The Ultimate Must Watch Movie Guide for 2015

by | Mar 24, 2023 | Movies & Shows

Lights, camera, action! The year 2015 was a cinematic masterpiece that left audiences breathless and eager for more. From a galaxy far, far away to the depths of the human psyche, the silver screen was illuminated with a host of films that were truly unforgettable. Whether you were a die-hard superhero fan, a lover of sci-fi, or a drama aficionado, 2015 had something for everyone. From the blockbuster hit Avengers: Age of Ultron to the heart-wrenching Room, each film brought its own unique flavor to the table. So grab your popcorn, sit back, and get ready for a trip down memory lane as we revisit the must-watch movies of 2015.

(Note: these 13 movies are in alphabetical order and not sorted in any ranking system – just 13 of the must watch movies from the year. Pro tip: 13 movies per year means 1 movie every 4 weeks to finish the entire guide in a year)


Avengers: Age of Ultron

IMDB Top User Rated Film

Director: Joss Whedon
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner
Release date: May 1, 2015

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes reunite to battle Ultron, a rogue artificial intelligence who seeks to wipe out humanity. Critics praised the film’s action and humor, though some felt it was overstuffed with too many characters and plotlines.


Bridge of Spies

Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance
Release date: October 16, 2015

Tom Hanks stars as a lawyer who must negotiate the release of a US pilot detained by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Critics lauded the film’s performances and period detail. Fun fact: The Coen Brothers co-wrote the screenplay for this film with director Steven Spielberg.



Director: Ryan Coogler
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone
Release date: November 25, 2015

Michael B. Jordan plays Adonis Johnson, the son of famed boxer Apollo Creed, as he trains with Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to become a professional fighter. Critics praised the film’s performances and emotional depth, as well as its nods to the Rocky franchise. Director Ryan Coogler was a huge fan of the Rocky movies and initially wrote the script for Creed as a passion project.


Ex Machina

Director: Alex Garland
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac
Release date: April 10, 2015

A young programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) is tasked with testing the intelligence of a humanoid robot (Alicia Vikander) created by his reclusive boss (Oscar Isaac). Critics hailed the film’s thought-provoking exploration of artificial intelligence and its stunning visuals. The film’s director, Alex Garland, also wrote the screenplay for the 2018 sci-fi film Annihilation.


Inside Out

IMDB Top User Rated Film

Director: Pete Docter
Starring (voices): Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling
Release date: June 19, 2015

Pixar’s animated masterpiece explores the emotions of a young girl named Riley through the personified characters of Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. Critics raved about the film’s imaginative concept and heartfelt storytelling making it a favorite among adults and children alike. Did you know that the film’s director, Pete Docter, came up with the idea for the film based on his own experiences with his daughter?


Jurassic World

Director: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio
Release date: June 12, 2015

A new theme park featuring genetically engineered dinosaurs goes awry when a dangerous hybrid dinosaur escapes and wreaks havoc on the island. Critics praised the film’s action and visual effects, though some felt it lacked the sense of wonder and awe of the original Jurassic Park.


Mad Max: Fury Road

IMDB Top User Rated Film

Director: George Miller
Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron
Release date: May 15, 2015

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, Max (Tom Hardy) and Furiosa (Charlize Theron) team up to escape a tyrannical ruler and his army. Critics hailed the film’s high-octane action and feminist themes, making it a standout in the action genre. George Miller also directed the original Mad Max trilogy in the 1980s.



IMDB Top User Rated Film

Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay
Release date: October 16, 2015

Brie Larson stars as a woman held captive in a small shed with her young son who has never experienced the outside world. The film’s performances and emotional resonance, made it a standout in the indie film scene. The film’s screenplay was adapted from a novel of the same name by author Emma Donoghue, who also wrote the screenplay.



Best Picture Winner at The Oscars, IMDB Top User Rated Film

Director: Tom McCarthy
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber
Release date: November 6, 2015

Based on a true story, a team of investigative journalists from the Boston Globe uncover a widespread cover-up of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. Gripping storytelling and ensemble cast made it a favorite during awards season. Director Tom McCarthy conducted extensive research for the film including interviewing real-life reporters and abuse survivors.


Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Director: J.J. Abrams
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill
Release date: December 18, 2015

Set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the film introduces new characters like Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) as they team up with familiar faces like Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to fight against the First Order. Critics praised the film’s return to the Star Wars universe and its focus on practical effects, though some felt it was too derivative of the original trilogy. Director J.J. Abrams was such a big Star Wars fan growing up that he would use Star Wars action figures to block out scenes as a kid.


The Big Short

Director: Adam McKay
Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt
Release date: December 11, 2015

Based on Michael Lewis’s nonfiction book, the film follows a group of investors who predict the housing market collapse and bet against the big banks in order to profit. Sharp writing and performances, as well as its ability to make complex financial concepts accessible to a wide audience, made this film an instant classic. The film’s director, Adam McKay, is best known for directing comedies like Anchorman and Step Brothers, but proved his creative chops with this one.


The Martian

Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig
Release date: October 2, 2015

After a mission to Mars goes awry, astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is stranded on the planet and must use his ingenuity to survive while NASA tries to rescue him. Critics praised the film’s blend of humor and suspense, as well as Damon’s performance. Author Andy Weir self-published the novel The Martian before it was picked up by a major publisher and adapted into a film.


The Revenant

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy
Release date: December 25, 2015

Set in the 1820s, the film follows frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) as he seeks revenge against the men who left him for dead after a bear attack. Stunning cinematography throughout and DiCaprio’s performance, which finally earned him an Oscar, made this movie a must-watch. Alejandro González Iñárritu insisted on filming the movie entirely with natural light and in sequence – which presented a unique challenge for the cast and crew!


In Conclusion

That wraps up our list of must-watch movies of 2015! Whether you’re in the mood for heart-pumping action, gripping drama, or mind-bending sci-fi, there’s something for everyone on this list. These movies have all left a lasting impact on audiences and critics alike, showcasing the best of what cinema has to offer. We hope you enjoyed our picks and that they will inspire you to revisit some old favorites or discover something new. So, grab some popcorn, settle in, and get ready for an unforgettable movie-watching experience!

Are there any movies that we missed? Are there any movies that you think should not be on the list? Let us know!

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