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National Board Of Review Name ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Best Film Of 2015, ‘The Martian’ Takes Best Actor & Director

National Board Of Review Name 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Best Film Of 2015, 'The Martian' Takes Best Actor & Director

If you’ve been in denial about the upcoming awards season, it’s time to stop, because the National Board of Review, the mysterious, somewhat shady organization that have often kicked off the endless run of precursor awards across December and January leading up to the Oscar nods, have just named their winners for 2015.

No one quite knows who they are, or what they do, but they were founded in 1909, and have been giving out awards since the 1930s. They are often seen as something of a forerunner to the Academy and co, although their track record is decidedly patchy (last year, only five of the eleven movies they picked were Best Picture-nominated).

Regardless, few would say that “Mad Max: Fury Road” didn’t get something of a boost today, as the organization named it the Best Film. They often have something of a lean towards Warner Bros movies, and certainly err towards the mainstream, but this is nevertheless a boon for a big action movie that possibly needed a little nudge for the Academy to take it seriously as a Best Picture proposition. 

Also doing well is “The Martian,” which took Best Actor for Matt Damon, Director for Ridley Scott and Adapted Screenplay for Drew Goddard, while “Room” made up for a disappointing showing at the Spirit Awards by landing among the best films list, and winning Best Actress. “The Hateful Eight” won Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay and also made the final ten, while “Creed” (which also took Supporting Actor for Sylvester Stallone) “Sicario” and “Straight Outta Compton” joined it, along with more expected awards fare like “Bridge Of Spies” and “Spotlight.” 

Not doing so well? “Joy” and “The Revenant” which were both shut out entirely, though it’s unclear if the organization saw the films in time. Also missing were “Steve Jobs,” “Brooklyn” (perhaps most surprisingly of all), “Carol,” “The Danish Girl” “Suffragette” and “Black Mass.” 

Again, all of this should be taken with a giant pinch of salt — movies like “Fury,” “Inherent Vice,” “Unbroken,” “The Secret Life Of Walter MItty” and “Lone Survivor” were all lauded by the organization, and mostly shut out of the awards conversation, while last year’s winner, “A Most Violent Year,” didn’t register with the Academy. That said, with the right movie, they can provide a little momentum — as with “Her” two years ago, which took the top prize and went on to a Best Picture nod. We’ll be seeing how much impact they have this time in a few months, and you can read the complete list below. 

Best Film: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Director: Ridley Scott – The Martian

Best Actor: Matt Damon – The Martian

Best Actress: Brie Larson – Room

Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight

Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight

Best Adapted Screenplay: Drew Goddard – The Martian

Best Animated Feature: Inside Out

Breakthrough Performance: Abraham Attah – Beasts of No Nation & Jacob Tremblay – Room

Best Directorial Debut: Jonas Carpignano – Mediterranea

Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul

Best Documentary: Amy

William K. Everson Film History Award: Cecilia De Mille Presley

Best Ensemble: The Big Short

Spotlight Award: Sicario, for Outstanding Collaborative Vision

NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Beasts of No Nation & Mustang

Top Films

Bridge of Spies


The Hateful Eight

Inside Out


The Martian



Straight Outta Compton

Top 5 Foreign Language Films

Goodnight Mommy



The Second Mother

The Tribe

Top 5 Documentaries

Best of Enemies

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

The Diplomat

Listen to Me Marlon

The Look of Silence

Top 10 Independent Films


45 Years

Cop Car

Ex Machina


It Follows

James White

Mississippi Grind

Welcome to Me

While We’re Young

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