Staff Picks: Top 10 Best Movies of 2015

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The new year is finally here, and with it we end another wonderful year of cinema, and begin the long road to the Oscars. Come December, it’s near impossible to avoid the words “Oscar buzz” when browsing through your favorite film blogs. And this year in particular, much of it is very well deserved.

Being the movie lovers that we are, a group of staff members here at the Festival sat down and put together their personal lists for what they feel are the Top 10 Best Movies of 2015. You’ll notice some constants: Mad Max: Fury RoadWild TalesCarol, The Club, Sicario, and Room appeared on multiple lists, marking themselves as some universal team favorites. And more than just team favorites, a few of our picks seem to have caught the eye of the HFPA as well: The nominees for the 73rd annual Golden Globes were were announced a few weeks ago, and staff picks RoomMad Max: Fury RoadCarol, and Spotlight were all nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama, while The Club (which had its Florida premiere at our fall festival GEMS) was nominated for Best Foreign-Language Film.

So without further ado, here are select Festival staff’s picks for their Top 10 Best Movies of 2015  – remember whose taste yours most aligns with so you can watch for Festival recommendations when the entire 2016 Miami International Film Festival slate is announced in January!


Jaie Laplante, Executive Director & Director of Programming:

(In no particular order)

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Phoenix
  3. Theeb
  4. Best of Enemies
  5. Sicario
  6. Anomalisa
  7. Youth
  8. Wild Tales
  9. Carol
  10. The Black Panthers: Vanguards of the Revolution
  11. Spring
  12. White God

Rachel Bleemer, Associate Director, Brand:

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Carol
  3. Room
  4. The Hateful Eight
  5. Ex Machina
  6. Spotlight
  7. Creed
  8. It Follows
  9. The Revenant
  10. White God

Honorable Mentions: Phoenix, Amy, Brooklyn, Love + Mercy, Eden

Andres Castillo, Festival Programmer:

  1. Heart of a Dog
  2. Flowers (Loreak)
  3. The Strongest Man
  4. The Assassin
  5. Ixcanul
  6. Terminator Genisys
  7. Wild Tales
  8. Montage of Heck
  9. The Club
  10. White God

Orlando Rojas, Festival Programmer:

  1. Timbuktu
  2. Youth
  3. Wild Tales
  4. Amy
  5. The Club
  6. Inside Out
  7. Carol
  8. The Salt of the Earth
  9. Tangerines (directed by Zaza Urushadze)
  10. Theeb

Eloísa López-Gomez, Associate Director, Industry & Programs:

  1. The Martian
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  3. The Club
  4. Ex Machina
  5. Spotlight
  6. Inside Out
  7. Bridge of Spies
  8. Sicario
  9. Spy
  10. Wild Tales

Betsey Greene Freeman, Associate Director, Administration & Miami Film Society:

(In no particular order)

  1. Wild Tales
  2. The Assassin
  3. The Salt of the Earth
  4. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  5. Marshland
  6. The Three Tenors Legend (remastered)
  7. Trash
  8. Theeb
  9. Jimmy’s Hall
  10. A Perfect Day

Lauren Cohen, Promotions Coordinator:

  1. Room
  2. The Last Five Years
  3. Mistress America
  4. Brooklyn
  5. Cinderella
  6. Creed
  7. The Voices
  8. Mustang
  9. Breathe (Respire)
  10. Spotlight

Honorable Mentions: Amy, Woman in Gold, Carol, Clouds of Sils Maria, Trainwreck

Jaqueline Proctor, Membership & Events Coordinator:

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Amy
  3. The Clan
  4. Room
  5. The Big Short
  6. The Hateful Eight
  7. Love & Mercy
  8. Youth
  9. Crimson Peak
  10. Sicario

Mackenzie Sheldon, Brand Coordinator:

  1. The Club
  2. The Second Mother
  3. The Look of Silence
  4. Güeros
  5. The Pearl Button
  6. Krisha
  7. The Project of the Century
  8. Appropriate Behavior
  9. A Pigeon Sat On a Branch Reflecting on Existence
  10. Kings of Nowhere

Monica Peña, Activation & Presentation Manager:

  1. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
  2. Chi-Raq
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road
  4. Carol
  5. The H8ful Eight
  6. The Tribe
  7. Mustang
  8. The Wolfpack
  9. Mediterranea
  10. Christmas, Again

Honorable Mention: No Home Movie

Lauren Cohen

Lauren Cohen is Miami Film Festival's Co-Director of Programming. She also runs the Festival’s membership level for young professionals, CineClub. Learn more about Lauren on Programmers.