, to my full list for 2015! Parenthood is a TV show I have watched air on TV for six years now and it's sixth and final season aired during 2015's winter/spring. If you haven't watched it before, it's on Netflix, and I highly recommend giving it a shot! 

Now Is Good - 5 stars (Netflix) 
It's all about the heartstrings, man. Tug 'em until my eyes are waterfalls. Then I love you. Love the vibes, the storyline, Dakota Fanning's attitude... I love Now Is Good.

Gone Girl - 4.5 stars (College Early DVD-Release)
No, I didn't read the book beforehand. Holy shiz miester I don't even care though because it was SO. Good! It made me all the reveals that much more shocking--although I'm working on the book so don't hate me. Might I add, this year I've discovered I dig creepy. I really dig creepy, messed up, psycho, thrilling characters and stories. I think that says something about myself. 

The Good Lie - 4.5 stars (DVD Rental)
My heart is composed of tiny cells that pulse compassion. My heart is in African and I've never even been there. My heart went out to these people and their stories.

Interstellar - 5 stars (College Early DVD-Release)
Mind. Freaking. Blown! According to my science whiz of a brother, Interstellar doesn't even include that complex of space theories or physics or stuff, but to my artsy, wordy mind, this was unbelievable! I wish I could comprehend it all better because space, astronomy, and other life forms are some of my favorite subjects to contemplate and this movie did it for me!

Friends With Benefits - 4.5 stars (Netflix)
I saw it for the first time this year, can you believe it?! And loved it. Justin Timberlake: I like you as an actor. Why haven't I seen you in other movies like this? Mila Kunis: You're also fab. With y'all be the next Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper and make another movie together? Much appreciate.

Still Alice - 4 stars (On a Plane)
Mental illnesses of all kinds need to brought to the forefront of our minds. I'm very proud that attention was brought to Alzheimer's disease with this movie. Julianne Moore does a superb job and I surprisingly enjoyed Kristen Stewart's performance as well.

Chasing Life: Season 1 & 2 - 4.5 stars (Netflix)
I told you. I don't watch TV. But THIS. This is me 100%. Great character development, sensitive issues, emotions galore... WHY FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLLY WOULD ABC FAMILY CANCEL MY NEW FAVORITE SHOW? *La sigh* It was freaking lovely while it lasted.

The Fosters: Season 1 & 2 - 4.5 stars 
(Netflix and TV airing)
A mild second favorite after Chasing Life. It's bordering the line of too traditional teenage-ABC Family if you know what I mean (do you??) but this one's still airing. We'll see how long I last. I'm not always feel the characters' actions, which can make for a lot of eye-rolley frustration on my end.

Inside Out - 4.5 stars (In Theaters)
It's clever, it's fun,  it's comical, it's emotional, it's Disney. Of course I loved it.

Beyond the Lights - 4 stars (Netflix)
Maybe a little cliche, maybe a little predictable, but I enjoyed it nonetheless! Fulfilling story line and character development. It was fun and up my alley!

Bachelornation 2015 - 4 Hilarious stars (TV airing) 
If we must get technical, I watched three individual TV shows: The Bachelor Season 19, The Bachelorette Season 11, and Bachelor in Paradise Season 2. But I must bunch them together because they belong bunched. Any separation would give them too much false credibility and I am not willing to take the leap. I was a newbie to The Bachelor and quickly became engrossed in the ridiculousness of it all. I started it on a whim after I saw somewhere that the season was six episodes in and available to watch online. I laughed my butt off and rolled my eyes the entire season and when it all ended, I thought I had my fill. I swear that's what I believed. And then I came back from a trip to Italy in May and my mind wanted to stay in la-la-land so when I heard I was only a week behind... long story short, I had to and now Bachelornation is a part of my Monday routines until further notice. Sorry not sorry.

Bridge of Spies - 4.5 stars (In Theaters)
For all intents and purposes, I had no idea what this movie was about. Tom Hanks. Attorney. Not current-day. Germany. Criminal. That's all I knew. And then I sat in a theater from 11PMish to 1:30AMish and then WOW. For those who don't know, this is based off true events about an attorney (Tom Hanks) defends an accused Russian spy during the Cold War. It was directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, which I didn't know until the end credits rolled in, but those facts alone should tell you it's a must-see! The film is all-encompassing in intensity, emotions, gold star acting and cinematography.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - 4.5 stars 
(In Theaters)
I know it's only been a month, but who hasn't seen this? It's great! JJ Abrams doesn't allow a dull moment to set in ever. It was heartwarming to see the old characters and intriguing to be introduced to the new characters. The graphics are the best of the series (obviously) and I cannot wait to see where Rey, Fin, and Kylo Ren's story lines go.

Joy - 4 stars 
(In Theaters)
It hasn't received the best reviews from critics, but Jennifer Lawrence's performance is a Golden Globe nomination and I fully support that nomination. And I stand behind the film and David O'Russell's vision because even though many people say the pacing wasn't great in parts, I didn't mind the slow beginning whatsoever. If you're hesitant to watch it, I encourage you!

Mockingjay Part 2 - 4 stars 
(In Theaters)
It's overrrrrrrrrrrrr. The saga has ended. Bittersweet, that's for sure! "There are worse games to play." Ah, it gets me every time. Certain areas could have been condensed, but I loved it as a whole. I'm not sure I can accurately rank the films in terms of favorite to least favorite. Each film holds a special place in my heart.

Honorable mentions:
Big Hero 6
The Age of Adeline
The Wolf of Wall Street

Are any of these your favorite too? :)

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