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Barstool Best of 2015 - Movies

It’s officially 2016, and another year has come and gone. By any standard, it was a weird, weird year in sports and pop culture. So we at Barstool decided to document the best moments of it for you, broken down into seven blogs by seven categories. Best can mean a lot of things: Our favorite, most memorable, most significant, and most important. This list isn’t meant to be comprehensive or exhaustive, just some of what we’ll think of when we look back on the year 2015.

 

Movies

Charlie (@CharlieWisco) – Barstool New York

Pick: Ex Machina

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When I think of movies in 2015, the first word that comes to mind is BIG. BIG multi-tens-of-millions dollar budgets with BIG name actors for revivals of BIG mega-franchises. James Bond, Star Wars, Fast and Furious, Rocky, Jurassic World, Avengers, Hunger Games, Mission Impossible. Most of the movies that seemed to grab headlines or make a cultural impact this year were the splashy CGI-ed out type movies that draw in massive crowds and earn kings ransoms for studios. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I’m as entertained by those movies and find them as enjoyable as anyone.

 

But that’s what made Ex Machina even more impressive to me. In this year of the BIG movie, Ex Machina stands out not for the elements it had, but for what it didn’t have. There are pretty much only four actors in the entire movie. 99% of it takes place inside of one house. No one in the movie is particularly famous, except rising star and future superstar (bank on it) Oscar Issac. Ex Machina showed that there is still a place for the movie that will never have a sequel and can be made for less than the GDP of an island-nation. Unbelievable drama and a gripping narrative can be made with less instead of more. And for keeping those types of movies alive, Ex Machina is my favorite of 2015.

Spags (@ChrisSpags) – Barstool U

Pick: Creed

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Much like some say Star Wars’ newest sequel was nothing more than a reboot of the original trilogy, the same argument could be made for Creed. On the surface the film is almost a note for note recreation of the original Rocky designed to kickstart a new movie franchise that everyone from kids to old dads can love. But where Creed excels is the execution. Sylvester Stallone turned in his most real and genuinely moving performance in years, maybe decades. All of the supporting characters helped move the plot along and, in an improvement upon the originals, Adonis’s girlfriend didn’t drag it all down like that wet blanket Adrian did in the original.

 

But the real driving force of the film is Michael B. Jordan. The guy carries every single scene and brings real emotional weight to a role that could have been tough for a young actor to really make his own. Like most people I’ve had a soft spot for him since Wallace got put down on The Wire but with Creed, he really established himself as a major player and a guy I’m genuinely excited to see what he does next. And if that includes some sequels to this movie, even better. John Boyega as Clubber Lang’s kid in the next one? Think about it.

 

Rear Admiral (@RearAdBsBlog) – Barstool Boston

Pick: Star Wars-Force Awakens

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Mad Max: Fury Road was my original choice for the best time I had at the movies this year. And then The Force Awakens came out. While MM:FR certainly joined the action movie pantheon, TFA shattered all of my expectations (and those of critics) while rekindling the emotions I originally felt 38 years ago.

 

J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, and Lawrence Kasdan did a masterful job of weaving the nostalgia of Episodes IV-VI with the stories of exciting new characters Rey and Finn into a rollicking adventure that many consider among the best of the franchise. Alternating genuine laughs, fun action, and one spectacular gut punch, the emotional roller coaster that is TFA became literally the biggest movie ever. And with good reason—it’s a great flick worthy of the praise.

 

Eddie (@EddieBarstool) – Barstool Chicago

Pick: Straight Outta Compton

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If you’re a Barstool reader then I assume that you’re in some way a fan of the 30 for 30’s. The one that Ice Cube directed & produced titled Straight Outta L.A. gave a nice background into how the Los Angeles Raiders era tied in with N.W.A. The documentary was obviously more geared toward sports than music , but it left me wondering about was the story of N.W.A. Now, I’m not going to pretend that I was a hardcore fan of N.W.A. because they were a little before my time but I would seriously argue that Boyz-n-the-Hood (tied with Colt 45) was the most sung along song of a lot of kids childhoods.

 

Hardcore fans of the group probably knew every backstory, but to see little interesting moments like how Eazy E never had any intentions of rapping was awesome. Seeing small appearances of how Snoop and Tupac came into the picture were also great. If I had one con on the movie it was that I wished they had one last appearance of when Dre and Eminem met after he left Death Row to start up Aftermath. But, lets be honest, you can absolutely make a whole movie of Dr. Dre’s life on its own which I wouldn’t be surprised happens at some point. The fact is this was one of the better movies of the year and exceeded all critical and box office expectations so if you haven’t seen it yet I highly suggest it.

 

 

Previously: 

Athlete

Music

Best Game

Comedy

Best Sports Moment

 

Upcoming: 

January 4th – Best Television