Beasts of No Nation – Amazing and heart wrenching on a level rarely seen by U.S. audiences about how awful warfare in Africa tears people and their humanity apart. Idris Elba commands the screen, but the young Abraham Attah and filmmakers are the stars.
Brooklyn – Stories of our past compliment an enduring personal story as Saoirse Ronan (Hanna, Atonement) continues her great acting career.
Creed – Director Ryan Coogler and actor Michael B. Jordan are a stellar one-two punch as Stallone’s career solidifies and Tessa Thompson’s begins.
Inside Out – Disney and Pixar create another amazing animated film with great heart, emotion, and yet another great narrative.
Mad Max: Fury Road – Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult take us on one post-apocalyptic ride as director George Miller and his crew amaze at every turn.
The Martian – Great book adaptation with Matt Damon’s commanding lead performance as an astronaut stranded on Mars.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation – This thrilling spy film series can easily continue. Hopefully Tom Cruise can get a reunion together for the next one as the cast grows with newcomers Rebecca Ferguson and Sean Harris who are likely to return and Jingchu Zhang’s role creating a new wrinkle in international audience consideration.
Room – Unthinkable situation bonded by a mother-son relationship in this drama. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay perform well as filmmakers take a powerful approach without walloping the audience.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens – Great nostalgia combines with new characters as filmmaker J.J. Abrams boosts yet another film series. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega and Adam Driver debut with Oscar Isaac while Lupita Nyong’o and Andy Serkis add quick, but vital performances as CGI characters.
Sicario – Harrowing and well paced look into the drug world as Emily Blunt has our hearts as her mind tragically adjusts to a bleak war. Benicio Del Toro and James Brolin take the law enforcement leads in vital performances that eventually reveal true motives/situations.
My Top Books of 2015
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life by David Perlmutter
The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers by Nick Offerman.
Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders
The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
My Top Music of 2015
The Magic Whip by Blur
Thrive by Casting Crowns
A Head full of Dreams by Coldplay
Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by FLORENCE + THE MACHINE
To Pimp A Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
Pentatonix by Pentatonix
Man Plans God Laughs by Public Enemy
This Is Not a Test by Toby Mac
Before This World by James Taylor
My Top Video Games of 2015
Disney Infinity 3.0
Madden NFL 16
Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Star Wars Battlefront
Super Mario Maker