Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The Incredible Suit's Top 10 films of 2015

I'm going to assume you understand what this post is about without a lengthy introductory paragraph, because you wouldn't be here if you weren't colossally intelligent, not to mention devastatingly sexy.

I'm no superhero party pooper but I haven't been remotely moved by the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Iron Man Three, so it was a joy to see something as daft and inventive as Ant-Man fizzing up the screen this year. Freed from the shackles of the rest of the MCU (to some extent), Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish's script - or what was left of it - offered a small-scale adventure which nevertheless delivered big LOLs and impressive set-pieces. Here's hoping Paul Rudd spices up Captain America: Civil War as promised, because Cap's real superpower is boring me to death. Review

Roy Andersson presents his third exhibition of stuffed and mounted examples of the human condition, and it's another litany of drab futility and failure lightened only by the briefest splashes of colourful joy. You could come away from Andersson's films with the impression that he's a terminal pessimist, but that would be to miss the thick, dark seam of LOLs he mines from the eternal crushing misery of existence. And anyway, what he actually is is the proud owner of a unique cinematic vision and the will to spend decades perfecting it for you, the living. Review

Peter Strickland's strange and erotically-charged tale of love, lingerie and lepidoptery is a beautiful and melancholy exercise in taking genre filmmaking and twisting it into something wildly original. Chiara D'Anna and Sidse Babett Knudsen play the lovers both pretending to be something they're not; the Duke of Burgundy plays himself - but only, tragically, in a deleted scene. Review

Imagine if Nora Ephron had written Psycho, and you're part-way to understanding the uncategorisable The Voices. Ryan Reynolds is a revelation as the desperately mentally ill Jerry, a reluctant serial killer whose unmedicated candy-floss world conceals a fetid, violent reality that anyone in their right mind would turn to drugs to escape from. Marjane Satrapi displays the biggest balls in cinema this year with a potentially deeply offensive look at insanity which instead delights, shocks and saddens in equal measure. Review

Societal pressures and the ludicrosity of human relationships come under the knife in Yorgos Lanthimos' tremendously original The Lobster, starring Colin Farrell as a man who - quite understandably - does not want to become a lobster. Wickedly stylised and brutally honest, it's a film you love even though it makes you hate yourself and everyone around you. Also the best film this year starring Léa Seydoux and Ben Whishaw, amirite guys?

Science fiction done right, i.e. with a focus on ideas over budget. A cast you've never heard of pieces together a jigsaw puzzle of a script written and directed by someone else you've never heard of without anyone ever knowing what the picture on the box is. Smart, only occasionally silly and infinitely rewatchable, Coherence is an enormously satisfying throwback to the early career of Christopher Nolan, when wrong-footing his audience to dazzling effect was more important than figuring out where he could squeeze Michael Caine in. Review

The loudest noise in cinemas this year was the thunderous sigh of relief when it was revealed that the new Star Wars film wasn't shit. It's not perfect, but it is bloody great fun, capturing all that was great about the original trilogy (including swathes of its plot) and redeploying those elements for a post-modern blockbuster experience that never winked at its own cleverness. Thrills, revelations, laughs, tears and almost relentless adventure: this is the stuff that Star Wars dreams are made of. Review

Bit of a surprise, this one. There I was, expecting a three-star Sunday afternooner about a bimbling old goat who's forgotten how to solve crimes, when what I actually got was a five-star Sunday afternooner about a bimbling old goat who's forgotten how to solve crimes. Mr. Holmes' genius isn't in its sleuthery though, but in its self-reflexive unpicking of the Sherlock mythology and the labyrinthine look at storytelling. I love that there's room in the world for Holmes films like this, and hope that one day the model might be applied to a certain secret agent popular round these parts. Review

The mythical concept of 21st century masculinity is skewered and butchered like a sacrificial cow in Ruben Östlund's wickedly blunt satire on male ego. If you're a 21st century male with no idea what his place in the world is, then this won't help you one jot (although if you're actively concerned about your place in the world then nothing will, get over yourself). It will, however, blow you away with its clinical, loaded cinematography, flawless performances and merciless inspection of your own pathetic worthlessness. Enjoy! Review

Pixar shatters expectations and emotions with equal brutality in this deceptively whimsical deconstruction of the abject horror of growing up. Inside Out - almost certainly my new favourite Pixar film - brings joy and sadness to the screen on multiple levels and with pinpoint accuracy, never putting a foot wrong in its complex and sensitive peek into the terrifying mental state of the average pre-teen. That it does it in what's ostensibly a kids' film, with impeccable gags and the kind of invention that seems beyond human capability, is all the more miraculous. And I just remembered Bing Bong and now I'm a complete state again. Review


  1. Great, thanks for recommending them!

  2. I think the main reason why Inside Out didn't work for me (beside astronomically high expectations) was, that I just didn't care a tiny bit about the Bing Bong character. It literally did NOTHING for me, I even think it was poorly designed. And I wanted to cry over this movie soo hard beforehand... hm.

    Also, haven't you seen Mad Max? Wasn't your head blown off completely by it?

    Or what about The Martian? Ex Machina? Sicario?

  3. Mad Max was fine, but I could have done with a bit more meat on the story. Ex Machina and Sicario also very good, The Martian less so. MM:FR and Sicario made it into my Top 28 of the year:

  4. where is Terminator and SPECTRE? (was there a Terminator review on TIS? I cant be arsed to search)

  5. Spectre didn't even make the Top 25, and Tyrmynytyr Gynysys was worse than herpes. I ranted about the latter here, if you care: