We polled senior staff writers, Culture staff writers and editors to find out which movies of 2015 were the favorites among Miami Student staff. Of the over 40 films submitted on individual lists, these were the 10 that came out on top.
In a year that saw me attend just three movies in theaters, I made sure to get to this one. Perhaps my intended profession makes me biased, but it was one of the best movies I've seen in a while. It didn't glorify the bootstrap reporting that the Spotlight team did, nor did it seek to elevate any particular character to a star role. In this way, I think it portrayed perfectly the dynamics of the I-team at the "Globe" - they work as a team and it's not always sexy, but they get a damn good story. It also did a good job of rekindling the Catholic Church's mass cover-up, something that passed through the public conscious all too quickly after Pope Francis took over. (Reis Thebault, editor-in-chief)
2. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
Arguably the most anticipated film of the year, "Force awakens" delivered on unprecedented levels. It was fun, fast-paced and heartbreaking, and maintained the quality of the franchise's beloved originals. The new trio (Daisey Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac) held their own against the older cast and gifted us with new desert scavenging, spaceship-stealing heroes to love. (Kirby Davis, Culture staff writer)
Out of all the movies I've seen this year, "Room" was the only one where I could feel my heart in my chest while watching. Not only is the storyline thrilling, but the creativity behind the characters and their situation makes it worthy of its Academy Award nomination. This movie gives you everything you want - mystery, fear, thrill, love and a very satisfying ending that takes you deep into the characters' lives. (Mary Schrott, senior staff writer)
4. "Inside Out"
While all Pixar movies are meant to be enjoyed by all ages, "Inside Out" might be the first that is actually more accessible to adults than to the children they bring to see it. Hidden among all the clever personifications of our emotions and mental processes is a bittersweet tale about what it means to grow up. Older viewers will see their own development and loss of youthful joy mirrored in Riley's personal struggles. If nothing else, "Inside Out" teaches us to not run from sadness, but to accept and appreciate our entire emotional spectrum. (Devon Shuman, senior staff writer)
In a year of great films, "Brooklyn" was perfection. The story, about an Irish immigrant who moves to New York City in the 1950s, may seem simple, but Nick Hornby's adaptation is so beautifully crafted it doesn't matter. Irish actress Saoirse Ronan takes on a role that mirrors her own life with such poise, and the chemistry between she and her two male co-stars is undeniable. With beautiful cinematography and a soaring soundtrack, "Brooklyn" is for anyone who has ever longed for home, been torn between family and first love, or gone through the wonderful and terrible process of growing up. (Britton Perelman, managing/culture editor)
6. "The Martian"
Matt Damon excels as an astronaut left for dead on Mars after a planned mission goes wrong. He's got to find a way to communicate with Earth to let NASA know he's alive, and does so with smarts and wit. Based on a book of the same title by Andy Weir and helmed by Ridley Scott, the flick is touted as the most realistic space film ever made. And it's funny. (Megan Zahneis, senior staff writer)
7. "Mad Max: Fury Road"
"Mad Max: Fury Road" doesn't care if you're keeping up with it, or if you're just being dragged around in the dust. An instant classic, George Miller's return to the post-apocalypse is a there-and-back-again story on chromed inhalants, flying through the deserts and dust storms at breakneck speeds, but remaining visually comprehensive all along. It is the best editing of the year, and possibly the decade. (Jack Ryan, senior staff writer)
8. "The Revenant"
A film that is as big as the legends that surround it, Alejandro G. Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki reunite in their follow up to their Oscar-winning "Birdman." Composed of some of the most beautiful images of nature and primal human emotion, this two-and-a-half hour blockbuster is an epic art film that defies convention and defines the medium. Viewers who have cried out for Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar will exalt his fearless performance, big screen recommended. (A.J. Newberry, cartoonist)
9. "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl"
A beautiful and quirky story about life and friendships and what they all mean. The characters are so stereotypical and relatable - taking you back to the great awkwardness of high school, yet still completely original. It will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. (Alison Perelman, senior staff writer)
"Trainwreck" was funny from the opening scene to the credits. Amy Schumer's brand of blunt, honest humor brought roaring laughter from the entire theater with every scene. With names like Judd Apatow and Bill Hader behind the project, I expected at least a few funny moments, but the energy stayed strong the entire runtime of the film. The most surprising part, though, was Lebron James' superb comedic ability. With an all-star cast and a killer script, this movie was definitely one of the best of the year. (Olive Overmoyer, culture staff writer)