Back to IndieWire

The Best Cinematography Of 2015

The Best Cinematography Of 2015

It’s a truism that form should follow function, but all too often in cinema, visual style isn’t always fused to the story. When you see a cinematic aesthetic that does more than just look cool, when it deepens your understanding of the story, and elucidates something further about it that isn’t on the page, that’s when that old saying makes sense. It’s what makes cinema what it is.

Having hemmed and hawed over our final selection, all of the entries on this list of the Best Cinematography of the year fulfill that goal. The stories told here could not have been shot in any other way; in each film discussed below, it is the aesthetic that make the story what it is, enhancing the meaning and bringing to life the moments that have to be seen and not heard. 

Furthermore, every entry on this list feels like a small miracle. From the wild practical stunts pulled off by George Miller and his army of war boys in the desert, to the grandeur that Sean Baker found on the streets of LA with a few iPhones, to the grueling forest shoot wherein Alejandro Iñárritu took Leonardo DiCaprio to the edge, to a scrappy one shot wonder on the streets of Berlin, this year in Cinematography is stacked with wondrous work that seems nigh impossible. We just feel lucky to have seen it.

Click here for our complete coverage of the best of 2015

20. “Hard To Be A God
Aleksei German‘s posthumously finished “Hard to Be a God” is like stepping into a panoramic Bruegel painting and putting your foot right into a shit-stained corpse… in a good way.” This opening line from Film Comment‘s review is as great as any introduction to the cameramen-painters responsible for that Brueghelian look in German’s epic. DPs Vladimir Ilin and Yuri Klimenko shot “Hard to Be a God” for over six years since 2000, with Klimenko taking over where Ilin left off after the latter’s death in 2006. While the unconventional and completely unhinged structure of the narrative demands 100% focus in order to follow Don Rumata (Leonid Yarmolnik) around the extraterrestrial plains of the planet he finds himself inspecting, the breathtaking imagery makes full attention to story a real challenge. “Breathtaking” in the literal sense of the word, by the way, as the mud, grime, shit, spit, vomit, and dirt splattered all over “Hard To Be A God” will almost suffocate you. Of course, that’s all meant as the highest compliment for the two cinematographers, who free-wield the camera through a impeccably-shadowed black-and-white canvass, seemingly transported from the Dark Ages. Featured on our “Films You Didn’t See” list for mainly this element, filth has rarely looked as stunning as it does in “Hard To Be A God.”

19. “Meadowland

If you’ve been paying attention when we’ve been writing about cinematography in recent years, you’ll know we’ve talked about the name Reed Morano a lot: she’s done stellar work on films like “Frozen River,” “For Ellen,” “Shut Up And Play The Hits,” “Kill Your Darlings,” and “Skeleton Twins,” while also doing gorgeous lensing for TV show “Looking” and the upcoming “Vinyl.” “Meadowland,” a dark drama about a couple (Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson) struggling with life after the disappearance of their young son, marked her directorial debut, and we were impressed enough by her handle on tone and facility for working with actors that we put her on this year’s Breakthrough Directors list. But thankfully, Morano also worked her as her own director of photography, which meant that the film looks absolutely stunning too. “Meadowland” was shot almost entirely handheld with the Arri Alexa (few people wield digital like Morano does) in a muted palette with occasional popping color —Wilde’s yellow hoodie is one of the smartest bits of costuming this year. And while there are hints of other filmmakers  —a little Dardennes, for one— Morano proves here that she has an eye all of her own, and a pretty incredible one at that. [Our review]

18. “Beasts Of No Nation

Like “Meadowland,” “Beasts Of No Nation” had a single person working as both cinematographer and director. But the dynamic is different here: whereas Morano was best known as a DP before helming her movie, Cary Joji Fukunaga was best known as a director before he lensed his third feature. He’s worked with stellar photographers in the past —Adriano Goldman on “Sin Nombre” and “Jane Eyre,” Adam Arkapaw on “True Detective”— but the remote locations for “Beasts Of No Nation,” and a desire for a more intimate approach while working with non-actors, saw Fukunaga serve as his own cinematographer for the first time since his shorts, and he more or less exceeded his own standard. Also serving as his own camera operator (the original hire pulled his hamstring on the first day of the shoot), Fukunaga shot on Arri Alexa, but as if he was doing it on film, using optical filters to essentially color-time the photography on set and underexposing more than you’d normally attempt with digital. The result is a film that takes on a nightmarish, hellish tint, the nimble Steadicam retaining the classicism of Fukunaga’s early work and giving, appropriately for the title, the film a mythic quality. [Our review]

17. “Victoria

The one shot “Victoria” is a one-trick pony, but we’re including it anyway, because damn, what a trick. The cinematography amazes for its sheer execution —its 2 hour plus running time is a feat of direction (by Sebastian Schipper), choreography, background direction, and performance (and also assistant directing: gotta give it up to the ADs on this one). Shot by Sturla Brandth Grøvlen, this one shot wonder captures one crazy Berlin night, but the trick isn’t just a gimmick —it’s a way to tell this story that comments on the nature of time, and how quickly things can go from weird to fun to amazing to crazy to terrifying to heartbreaking in the course of just a few hours. During a celebratory scene in one of Berlin’s notorious all day clubs, mournful piano music plays over our group as they wildly dance and kiss and a feel all everything at once, having successfully pulled off a heist at the behest of a terrifying thug. But the music seems to be ahead of this moment; it’s like it’s already mourning the joyful abandon they’re currently enjoying. This one-shot film shows how cinematic time expands and contracts —watching as it unfolds lets us wallow in the moments, jump ahead, remember, and realize just how quickly it all passes. [Our review]

16.It Follows

David Robert Mitchell’s “It Follows depicts a suburban existence that is almost largely absent adults. It takes place in a Detroit where there is a very literal wrong side of the tracks. And it’s a milieu where sexual contact can bring forth supernatural harm. It’s headier than usual fare for a horror film, but It Follows” is no ordinary horror film, and by extension, neither is the work of cinematographer Mike Gioulakis. In what is his easily his biggest credit to date, Gioulakis distinguishes himself by bucking the conventions of the genre. Instead of quick cuts and close-ups, “It Follows” favors spaces, with the cinematographer making the most of every inch of 2.35:1 frame. This is a movie about a largely unseen terror, and giving the audience as much as possible to look at only heightens the tension, promising something scary to appear out of almost any corner. It’s deliberate work, with slow push-ins and pull-outs, combined wit ah the throbbing score, creating an overwhelming sense of dread. And the crepuscular color palette —influenced by the haunting, twilight-y images of photographer Gregory Crewdson— which makes it seem like characters are under perpetually overcast skies, also adds to eerie and at times hopeless atmosphere. It’s rare for genre films to look this good and to provide thrills this potent, but Gioulakis manages both. [Our review]

15. “Slow West

Presumably by design, Robbie Ryan has built up a reputation as one of the best cinematographers in the world while working in the U.K, for the most part: his work on Sally Potter’s films like “Ginger & Rosa” have made him much-sought-after. He did stunning work this year on “Catch Me Daddy,” but his work on “Slow West,” which reunited him with director John Maclean, with whom he made the BAFTA-winning short “Pitch Black Heist,” was probably his finest work this year. Given that it’s literally a western, one could argue that the film is Ryan’s most American work to date, but that’s not quite true, with the film mostly having been shot in New Zealand, and his admitted influences being European and Japanese, like Bergman, Bresson, Dreyer and Kurosawa. It’s an utterly fitting approach for a movie that’s about the melting-pot formation of the West, and melds with bold, painterly compositions that accomplishes something extremely tricky in this day and age: it brings something new to a very familiar genre. And as much as anything, it confirms Ryan as a cinematographer who’s worth the price of admission on his own. [Our review]

14. “Love”/“Lost River”  

Spring Breakers” and “Enter The Void” cinematographer Benoit Debie had two movies released in 2015 (though they premiered at Cannes in successive years), and they had something in common. They were both pretty bad, and were derided as such by the press. Yet they both looked absolutely beautiful, with Debie’s photography being certainly the highlight of both films. Ryan Gosling hiring the French DP for his directorial debut “Lost River” suggests he was a big fan of “Enter The Void” —the film shares a certain neon-soaked sensibility and aura of death. Together, they find some truly memorable images, even if Gosling’s script doesn’t find a coherent way to tie them together. Meanwhile, Debie reunited with his most frequent collaborator, Gaspar Noé, for “Love,” a thinly written, less-than-transgressive picture known almost exclusively as ‘the 3D porn movie.’ Debie can’t find a way to make you care about the dull characters in the central love triangle (fuck triangle?), but he can at least make them look beautiful —shooting the sex scenes almost exclusively from above, it’s some of the best-lit sex you’ll watch. Though Debie really comes into his own in other places, most notably in a stunning 3D nightclub sequence that was one of the year’s most memorable images. Let’s hope he can find better material to put his skills to next time. [Our review of ‘Love’] [Our review of ‘Lost River’]

13. “Creed” 

Since her work on Todd Haynes’Poison,” Maryse Alberti has been a go-to photographer in the indie world, spanning fiction (“Tape,” “Happiness,” “Velvet Goldmine”) and documentary (“When We Were Kings,” “No Direction Home,” “West Of Memphis”), but 2015 was the year that she was discovered by the mainstream. Her documentary-feel proved important to films as different as “Freeheld” and “The Visit,” but the indie stylings she brings to “Creed” are part of what makes it one of the most interesting studio movies in ages. Presumably, Ryan Coogler thought of her because of her work with Darren Aronofsky on “The Wrestler,” though Alberti says they were equally influenced by the original “Rocky” films and, interestingly, Jacques Audiard’s “The Prophet,” for what she says was “the use of steadicam, handheld and static shots.” The two films certainly have a lot in common when it comes to their look: there’s a muscularity, but also a sensitivity and tenderness, which Alberti captures with an unusual intimacy for the boxing genre. And all of that goes without mentioning the movie’s showstopper, a spectacular one-take boxing match that demonstrates a dazzling degree of choreography with a Steadicam. [Our review

12.Son of Saul

The achievement in cinematography seen in “Son of Saul” isn’t just camerawork. Rather, it’s the combination of camerawork integrated with blocking and performance that makes the film so arresting. Director László Nemes announces his thesis statement in the first shot of the film, when Saul (Géza Röhrig) walks into an unfocused frame and becomes the focus. We then set off on a trip with Saul through the hell that is the life of a concentration camp sonderkommando. DP Mátyás Erdély, who also shot the excellent “James White” this year, chose an old-fashioned portrait-style aspect ratio in order to keep the focus directly on Saul. We only see the realities of the camp when they are behind or around Saul, which in this film is a blessing. The snippets we see of bodies stacked like so many cords of wood are a stark reminder of how Saul’s mission to give the young boy a proper Jewish burial is such an an expression of humanity and resistance in the face of destruction. The way that the Nemes and Erdély chose to photograph this film seems like the only choice that they could have made in order to tell a story that is both too enormous to comprehend, yet small and deeply intimate at the same time. [Our review]

11. “Tangerine

“Tangerine” opens inauspiciously, with a shared doughnut on a laminated table and two girlfriends gossiping and talking smack. It’s Jarmusch by way of WeHo. Then the real possibilities afforded by shooting on an iPhone 5s (equipped with cinematic lenses) kick into gear, when Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) hits the street, looking for “that real fish.” As she stomps the Hollywood sidewalk to a bumping trap beat, the world opens up in one fluid camera movement. Welcome to Sin-Dee and Alexandra’s (Mya Taylor) LA. This shooting style allows director Sean Baker, who lensed the film along with Radium Cheung, to capture the Hollywood that Hollywood turns its back on: dingy motels, doughnut shops, taco stands and bus stops. We all know LA is a driving town, so most films usually feature the city zipping by a car window, so seeing this city on foot drastically changes the perspective. But there are plenty of residents like Sin-Dee, who take the bus, train and hoof it to get around town. Through their eyes, LA takes on a new character: beautiful, dingy, menacing. There’s also the LA of Armenian cab driver Razmik, and these two worlds come together most beautifully during his and Alexandra’s one shot journey through a carwash —one of the film’s most striking moments of calm intimacy amongst the chaos. “Tangerine” is real, and it’s spectacular. [Our review]

10. “Brooklyn

The elegant, emotional tale of an Irish immigrant in New York, John Crowley’s “Brooklyn” is a singularly woven piece of performance, writing, and cinematography. Cinematographer Yves Bélanger, known for his naturalistic work with Jean-Marc Vallée on “Dallas Buyers’ Club” and “Wild,” brings a similar ease and realism to the lush and lovely period piece. Using color to distinguish between place and time as Eilis (Saorise Ronan) moves from Ireland to New York, “Brooklyn”’s gentle beauty almost has the feel of a colorized historical photograph set to motion. The central aspect of the film’s heart and soul is Eilis —Crowley and Bélanger utilize remarkable close ups of Ronan’s broad face and clear light blue eyes to anchor the story to Eilis’ experience, her impossible decision to choose between her new life in New York and the comfort of Ireland. We see as her face changes, whether in makeup or hairstyle, as she comes into herself in her new home. “Brooklyn” beautifully captures that universal immigrant story —the homesickness and the eventual triumph in building a new life. It’s a story that anyone who’s left home can relate to, and the fact that it’s gorgeously photographed adds to its gentle persuasion. [Our review]

9. “Steve Jobs

Alwin H. Küchler may not be on of the more famous names on this year’s list, but game recognizes game in the movie world. The cinematographer has an impressive resumé of directors including Lynne Ramsay (“Ratatcher,” “Morvern Callar”), Michael Winterbottom (“The Claim,” “Code 46”), Joe Wright (“Hanna”), and he even has a couple of blockbusters under his belt (notably, “Divergent”). Prior to “Steve Jobs,” Küchler had previously worked with Danny Boyle eight years ago on “Sunshine,” and he clearly made an impression. Called upon to lens the biopic of the late Apple icon, in his own unshowy way Küchler doesn’t disappoint. He’s tasked with a job that seems to have diametrically opposed goals: allow for the intimacy of the drama to come through while not making the three single locations feel stagey. Granted, the decision to shoot in 16mm, 35mm, and digital for each time period helps in that regard, but it’s the less obvious work that has the most impact. Küchler makes the crucial decision to have the camera follow Steve Jobs, so that in a sense, the audience is just one of many in his orbit. So when we’re in a room with him, we’re a fly on the wall to history happening, and when it’s time for the Apple honcho to perform for a crowd or make his presence felt to his employees, the camera steps back, informing us of the impact Jobs has just by standing on stage. And when Boyle indulges in his flights of fancy (footage of a rocket shop on a wall, or during a simple conversation), or the pace becomes frenzied, Küchler keeps the camera anchored and on the object of attention: Steve Jobs, a tech hero to the public and a much more complicated man to those close to him. Both of those things are communicated seemingly effortlessly. [Our review]

8. “The Duke of Burgundy
You’re probably not intimate with the visual work of DP Nic Knowland unless you’ve seen a lot of British TV or if you somehow remember the look of 1993’s “Barbarians at the Gate” and other similar, smaller pictures. But after two collaborations in a row with filmmaker Peter Strickland (the first being “Berberian Sound Studio”), you should get to know him. Strickland is a cinema fetishist: ‘Sound Studio’ relished in the delight of giallo filmmaking by putting a eerie, paranoiac spin on the unconscious world of sound and sound mixing, and with “The Duke Of Burgundy,” Strickland embraced that fetishism on multiple levels, both literally and figuratively. ‘Burgundy’ centers on the dominant/submissive relationship between two lesbian lovers, so the kinkiness of the storyline is inherent. But what’s perhaps even more inspired is the fetishism of erotic cinema. “The Duke Of Burgundy” is a stylish feast for cineastes, and Knowland and Strickland tap into an almost forgotten form of outré, mondo filmmaking; a mix of the erotic, giallo and tonally bizarro melodrama of filmmakers like Luis Bunuel, Jess Franco and Joseph Losey. And so visually, ‘Burgundy’ is a sensual treat of desire, surreality and sensory immersion. It’s easily one of the most unique films of the year, and its gorgeous and gothic cinematography is a jaw-dropping wonder to behold. [Our review]

7. “The Hateful Eight

Cinematographer Robert Richardson has worked with Quentin Tarantino now on every picture since the “Kill Bill” movies, and their collaborations keep getting better, more mature, subtler and patient. This really comes into focus with “The Hateful Eight.” Oh sure, it’s shot in glorious 70mm and has sweeping panoramic vista and visual grandeur, but much of it is shot in a very classical manner. The blocking and framing on “The Hateful Eight” is particularly strong. The camera only moves when it needs to, and Robertson and Tarantino luxuriate in the packed frame and the mise en scene —many shots tell two stories in both the foreground and background which works well in a movie about mistrust, bitterness and mystery. Shooting in Cinemascope may seem counter-intuitive for a movie shot on 70mm that’s mostly set indoors in a claustrophobic space. But the expansiveness of the frame, even the in the tightest of quarters or death-stare close-ups, really soaks up the idea of the characters playing a game of show and tell and keeping their true cards close to the vest. And when the movie’s tension finally bursts into the inevitable violence it promises, well, “The Hateful Eight” visually explodes. As a kind of B-side to “Django Unchained,” it may not be Tarantino’s best movie, but it’s arguably the most visually sumptuous. [Our review]

