Now that 2016 is upon us, most are talking about the "best of 2015". Movies are often mentioned in these types of lists, as well as Best TV shows of 2015. In doing research about what are the actual best movies of last year, several particular films show up. It is too early for the Oscar and Academy Nominations List, but some of these following on the list might get the nomination for Best Picture.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens: Even though this film has been out for only two weeks, it is making everyone's list. Not only is it another Star Wars movie, but it has a higher quality than the prequels and considered a worthy successor of the original trilogy. If the Academy does nominate it for Best Picture, it would be quite a surprise as no Star Wars film has ever actually won that accolade.
Inside Out: Pixar's film about feelings was a hit with kids and adults. The film really showcases how the computer-animated company can still do more than just sequels, and most appreciated the creativity on display as it focused on the voices in a little girl's head. To date, no animated film has ever won an Oscar, but Inside Out could win for Best Animated Picture.
Mad Max: Fury Road: Audiences were completely blown away as George Miller was able to return to the post-apocalyptic world that he had left behind thirty years ago, revisiting Mad Max with Tom Hardy in the lead, facing a cult in the middle of desert. Considering that the Academy shuns most action films, it would be surprising if this film received a nomination, and even more surprising if it won.
Spotlight: The story of how the Boston Globe uncovered a massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the Catholic Church is not a pretty one, but most agree that it was one of the best films this year. It should probably be nominated for Best Picture, and something like this has a good chance of winning.
45 Years: This is the story of a couple who is struggling to cope when the husband learns that the perfectly preserved body of his ex-girlfriend has been discovered, 50 years after she slipped into an Alpine crevasse. This really should appear on the Oscar nomination list.
Carol: This film is based on Patricia Highsmith's novel about lesbian lovers in 1950s New York, and it will probably receive an Oscar nomination. Most believe that Cate Blanchett should receive a Best Actress nod.
Anomalisa: Charlie Kaufman's film about a man living an ordinary life until something extraordinary happens to him is a psychological study, and if it doesn't achieve a Best Picture Nomination, then it could be a contender for Best Animated Picture.
Room: The story of a young boy who discovers there is a great big world around him is inspirational, and could be worth an Oscar nomination.
The Martian: Matt Damon stars in this story of survival on the Red Planet inspired audiences in a heroic story. It could get an Oscar nomination, but generally, science fiction stories do not win.
It Follows: This particular horror movie took everyone by surprise, and although it won't be nominated for an Oscar, it is on a lot of people's Top Ten list.