The Assassin Tops Sight & Sound’s 20 Best Films Of 2015 List

the assassin

With December right around the corner, it’s time for movie critics from around the world to start compiling their best-of-2015 lists, and the highly respected Sight & Sound magazine is kick-starting the process by unveiling its own list of the 20 Best Films of 2015.

Topping the incredibly diverse list of faves this year is Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s The Assassin, a Taiwainese martial arts film that won its helmer Best Director at Cannes when it debuted there earlier in 2015. It’s expected to be the frontrunner for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Oscars, and given that the voting body for Sight & Sound’s list includes 168 critics from all around the globe, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that an acclaimed arthouse pic from a renowned auteur placed so highly.

Todd Haynes’ lovely period piece Carol took second place, and there were plenty of other smaller titles included (such as Anomalisa, which has yet to fully bow stateside but could be a spoiler in the Best Picture race). That said, Sight & Sound didn’t discriminate against mainstream or blockbuster fare, ranking Mad Max: Fury RoadInside Out and It Follows highly.   

The full list reads as follows:

1. The Assassin
2. Carol
3. Mad Max: Fury Road
4. Arabian Nights
5. Cemetery Of Splendour
6. No Home Movies
7. 45 Years
8. Son Of Saul
9. Amy (tie)
9. Inherent Vice (tie)*
11. Anomalisa
11. It Follows (tie)
13. Phoenix
14. Girlhood (tie)
14. Hard To Be A God (tie)
14. Inside Out (tie)
14. Tangerine (tie)
14. Taxi Tehran (tie)
19. Horse Money (tie)
19. The Look Of Silence(tie)

*Inherent Vice was in contention because, despite opening stateside in 2014, it debuted in cinemas abroad earlier this year.