1) Mad Max: Fury Road
The alpha male riding shotgun to a woman in a plot shaped hilariously like a U-turn ... an ecstatic experience, silly and thrilling and audacious.
2) Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
Imagine No Exit
set entirely in a rabbinical court. Hell isn't other people – it's the husband who won't grant you a divorce.
3) Inside Out
A blockbuster animation that imagines girls can be more than just princesses. They can be people
4) 45 Years
A rattling excavation of the bedrock of a marriage – and Charlotte Rampling's face is a beautiful monument unto itself.
5) Sleeping With Other People Trainwreck
grabbed all the headlines, but Leslye Headland's raunchy romantic comedy was funnier and more soulful.
6) Clouds of Sils Maria
Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche tangle with arousal, frustration, and a shifting power balance at high altitudes.
7) Best of Enemies
This lively resurrection of Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley's political catfight of 1968 only makes our current state of punditry look all the more pathetic.
The Diary of A Teenage Girl
8) The Diary of a Teenage Girl
This dynamite debut is the rare film to explore first sex from the girl's perspective.
Christian Petzold's World War II melodrama speaks low but carries a very big stick in its torch-ballad exit.
10) James White
I felt clammy from such close contact with a mom and son dealing with terminal cancer in Josh Mond's micro-indie. Utterly gutted me.
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Twinsters, The Wonders, Sicario, Slow West
The Revenant, The End of the Tour, Trumbo
Uncle John, What We Do in the Shadows, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
wins for the most truthful, intensely human sex scene this year (or maybe even any year). Hand to God, it doesn't matter that it's puppets fucking.
Acting Kudos (Male)
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs
), Géza Röhrig (Son of Saul
), Christopher Abbott (James White
), Benicio Del Toro (Sicario
), Christian Bale (The Big Short
Acting Kudos (Female)
Ronit Elkabetz (Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
), Charlotte Rampling (45 Years
), Cynthia Nixon (James White
), Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs
), Rooney Mara (Carol
George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road
), Ronit Elkabetz, Shlomi Elkabetz (Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
), Andrew Haigh (45 Years
Best Original Screenplay
(Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Ronnie Del Carmen), Sleeping With Other People
(Leslye Headland), Sicario
Best Adapted Screenplay
(Aaron Sorkin, based on book by Walter Isaacson), The Diary of a Teenage Girl
(Marielle Heller, based on book by Phoebe Gloeckner), The Big Short
(Charles Randolph, Adam McKay, based on book by Michael Lewis)
We could use more mainstream erotica targeted to women, but poo-brown is the only color worth noting in the stupendously dumb – also dull! – Fifty Shades of Grey