Josh Kupecki's Top 10 Films of 2015

The Tribe

1) The Tribe

A distillation of pure cinema (no dialogue, no subtitles), this story of a young man entering a corrupt school for the deaf still haunts me.

2) Son of Saul

Capturing the madness of everyday life in the concentration camps with unflinching intimacy, this is the very definition of tour-de-force cinema.

3) Sicario

Director Denis Villeneuve continues to amaze, and this white-knuckle film about the ongoing war on drugs is both beautiful and hopeless.


4) Spotlight

Man, they don't make 'em like this anymore. A great ensemble cast chews into a well-paced masterpiece on journalistic investigation.

5) Mustang

A repeated middle finger and subsequent Molotov cocktail to oppressive sexual conservatism, five sisters come of age in a rural village in Turkey.

6) Room

A film of intense performances, Room is a compulsively compelling film, filled with light and compassion, seeking to break the dark while never negating it.

7) A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

This closing chapter to Roy Andersson's "Living" trilogy is an epic tale of love, death, and novelty vampire teeth.

8) Best of Enemies

Forget Creed – this was the can't-miss boxing match of the year as Vidal and Buckley spar for the ideological future of America.


9) Phoenix

A haunting study of identity and loss in post-World War II Germany that culminates in one of the year's most perfect endings.

10) Slow West

A lyrical and precocious gem, this Western fable charmed me to my toes, before ripping out my heart.

Love & Mercy

Near Misses

Anomalisa, The Big Short, Joy, Love & Mercy , Youth

Most Overrated

Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Ex Machina

Most Underrated

The Gift, The Overnight, Results

Wild Card

Gold-mine TV: I'd be hard-pressed to note a better year, with the final season of Mad Men sticking the landing, HBO's The Leftovers finding new life here in Texas, and season 2 of Fargo just fucking killing it.

Acting Kudos (Male)

Paul Dano (Love & Mercy), Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Géza Röhrig (Son of Saul), Jacob Tremblay (Room)

Acting Kudos (Female)

Brie Larson (Room), Rooney Mara (Carol), Elisabeth Moss (Queen of Earth), Kristen Stewart (Clouds of Sils Maria), Karidja Touré (Girlhood)

Best Director

Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy (The Tribe), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), László Nemes (Son of Saul)

Best Original Screenplay

Bone Tomahawk (S. Craig Zahler), Results (Andrew Bujalski), Inside Out (Peter Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Ronnie Del Carmen)

Best Adapted Screenplay

The End of the Tour (Donald Margulies, based on book by David Lipsky), The Big Short (Charles Randolph, Adam McKay, based on book by Michael Lewis), The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Marielle Heller, based on book by Phoebe Gloeckner)

Worst Film

She's Funny That Way. Peter Bogdanovich made a couple of really good movies in the Seventies, but this Thirties screwball throwback pastiche is horribly flat and an embarrassment for everyone involved.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Top 10s
Robert Faires’ Top 10 Treasures in Theatre of 2018
Robert Faires’ Top 10 Treasures in Theatre of 2018
It was a year in which theatre making the political personal left the deepest impressions

Robert Faires, Dec. 28, 2018

Robert Faires’ Top 10 Dance and Classical Joys of 2018
Robert Faires’ Top 10 Dance and Classical Joys of 2018
In this year’s dance and classical offerings, extraordinary depictions of loss and suffering continue to haunt

Robert Faires, Dec. 28, 2018

More by Josh Kupecki
Documentary about the life of the master couturier and milliner should have learned his lessons about simplicity and elegance

June 7, 2019

Olivier Assayas sharpens his teeth for this new attack on the question of art versus commerce

May 24, 2019


Top 10s, The Tribe, Son of Saul, Sicario, Spotlight, Mustang, Room, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Best of Enemies, Phoenix, Slow West

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle