The Playlist

Paper Magazine Critic Goes Contrarian, Names ‘12 Years A Slave’ Worst Film Of 2013

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • December 18, 2013 10:21 AM
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  • 14 Comments
12 Years A Slave
While we’re mostly celebratory around these parts, a considerable aspect of our year-end cinematic reflections has been dredging up those unspeakable films long since forgotten for one final verdict—think “Violet and Daisy,” “I Give It A Year," or “The Big Wedding." We compiled our 20 favorite abominations here, but elsewhere head film critic of Paper Magazine Dennis Dermody has aimed for more awards-centric fare with his list, and ended up with director Steve McQueen’s work in his sights.

The 20 Worst Films Of 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 12, 2013 12:08 PM
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  • 86 Comments
2013: Worst Fillms Of The Year
You know us, dear reader, we’re on the side of the angels. Most days of the year will find us, Pollyanna-like, looking on the bright side of the movie world, championing the weak, giving succour to the neglected and finding the silver lining to every cinematic cloud. But not today. Today, screw that, we’re giving vent to the bile that has built up over a twelvemonth of diligent moviegoing and letting it rip on those movies that just fucking suck. And while we still believe in reasoned argument and persuasive rhetoric to get our points across, forgive us if we occasionally lapse into hyperbole here, and remember that these are films that take two-odd hours of our (and your) lives and brainspace, that could be given to something much more deserving,, rewarding and wondrous, and serve us mulch instead. I mean, Bergman’s “Autumn Sonata” is roughly the same length as Sandler’s “Grown Ups 2.”

In Honor Of 'Riddick:' 10 Of The Most Unnecessary Sequels Ever

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 5, 2013 2:11 PM
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  • 15 Comments
10 Of The Most Unnecessary Sequels Ever
If popcorn cinema in 2013 has been defined by one thing, it's been "Sharknado." But if cinema in 2013 has been defined by two things, it's "Sharknado" and... a glut of unnecessary and unwanted sequels. Think about it: "A Good Day to Die Hard," "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," "RED 2," "Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters" "Despicable Me 2," "Kick-Ass 2," "Planes," "The Smurfs 2," "Grown Ups 2." These aren't just movies that are creatively unnecessary, they are movies that it's hard to imagine anyone wanting (though in the Sandler movie's case people bizarrely did actually show up, to humanity's shame). Even "Monsters University," arguably the year's best sequel/prequel/spin-off, wasn't one that seemed that creatively in demand—it was better than expected, but hardly essential. This week sees yet another sequel few were clamoring to hit theaters: "Riddick," the third movie in the series started by 2000's "Pitch Black" and continued with 2004's "The Chronicles of Riddick.". And it got us thinking about other egregious examples through the years.

Weekend Box Office: 'Identity Thief' Returns To First; Stitches For 'Snitch'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 24, 2013 12:54 PM
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  • 0 Comments
So far, 2013 is trailing 2012 in box office receipts, allowing “Identity Thief” to celebrate the spoils of war. The comedy is slated to become the highest grossing film of 2013 within days (beating out “Django Unchained,” which is actually a 2012 release), and this weekend it romped over a couple of weak newcomers to reclaim the top spot at the box office.

Box Office: 'A Good Day To Die Hard' Has A Good Weekend At #1, 'Beautiful Creatures' Not So Pretty

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • February 17, 2013 12:48 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Welcome to the world of the new blockbuster. Would Hollywood studios learn to make good movies, or make smarter fiscal decisions first? Given that we're looking at "A Good Day To Die Hard" ruling over the box office, the latter is true, with the fifth installment in the action series winning a very close horse race on this Presidents' Day weekend. The fact that this opening is significantly smaller than the one for "Live Free Or Die Hard" and that the picture is assuredly the worst in the series turns out to be irrelevant.

