2015 was a huge year at the box office. Throughout the summer, films broke records time and time again with blockbuster films Jurassic World, Age of Ultron, and Furious 7 rolling out.
The winter would see the biggest movie of all-time, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, shatter a new box office record with every day of its first two weeks of theatrical release.
Sure, these movies made a lot of money at the box office, but were they the best movies of the year? Not all of them made our list of Top 5 Comic Book, Sci-Fi, and Horror Movies of 2015.
Before we get started, a few honorable mentions who didn't earn a spot deserve naming. Kingsman: The Secret Service showed us that comic book movies don't need to be PG-13 to be enjoyable, Avengers: Age of Ultron delivered a pulse-pounding, globetrotting adventure though it didn't quite recreate the magic of Avengers, and Insidious: Chapter 3 added some delightfully horrifying backstory to its franchise.
Now, let's take a look at the movies that did make our list.
Though a bit of controversy surrounded this film with Edgar Wright's late departure from directing which would be handed over to Peyton Reed, Ant-Man pulled off the heist and delivered a humorous origin story for both Scott Lang and Hank Pym.
Paul Rudd joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a talented main cast of Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly. However, the additional cast of David Datmalchian, T.I., screen-stealer Michael Pena, and the villainous Corey Stoll helped make Ant-Man a memorable 12th addition to the MCU.
The best thing about Ant-Man for comic book fans is the fact that it acknowledged both Hank Pym and Scott Lang's runs in the shrinking suit. While we may not get to see Hank Pym go all-out hero mode like he did in the 40's, narrowly under the radar during Captain America: The First Avenger, we will likely get to see him go sub-atomic in hopes of rescuing his beloved Janet. Not to mention, we'll get Hope van Dyne's heroine as a titular hero in Ant-Man and The Wasp in 2017.
Check out our review of Ant-Man.
4. The Martian
Once again, Matt Damon's character was stranded in space.
The scientific adventure which Mark Watney encountered when left behind on Mars was both inspiring and heartbreaking. The humanity displayed in The Martian by those on Earth was equally emotional.
The Martian managed to craft a sci-fi story with an abundant amount of on-the-mark humor while never losing focus on its goal. Damon's performance started out painfully impressive when he had to pull lodged space station parts from his torso and ended up terrifically as he triumphantly soared through space like Iron Man.
Check out our review of The Martian.
3. Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars wasn't the only franchise revived in 2015. George Miller's Mad Max saga cast Tom Hardy in what was once Mel Gibson's leading role and made fans and critics heads explode with excitement.
Not only was Tom Hardy a pleasure to watch in this stunt heavy, anti-CGI thriller through the wasteland, but the cinematic revolution of bad-ass females continued with Charlize Theron's Imperator Furiosa helping Max escape the War Boys.
To top things off, Junkie XL's score is arguably the best film score of the year. Oh, what a lovely day!
Check out our review of Mad Max: Fury Road.
2. Ex Machina
Ex Machina managed to slip into theaters quietly and likely only got a wide release because of its cast members Domhall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac being a part of the year's biggest film: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. On top of that, Oscar Isaac's stardom continues to rise as he was announced to be the villain in X-Men: Apocalypse back around the time of Ex Machina's release.
However, Ex Machina deserves every bit of praise it received upon its release and then some.
The movie focused on Isaac's Nathan character, who invented the world's first form of artificial intelligence and invited Gleeson's Caleb to come test it out. The film quickly turned into a psychological thriller of the science fiction sort but never went over the top or lost focus.
Ex Machina's lead actors and brilliant screenplay and direction combined for a stellar silver screen experience. The movie brought up questions of the human conscience and existence but rather than avoid revealing the consequences like many films of the sort do, Ex Machina dove in head on. Where Chappie got explosive and chaotic in a similar field, Ex Machina remained focused, dramatic, and driven.
If you haven't seen this movie, watch it now.
Check out our review of Ex Machina.
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Not only was in the biggest, most anticipated movie of the year (and all-time), but those credits also earn Star Wars: The Force Awakens a comfortable seat atop the list of best movies from 2015.
Episode VII satisfied fans of all ages. Older generations who attended A New Hopes' theatrical release in 1977 were given the same magical feeling they encountered over 30 years ago and younger generations became hooked on a rich franchise.
With the return of the original cast of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill, The Force Awakens was able to pick up 30 years after cinema's most iconic tale of all time, while also adding fantastic newcomers to the mix with Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, and, of course, Daisy Ridley.
Not only did the film tell a complete story and introduce a trio of new central characters (and a terrifying new villain in Adam Driver's Kylo Ren) but it also left the door open for a more than welcome Episode VIII to tell more story. J.J. Abrams masterfully combined the practical elements and tone of the 80's films with modern cinematic technology for the year's best movie.
Check out our review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.