Favorite Little Movies of 2015

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Favorite Little Movies of 2015

By Scott Pukos
scott@thelittle.org

Let's talk movies. It's certainly one of my favorite subjects (I guess that's not a surprise), and I could go on and on recommending hidden gems or talking about how excited I am for upcoming releases.

Recently, I got a list of all the movies we played at The Little this year, and it got me thinking: What are my favorite Little movies of 2015?

Of course this list has a few caveats. I'm just naming my favorites that were at The Little, so creative, funny features like Inside Out aren't making the cut. Also, I've watched a lot of movies at The Little this year, but there's way more I haven't seen. Popular films like Phoenix and Diary of a Teenage Girl are now going to be Netflix or Redbox movies for me (I'm still irked at myself for missing these). And of course, upcoming films like The Revenant, The Big Short and The Hateful Eight could all alter the list.

Anyway, here we go! I'm counting these down, because countdowns are way more fun.

10. (tie) What We Do In The Shadows and People Places Things
Right away, I'm cheating. These movies aren't anything alike aside from the fact they both feature Jemaine Clement. He charms in both stories, and nailing the role of a vampire, along with the part of a spurned graphic novelist in the same year is impressive.

9. Racing Extinction
Yeah I'm biased, but I love our One Take Doc series. Screening thought-provoking documentaries, followed by a conversation with filmmakers is easily a win-win. It's tough to pick a favorite, but Racing Extinction not only was informational with a strong message, but was also one of the most visually stunning movies I watched this year.

8. The End of the Tour
I really have to tackle Infinite Jest now. Is there a Jason Segel-voiced audiobook out there?

7. Room
I'm one of those people who prefers to read the book before seeing the film adaptation ("the book was better," rolls off my tongue nicely). Having said that, Room (along with another title later on this list) was an exception. After watching this intensely emotional film, I'm definitely looking forward to Emma Donoghue's novel. Hearing this tale exclusively from five-year-old Jack's perspective is especially intriguing.

6. Grandma
Lily Tomlin, you're so cool. While her sassy grandma character in this movie definitely provides some hilarity, I think I was most impressed by the depth of the characters in this relatively short film (it's only 79 minutes). Julia Garner, Sam Elliot and Marica Gay Harden are also quite fantastic in this one.

5. It Follows
Too many films try to scare us, the audience, with gore. But that's not terrifying. Certainly not as bone-chilling as a film that can mess with your head. I'd hate to give too much away about this one, but I will say it's a horror movie that's fresh and clever. I liked it a lot.

4. Sicario
The most suspenseful movie I watched this year. Sicario crushed it with relentless intensity and some powerhouse performances from Emily Blunt, Bencio Del Toro and Josh Brolin.

3. Spotlight
Good journalism movies are my jam. This is a very, very good journalism film. Bonus points for sparking great conversations (like this one!).

2. Ex Machina
Smart and suspenseful science-fiction will always get my attention. I knew basically nothing about this before seeing it, and was more than pleasantly surprised. Plus, it has hands-down the best dance scene of the year in it.

1. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
This one blew me away. I loved the dialogue, the creativity and the look of this movie. Plus, it was one of the funniest films of the year (a surprise considering the whole "dying girl" part). The characters were charming and witty, but also felt real. I haven't read Jesse Andrews' novel of the same name (yet), but he definitely has my attention. I'll be checking out his future books, screenplays, tweets, etc.

So, there it is. I'd love to hear your favorites too! Leave comments on Facebook, Twitter, etc. or send me an email with your top Little movies of 2015.

Have a great Christmas Eve

Here's something to note: We are closed Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and will reopen on Christmas Day (Dec. 25).

While the theaters are closed Christmas Eve, our Holiday Shop will be open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 24. I'm one of those last minute shoppers, so I'll probably see you there.

Amazon Smile and a ROC the Day update

While I certainly encourage you to visit our Holiday Shop for your gift needs, it's hard to deny the convenience of ordering online. Speaking of that, The Little is now on AmazonSmile. What is AmazonSmile? You always ask good questions. When you sign up for this version of Amazon, all prices remain the exact same; however, a small portion of your purchase (0.5%) will be donated to a not-for-profit organization. In this case, that small portion will go to The Little. If you're interested, here is The Little's AmazonSmile link.

Speaking of the awesome people who support us, I'd like to thank everyone who donated on Roc the Day. We raised over $2,000, and couldn't have done it without your support. You rock.