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2015 wasn’t a bad year, but I’m calling it a “bag” year.

What am I talking about?

Well, you know how sometimes movies just aren’t your bag? In an attempt to be a well-rounded cinema goer, I try to appreciate things that aren’t necessarily my bag. It’s one of the reasons that I do things like complete film lists, because then not only will it force me to confront things that aren’t my bag, it might also help me find new things that are my bag that I’d never have suspected were my bag. Most years I end up trying to catch up with some critical favorites which, on the surface, would seem not to be my bag. Sometimes I feel like I haven’t watched nearly enough movies to even have favorites. For example, what if instead of the ~60 new movies I saw this year, I had watched a different 60? That’s entirely possible. What if I have a bunch of favorite movies that I don’t know are my favorites because I never saw them?

Yet I feel like this year has been uncommonly predictable in the sense that I pretty much knew what I was going to like and dislike before I ever watched it. Most of the stuff that I thought would be my bag was my bag, and there weren’t a lot of surprises when I went looking for things that weren’t my bag. I mostly enjoyed movies from directors that I already favor (Baumbach, Tarantino, Villeneuve, Inarritu, Del Toro) and from genres that I favor (thriller, sci-fi), and disliked movies I didn’t expect to like (Jurassic World, Pixels). There were a couple of minor surprises – I liked Tomorrowland more than the consensus, didn’t love The Martian – but when I sought things a bit off the beaten path, like Tangerine or The Duke of Burgundy, none of it really made a big impression.

So while I’m pleased as punch to be a film aficionado right now, I can’t help but feel my own habits – and by extension, my year-end list – failed to capture the breadth of what filmmaking looked like this year. There’s no Holy Motors on my list, and no A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, no Sleepwalk with Me. It just feels like I didn’t see any stalwart indies or ambitious art films that I really fell in love with. Maybe that means I missed out. Or maybe it means mainstream movies were uncommonly good this year. I’d be more than happy to recommend Buzzard, for example, but to say I liked it better than any of the movies on this list would be dishonest – and there’d be no point in doing a personal list if it isn’t honest.

So with 2015 in the bag, here are the movies that are my bag this year:

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Snakes on a Plane (2006)
Director: David R. Ellis
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Julianna Margulies, Nathan Phillips
Running Time: 1 hr. 45 min
Rated: R


Review by Brother Reed (originally penned August 18, 2006)

Snakes on a Plane. If you haven’t heard about that by now, you’re probably not reading this review because you don’t actually use the internet. One of the most anticipated summer releases for a relatively small but enthusiastic group has just hit theaters with a bang. After nearly a year of hype, the big question seems to be whether or not it lives up to the now dangerously high expectations. Okay, so perhaps “high” isn’t the best word. From the start, no one really expected this to be a serious horror film, but more of a “so-bad-it’s-good” high-budget B movie tribute. “Specific” might be a better term. Much of the notoriety surrounding the movie is that five days of additional shooting were done to raise the rating from its intended PG-13 to an R. This was done in part to satisfy the growing demands of the as-yet-unreleased project’s internet following. FULL REVIEW