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‘Chi-Raq’ Leads New Yorker Critic Richard Brody’s Best Movies of 2015

'Chi-Raq' Leads New Yorker Critic Richard Brody's Best Movies of 2015

One of the very best working film critics today, The New Yorker’s Richard Brody’s annual assessment of the year in film is one year-end piece that every cinephile worth their salt has been anticipating since the beginning of December. It’s comprehensive and inclusive, provocative and pointed but never unfair, and always demonstrates his unique taste which separates him from the the rest of the pack.

After explaining why 2015 was “one of Hollywood’s worst years,” the unfortunate fact that not many female directors made his list, the problems with the season’s prestige releases, and the ways in which television has outrun and lags behind cinema, Brody claims that the best films of the year are “works of hard-won freedom.” These films include Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq,” a film that “displays an uninhibited freedom of invention”; Bruno Dumont’s “Li’l Quinquin,” which “shed the quasi-religious self-containment of his earlier work” and illustrated that Dumont “liberated himself from himself”; emotional powerhouses like Alex Ross Perry’s “Queen of Earth” and Josh and Benny Safdie’s “Heaven Knows What”; and staunch works of bravery like Jafar Panahi’s “Taxi” and Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Timbuktu.”

Brody’s list of best movies is reprinted below, but be sure to read the assessment in full as well as check out his list of best performances, which includes such interesting choices like Dakota Johnson in “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Nick Cannon in “Chi-Raq,” and Michael Shannon in “The Night Before.”

Richard Brody’s Best Movies of 2015

1. “Chi-Raq”
2. “Li’l Quinquin”
3. “Queen of Earth”
4. “Heaven Knows What”
5. “Taxi”
6. “Timbuktu”
7. “In Jackson Heights”
8. “Mistress America”
9. “Stinking Heaven”
10. “Arabian Nights”
11. “Carol”
12. “Trainwreck”
13. “Digging for Fire”
14. “Wild Canaries”
15. “Results”
16. “Creed”
17. “The Princess of France”
18. “Field Niggas”
19. “Iris”
20. “Irrational Man”
21. “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus”
22. “Uncertain Terms”
23. “Young Bodies Heal Quickly”
24. “By the Sea”
25. “While We’re Young”
26. “Entertainment”
27. “Approaching the Elephant”
28. “In the Name of My Daughter”
29. “Buzzard”
30. “Fifty Shades of Grey”

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