6. “Macbeth

Adam Arkapaw’s simply jaw-dropping cinematography in “Macbeth” is rendered in fire and blood, steam and mud —an earthy and elemental stew that envelops the viewer into a world of murderous madness. The Aussie DP made his mark with “Animal Kingdom” and “The Top of the Lake,” and contributed his work to the excellent season 1 of “True Detective.” Reunited with “The Snowtown Murders” director Justin Kurzel on “Macbeth,” the two go all out creatively, crafting a visual poetry that matches Shakespeare’s verse and roots the story in a tangible historical world: you can practically feel the warmth of the blood as it flows, the grit of dirt and clanging of broadswords. The story is rooted in place, but the visual storytelling reflects the subjectivity of the titular Macbeth (Michael Fassbender), and when his power-hungry paranoia goes over the edge, the entire film goes up in flame and ash. There are typically stellar performances from Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, and supporting excellence from Sean Harris and Jack Reynor. But it’s the photography, coupled with Shakespeare’s verse and a moaning, creaking score, that swirls into a mesmerizing tapestry of cinematic poetics that breathes with life and envisions the mysteries of death. [Our review]

5. “Mad Max: Fury Road

George Miller‘s fourth installment in the ‘Mad Max’ series has left critics and audiences awestruck. Featured on literally every Top 10 list so far (safely claiming the number one spot on our own), ‘Fury Road’ is a locomotive action spectacle that successfully rides the fine line between blockbuster and cinematic art with every element colliding in explosive fruition. John Seale‘s cinematography is one of those essential spark plugs that keep viewers immersed for the entire duration, practically ensuring that no matter where our Earth is headed, it will be covered in gorgeous orange and teal. Armed with an arsenal of digital cameras and elevating the DI process into a next-level artform, Seale has created the greatest example of how digital has advanced the medium in 2015. “The ability of digital to record images coupled with the DI, where you can change it, manipulate it, allows you do anything you like. I know with Mad Max, it won’t look anything like a ‘good film image’ and it won’t look anything like a ‘good digital image’…it will look like its own image. I think that’s the wonder of it,” says Seale. In-fucking-deed! As an extra treat, this 2 hour presentation by Seale, made before he even saw the final cut of the film, is an absolute must-watch. [Our Review]

4. “The Revenant

Look, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki is winning his third Oscar in a row this year —you can count on it (wins for “Gravity” and “Birdman” came in 2013 and 2014). Part of that narrative is probably because of the now infamous difficulties of shooting Alejandro Innaritu’s “The Revenant” which was punished by constantly changing weather patterns causing major delays. The other element of this punishing, elegiac revenge and survival drama is that Innaritu and Lubezki chose to shoot almost the entirety of the movie on location in the freezing, wintry wilds of Canada and Argentina and mostly using all-natural light. If it sounds like a crazy conceit, well maybe it is, but it really pays off. “The Revenant” looks gorgeous, using naturalistic, soft-hued light that gives the movie a kind of Terrence Malick-y sublimity at times (which is not much of a stretch, since Lubezki has also shot most of Malick’s recent movies ever since “The New World”). The DP pulls off two more feats in the movie: haunting dreamscapes that are alternatively hellish nightmares or nostalgic fantasies of better days, and the daring action sequences. The latter alone will probably earn Lubezki the Oscar; the choreography, craft, and dense orchestration of these scenes and camera moves is breathtaking, with many sequences taking place in one long shot. We put the bear mauling scene in our Best Action Sequences of the year because it is stunning and viscerally punishing. But the Arikara indian raid that opens the movie is brutalizing and easily could have made the list as well. “Gravity” and “Birdman” were great technical challenges, but “The Revenant” may top them both with soulful beauty, raging fury and dazzling complexity.

