TOP 50 OF 2015 (#25 – #1): Kevin Rakestraw

At the beginning of this week I posted the first half of my Top 50 films of 2015 (#50 through #26). Today is the day I finish this list (and any further list-making endeavors until this time next year), here are the rest of my picks from 2015.

Man From Reno

#25: MAN FROM RENO directed by Dave Boyle

Solid Mystery Yarn // Atmosphere // Unexpected Twists // That Gut Punch Plotpoint


#24: TANGERINE directed by Sean Baker

Taylor & Rodriguez // Energy // Camera Movements

La Sapienza

#23: LA SAPIENZA directed by Eugène Green

Raphaël O’Byrne’s cinematography // Rumination starters // Screenplay

Black Coal, Thin Ice

#22: BLACK COAL, THIN ICE directed by Yi’nan Diao

Jingsong Dong’s cinematography // Mystery/Intrigue // That Skating Away scene // Front bumper-mounted camera sequence


#21: CHI-RAQ directed by Spike Lee

Parris & Cannon // Urgency // Bluntness // Humorous Wesley Snipes

Five Star

20: FIVE STAR directed by Keith Miller

James ‘Primo’ Grant // Realism // Human portrayal of gang life


19: REALITY directed by Quentin Dupieux

Dream logic execution // Absurdity // Humor


18: MOMMY directed by Xavier Dolan

Performances, Performances, Performances // Aspect Ratio Employment

Amour Fou

17: AMOUR FOU directed by Jessica Hausner

Framing // Cinematography // Production design // Subject Matter // Hausner’s script & direction

A Thousand Suns

16: A THOUSAND SUNS directed by Mati Diop

Visuals // Execution // Seamless shift of genre // Subject Matter

What We Do in the Shadows

15: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS directed by Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi

The Comedy // Cori Gonzalez-Macuer // The Werewolves // Maintaining Comedy throughout

Field Niggas

14: FIELD NIGGAS directed by Khalik Allah

Visuals // Originality // Beauty // Enlightening // Visuals

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13: THE IDIOT FACES TOMORROW directed by Cameron Worden

Super 8mm, VHS, 16mm, HD tapestry // Central performance // Challenging // Originality


12: THE WINDS THAT SCATTER directed by Christopher Jason Bell

Ahmad Chahrour // Compassionate handling of Subject Matter // Relevancy // Realism

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

11: DA SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS directed by Spike Lee

Visuals // Zaraah Abrahams // Execution

Six Cents in the Pocket

10: SIX CENTS IN THE POCKET directed by Ricky D’Ambrose

Visuals // Framing // Originality // That Albert Ayler-scored journey sequence

Heaven Knows What

9: HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT directed by Ben & Joshua Safdie

Arielle Holmes // Caleb Landry Jones // Buddy Duress // Visuals // Realism // Score

Approaching the Elephant

8: APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT directed by Amanda Wilder

Black & White cinematography // Subject Matter // Vérité stylings

Wild Canaries

7: WILD CANARIES directed by Michael Lawrence Levine

The Comedy // Neck brace employment // Levine’s Facial Expressions


6: MACBETH directed by Justin Kurzel

Visuals // Michael Fassbender // Marion Cotillard // Visuals // Jed Kurzel’s Score

Stinking Heaven

5: STINKING HEAVEN directed by Nathan Silver

Campbell, Medel, Gross // Ensemble // Betacam // Visuals


4: SABBATICAL directed by Brandon Colvin

Robert Longstreet // Muted Mise-en-scène // Framing // That Ending

Mad Max. Fury Road

3: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD directed by George Miller

Action Sequences // Creativity // Fire Tornadoes // Relentless

In Search of the Miraculous

2: IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS directed by Sam Kuhn

Visuals // Music // Escapism // 16mm // Atmosphere

Hard to Be a God

1: HARD TO BE A GOD directed by Aleksey German

Every single aspect

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