Social Underground’s Best Of 2015
Some amazing things happened this year. We were treated with great films and even more proof that television is becoming the best storytelling medium. When you start listing off the best things of any given year, there’s always backlash met with agreement. You leave out one thing that also happened to be great in popular culture, and the internet is relentless in letting you know. We understand that here at the Social Underground. We will do our best at sifting through everything that went on this year to let you know what you already know, let you know what you didn’t know, and probably a few things you didn’t know existed.
BEST FILMS OF 2015
- Mad Max: Fury Road
- The Martian
- Ex Machina
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- The Hateful Eight
- Going Clear
- The Revenant
- The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Were there other movies that stick out as great movies in 2015? Sure, but none of them stick out enough to make it to the list. This list is made up of pure memory of movies from this year that made me tell other people about it to the point of annoying them.
Mad Max: Fury Road — This was the best movie of the year. Hell, it was the best action movie in at least 10 years. The rest of the movies on the list were great, but this one made me wish I had a foam finger that said “Mad Max no.1” on it. Every moment of the film was jaw-dropping in its set-up. George Miller brought back his dystopian future and made it colorful — which all other dystopian films don’t. I won’t tell you how many times I’ve watched the film, but it’s a lot. Michael Bay needs to watch this film to learn how to do an explosion. My God, the explosions are freaking art!
The Martian — How this film was nominated for best comedy at the Golden Globes and a noodle scratcher. Sure, Matt Damon is funny in the film. He tries to be because he is stuck on Mars for over a year and has to be optimistic. This movie is the definition of “rewatchable.” Everything about it is good, and it seems that Ridley Scott finally remembered how to have fun when he’s directing. Matt Damon was basically Castaway in space and it ruled. Not only was the movie great, but it is probably one of the best adapted films from a book that I’ve seen in a long time. Finally, a space movie that includes science that isn’t boring.
Spotlight — You know how priests and child abuse go hand-in-hand no when mentioned? This group of reporters from The Boston Globe exposed the church of covering it all up. Each revelation showed how even deeper it got. The movie was a classic tale of journalism that actually did the research before writing the headline.
Ex Machina — I had only merely heard about this movie before being insisted upon watching it. I’m glad I did! This movie was great in that it was a real-life Turing test. Everyone in it nailed their role. The back and forth between robot and human made you unsure of what to believe, and that’s the point. I still get chills from the ending.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Daisy Ridley. She was this movie. But, on a larger scope, everyone in the movie could act. The script was tight, the directing was grand, the bad guys were bad, the good guys were good — it felt like Star Wars! Also… Oscar Issac and Dohnhall Gleeson are in a lot of the best movies this year. Their agents must be high-fiving each other. Look for this movie to basically make the box office its bitch in 2015/2016.
The Hateful Eight — Another classic Tarantino film. Great dialogue, overuse of the N-word, Sam Jackson, and actors you forgot about. Yep, that’s all you really need to know.
Going Clear — Scientology is exposed for the evil cult it is. It’s probably the best documentary to come out in 2015.
The Revenant — If the dead baby tree from Blood Meridian could be made into a movie, The Revenant is it. The cinematography alone has me shaking my head wondering how they actually filmed the damn thing. CGI is used to its best when the bear attack scene happens, and of course, Leonardo DiCaprio was amazing — although he barely spoke, and when he did it wasn’t English.
Trumbo — Remember that time in the 40s/50s where America basically sent people to jail or blacklisted them because they were Communists? Yeah, America has a lot of f*cked up history that we tend to forget and Trumbo is one aspect shown. We hated the Soviets so much that we locked up our own citizens — many that fought in WWII — because they agreed with Communism. That’s it! They weren’t trying to take over the government, but many wanted better pay for the work they do. Remember the writer’s strike a few years ago? That was nearly the same thing, but they all got crapped on for Communism. How these screenwriters busted out so many scripts under false names makes my head hurt. Watching some of those false names win Academy Awards is heartbreaking when the real writer has to watch at home.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. — It was just a real damn good movie. It was sadly overlooked by many, but I watched it and had a better time than I did watching Spectre. That movie sucked.
BEST TV OF 2015
- Jessica Jones
- The Americans
- Master of None
- Better Call Saul
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- Mr. Robot
- The Leftovers
- Parks and Rec
- F Is For Family
- Show Me A Hero
- The Knick
- Making A Murderer
- Arrow/The Flash
- The Man In The High Castle
- Rick and Morty
Okay, narrowing down the best show of 2015 was tough. Every show up there was fantastic. Making A Murderer is currently taking over the Internet because of how well the docu-series has demonstrated that an entire system can go against one man who doesn’t have the money to defend himself even after he was cleared of rape charges that cost him 18 years of his life.
Mr. Robot broke through all of our faces to be the breakout show of the year. The acting, direct, WRITING, and build up to each episode was something to look forward to each week. The Leftovers seemed to be ignored this year on most lists, but it really kicked ass in the second season. Each episode was truly soul-crushing with a touch of hope. What scares me is that it feels like the second season of LOST — it’s amazing, but uh oh, no, don’t ruin it. Thankfully they are wrapping the series up in its prime next year.
Rick and Morty manages to make me laugh on a level that The Simpsons did in season 4. Each story is so far out there with so much comedy packed into it, it makes me with I could sit in the writer’s room to giggle as I watch them pitch ideas.
Every other show is something you should seriously sit down and watch. It took a month or two for people to finally text me with something along the lines of “Dude, The Man In The High Castle! You watch that yet?!” Yeah, I’ve been talking about it for months. Now tell me what you think about the ending.
BEST MUSIC OF 2015
Music is largely subjective. What I think is the best song I’ve ever heard might make you cringe and wonder why we’re friends. It just means we have a different taste in music, which is why what I put on this list may make you ask, “Dude, you forgot to add ______!” It’s not that I forgot, it’s either I haven’t heard it, or it’s garbage and you should get better headphones. Saavy?
- Muse – Drones
- Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
- Ryan Adams – 1989
- Sufjan Stevens – Carrie And Lowell
- Blur – The Magic Whip
- Tame Impala – Currents
- Grimes – Art Angels
- Mutemath – Vitals
- Adele – 25
- Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon
Random list? Yeah! If you just stick to one genre, you’re really limiting yourself on so much good music. Pizza is great, but is that the only type of food you ever want to eat with different toppings? Why not try everything? I did that this year with as much music as I could and came up with this list of the ten best in no order.
I never really listened to Adele, but the moment I heard Oasis’ guitarist talk trash about her, I knew I probably should give it a shot since everything he hates is usually great. Kendrick Lamar was as amazing as I’ve heard, Mutemath continues to kill with their latest album, but Muse came back with the thunder.
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post,UPROXX,BGR and by just looking up his name.