The Playlist

The 10 Best Episodes Of 'Mad Men'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 16, 2014 2:13 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Mad Men
It might not be the pop culture phenomenon that it once was (the grabbier, faster likes of “True Detective” and “Game Of Thrones” having surpassed it at the nation’s watercoolers), but last Sunday saw the return of “Mad Men,” and if the seventh season premiere was anything to go by, it’s as good as it ever was. Matthew Weiner’s show, about the lives of the employees of a Madison Avenue ad agency in the 1960s (and in particular, the alienated, self-reinventing golden boy Don Draper, played to star-making effect by Jon Hamm, and Elisabeth Moss’s secretary-turned-high-flyer Peggy Olsen) has been a critical favorite since it launched in 2007 and almost singlehandedly made AMC a serious home for prestige drama (paving the way for network-mates “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead” in the process).

10 Movies Turned Into TV Shows

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 16, 2014 12:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Movies Turned Into TV Shows
Last night saw the arrival of "Fargo" on FX, the second attempt (after a very shortlived late-90s version starring Edie Falco in the role that won Frances McDormand an Oscar) to bring the Coen Brothers' beloved comedy-drama to the small screen. Unlike that version, this is something "inspired" by rather than spinning-off the original, and by most accounts, it seems to have worked, with critics warmly receiving the series, executive produced by the Coens, and which stars Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Kate Walsh, Adam Goldberg, Oliver Platt, Glenn Howerton, Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key.

The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The Tribeca Film Festival 2014

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 15, 2014 1:17 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Tribeca 2014
So while the news that neither "Birdman" nor "Inherent Vice" (our no. 10 and no. 1 most anticipated films of the year, respectively) will be showing in Cannes may have us casting our thoughts forward to the fall festival season, there are still quite a few key events on the cinephile calendar between now and then. Indeed, the Tribeca Film Festival starts this week, and while the line-up overall feels more muted in profile than some years, there's still plenty that has piqued our curiosity in its slate.

The Lost, Unmade & Abandoned Projects Of Director David Gordon Green

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • April 14, 2014 1:43 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Joe, David Gordon Green
"I have a sense of humor. I'm not always this lyrical, slow-moving, Southern crybaby." If the hallmark of the film auteur is cultivating and identifying a unique style, former indie wunderkind David Gordon Green has been systematically tearing down his signature status for a few years now.

20 Best & Worst Films Made From Black List Scripts

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 10, 2014 3:12 PM
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  • 18 Comments
Tomorrow sees the release of Ivan Reitman's "Draft Day," a sports drama starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. There aren't many reasons that it's particularly notable, other than being a late-period Ivan Reitman movie that doesn't have terrible reviews (merely middling ones). However, it's claim to fame is that it's one of only a handful of produced movies to have topped the famous Black List when it was in screenplay form.

The Films Of Nicolas Cage: A Retrospective

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 10, 2014 2:00 PM
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  • 27 Comments
Joe, Nicolas Cage
Yes, the career of Nicolas Cage has taken what one can argue is a serious nosedive in recent years. His frightening hairline has become the butt of endless jokes, his personal life is always a mess (he named his son Kal-El after Superman and he's on his third wife), and his take-a-paycheck career choices of late (seemingly endless riffs on "Taken" that barely get theatrical releases, things like "Seeking Justice," "Stolen," "Trespass," and on the way, a reboot of the bonkers Biblical apocalypse flick "Left Behind") have made him an even bigger laughing stock (maybe the tax problems and reported ridiculous spending habits explain these terrible tendencies).

The 10 Best Performances In The Films Of Jim Jarmusch

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • April 9, 2014 2:56 PM
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  • 8 Comments
10 Best Performances In Jim Jarmusch Movies
It all seems so obvious in retrospect. Of course, of all the parts Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston were born to play, a pair of lovelorn vampires battling the ennui of immortality in a Jim Jarmusch movie should always have been at the top of the list. “Only Lovers Left Alive,” which opens this weekend (review here), makes good on that logline and then some, delivering Jarmusch’s most deliriously enjoyable film in ages (see our complete retrospective of his films here), and showcasing as ever a cast that turn in terrific performances right down to the smallest supporting performer. But it’s Hiddleston and Swinton who carry the film, and they do so with such louche grace that they make their vampiric lifestyle seem dark and twisted and tortured and yet also so seductive and alluring and downright sexy, that at the potential cost of our eternal souls we’d proffer our own necks to them at the drop of a hat.

The Best Performances From The 'Game Of Thrones' Cast

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 8, 2014 3:46 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Game Of Thrones Feature
Oh, “Game of Thrones,” we’ve missed you so. But now that, as of Sunday's season opener, we are back in the warm embrace of a new season of the HBO phenomenon (which has officially been renewed for two further seasons), we’ve also found ourselves plunged back into the midst of one of the biggest ensemble casts on TV, and occasionally snapping our fingers at the screen going “Him! Him! That guy! Wasn’t he in that thing with the other guy from whatjacallit?” It’s one of the great joys of this exquisitely made show that the cast is so rich and deep and full of “that guy” character actors, but it can also be a bit of a pain when their other credits don’t come readily to mind, or when they’re rendered so unrecognisable under prosthetics, accents and/or exotic costumes that you simply can’t place them.

Best And Worst Of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 7, 2014 12:01 PM
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  • 29 Comments
Captain America 2, Best/Worst
This past Friday, after opening worldwide a few weeks earlier and performing like gangbusters, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," the ninth Marvel Studios movie to date, arrived in the U.S., and swiftly proceeded to be the biggest opening of 2014 to date, smashing April records with a hefty $96 million weekend. That's a big step up for the second adventure to topline Chris Evans' super-soldier Steve Rogers to date, no doubt helped by very positive reaction from fans and critics alike.

Best To Worst: Every Marvel Movie Ranked

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 3, 2014 4:00 PM
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  • 148 Comments
Best To Worst: Every Marvel Movie Ranked
Even by the ambitious standards of Marvel, 2014 is going to be a big year. They've got this weekend’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (review here) and hopeful franchise-starter “Guardians of the Galaxy,” while rival studios have the forthcoming “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (at Fox) and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (at Sony). No matter who is bringing them to the screen, Marvel has become a blockbuster brand, underscored by “The Avengers” scoring the third-highest-grossing-film of all time.

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