3. “Sicario

You think of a story about an ingenue FBI detective, way in over her head and on a mission to stop a major drug lord near the Mexico-United States border, and it’s very doubtful that you’d think, “wow, I bet the cinematography is going to amazing!” Unless you know it was director Denis Villeneuve re-teaming with his “Prisoners” DP Roger Deakins, a legendary natural when it comes to lighting. In that case, doubt turns to guarantee. “Sicario” is a deeply cynical, amoral tale about the powers-that-be, and Deakins’ intuitive, just-get-on-with-it attitude finds the film complementing the themes in ways more lush and deftly dark than one could imagine. A key scene that epitomizes everything that’s so incredibly alluring about “Sicario’s” images is that moment when the SWAT team disappears into the darkness at dusk. “I knew exactly where I wanted to put the camera and where everybody was going to walk. Then it was just a matter of waiting for the right moment, which was the last possible light of the day,” Deakins tells Filmmaker Magazine in an interview. He makes it sound so easy, as if he’s talking about changing a lightbulb, but it’s this ease that tells you everything about how his experience elevates “Sicario” into one of the most brooding and atmospheric films of the year. Be sure to check out this exclusive EW video about Deakins finding beauty in the film’s darkness. [Our review]

2. “The Assassin

It really is a toss-up between Hou Hsiao-Hsien‘s “The Assassin” and Todd Haynes‘ “Carol” for which film is the more sublime of 2015. Hou’s masterfully-crafted wuxia tale is shot by his long-time collaborator Mark Lee Ping Bin (alongside his credits with Hou, Lee’s other major highlight is his status as one of three DPs who shot Wong Kar-Wai‘s gleaming masterpiece “In The Mood For Love“), and anyone who has seen the film, regardless of their opinion about plot and character, knows that Hou and Lee have hit a sweet spot, one that almost redefines cinematic beauty with every frame. Whether in the intricately-designed interiors or in the naturally-controlled exteriors, Lee’s film camera captures wonders. Every frame is its own work of art, but stand-outs include Qi Shu‘s assassin eavesdropping from a high corner of the room as a swath of light gently strokes her face, and a final meeting on a mountaintop where it feels like the clouds are eavesdropping. James Udden had the fortune of visiting the set, and he wrote about it on David Bordwell‘s website. “Seeing this calm, soft-spoken yet efficient crew at work in tandem was unforgettable,” he writes, “they seemed to be working hard and meditating at the same time.” Lee manages to reflect this meditative nature with his lighting and camerawork so artfully that you can practically touch the film’s aura. [Our review]

1. “Carol”

From iPhones to Super 16mm, what this list demonstrates is that the physical form on which a film is captured should be dictated by the story. For Todd Haynes’ sumptuous 1950s lesbian drama “Carol,” he and cinematographer Edward Lachman used Super 16mm, a stock that’s appropriate to the period, though it’s not necessarily a reference to classic Hollywood film —it’s a period piece, but not an homage to period filmmaking. Instead of creating a stylized world of artifice, the 16mm grain allows “Carol” to feel real, almost as if you could reach out and touch the raindrops on a windowpane or feel the richness of Carol’s clothing. It feels heavy and tangible. It pulls the viewer into the space of unspoken tenderness between Carol (Cate Blanchett) and Therese (Rooney Mara); darting eyes, pursed lips and caught breaths are the language with which they understand each other. As Therese captures these moments as a photographer, it’s as if she’s creating the story to make it real for herself. It has to feel real, and Haynes and Lachman create a look for the film that is gorgeous, decadent and specific, but one that breathes with grain and life. For a film about a love story that could not be realized, the cinematography creates a space for it to exist. [Our review]

Just missing the Top 20 cut (and oh, it was a difficult cut), are “Joy,” lensed by Linus Sandgren, Alex Ross Perry’s “Queen Of Earth,” shot by Sean Price Williams, Angelina Jolie’s polarizing but undeniably gorgeous “By the Sea” with photography by Christian Berger, the underrated Western “Bone Tomahawk,” and the early 2015 release “‘71.” And while unfortunately Steven Spielberg is held to a higher standard (of his own setting), he and Janusz Kamiński’s work on “Bridge of Spies” most definitely deserves mention.

We also had votes for “The End of the Tour,” “Heaven Knows What,” “The Tribe,” “Hyena,” animated “Anomalisa,” “Phoenix,” “Men Go To Battle,” “Timbuktu,” “Girlhood,” “Goodnight Mommy,” “Tu Dors Nicole,” “A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence,” “Catch Me Daddy,” “Pawn Sacrifice,” “Everest,” “Eden,” “The Keeping Room,” “The Walk,” “Room,” documentary “Meru,” and even yes, “Jauja.”

– Katie Walsh, Oliver Lyttelton, Nikola Grozdanovic, Rodrigo Perez, Kevin Jagernauth

Click here for our complete coverage of the best of 2015

This Article is related to: Features and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,