By Sean Tuohy
Editor’s note: Sean’s 2014 list was an eclectic mix of Oscar winners and pleasure rides, and this year is no different. The man knows movies better than anyone and picked some great ones from 2015. I’m just thankful “Terminator Genisys” didn’t make the list. It was a close call everyone, but we dodged it!—Daniel Ford
Chris Rock wrote, produced, and directed this perfectly well balanced comedy that fell under radar. The stand-up comic vet blended together humor, heart, and well-rounded characters. The film follows a flawed comedian during one day as a reporter questions him about his craft (as well as his love life). Brutally honest, but charming and loving, Rock’s “Top Five” offers a candid look into the mind of a comedian and what it means to be funny.
Alex Garland, the writer of “28 Days Later” and “Sunshine,” took his first shot at directing and created one of the most original and creepy sci-fi films in the last 20 years. A young computer programmer wins the chance to work with one of the wealthiest and smartest computer designers but discovers that he’s been pulled into an unnatural experiment with A.I. The imagery alone is jaw dropping, borrowing from Kubrick’s “The Shining” and "2001: A Space Odyssey." With one foot resting in reality and the other stepping into the realm of possibility, this film will keep you awake long after you finish watching.
Based on the true story of The Boston Globe’s investigation team’s uncovering of the Catholic Church’s sex scandal, “Spotlight” offers a look into the not-too-distant past. With Michael Keaton delivering a strong lead performance and a stellar Mark Ruffalo backing him, it is nearly impossible to pull your eyes away from the screen.
Author Andy Weir’s surprise hit novel about a witty astronaut left behind on Mars had readers falling in love across the globe, but when directing god Ridley Scott brought it to the bring screen this year the whole world jumped on board. Even President Obama said it was one of the best films of the year! With Matt Damon playing the cheerful and resourceful Mark Watney, the film showcased the best of Hollywood filmmaking: remarkable sets, strong performances, and a well-written story. You could not ask for anything more.
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
Nearly 30 years after bringing us to the wastelands to fight for gasoline, Aussie filmmaker George Miller brought us back and holy mother god were we thrilled to return. Simple, gritty, and turbo-charged, the fourth “Mad Max” film was a crowd-pleasing monster. This is not a film you’ll spend a lot of time talking about because you’ll be busy re-watching…re-watching…and re-watching it.