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The Playlist

The 10 Least Dire January Releases Of The Last 10 Years

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 22, 2014 2:00 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Least Dire Jan Header
This week sees the release of "I, Frankenstein," and if ever there was a definition of a January movie, it's "I, Frankenstein." Once-promising actor reduced to action-movie paychecks en route to some kind of TV series? Check. Terrible CGI? Check. "Underworld"-aping plotline pitting mythological beasties against each other? Check. Barely screening for the press? Check.

Bond, Dracula, Batman & More: Who Played These 10 Iconic Characters Best?

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • January 21, 2014 3:10 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Bond, Dracula, Batman & More: Who Played These 10 Characters Best?
This past weekend saw the release of "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit," the latest film to feature Tom Clancy's CIA analyst. It's probably fair to say that the film didn't live up to Paramount's expectations as a franchise re-starter, opening in fourth at the box office with a disappointing $15 million, and is heading to a rather ignominious future as a film that you watch ten minutes of on cable before realizing that you've already watched it.

25 Movies That Defined The Sundance Film Festival

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • January 21, 2014 12:05 PM
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  • 14 Comments
25 Movies That Defined The Sundance Film Festival
As you might have noticed from the wall-to-wall level of coverage over the last week or so, the Sundance Film Festival has grown considerably from its humble beginnings back in 1978, when it was inaugurated as the Utah/US Film Festival and had a remit to showcase exclusively American-made independent films, and to promote filmmaking in the region. Robert Redford's involvement as a guiding patron led to its name change in 1981, from which point on it expanded gradually, until a kind of Cambrian explosion occurred with the arrival of "sex lies & videotape " 25 years ago this, a film that, with only a touch of hyperbole, could be said to have remade the festival into the modern titan it is today.

Oscars: How The Historic PGA Tie Keeps The Best Picture Race Wide Open, Plus Who Could Upset In The Acting Categories?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 20, 2014 3:27 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Gravity 12 Years A Slave
For a minute, it looked as if the race might be over. David O. Russell's "American Hustle" (and the way that that phrase rhymes alone makes us glad it's a Best Picture nominee) had the momentum going into the Oscar nominations last week, and had even more after it: ten nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and four acting nods, one in each category, only the second movie to achieve that feat in the last thirty years (Russell's previous film, "Silver Linings Playbook," being the other).

Podcast: The Playlist Talks Oscar Nominations & 'Batman Vs. Superman' Moving To 2016

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • January 20, 2014 2:47 PM
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  • 6 Comments
2014 Oscar Nominations: 'American Hustle' Leads The Pack With 10 Nominations, 'Gravity' & '12 Years A Slave' Get 9 Each
With much of The Playlist crew in Sundance, on our first episode of 2014, Managing Editor Kevin Jagernauth and Features Editor Oli Lyttelton teamed up for an hour to chat about the recent Oscar nominations, discussing who might win, the surprises and snubs and more. In the final 15 minutes, they also make time to discuss the recent news about the release of the highly anticipated "Batman vs. Superman" being pushed to 2016.

By The Numbers: The 2014 Oscar Nominations

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 16, 2014 12:41 PM
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  • 19 Comments
By The Numbers: The 2014 Oscar Nominations
You might have thought we were done with coverage of today's Oscar announcements, but you were wrong (although, actually, this should be for it the moment after this one). You've seen the nominations themselves, and you've read our piece about the surprises and snubs, but what you might be missing out on are the stats.

2014 Oscar Nominations: The Biggest Shocks, Snubs & Surprises

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 16, 2014 11:07 AM
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  • 37 Comments
Oscar Snubs, Surprises: 2014
Well, the Oscar nominations are in and Twitter has exploded with the usual flurry of WTF?s, OMG!s and TOLDJA!s (perhaps we follow the wrong people). And while in general it seems like a lot of the last-minute trend predictions went in the right direction (Redford went very cool for “All is Lost,” “Inside Llewyn Davis” too, though perhaps not quite icy enough to predict a near-total shut-out), in amongst the various entirely expected nominations, there were a fair number of films and performances we didn’t expect to see, and a few we had to double check we didn’t (you can read our full predictions here to see how right and wrong we were).

The 22 Oscar Nominations We'd Most Like To See Tomorrow (But Probably Won't)

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 15, 2014 2:08 PM
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  • 31 Comments
20 Oscar Nominations, we'd love to see, 2014
We're a little under 24 hours away from the arrival of the 2014 Oscar nominations: tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. EST/5:30 a.m. PST, Chris Hemsworth will drag his space viking physique out of bed to join Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs in reading out the nominations. We made our predictions yesterday, and as you've seen, many of the categories are still in flux, with the potential for lots of shocks and surprises to follow tomorrow morning.

The 30 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2014 Sundance Film Festival

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • January 15, 2014 1:00 PM
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  • 9 Comments
2014: Sundance Most Anticipated
So yes, tomorrow brings the Oscar nominations (and you can take a look at our predictions one last time here). But if there were ever any doubt, there's a double reason that tomorrow might be the biggest day of the year in the movie calendar, because in a piece of scheduling that's somewhat infuriating to those of us who like sleeping occasionally, Thursday also marks the start of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Thirty years on from its founding, Robert Redford's little Utah get-together remains the premier venue for American independent film, and while the quality of the line-up remains... inconsistent, it also invariably sees the arrival of a whole host of movies that will be talked about for the twelve months that follow.

Oscars: The Playlist's Final Predictions For The 2014 Academy Award Nominations

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 14, 2014 2:22 PM
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  • 40 Comments
Oscars: Final predix, 2014
After almost six months of debate, backbiting, speculation and guesswork (and yeah, it is close to six months—awards season got underway officially with the debut of "Gravity" in Venice in August, though some could trace it back even earlier to the arrival of "Blue Jasmine in the summer), we're almost there: we're less than 48 hours from the announcement of the nominations for the 86th Academy Awards.

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