How many movies do you see every year? I’m talking new movies and old. Some people go to the movies once a month. Some people see one a week. I’ll bet some of us here watch a movie almost every day. I’m quite sure that there are people who bought to tickets to see American Sniper who found themselves in a movie theater for the first time in months. If you’re a Brutally Honest Oscar voter, you can’t be bothered to seek out 10 good movies per year — and you brag to The Hollywood Reporter about that.
Here’s a list of 175 movies upcoming in 2015 that have caught my attention over the past few weeks. I’ve been adding new titles whenever something new percolates up to the surface and sounds interesting.
We do this every year. It’s an AD tradition the day after Oscar Night. We usually call it something like “Most Anticipated Movies of 20xx” or “Top Oscar Prospects of 20xx.” But this year let’s broaden the scope. Honestly, I know that nobody is eagerly “anticipating” some of these movies I’ve included. (Frankly, I’m apprehensively dreading a few of them). But do we really need to be confining ourselves to “Oscar prospects” when it’s not even March yet? Or EVER? Consider a couple of movies that were not Oscar prospects last year: Beyond the Lights (out on DVD today) and Babadook. Those are unquestionably two of the finest films of 2014 and the Oscars acted like they didn’t exist.
I’ve included many movies here that I probably won’t see myself, and some of those will be movies that other people are effing dying to see. While I was compiling these titles, I crosschecked with a few lists on other sites. I found one list of “20 Must See Movies of 2015” and I swear all 20 of them look like a waste of time to me. But I didn’t put this poll together trying to narrow the field. I wanted to do the opposite: stand back and survey the amazing array of movies filmmakers give us.
If you try to see all 170 movies on this list, you can expect to spend about $1500 and 340 hours of your time (that’s two solid weeks of non-stop movie-watching, so you’d better be sure to pee first). The movies industry is able to thrive because it produces a little something for everyone. That’s just smart business. Me, I personally don’t mind superhero movies because about 10% of them are actually a blast — can 10% of the 1250 non-superhero movies make the same claim? (and I’m happy when Hollywood is earning $10 billion per year because that increases the likelihood that a little of that bounty might trickle down to me.) Maybe the original Birdman franchise was a trilogy of turds, but that doesn’t mean Captain America isn’t fantastic, right?
Part of the purpose of this poll is to help us narrow this smorgasbord of choices down to 50 or 60 essentials. I’ve already dropped hints about which ones interest me most by putting the names of directors next to the ones that look most promising to me. But I’m going to try to not be the guy who excludes any movie from the conversation just because it’s not my cup of tea. This list is intentionally sprawling and spilling over with all kinds of movies for all kinds of tastes and all types of fun, highbrow to middle to low. (well, not a lot of lowbrow, sorry. I had to draw the line somewhere before we got too close to pure porn.)
So we’re calling this poll “175 Movies Worth Watching?” The question mark is our caveat — because, for sure, a lot of these will turn out to be worthless (even some of the ones with famous names parenthetically attached). You can read the “worth watching” any way you please. Maybe to you it will mean “worth watching” to keep an eye out for eventual Oscar prospects. That’s perfectly valid. Or maybe, like me, you’re the kind of person who thinks “worth watching” simply means worth spending $8 to be skillfully entertained, poked, tickled and stimulated in one of the dozens of ways movies do, for all the reasons we love all kinds of gorgeous cinematic styles and fun film genres, Oscars be damned (but not forgotten).
So please try not to get too riled up by this big sloppy embrace of every crazy thing on the horizon. Open your mind to the possibilities. You can’t stop what’s upcoming.
[Please let me know if I’ve accidentally listed a title that’s a total travesty or doesn’t qualify for whatever reason. And no doubt you will all let me know the names of at least 20 movies that I’ve overlooked that need to be here.]
You can chose up to 20 titles. Go nuts.