This list contains only films released in the U.S. theatrically this year, so no unreleased or festival films are on here.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road – I’ll never stop gushing about how much I was blown away by this film, and there’s really nothing to say about it that hasn’t already been said. See it in the theater if you haven’t already, it’s a genre masterpiece.
2. Mommy – I’m relatively new to the films of Xavier Dolan, but seeing this in the theater was a powerful, emotional experience that I won’t soon forget. The long runtime may be a turnoff for some, but it’s totally worth the investment.
3. The Tribe – Holy cow, I never thought a film completely devoid of dialogue and subtitles could be so effective, but this film worked on every level for me. There’s nothing like, it and I implore everyone to check this one out. My Review
4. Heaven Knows What – Another hugely emotional film that blew me away with how raw and honest it was. This film blurs the lines of documentary and narrative filmmaking to great effect, and I can’t wait to see it again despite the extremely depressing subject matter. My Review
5. The Wolfpack – Easily the most fascinating documentary I’ve seen this year, the story of the Angulo brothers is both heartbreaking and oddly inspirational. My Review
6. Girlhood – My fondness for coming-of-age stories often gets the best of me, and I couldn’t help but love this French drama about a young girl finding her place in the world and trying to escape her toxic environment. My Review
7. Dope – Another coming-of-age film, this time a comedy about three geeks living in South Central Los Angeles. The soundtrack alone makes this worth seeking out, but the smartly written and hilariously delivered dialogue doesn’t hurt either. When else will you see rapper A$ap Rocky argue with drug dealing thugs about what the term “slippery slope” means? My Review
8. The Duke of Burgundy – Peter Strickland’s homage to ’70s European sexploitation films manages to be weirdly disturbing without showing anything graphic, while at the same time just oozing with style. My Review
9. What We Do in the Shadows – A ridiculously funny mockumentary about a group of vampires sharing a flat in New Zealand. That sentence alone should make you seek this out, but if you need more, it’s created by Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Concords and Taika Waititi, director of one of my favorite movies, Boy. My Review
10. Spring – A hard film to classify, Spring is, at its core, a love story, but one with a supernatural element. I know this has been said a million times, but think Linklater’s Before Sunrise with monsters.
How does this stack up to your list? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check out our other top 10s by clicking here.