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The Playlist

15 Thematic Trilogies From 15 Directors

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • May 7, 2014 1:48 PM
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  • 37 Comments
15 Thematic Trilogies
It’s quite likely that, in a few summers’ time, cinemagoing will start to resemble entering a giant narrative web, as each auditorium will be hosting a film featuring characters on their way to the plot being screened in the next theatre over. Disney, Marvel, DC—the brilliance of their crossover strategy seems only matched by the appetite of moviegoers for the results. The thought, then, of a standalone narrative, a one-off rather than a sequel springboard, is a rare phenomenon in today’s cinematic landscape, let alone the idea of linking films together only loosely, in such a way that they can't be shorthanded by sticking a "2" or a "3" on the end of the original title.

The 20 Worst Summer Blockbusters Ever

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 6, 2014 4:02 PM
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  • 34 Comments
The 20 Worst Ever Summer Blockbusters
To some extent, the idea of a blockbuster season no longer exists: whereas once tentpoles were restricted to the summer or Christmas, these days we get stuff like "The Lego Movie" in February, "300: Rise Of An Empire" in March, Marvel flicks in April, and something like "Gravity" in October. But that said, no point in the calendar has the sheer density (both meanings) of blockbusters of the summer season.

The Movies That Changed My Life: 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' Director David Lowery

  • By Cory Everett
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  • May 5, 2014 3:08 PM
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  • 7 Comments
It's hard to think of another indie filmmaker in recent memory who has taken advantage of his post-Sundance moment quite as well as David Lowery. After conquering the fest last year as a triple-threat (with three separate films)—co-editor on Shane Carruth's "Upstream Color," co-writer on Yen Tan's "Pit Stop," and perhaps most notably as writer/director on "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," the '70s-flavored romantic crime drama we called "a wholly engrossing and impressive piece of work"—Lowery got straight to work on figuring out his next project(s).

The Best & The Worst Of 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 5, 2014 2:21 PM
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  • 43 Comments
Amazing Spider-Man 2, post-mortem
As you're probably aware at this point from the inescapable marketing onslaught (damn that Evian Spider-baby to the darkest depths of hell), "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," Sony's sequel to the reboot of the series based on a comic-book, hit theaters in the U.S. on Friday, after opening in much of the rest of the world in mid-April. Seeing Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man take on Jamie Foxx's Electro and Dane DeHaan's Green Goblin (plus, in a cameo, Paul Giamatti's Rhino) while continuing to woo Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy, it had a strong box office weekend, although falling short of the total of both the first and third Sam Raimi Spider-pictures, and last month's Marvel entry "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." Perhaps more importantly, the film fell short critically, with lower Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores than any of the previous films in the franchise, while our official review pretty much straight-up loathed it.

Ranking The 10 Best And 10 Worst Villains In Superhero Movies

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 1, 2014 4:00 PM
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  • 42 Comments
Best/Worst Super Villains Feature
It's only May (and even then, only just May), and we're already into our second superhero movie of the year, with this week's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" following hot on the heels of last month's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." This is only kicking off our regular summer programming of battles between good and evil and wisecracking aliens/mutants/mutant aliens come to save/destroy the world/Galaxy/Universe, and the dualism that every superhero film relies on means that every hero needs an adversary, or in the case of Peter Parker these weekend, about four hundred of them (none of whom, as our review relates, are very compelling). Because, hey, everybody loves a bad guy, so why not cram in a whole shedload?

10 Movies To See In May

  • By Kristen Lopez
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  • May 1, 2014 1:05 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Movies To See In May (2014)
The rising temperatures signify one thing: Summer Blockbuster Season! The summer movie season used to start on 4th of July weekend, but as our box office format changes, the blockbusters have started peeping out earlier and earlier with our first summer-time comic book movie coming to us the first week of May. As always, I’ll list the ten movies you should make time for this month!

The 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Official Cast Explored

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • April 30, 2014 2:27 PM
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  • 8 Comments
The 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Cast, playlist image
Just when we think we're out, they pull us back in. With many of us here a little jaded about the prospect, not so much of the film itself, but of the months of speculation and debate and wringing wild meaning from the tiddiest of bits that lie between us and the premiere of "Star Wars: Episode VII" in December 2015, we were adopting a firm wait-and-see attitude toward casting rumors, and toward what those rumors might mean for the story. Well, we waited and saw, and yesterday's casting confirmation kind of had the effect of vaudeville-yanking us off the stage of our indifference: it's an intriguing, and we have to say, not obvious, lineup.

Why 'Mean Girls' Still Resonates 10 Years Later

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • April 29, 2014 2:30 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Mean Girls, Feature
Ten years ago tomorrow, a modestly-budgeted female-led high-school comedy opened across the U.S. Based on the debut feature script from a “Saturday Night Live” writer, adapted from a non-fiction self-help book, starring a coterie of largely unknown faces, and centering on a Disney contract player who’d had a big hit the year before with “Freaky Friday” but a miss earlier in 2004 with “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen,” the film is a rare example of bottled lightning, of a whole that adds up to much more than the sum of the seemingly fairly standard parts. Why else would we be sitting down to write about “Mean Girls” on its 10th birthday?

10 Comic Actresses Who Deserve A Big-Screen Leading Role

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 28, 2014 2:15 PM
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  • 29 Comments
10 Comic Actresses
Happily, we can say something in 2014 that we haven't been able to for a long while: it's a good time for comedy actresses in movies. What once was a barren, bromance-filled wasteland, has filled up somewhat with the success of "Bridesmaids" and "The Heat," among others, convincing studio executives and indie financiers that there's a sizable audience for female-led comedy out there.

10 Great Overlooked Films From The 1970s

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 24, 2014 3:51 PM
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  • 50 Comments
10 Overlooked 70s Movies
If you've had a conversation with a serious cinephile in the last week or so, there's probably only been one real subject of discussion. Well, once you've finished talking about "Heaven Is For Real," anyway. Tuesday saw the release of a shiny new Blu-ray of the brand new restored version of William Friedkin's "Sorcerer," Long unavailable on home video, Friedkin's 1977 remake of "The Wages Of Fear," an expensive flop buried in part by the release of "Star Wars," has only grown in estimation over the years, and after long legal wrangling, was finally reclaimed by the director last year, and hit stores earlier this week.

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