After two weeks of voting -- lots and lots and lots of voting -- MTV News readers have officially crowned their Best Movie of 2015: "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2," by a landslide. The runners-up were "Jurassic World" and "Inside Out," but honestly, it wasn't even close. Katniss Everdeen's (Jennifer Lawrence) army just fought too hard, because they cared so much.
Now, this victor should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been following the impact of "The Hunger Games" on pop culture at large over the past five years. It's not just that Katniss and her post-apocalyptic world have inspired so many others like it (think "Divergent," "The Maze Runner," and the upcoming Chloe Moretz-starrer "The 5th Wave") -- though of course, that is important -- or that the big-screen version of Suzanne Collins' book series is jam-packed with gorgeous stars. Heck, it's not even that Katniss is a much-needed complex (in other words, actually interesting) female hero, though we're 100 percent all about that here on MTV News.
Because really, when it comes down to it, "The Hunger Games" works because it moves people, and it's honest to its fans. It's a story about a single girl who reluctantly -- very reluctantly -- finds herself in the middle of an impossible situation, and does her best to rise to the occasion while still refreshingly questioning the world around her. (And how can she not, when so much of "Mockingjay - Part 1" is all about how she's nothing but a tool in the war propaganda department's well-oiled machine?)
Fans are smart enough to know when they're being fed sub-par or fluffy material, and from the get-go, "Mockingjay - Part 2" made it clear that it wasn't going to sugarcoat a war so that audiences could feel comfortable with a traditionally happy ending. Sure, some of the darkest scenes of Collins' "Mockingjay" were cut -- like the time she shot that Capitol woman point-blank through the heart -- but overall, the film (and Lawrence's performance) bravely kept the brutal-yet-hopeful tone that was so essential to the books.
And of course, the fans noticed. When MTV News asked "Hunger Games" fans why they loved Katniss ahead of the film's release, they said things like, "she doesn’t know she can do so much," and "if Katniss could get through everything that she went through, then I can get through this," and "she is aware of her faults."
In other words, yeah, the fans got it: throughout life, people are dragged into situations that they absolutely do not want to be dealing with, and it takes a whole lot of strength and purpose and 24/7 soul-searching to make it out in one piece. Katniss' situation was an extreme one, of course, but everyone's problems feel Katniss-level huge inside their own hearts.
So when MTV News opened up voting for the Best Movie of 2015, we weren't surprised that most of the comments on our story looked something like this:
"'Mockingjay - Part 2' is the best because hello??? Have you SEEN the movie??? Other than the incredible finish, the special effects are amazing and the entire film is so aesthetically pleasing. Every single actor and actress does a phenomenal job portraying their character and it is one of those rare series (Harry Potter being the other) that truly ends with a bang. Amazing movie."
And that the tweets about the subject looked a little like this:
This type of fan reaction is what happens when writers and filmmakers and actors all really care about the material they're providing for young people -- who, frankly, are often fed a whole bunch of diluted crap, because money. That readers voted for "Mockingjay - Part 2" so overwhelmingly proves that they're hungry (get it?) for better material, and hopefully, filmmakers are ready to give it to them.
(For what it's worth, we also really, really recommend "Magic Mike XXL.")