The Playlist

‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ & 'Django Unchained' Top List Of Most Pirated Movies Of 2013

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 31, 2013 11:33 AM
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  • 4 Comments
"I would be a liar if I was to say, across the board, no piracy," Quentin Tarantino told Cannes Film Festival press back in 2004 when he was serving as Jury president. That said, he wasn't advocating nicking movies that are legally available, instead saying that it's an option to view movies that are harder to find via traditional methods. So we can't imagine he's wildly pleased about this bit of news.

The Playlist Staff's Most Overrated And Underrated Films Of 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 24, 2013 7:03 AM
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  • 161 Comments
Overrated/Underrated 2013
You have to be especially careful with the words “overrated” or “underrated.” Some people don't like the terms, thinking that they're condescending or snide, elevating your own opinions over those of the majority. And arguably they have a strong point, but the words do serve a purpose—how else is a writer meant to sum up their feelings when they're swimming against the tide? And sometimes, that tide is among your own colleagues. See, we're not a hive mind at The Playlist, though we might sometimes give that impression. Like any group of colleagues, we disagree from time to time. Scratch that, we disagree quite a lot, and it's rare for a film to hit theaters without at least one member of staff bucking the consensus, when a consensus can even be reached.

The Worst Films Of 2013... So Far...

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 10, 2013 1:40 PM
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  • 160 Comments
The Worst Films Of 2013, so far, playlist
Is this the worst summer of blockbusters in a recent age or is it the best? Are “Man of Steel" arguments worth losing friendships over? Is "Southland Tales" a masterpiece as posited by generation revisionism or is it the mess critics took it for initially? Will you dare to give your money to villain mensch Adam Sandler over hero Guillermo del Toro? Debate rages on in 2013 over a variety of topics as is par for the course in the opinionated world of movie criticism and discussion. And yes, as we glance down at our watches, we realize it’s basically the midway point of the year. We already looked at what a handful of us thought were the Best Film Of The Year... So Far, and so in the Peter Travers school of thinking, we thought it might be worthwhile to look at the worst films of the year so far on a Wednesday hump day.

'Zombieland' & 'Gangster Squad' Director Ruben Fleischer Going Sci-Fi With New Project

  • By Ken Guidry
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  • April 26, 2013 1:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
It was probably be a safe bet that Ruben Fleischer would want to move on from “Gangster Squad” as quickly as possible. The numerous delays, the re-shoots and the middling box office returns must have put a damper on what initially seemed like a star-studded potential hit. It seems the young director is looking to broaden his genre base by signing on to direct and produce an as yet untitled sci-fi/fantasy film on behalf of Sony Pictures.

Box Office: 'Zero Dark Thirty' Targets Top Spot, 'A Haunted House' Scares Away 'Gangster Squad' For #2

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 13, 2013 12:08 PM
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  • 7 Comments
While Annapurna Pictures backed a number of ambitious films this year including John Hillcoat's bootleggin' “Lawless,” Paul Thomas Anderson's challenging “The Master” and Andrew Dominik's bitter “Killing Them Softly,” the financial rewards were far less than expected. But Megan Ellison's production company has kicked off 2013 strong with Kathryn Bigelow's “Zero Dark Thirty” grossing a solid $24 million in its first weekend of wide release after selling out independent theaters in the last two weeks. After scoring five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Sony timed this expansion perfectly, and the film laid the smackdown on a couple of strong competitors.

What Are You Seeing This Weekend? 'Gangster Squad' & 'A Haunted House' Headline In Theaters

  • By Emma Bernstein
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  • January 11, 2013 1:59 PM
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  • 2 Comments
There really is no rest for the wicked. Blood and brain matter, lechery, and crude allusion spew out of this weekend's cinematic lineup by the gallon. There's gangster genre violence, imitative violence, monster violence, violence against children, bullying violence, historical violence, and the violence with which (the always spectacular) Dame Maggie Smith attacks a role and stuns us all. As another screen giant once told her guests: "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night." Oh, but before you do -- let us know what violent film you'd like to see this weekend. Comment section below, please!

10 Classic Gangster Movies Better Than 'Gangster Squad'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • January 9, 2013 2:04 PM
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  • 8 Comments
This weekend, a heinous crime is committed in the release of "Gangster Squad." At one time a hot prospect at Warner Bros, attracting an all-star cast including Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Michael Pena and Mireille Enos, many had high hopes for it, but the writing has been on the wall for a while. For instance, some claim that the film's January release date was only a side-effect of reshoots ordered after the Aurora shootings, but the film's original slot -- the second weekend in September, one of the quietest moviegoing weekends of the year -- suggested that Warners never had all that much faith in the finished product.

Creating A New 1940s Los Angeles, Responding To Aurora & More From The Cast & Crew About 'Gangster Squad'

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • January 8, 2013 10:03 AM
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  • 0 Comments
For his third directorial effort following the genre mélange of action comedies “Zombieland” and “30 Minutes or Less,” Ruben Fleischer has taken a leap forward in scope and ambition, while taking the narrative back to 1940s Los Angeles. Inspired by the seven-part LA Times articles by Paul Lieberman, “Gangster Squad” charts the apex of NY gangster Mickey Cohen's westward reign, and the guerilla band of LAPD organized to bring it to an end. Armed with a passion for period detail and a modern sensibility, Fleischer has stepped up to the challenge with a fantastic cast behind him, and at the film's Beverly Hills press conference last month, stars Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin and Emma Stone -- along with screenwriter/former LAPD cop Will Beall and producers Dan Lin and Kevin McCormick -- joined the director in describing the experience of bringing the project to the screen.

Review: 'Gangster Squad' An Aggressive, Opulent & Ultimately Wearisome Look At 1940s Los Angeles

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • January 7, 2013 9:01 AM
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  • 8 Comments
Manifest Destiny lies beside its essential hubris in the period actioner “Gangster Squad,” but beyond the swaggering idealism seen through eponymous hoodlum Mickey Cohen (played by Sean Penn), the film's saturated grab bag of glossy homage proves its final shortcoming. With his third feature, “Zombieland” director Ruben Fleischer frames 1940s Los Angeles -- morally compromised, glamorous, and a monument to protect and exploit on both sides of the law -- to adapt Paul Lieberman's true-crime articles into cinematic legend, but in lieu of any sharp insight into the period and its notorious figures, the film's brash, ultraviolent encounters instead build a showy exterior with nothing of import left standing.

We're Going To War: 6 Clips From 'Gangster Squad'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 4, 2013 4:03 PM
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  • 3 Comments
You might have missed it, but last month, Warren Beatty's underrated and colorfully over-the-top "Dick Tracy" made its bow on Blu-ray. So why are we bringing up that 20-plus-year-old movie? Because watching these six clips from "Gangster Squad," we're getting a similar vibe of a scenery chewing, visually audacious approach, though the results don't quite look as compelling.

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