25 Best Films of 2015

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25: It Follows (David Robert Mitchell)

24: Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg)

23: Room (Lenny Abrahamson)

22: The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson)

21: Queen of Earth (Alex Ross Perry)

20: The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)

19: Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter (David Zellner)

18: The Martian (Ridley Scott)

17: The Gift (Joel Edgerton)

16: Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas)

15: Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson)

14: Slow West (John Maclean)

13: Brooklyn (John Crowley)

12: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy)

11: Carol (Todd Haynes)

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10: 45 Years (Andrew Haigh)

9: World of Tomorrow (Don Hertzfeldt)

8: Macbeth (Justin Kurzel)

7: Ex Machina (Alex Garland)

6: The Big Short (Adam McKay)

5: Steve Jobs (Danny Boyle)

4: Phoenix (Christian Petzold)

3: A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence (Roy Andersson)

2: The Revenant (Alejandro González Iñárritu)

1: Sicario (Dennis Villeneuve)

The Revenant (2015)

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The Revenant (2015)

TIFF Review: I Saw the Light (2015)

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I Saw the Light (2015)

TIFF Review: The Danish Girl (2015)

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The Danish Girl (2015)

TIFF Review: The Lobster (2015)

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The Lobster

TIFF Review: Sicario (2015)

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Violent, tense, and above all absorbing, ‘Sicario’ finds French-Canadian director Dennis Villeneuve at the height of his prowess. Led by an emotional and honest performance from Emily Blunt and especially magnetic, ruthless work from Benicio Del Toro; this action juggernaut is a must-see, even if its unflinching visuals may be difficult for some to swallow.

Relentless from start to finish, a somber, looming tone cloaks Dennis Villeneuve’s thriller in risk and secrecy. Aided by Roger Deakins ghostly, majestic cinematography and Jóhann Jóhannsson’s penetrating, ominous, intimidating score. ‘Sicario’ is an exhausting, inescapable experience.

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Supported impeccably by Josh Brolin and a slew of precise tactical performances by the film’s gunslingers. ‘Sicario’ might just be the most effective, entrancing piece of war cinema since Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Zero Dark Thirty.’

Taylor Sheridan’s horrifying, entertaining, narratively-complex story and devastating, memorable dialogue effortlessly elevates the intensity and execution in Blunt, Del Toro, and Brolin’s performances. Additionally allowing Villeneuve and Deakins to truly explore and excel behind the camera.

‘Sicario’ has Roger Deakins in award-season form and features some of the master cinematographer’s finest work. Most notably, a night-vision sequence that gets the heart racing and palms sweating.

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The delicacy and boldness in Blunt’s performance cannot be understated. Imperative and determined, Blunt’s Macer mimics the viewer’s terrified, meddlesome mindset, expertly holding their attention as if you sit fastened in the interrogation chair.

Outshining his co-stars’ already blinding brilliance, Benicio Del Toro’s ferocious, smothering, calculated anti-hero is a performance to contemplate and savour. Exercising the actor’s formidable charisma, ‘Sicario’ catapults Del Toro back into the working elite.

Uncompromising, thought-provoking, and brutally straightforward, ‘Sicario’ is unmissable.

Sicario: 9.5 out of 10.

TIFF Review: High-Rise (2015)

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High-Rise (2015)

TIFF Review: Room (2015)

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Room (2015)

TIFF Review: The Martian (2015)

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The Martian (2015)

 

 

TIFF 2015: My Schedule

***Subject to change***

Thursday, September 10: 7:00pm:

In Conversation With…Matthew Weiner:

TIFF: We are thrilled to welcome Matt Weiner — the Emmy-winning creator and show-runner of Mad Men and writer and producer on The Sopranos — for this onstage conversation about the art of serial storytelling and his career on both the small and big screens.

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Friday, September 11: 12:00pm:

Demolition:

TIFF: Grief-stricken after a family tragedy, a New York investment banker (Jake Gyllenhaal) engages in random acts of destruction, in the highly anticipated new film by Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild).

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Friday, September 11: 3:00pm:

The Lobster:

TIFF: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly star in the deliciously bizarre new film from Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, ALPS), about a curious hotel where the residents are charged with finding a new mate within 45 days — under penalty of being transformed into animals should they fail.

Friday, September 11: 6:00pm:

I Saw the Light:

TIFF: Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen star in this biopic of country-music legend Hank Williams.

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Saturday, September 12: 6:15pm:

The Danish Girl:

TIFF: Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) stars as Lili Elbe, the 1920s Danish artist who was one of the first recipients of sexual reassignment surgery, in this biopic directed by Oscar winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech).

Sunday, September 13: 3:45pm:

Equals:

TIFF: Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult star in the ambitious new film from director Drake Doremus (Like Crazy), about a utopian future society where crime and violence have been eradicated through the genetic elimination of human emotion, and where those afflicted with the emotional “disease” are forced to go on the run.

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Sunday, September 13: 9:30pm:

High-Rise

TIFF: Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons star in the new film by cult British director Ben Wheatley (Kill List, A Field in England), an ambitious adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel about a London apartment tower that becomes a battlefield in a literal class war.

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Monday, September 14: 12:00pm:

Beasts of No Nation:

TIFF: Directed by Cary Fukunaga (True Detective), after his parents are killed, a young African boy is forced to become a child soldier in a rebel army led by a brutal commandant (Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), in this adaptation of the acclaimed book by Nigerian-American author Uzodinma Iweala.

Monday, September 14: 6:00pm:

Spotlight:

TIFF: Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Michael Keaton star in this true story about a team of Boston Globe reporters who uncovered a massive scandal of child abuse and cover-ups within the local Catholic Church.

Tuesday, September 15: 2:45pm:

Black Mass:

TIFF: Johnny Depp stars as notorious Irish-American gangster Whitey Bulger, who spent thirty years as an FBI informant while rising to the top of the Boston underworld, in this adaptation of the book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill.

Tuesday, September 15: 6:00pm:

Room:

TIFF: Escaping from the captivity in which they have been held for half a decade, a young woman and her five-year-old son struggle to adjust to the strange, terrifying and wondrous world outside their one-room prison.

Wednesday, September 16: 11:00am:

Anomalisa:

TIFF: Charlie Kaufman, the celebrated screenwriter of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation and director ofSynecdoche, New York, and Duke Johnson venture into the world of stop-motion animation with this fable about a motivational speaker seeking to transcend his monotonous existence.

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Thursday, September 17: 3:00pm:

The Martian:

TIFF: Stranded on Mars, a NASA astronaut (Matt Damon) struggles to survive on the arid planet while his ground crew races to mount a rescue mission, in this interplanetary epic from director Ridley Scott.

 

Friday, September 18: 6:15pm:

The Witch:

TIFF: The astonishing feature debut by director Robert Eggers evokes Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining in its tale of a family of settlers in 17th-century New England who encounter mysterious, possibly supernatural forces when they are exiled from their village and forced to live on the outskirts of an ominous forest.

Saturday, September 19: 4:30pm:

The Program:

TIFF: Stephen Frears (The Queen, Philomena) directs Ben Foster in this thriller about disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal and downfall.

Saturday, September 19: 9:15pm:

Legend

TIFF: Tom Hardy gives a bravura double performance as Reggie and Ronnie Kray, the identical twin brothers who became the rulers of the London underworld at the height of the swinging ’60s.

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