What Are You Seeing This Weekend? 'Escape From Planet Earth' With 'A Good Day To Die Hard' & 'Beautiful Creatures'

  • By Emma Bernstein
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  • February 15, 2013 7:11 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Dear faithful readers, we hope you enjoyed your day of stuffed animals, roses, and antacids in the shape of little hearts. Or maybe you just got drunk and ate cheesecake (after which you probably needed a couple of those Rolaids disguised as candy). Holiday traditions are the best, aren't they? Well, in case you didn't get enough of the love, there's plenty going around in theaters this weekend. A(nother) fantastical being falls hard for a(nother) human, John McClane bonds with his son, a call girl finds herself torn between a client and her fiancé, paramours turn pathological in an Indian remake, and one more Nicholas Sparks lovefest sobathon -- er, novel -- gets a silver screen adaptation. Be sure to pack some insulin for the sugar rush, and tell us what you'll be seeing in the comments below!

Watch: Ben Stiller's 'Die Hard 12' Sketch That Is More Of A 'Die Hard' Movie Than 'A Good Day To Die Hard'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 15, 2013 12:43 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Of the many, many things wrong with the thoroughly awful "A Good Day To Die Hard," the major issue is that it barely contains any of the trademarks that made the franchise unique in the first place. Oh sure, there's the always quip-ready Bruce Willis, but there's no villain with a crazy scheme or any sign that John McClane is ever in any real danger. 'Good Day' merely has McClane and his son running through Moscow, blowing shit up, and jumping through more plate glass windows than you thought possible while chasing some vague file. Basically, it could be mistaken for any faceless production Luc Besson cranks out these days. So who would've thought that Ben Stiller would have got it right more than a decade ago?

Review: John McClane Becomes A Non-Entity In The Faceless & Tedious McActioner 'A Good Day To Die Hard'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • February 13, 2013 5:28 PM
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  • 11 Comments
If you were to tell the even the average civilian who frequented movies that the script for "A Good Day To Die Hard" was actually just another generic actioner found in a studio pile and then subsequently retrofitted to fit the "Die Hard" brand, said average schmoe would have no reason to doubt you. In fact, this was exactly the case for both “Die Hard With A Vengeance” -- originally called “Simon Says” -- and "Live Free Or Die Hard," which started as "WW3.com" (seriously) with neither originally conceived for the franchise. That is to say there’s almost nothing distinguishable that identifies this particular story with the John McClane (Bruce Willis) narrative -- that of an everyman New York cop who often finds himself a magnet for trouble -- other than gigantic broad strokes. This is how largely anonymous and colorless, "Die Hard 5" aka “A Good Day To Die Hard” truly is. Set in Russia for seemingly random (and antiquated) reasons and featuring a father/son dynamic that's uninspired and banal, the fifth installment of this series takes a weak, half-baked story and simply grafts it onto John McClane's ongoing adventures, but for no discernible reason other than to keep said adventures going.

Survive Hard: All The Times John McClane Should Have Died In The ‘Die Hard’ Series

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • February 13, 2013 12:58 PM
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  • 6 Comments
In 1988, when the first "Die Hard" was released, Bruce Willis' everyday action hero John McClane was something of an anomaly. This was the era of the invincible action superstar – people like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jean-Claude Van Damme, who would waltz through action movies firing machine guns, surviving explosions with the casualness of someone doing laundry or putting up wallpaper. With "Die Hard," McClane was a new kind of hero -- a New York City cop who is afraid of flying, who's deeply insecure about his marriage and who, once bank-robbing terrorists seize a Los Angeles skyscraper, forgets his shoes, embodied by an actor most knew from a primetime comedy. And while there are plenty of instances where he survives against all odds, he also gets cut, bleeds, and screws up – things that these Reagan-era he-men rarely (if ever) did. As the series progressed, things became more and more cartoon-y for John McClane, until, by the fourth film, he was just as undefeatable as the heroes he was once such a refreshing antithesis to.

Watch: New Clip From 'A Good Day To Die Hard' Plus Key & Peele Get Really Excited For The Sequel

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 12, 2013 4:03 PM
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  • 5 Comments
If you haven't made your plans for Valentine's Day for your special someone, may we remind you that it's less than 48 hours away, and if you want to get into somebody's good books, you might want track down a reservation. But if you do manage to convince the special person in your life to go with you to the theater to see "A Good Day To Die Hard," no one will be able to match the excitement of Key & Peele for the fifth entry in the franchise.

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