The Music Writers Poll 2015: Movie Of The Year

23 December 2015 | 11:29 am | Mitch Knox

"Far from a lacklustre follow-up, Fury Road was a cinematic tour de force..."

Mad Max: Fury Road

It's safe to say that people weren't necessarily expecting that much from Mad Max: Fury Road when it hit cinemas this year.

George Miller's cult dystopian franchise had laid dormant for decades, and there was little evidence, going in, that the movie — starring Tom Hardy in the role that made Mel Gibson a global force — would be anything more than a footnote-size addendum to a long-dead universe.

How wrong we were, and how joyous it is to be wrong in such circumstances. Far from a lacklustre follow-up, Fury Road was a cinematic tour de force, obliterating any middling expectations to easily come away as the #1 film of 2015 as voted by The Music's contributors, with nearly twice as many votes as its nearest competitor.

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From John Seale's stunning cinematography and Miller's bold directorial choices — there are minutes-long stretches without a word uttered by anyone — to Tom Hardy's nuanced facial expressions, Charlize Theron's unexpected, breakout feminist hero (Imperator Furiosa) and Aussie muso iOTA's star turn as a flame-spewing-guitar-wielding mute, Fury Road was a pulse-raising, heart-stopping, eminently watchable thrill ride, all the way to the explosives-laden finish line.

Fury Road's excellence is afforded even more credence when one considers the sheer quality of cinema in general this year: our writers were enamoured with (and got just a little emotional over) Pixar's Inside Out; Alex Garland's Ex Machina was a humanising look at artificial intelligence; sci-fi and the generally odd also got a nod via top-ten placings for the likes of Matt Damon's The Martian and Michael Keaton's acclaimed comeback flick Birdman; and music biopics and documentaries did the trick in 2015, with Straight Outta Compton, Amy and Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck all making their way onto our scribes' radars among the best cinema of the year.

The Top Ten

1. Mad Max: Fury Road

2. Inside Out

3. Ex Machina

4. Straight Outta Compton

5. The Martian

6. Birdman

7. Amy

8. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl

9. It Follows

10. Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck

Previous winners:

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Gravity (2013)

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Drive (2011)