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The Playlist

Paper Magazine Critic Goes Contrarian, Names ‘12 Years A Slave’ Worst Film Of 2013

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • December 18, 2013 10:21 AM
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  • 14 Comments
12 Years A Slave
While we’re mostly celebratory around these parts, a considerable aspect of our year-end cinematic reflections has been dredging up those unspeakable films long since forgotten for one final verdict—think “Violet and Daisy,” “I Give It A Year," or “The Big Wedding." We compiled our 20 favorite abominations here, but elsewhere head film critic of Paper Magazine Dennis Dermody has aimed for more awards-centric fare with his list, and ended up with director Steve McQueen’s work in his sights.

NY Times Manohla Dargis's Top Films Of 2013 Include 'The Counselor,' 'Her,' 'Spring Breakers' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 11, 2013 2:22 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Spring Breakers
Another day, another top ten sixteen list, this time from the desk of New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis. And while you'll find the usual suspects like "Inside Llewyn Davis," "12 Years a Slave," "American Hustle" and "Her," the list is mostly notable for giving shine to perhaps some of the more undersung and left-field films that dropped in 2013.

Time Magazine Names 'The Counselor,' 'Only God Forgives' & 'Grown Ups 2' In 10 Worst Films Of 2013

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 4, 2013 12:20 PM
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  • 35 Comments
The Counselor
First there was the best....and now the comes the worst. And while Mary Pols stoked internet fury last year by naming "Cloud Atlas" the top stinker of 2012, hardly anyone will argue with her choice this year: "Grown Ups 2." And in fact the rest of her list is pretty debate proof.

Style Or Substance? 20 Visually Stunning Movies That Go For Broke

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 8, 2013 1:51 PM
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  • 23 Comments
20 Visually Dazzling Movies
No matter what you think of Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby," opening this week in ultra-luxurious 3D, one thing's for sure – it looks pretty spectacular. Filled with lovingly crafted costumes, opulent sets, and computer generated imagery that makes ragtime New York seem like a quasi-futuristic metropolis, it is drunk on its own excess. It feels like the movie Luhrmann has been angling towards for a while and has finally achieved (thanks in part to the added dimensionality of 3D), for better or worse. It's a giant, gilded, vulgar monstrosity that overwhelms more often than it entertains. And it got us thinking about other movies whose similarly excessive styles have either been an asset or a detriment. So put on your 3D glasses, your best pink pinstripe suit, and grab a glass of bootleg liquor, for our list of 20 visually dazzling movies.

Weekend Box Office: 'The Croods' Notches Best Animated Opening Since November

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 24, 2013 11:33 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Normally, we’re besieged by animated fare during all months, but not so far in 2013. The only animated film of the year thus far was “Escape From Planet Earth,” a production from The Weinstein Company that was treated like a last minute dump, posting numbers that only counted as a hit compared to the film’s small budget and meager ad campaign. Before that, DreamWorks kept “Rise of the Guardians” active in over 3,000 sparsely-attended engagements, though over the holidays it seemed kids would rather toss snowballs around than watch a weirdly oppressive, vaguely non-denominational holiday movie. Which meant that all Fox had to do was not embarrass themselves with “The Croods,” supplying the kids market with a 3D diversion that stands as the second biggest opening of the year, far ahead of the middling 'Guardians' debut.

Weekend Box Office: 'Oz' Continues To Rule, 'Burt Wonderstone' Far Less Than 'Incredible'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 17, 2013 11:32 AM
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  • 5 Comments
While it should be more than clear that "Oz the Great and Powerful" won't match the billion dollar haul of Disney's "Alice In Wonderland" – tears of sadness, Disney – still, this remains prime real estate for a family film as kids celebrate their spaced-out spring breaks. As such, 'Oz' has performed strongly on the weekdays, news that offsets the decent-but-unspectacular overseas returns. The film is on pace to rack up somewhere between $600-$800 million (probably the low end of that), which doesn't blow the doors off compared to a $300 million plus investment by the studio. But this is Disney we're talking about: there are ancillary earnings up the wazoo here.

Box Office: 'Oz The Great And Powerful' Builds A Money Brick Road With Massive Opening

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 10, 2013 12:12 PM
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  • 4 Comments
While the next few weeks will determine if “Oz the Great and Powerful” meets or succeeds expectations, it's off to a good start. Disney insiders were long forecasting an $80 million plus take for its first three days, and they pretty much hit that figure dead on (but didn't exceed it wildly as some were predicting). This prequel/spinoff to the original “The Wizard of Oz” reportedly cost in the neighborhood of $200 million, with at least an additional $100 million in prints and advertising, so Disney’s likely hoping the film can maintain some legs and possibly perform similarly overseas to “Alice In Wonderland,” which captured two-thirds of its billion dollar gross abroad. Speaking of which, the film totaled $150 million counting foreign box office, and it's the third largest March opening ever. So again, not a bad start at all.

Sam Raimi Won't Direct 'Oz The Great & Powerful' Sequel; Finally Saw The 'Spider-Man' Remake

  • By Edward Davis
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  • March 9, 2013 9:52 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Maybe it's kind of a restlessness we don't understand. After a rather pitiable box-office this past winter, one of the worst on record, "Oz The Great And Powerful," of all things, is somehow poised to make around $70 million this weekend. The expensive "Jack The Giant Slayer" movie proved not all fairy tale redos are a slam dunk and it bombed at the box-office last weekend with little signs of having any legs. But, 'Oz,' a film that received middling to OK reviews at best – we called it pretty to look at but otherwise dull – looks like it will be the first legitimate blockbuster of 2013.

What Are You Seeing This Weekend? 'Dead Man Down' Tries To Avoid 'The ABCs Of Death' From 'Oz'

  • By Emma Bernstein
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  • March 8, 2013 4:19 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Happy Friday, dear readers! One of the most wonderful things about film is its diversity of subject and style, the potential for variance and innovation inherent in the medium. This weekend's release schedule displays this core trait with relish; truly, it's a study in contrasts. We have an action-heavy neo-noir, a horror anthology, a war movie, two meditations on religion, documentaries (one that's pretty serious, one not so much), several character-based slice-of-life pics, and (sigh) another CGI world coming at you in three dimensions. Though, to be fair, we hear this last one is actually quite well done, so maybe watching it won't make us feel like our head's about to spin off. In any case, whether you're laughing, sobbing, or recoiling into your seat back (or, if you're lucky, all three in one sitting!), go enjoy the far-ranging capacity of this century-old medium. And tell us what you're most excited for in the comments below!

Obviously: 'Oz The Great And Powerful' Sequel In The Works

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 7, 2013 11:08 PM
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  • 4 Comments
By now, it shouldn't really be a surprise. When you're spending $325 million on a movie, you're hoping for a franchise, especially if you're Disney. Remember before "John Carter" came out how there was already tentative plans for a followup, "John Carter: The Gods Of Mars"? Perhaps learning not to count their chickens before they hatch, Disney has until now remained mum on any further travels down the yellow brick road after this weekend's "Oz The Great And Powerful" (our review). But with a massive opening weekend in the forecast, a small bit of their plans have been revealed.

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