The Playlist

'Touchy Feely' Director Lynn Shelton's Top 10 Favorite Films Of 2013 Include 'Her,' 'Short Term 12' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 1, 2014 10:37 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Her, Joaquin Phoenix
2014 is here but that doesn't mean the tabulating of 2013 will end just yet. Everyone is still using the holiday season to catch up on the year that was before jumping into the year ahead, and yet another Top 10 is upon us.

The 15 Best Soundtracks Of 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 11, 2013 12:00 PM
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  • 15 Comments
2013: The Best Soundtracks
Some people—a convenient straw man, for instance—might argue that the days of the movie soundtrack are numbered. “From & Inspired By The Motion Picture” releases are less and less common, it's hard to find music videos for specially written singles that feature footage from the movie in the way that was so common in the 1990s (thank God), and in the iTunes and YouTube era, you can find the one song that you love from a movie without needing to pick up a whole CD of stuff you don't care about.

First Look: Joe Swanberg's 'Drinking Buddies' Follow-Up 'All The Lights In The Sky'

All the Light in the Sky
Director Joe Swanberg graduated from the school of mumblecore to good ol’ indie filmmaker this year thanks to the very excellent “Drinking Buddies” (a movie we called one of the best movies of the year so far this past summer). What the hell does that mean? Well, it sort of means that Swanberg was just firing off film after film in his “mumble” days with varying degrees of quality, but perhaps working with accomplished actors instead of non-actors/newbs – Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston – “Drinking Buddies” proved that his same approach and style (improvy, run and gun) can be better served with exceptional thesps behind the wheel. Where will he go next? Read More »

BFI London Film Festival Diary Day 8: '12 Years A Slave,' 'The Past,' 'Only Lovers Left Alive' & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 21, 2013 2:25 PM
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  • 1 Comment
12 Years A Slave
I'm a defender of the Oscar season in general—it's a rare chance to shift the conversation away from superheroes and talking cartoon animals, and onto films made for actual grown-up human beings. But it does also have the unfortunate side-effect of often framing the movies as nothing but competitors in a six-month long sporting season. As such, while it's certainly deserving, I wouldn't mind if no one ever mentioned the words Oscar and "12 Years A Slave" [A] in the same breath again, because a film this good is only cheapened by the awards-chasing.

Quentin Tarantino’s Top 10 Films of 2013 (So Far) Includes 'The Lone Ranger,' 'Kick-Ass 2,' 'Gravity' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 6, 2013 10:03 AM
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  • 18 Comments
For the past couple of years—except 2013 when he was working on his own "Django Unchained"—Quentin Tarantino wasn't shy about sharing the films he liked, and sometimes, the ones he didn't. For the most part, the filmmaker loves indie movies, animated films and big, popcorn blockbusters. In 2010, he was really into kids' flicks with "Toy Story 3,""Tangled" and "How To Train Your Dragon" sitting alongside "The Social Network," "True Grit" and "Animal Kingdom." In 2011, fare like "Attack The Block," "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes," "Moneyball" and uh, "The Three Musketeers" were name-dropped while he controversially gave Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" a "nice try" dig. So what does he like so far in 2013?

The 10 Best Movies Of Summer 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • August 30, 2013 2:21 PM
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  • 11 Comments
The Ten Best Movies Of Summer 2013
Summer 2013 is over, and so ends another season of loud, dumb, propulsive blockbusters and noisemakers. Lost within the rubble of explosions, posing, next-day blockbuster think pieces and box office discussions, there was also no shortage of options for audiences who didn’t want to turn their brains off, who didn’t want to feel like a kid again. Not that great films are measured in budgets or studio support, but this was an unusually dismal season for popcorn features, and the lines were drawn pretty clearly between the robots, aliens and superheroes of this season, and the lovers, comics and oddballs of the arthouse. For better or for worse, in ten years we’ll be talking about Nicolas Winding Refn’s divisive, maddening “Only God Forgives” more than “White House Down” or “2 Guns,” even if that talk is mostly about how some of us hated it.

Interview: 'Drinking Buddies' Star Jake Johnson Talks Rules of Improv, Working With Joe Swanberg & Frustrations With Network TV

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • August 27, 2013 5:18 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Drinking Buddies
Two attractive couples, their difficulties in life, work, and romance, a sly glance toward the other person's partner as a possible solution... It may seem like the rote set-up for your standard romantic comedy but filmmaker Joe Swanberg (“Hannah Takes The Stairs,” “All The Light In The Sky”) knows this. His latest film, "Drinking Buddies," succeeds not by the prolific indie director's shift up in budget and crowd appeal but by just how adeptly he tweaks that framework for a surprisingly observant and honest result — in our SXSW review, we called it “a film that feels loose without ever being ponderous or phony.”

Review: Joe Swanberg's 'Drinking Buddies' Starring Jake Johnson, Olivia Wilde, Anne Kendrick & Ron Livingston

  • By Cory Everett
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  • August 23, 2013 4:07 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Drinking Buddies
With the rise of digital filmmaking in the last decade, a new wave of DIY "mumblecore" filmmakers have risen up through the ranks. While initially many of these films were loose and unpolished, they are now are becoming more refined with many of these directors and actors now having basically integrated themselves into the mainstream (or mainstream indie anyway). Of the directors who have come of age during this digital era, perhaps none is more notorious or divisive than Joe Swanberg, the writer/director/editor/actor responsible for 12 films over the last 8 years. With an output that prolific, you would think by now you should know whether Swanberg's brand of filmmaking is your cup of tea or not.

Watch: Joe Swanberg Talks "Breakthrough" Feature 'Drinking Buddies' Starring Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick & Jake Johnson

  • By Edward Davis
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  • August 20, 2013 12:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Joe Swanberg, the indie director arguably responsible for the DIY aesthetic known as "mumblecore" (though don't fully blame him, he didn't coin the term) is the most prolific filmmaker alive. OK, maybe not quite, but since 2005, the filmmaker has made about 14 feature-length films. That's not quite an average of two films per year between 2005-2013, but it's close (and it doesn't even include the shorts he's made). His debut, "Kissing on the Mouth" kicked off this movement when it was heralded as a hit at SXSW and since then he's become known for micro-budgeted indies like "Hannah Takes The Stairs" (which helped launch Greta Gerwig's career), "Nights & Weekends" and "Alexander The Last."

13 Films You Should See In August

  • By Kristen Lopez
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  • August 1, 2013 2:00 PM
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  • 13 Comments
12 Films You Should See In August
August usually means backpacks, school, and the slow slog to the holidays and the end of the year (can you tell I’m not looking forward to summer‘s end?). One place where the end isn’t apparent is at the local multiplex, where there is so much going in August that I’m throwing in an additional two films for you on top of the requisite ten! Just think, August used to be a dumping ground for films that weren’t bombastic enough for summer but lacked the Oscar clout for the winter; now it’s that special time where independent films can flourish and audiences can remember why they love movies in the first place.

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