The Playlist

Review: 'Mr. Peabody And Sherman,' Featuring The Voices of Ty Burrell, Stanley Tucci, Stephen Colbert & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 5, 2014 4:25 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Before our very early screening of "Mr. Peabody and Sherman," the new 3D adaptation of the Jay Ward characters that originated on "The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show," director Rob Minkoff addressed the audience (comprised mostly of children). He told us that we were one of the first audiences to see the movie, then told a rambling story about the time he met Billy Wilder in the airport. At some point he revealed that this was his first animated feature since directing "The Lion King" for Disney in the early nineties. It was about the only time in his intro that the kids in the audience actually reacted. And once the movie started, one thing became very clear: "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" is no "Lion King."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt To Direct & Star In ‘Sandman’; Leads U.S. Voice Cast Of ‘The Wind Rises’

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • December 17, 2013 9:17 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Sandman Joseph Gordon-Levitt
While certainly not without its problems, “Don Jon” proved a major effort from its director and star Joseph Gordon-Levitt this year, first gaining acclaim at Sundance before making its way to theatres in September. His directing skills were the main takeaway from the experience though, and they haven’t gone unnoticed: news comes today that Levitt may be attached to a considerable leap in material for his sophomore feature, and also that he’s to lead the U.S. cast in the final film from the master of Japanese animation.

Hurt People Hurt People: Neil LaBute & Alice Eve On The Intricate Roleplaying Of ‘Some Velvet Morning’

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • December 13, 2013 3:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Some Velvet Morning, Alice Eve, Neil LaBute
Since his award-winning debut feature “In the Company of Men” in 1997, Neil LaBute has developed a diverse career that spans writing and directing for both the stage and screen. Depicting unsettling and often cruel relationships between men and women, his work can be difficult to stomach, but there is no denying his unique voice. Over the years, LaBute has experimented with directing other people’s work, venturing into the horror (“The Wicker Man”), thriller (“Lakeview Terrace”) and comedy (“Nurse Betty,” “Death at a Funeral”) genres, to varying degrees of critical success. At the same time, he is a prolific playwright, with “The Mercy Seat,” “Fat Pig,” “reasons to be pretty,” and “The Shape of Things,” among others, making theatrical waves.

Watch: Alice Eve Needs Some Me Time In Exclusive Clip From Neil LaBute's 'Some Velvet Morning'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 12, 2013 11:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Some Velvet Morning Alice Eve Stanley Tucci
Sometimes the most exciting thing in a movie isn't the CGI spectacle, big setpieces or A-list stars looking glamorous—sometimes, it's simply the dialogue delivered by two engaged, invigorated actors that can provide all the fireworks you need. And that's the case for Neil LaBute's latest "Some Velvet Morning."

Oscar Isaac Replaces Javier Bardem In 'A Most Violent Year,' Zach Galifianakis Teams With Owen Wilson & More

  • By Ken Guidry
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  • December 3, 2013 12:54 PM
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  • 2 Comments
After working with Nicolas Winding Refn, Ridley Scott, Zack Snyder, Steven Soderbergh and hell, even Madonna, you would think that plenty of doors are already open for Oscar Isaac. Well, we're sure teaming with the Coen Brothers for "Inside Llewyn Davis" (and knocking it out of the park) kicked down a few more.

The Best & The Worst Of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • November 25, 2013 1:40 PM
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  • 66 Comments
Catching Fire, feature
Now officially the all-time November opening record holder, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" was always a fairly sure thing in terms of box office. But what's more impressive is the advance word on the film (our own included), and the buzz around it, which has been so positive, with it being touted as the rare sequel that improves on the original, and with many going so far as to compare it to "The Empire Strikes Back." (Though, to be honest, we think that comparison is more to do with how open-ended it feels, with the good guys separated and some of them still imperiled, at the film's close.) Some of us might not go quite that far, but certainly director Francis Lawrence has made good on delivering a broader, more nuanced and more layered film than the first, which is fitting considering he was adapting what we'd consider the best of the three books, by quite some distance.

Watch: Alice Eve & Stanley Tucci Play Games In Trailer For Neil LaBute's 'Some Velvet Morning'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 12, 2013 5:24 PM
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  • 4 Comments
"Everyone’s been in that place where it’s like, 'I can’t live with this person. I can’t live without them.' It’s just crazy love," writer/director Neil LaBute told us about his latest "Some Velvet Morning," earlier this year. But it's far more than just "crazy love" that's cooking in this one.

Review: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth & Josh Hutcherson

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • November 12, 2013 9:00 AM
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  • 17 Comments
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Francis Lawrence is a filmmaker I typically associate with bland proficiency, but “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” – which honestly required nothing more than that to be considered successful -- is something truly remarkable. Easily the most sophisticated and thoughtful franchise film of 2013, Lawrence’s adaptation of the second novel in Suzanne Collins’ young adult series is all-things-to-all-people entertainment, a follow-up that intensifies the first film’s thrills while simultaneously developing its characters, and even more crucially, expanding its themes. The rare sequel that surpasses its predecessor, “Catching Fire” tackles head-on the repercussions of the events of “Hunger Games,” deepening Collins’ cinematic mythology even as it proves that teen-lit is more than capable of tackling complex ideas.

Review: 'The Fifth Estate' Starring Benedict Cumberbatch Lacks Courage & Conviction

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 18, 2013 10:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The Fifth Estate
It's hard to argue that Julian Assange is one of the most powerful and polarizing figures of our current times. From childhood pranks hacking NASA and National Defense computer systems to exposing the dirty laundry of banks and governments around the world, he has become a hero to those seeking transparency and valuing privacy and a villain to those who believe security also means some secrets are worth keeping. But through it all, Assange has never doubted his convictions, and has boldly defended his actions, speaking broadly of revolution and accountability. And thus one might think a film about the man who continues to make headlines would be equally bold. You would be mistaken.

TIFF Review: 'The Fifth Estate' Starring Benedict Cumberbatch & Daniel Brühl

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 6, 2013 8:33 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Fifth Estate
It's hard to argue that Julian Assange is one of the most powerful and polarizing figures of our current times. From childhood pranks hacking NASA and National Defense computer systems to exposing the dirty laundry of banks and governments around the world, he has become a hero to those seeking transparency and valuing privacy and a villain to those who believe security also means some secrets are worth keeping. But through it all, Assange has never doubted his convictions, and has boldly defended his actions, speaking broadly of revolution and accountability. And thus one might think a film about the man who continues to make headlines would be equally bold. You would be mistaken.

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