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.

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More Top 10s
Rosalind Faires' Top 10 Fiction Books of 2019
Rosalind Faires' Top 10 Fiction Books of 2019
Here’s to a year of rollicking adventures, laughing, weeping, and rooting for those crazy kids to wind up together in the end

Rosalind Faires, Dec. 20, 2019

Jay Trachtenberg's Top Books of 2019
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From the social upheaval of the Sixties to the double life of an intelligence agent to the secular past of an Orthodox rabbi, splits resolved into memorable books

Jay Trachtenberg, Dec. 20, 2019

More by Josh Kupecki
The Planters
Quirky road trip comedy bears delightfully idiosyncratic fruit

Oct. 16, 2020

The Wolf of Snow Hollow
Unconventional werewolf story turns the beast on its head

Oct. 9, 2020


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

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