All of the Movies I Saw in 2015, Ranked
This is not a “best-of” list. It’s an “all-of” list.
I see a lot of movies, and am the rare millennial who seems to still enjoy going to the movie theater. Admittedly, I’m spoiled by living near a multiplex with leather recliners in all the theaters… but still! Going out to movies is underrated.
Here’s what I was able to catch in theaters this year, and how it stacks up to the competition. I explain my methodology at the bottom.
2) Inside Out
4) Ex Machina
5) Love & Mercy
6) The End of the Tour
8) Star Wars: The Force Awakens
9) Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation
11) The Martian
13) What We Do in the Shadows
15) Red Army
16) The Theory of Everything
19) The Imitation Game
22) Mad Max: Fury Road
23) The Man From UNCLE
25) The Hateful Eight
26) It Follows
27) Bridge of Spies
28) Avengers: Age of Ultron
29) Jurassic World
30) The Night Before
31) Into the Woods
33) Big Hero 6
34) Steve Jobs
36) American Sniper
37) The Good Dinosaur
41) Crimson Peak
42) Kingsman: The Secret Service
To steal a phrase from the Mythbusters, “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” I wasn’t satisfied with the idea of a normal top-10 (or top-whatever) list because it felt too ordinary and unscientific.
So, I created a Swiss tournament bracket using Challonge and plugged all 43 movies in as “participants” in the tournament. Then, after randomizing the seeds, I pitted those 43 movies against each other in 29 rounds of 1v1 comparisons. I didn’t have to evaluate a movie’s holistic merits — I just had to make several hundred gut checks about whether one movie was better than the other, and the automated bracket did the rest.
In each matchup, a win counted for 2 points. In a tie, each movie got 1 point.
Here’s what the final bracket looked like in Challonge:
I was pleasantly surprised with how some of the rankings turned out. Left to my own devices, I likely would have ranked “Spectre,” “Avengers” and especially “Star Wars” higher out of a sense of nostalgic obligation. But reduced to a simple win-loss ratio, it’s easier to see what I liked more.
There are several movies that weren’t eligible for this tournament because, well, I haven’t seen them yet. So “Revenant,” “The Big Short” and “Room,” among many others, will have to wait until next year’s list. Unlike The Academy, I don’t wave in films that only opened in two theaters in New York and L.A.
And I decided to cut out movies I saw on DVD/Blu-Ray/Netflix/etc. because damn it, wasn’t this complex enough already? Gotta draw a line somewhere.
I hope you’ve found this interesting, especially if you know me and are one of the people who asks me for movie recommendations. In closing, I’d just like to say: “Kingsman” and “Entourage” really, really, sucked.
Thank you, and happy new year.