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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 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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  • 165 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.

Best Of 2013: The Breakout Directors Of The Year

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • November 27, 2013 5:20 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Best of 2013: The Breakout Directors Of The Year
Every year, film buffs get themselves in a lather over the latest from their favorite experienced directors. The calendar is marked for the next Spielberg, I’ll be there opening day for Scorsese’s latest, I am all about Spike Lee, etc. But the real pleasure in being a film fan is stumbling upon the undiscovered, lifting a rock and uncovering a new talent, a new voice, with a brand new vocabulary for us to learn. The Scorsese films will be there for us to discover and rediscover whenever we want. In 2013, however, there was only one Shaka King picture, there was only one Lake Bell joint.

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.

10 Strong Directorial Debuts From Actors-Turned-Directors

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • August 13, 2013 5:05 PM
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  • 41 Comments
Debuts From Actors-Turned-Directors
This week, after a limited but promising initial release, Lake Bell’s directorial debut “In A World” is due to expand and distributors Roadside Attractions have good reason to hope that it will mirror the success of other Sundance breakouts like “Fruitvale Station” and “The Way, Way Back.” Regardless of how it performs financially it’s already firmly a critical favorite, with our own [A-] review suggesting that “while the film is hysterical, its real strength lies in the way it is able to deal with an issue like sexism in the [Hollywood voiceover] industry and work it out in a funny, honest and very real way.” And 34-year-old triple threat writer/director/star Bell can count it as a more or less unmitigated triumph on all three fronts, most impressive considering that after just a couple of short films this is her very first directorial feature.

Interview: ‘In A World...’ Filmmaker Lake Bell Talks ‘Childrens Hospital’ As Directing Boot Camp, Shifting Role Of Kickstarter & More

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • August 5, 2013 11:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
In A World
In our interview with her at Sundance London back in May, Lake Bell explained that she'd always had the inclination to direct, but she was “steadfast on the path to being an actor." Now, a short year after helming a short film "Worst Enemy" and some episodes of "Childrens Hospital," the “It’s Complicated” and “How To Make It in America” actress’ feature debut "In A World" goes into theatrical release this week. The ensemble film — which won excellent reviews (us included) and the Best Screenplay award at Sundance — stars Bell as Carol, a voiceover artist looking to break into the Hollywood industry, who faces competition from her veteran voice star father (Fred Melamed) and his clique-minded male colleagues.

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.

Exclusive: Lake Bell Reveals Her Next Directorial Effort, The "Unromantic" Romance 'What's The Point'

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • July 26, 2013 11:01 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Lake Bell
As proven with “In A World...,” her directorial debut and Sundance hit (winning Best Screenplay in addition to distribution from Roadside Attractions), writer/actress Lake Bell possesses a talent for deft, comedic explorations of her passions and the struggles surrounding them, which in the film's case, is voiceover acting and a male-dominated industry. The film hits theatres soon so Bell is already preparing for her follow-up project and when we spoke with her recently, she dropped a few hints as to its freshly-lived thematic direction.

Exclusive: Lake Bell Shows Off Her Russian 'Star Wars' Accent In Clip From 'In A World...'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 25, 2013 11:17 AM
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  • 0 Comments
In A World
Boasting a work ethic that allows her to place the job titles actress/writer/director/producer before her name and talent that has seen her toggle equally between TV and film with roles in everything from "How To Make It In America" and "Children's Hospital" to "It's Complicated," "Black Rock" and "Pride & Glory," Lake Bell is certainly not without ambition. But luckily, she's also got the the creativity to go with it and this summer she's delivering her feature length directorial debut "In A World..." which tells a story about folks who don't often get their own movies: voice-over actors.

L.A. Film Fest Review: 'In A World...' Directed By & Starring Lake Bell

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 18, 2013 11:01 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Lake Bell, In A World
In a world... where female writers are scarce and female writer/directors even more so, Lake Bell has done both with panache in her feature debut, “In A World...” That the film itself is a meta-commentary on the persistent and open sexism in Hollywood is even more impressive. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s funny to boot.

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