The Problem With “Best of” Lists: My Five Lists of Five


I can definitively tell you what I enjoyed the most in theaters this year. I can tell you which films I think will (or at least, should) win awards. I can tell you which films were the ones that resonated with me the most spiritually. I can even tell you which films were dreadfully disappointing.

But I cannot clearly articulate which films were the?the best because frankly, best is subjective.

Read on for several lists out of the sixty-six films I saw this year – and then tell me about your own.

avengers mine2The Five Films I Enjoyed The Most, Which Means I’d Rewatch Them:

Avengers: Age of Ultron?-It’s Marvel, and Marvel knows how to do movies. Even?Ant-Man?snuck into my top twenty-five… if I had a top twenty-five.?Click here for a review of Ultron.

Mad Max: Fury Road – Possibly my favorite film of the year, even though it’s sat on my mental shelf while other bright and beautiful baubles have passed by it over the last six months.?Click here for a review of?Mad Max.

Spotlight – This one could go down as the year’s best film, but it certainly carries power because of the true story of abuse and cover-up that it highlights.?Click here for a review of Spotlight.

Creed– Sylvester Stallone, you say? Over the hill.?Rocky VII, you say? Absolute retread. Enter Michael B. Jordan, and suddenly, boxing is hip in a way?Southpaw?only dreamed of?because this is more than boxing.?Click here for the Creed podcast.

Spy – Melissa McCarthy finally got a big screen movie right. Jason Statham helped.

furious7walkerdieselThe Five Worst Films I Saw This Year, Or Films I Wish I’d Skipped:

No Escape– Xenophobia on the news, xenophobia on the screen.

Furious 7 – Even remembering Paul Walker couldn’t make this one seem like a real story.?Click here for a review of Furious 7.

Minions– Those little yellow guys are hilarious. But…no Steve Carrell, no funny.

Mortdecai– Johnny Depp had a good film this year, but this wasn’t it.

Terminator: Genisys– Surprisingly, Ahnold was the best part of this film.?Click here for a review of?Genisys.

beyondthefarthestThe Five Best Films I Saw That You Didn’t, Because You Never Heard Of Them

Slow West -The only major western offering this year. Michael Fassbender delivers.

Beyond the Farthest Star– A pastor, a coverup, and addiction. Powerful stuff.

1500 Steps – An Australian film about running, pacifism, and the gospel.

Masterless – A two-tuned film showed a dreamy, samurai layer and an earthy, L.A. one.

The Song-?Alan Powell’s breakout as an actor, based on the book of Ecclesiastes.

spotlight3The Five Films Most Likely To Win Awards, Even If They Left Me Depressed:

Spotlight– Truth? You’ll know it when you see it.

Room?– A mom and her kid are held captive in a shed. It’s as much about recovery as it is about the captivity.?Click here for a review of?Room.

Creed– A kid seeking a dad plays out in a boxing ring. A big production of fighting family values than the superbly under-appreciated?Warrior.

Sicario -?What is evil? And what do we do to stop it??Click here for a review of?Sicario.

Black Mass– Utterly depressing depravity, and the ooziness of morality.?Click here for a review of?Black Mass.

armoroflight2The Five Most Spiritual Films I Saw This Year, Even If They Weren’t Obvious:

The Armor of Light – Guns are in the news a lot. This pastor (and director Abby Disney) want you to talk about them in context of scripture and faith.?Click here for a review of?Armor of Light.

Woodlawn-?True story about revival and football. Wins on and off the field.?Click here for a reflection on?Woodlawn.

Avengers: Age of Ultron– Ultron wants to be a real boy by replacing his creator. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Room – What does it mean to be incarnational?

90 Minutes in Heaven– If it’s all on the line, what do you believe? And what would you do about it??Click here for a review of?90 Minutes.

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