Counting down the year's top films to get to the best movie of the year.
20. "The Tribe"
A truly one-of-a-kind experience, this Ukrainian import takes place in a boarding school for the deaf and has no audible dialogue. It's also brutal and haunting.
19. "Straight Outta Compton"
The NWA biopic was timely and relevant, but also magnificently paced and slickly entertaining.
18. "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl"
It got a bit lost in the summer shuffle, but this funny, warm and bittersweet comedy about a trio of young friends - one of whom has cancer - was an underrated gem.
17. "The Gift"
A terrifically creepy thriller, this looked like it was going down the well-worn road of the stalker movie, but it turned out to be sharply constructed and unexpectedly smart.
The pairing of Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell is a beautiful thing. Even with some flaws, it pops enough that you won't notice unless you're trying.
Gaspar Noe's 3D graphic-sex-filled romance was polarizing. It was also surprisingly tender and focused on that sweet intersection between love and sex.
A smart, sharp and layered drama/thriller about the dirty front lines of the war on the Mexican drug trade, it also features one of the most pulse-pounding extended sequences of the year, as well as a great female lead in Emily Blunt.
13. "Goodnight Mommy"
A great entry in the growing world of art-house horror, this tense and slow-dawning scarefest topped another critical darling ("It Follows") for me.
12. "Mad Max: Fury Road"
Breathless, wild and gorgeous, George Miller's reboot of his Mad Max franchise was the world's greatest extended chase scene and housed great feminist undercurrent.
11. "What We Do In the Shadows"
An absurd premise - a "Real World" style housemate show with vampire roommates - led to the funniest movie of the year.
10. "The Voices"
This pitch-black comedy was tragically under seen, but Ryan Reynolds was actually great as a likable guy in a deliciously sinister scenario. Director Marjane Satrapi ("Persepolis") deserved more attention for this.
9. "The Hateful Eight"
Quentin Tarantino's Western parlor game turns the screws for three hours of tension and so much blood. Jennifer Jason Leigh steals the whole damn movie.
8. "Wild Tales"
This Argentinean import was a Best Foreign Language Oscar nominee a year ago, but just hit Columbus screens in 2015. It's an anthology of dark, often funny stories revolving around rage and revenge.
7. "Inside Out"
Pixar delivered one of its most simple and brilliant premises since "Toy Story." It brought out all the feelings. Oh, Bing Bong.
The unforgettable Amy Winehouse documentary didn't shy away from her dark times, but the focus on her generational talent was what made it work.
It's one of the greatest looks at journalism ever committed to film, and it's somehow enthralling even when it's looking at the nuts and bolts of investigative work.
4. "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens"
It's impossible to separate the film from the nostalgia, but the real testament to J.J. Abrams' sequel? It's the efficiently introduced new characters you really care about.
Deft direction and two of the year's best performances (Brie Larson and young Jacob Tremblay) made for a deceptively small package, but it packed the biggest emotional punch of the year.
Charlie Kaufman ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") wrote and co-directed this animated existential story about loneliness and connection. All made with puppets.
1. "Ex Machina"
I called it the best movie of the year all the way back in April. It held up as an amazing and layered sci-fi thriller with a strong debt to Stanley Kubrick.