For all the suggestions that the professional critic is a relic thanks to the availability of opinion on the Internet, sits like Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB and Metacritic flourish because mainstream fans still look for a barometer of success. They might not agree with every review (hence Transformers movies making piles of money), but for the majority of films, success at the box office still relies pretty heavily on critical reception. And while critics can be a particularly snobbish group, treating them as one seething mass - as Rotten Tomatoes does with the simple, irresistible % scoring mechanic - usually means you can get a fairly clean idea of which films will be considered the best (or at least the most "worthy") of the year. So recounting the highest scoring films (taking into account the number of reviews) is invariably still a rewarding and sometimes surprising experience. Like, who would have expected to see an animated sheep, a fish out of water spy comedy and a vampire mockumentary on any Best Of list, let alone of the most most critically adored films of the year? That's about the odd shape of 2015 for you...
Rotten Tomatoes: 93% From 205 Reviews After making the brilliant Prisoners and the disturbingly odd Enemy, the question of what Denis Villeneuve would make next was a very intriguing one. He responded to the added hype by making one of the most gripping, difficult to watch films of the year in Sicario. Elevated by exceptional performances by Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro (no surprise there), the film is gloriously dark and thunderously impactful. It is hugely entertaining, but it leaves a particularly sour taste thanks to the level of realism and the lesson that society is crumbling on both sides. Yes there are some logical flaws, but the film was loved by critics for its unflinching approach, its beautiful look (thanks to Roger Deakins) and its awful, compelling escalation. Sample Review:
"A beautifully murky, hard-edged thriller. Quite simply, one of the best films of the year." - Dan Jolin, Empire