an empty theater

Forum looks back at the best movies of 2015 with a panel of film critics. It was a year that brought sequels to several decades-old film franchises, including “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Creed” and the eagerly-awaited “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which the critics have now seen. As awards season heats up, we’ll also check-in on the Oscar buzz on films like Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight,” about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and Todd Haynes’ lesbian romance “Carol.” Tell us — what was your favorite film of 2015?

The Year in Film, From “Spotlight” to “Star Wars” 16 December,2015forum

Amy Nicholson, chief film critic, LA Weekly
Richard Von Busack, film critic, Metro Newspapers
Peter Hartlaub, pop culture critic, San Francisco Chronicle

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    In The Heart of the Sea directed by Ron Howard has got to get a lot of Oscar nominations. Amazing!!

  • Mason Gibb

    Joshua Oppenheimer’s film “The Look of Silence”, though released in 2014, was subtitled into English and saw a limited release to a US audience only this year. This documentary, and his previous film “An Act of Killing” are exceptional documentaries on the Indonesian massacres of the ethnic Chinese population in the 1960s and the repression that continues to this day. Although “The Look of Silence” was not as revolutionary, it is just as powerful and a necessary sequel to the earlier work.

    • Noelle

      not to mention those suspected of being “Communist”

  • Noelle

    Documentary “Best of Enemies” (Gore Vidal versus William F Buckley 1968 conventions)

  • ldemelis

    Testament of Youth, an affecting film about World War I based on the memoirs of an army nurse, is very well done and deserves a wider audience.

  • Bill_Woods

    Of the movies I saw in the theater: The Martian.

  • Robert Thomas

    I was dragged to see Mad Max: Fury Road.

    I have never before sat myself in front of such a triumph of craft over art, nor do I ever expect I will again.

  • Ben Rawner

    What were your guests favorite performances?

  • 1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8

    I was delighted to see “The Martian!” Energizing and energy-lifting. Literally “spacey” and “grounding” at the same time. A wonderful, beautifully-crafted, high-energy, intelligent drama about survival and creativity — independent initiative AND teamwork — (including international cooperation for a bigger cause) — overcoming multiple, major, high-stakes obstacles…one daunting step at a time — with a rich and satisfying reward for all in the end! An important morality tale for today’s world. A big Thank You to all involved!

  • Robert Thomas

    I really liked The Station Agent. So I had high expectations for Spotlight.

    I couldn’t get over the fact that journalists were patting themselves on the back for histrionically exposing a scandal that had been in the open, staring them in the face, for a thousand years.

  • Trace Wendell

    Far From The Madding Crowd was breathtakingly romantic and Carey Mulligan perfectly portrayed the story of a financially independent woman at the turn of the century in Victorian England struggling with how or even why romance fits into her life. And, Phoenix, a German film about a Holocaust survivor whose plastic surgery confuses the people in her life that may or may not have turned her into the Nazis.

  • Robert Thomas

    I have only heard and read strongly positive or strongly negative reviews of Lenny Abrahamson’s Room.

    What’s the panel’s view?

  • Yragentman

    The best movie I saw in 2015 was Sicario. It has a plausible scenario, good pacing, believable action and best of all, the story is told in the images and acting – not the expository dialog typical of most movies. The acting by the three leads was outstanding. In other words, it was everything that Ex Machina was not.

  • Kathy Wright

    small independent film “Remember”. saw it at Mill Valley Film Festival. small, intimate and a complete stunner ending.

  • Bella

    Please talk about documentaries… “Keep on Keepin’ On” about Clark Terry and “Amy” for example.

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