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Joe Swanberg Ranks 'All Is Lost,' 'Pain & Gain,' 'Short Term 12' & 'The Spectacular Now' In Best Films Of 2013 List

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 19, 2013 3:39 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Okay, time to wash out the bitter taste from Rex Reed's Worst Films Of 2013 list and get back to the good stuff. The latest person to weigh in with their thoughts on the year in movies is prolific and passionate filmmaker Joe Swanberg. Even though he dropped two movies in 2013—"Drinking Buddies" and "All The Lights In The Sky"—with another one headed to Sundance ("Happy Christmas"), he still managed to get in enough movie-watching to put together a list of his faves in 2013 (though he adds he hasn't seen many of the awards season-type movies).

Edgar Wright's Top 10 Films Of 2013 Includes 'Spring Breakers,' 'Rush,' 'Prisoners' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 18, 2013 9:22 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Spring Breakers
With one movie to promote heavily on both sides of the pond ("The World's End") and another major franchise movie gearing up ("Ant-Man"), that Edgar Wright had time to keep watching films enough to put together a top ten of 2013 is pretty impressive. But it comes with a caveat: like many folks, the last-month crush of films makes it hard to catch up with everything, so be forewarned, this list was compiled with Wright, at the time of putting it together, having not yet seen a handful of movies including "12 Years A Slave," "Dallas Buyers Club" or "American Hustle" (all of which open in the U.K. in 2014).

The 10 Best Child Performances Of 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 16, 2013 2:48 PM
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  • 19 Comments
The 10 Best "Child" Performances Of 2013
The legendary W.C. Fields once said "never work with animals or children," but that advice thankfully has been broken time and time again, and especially in 2013, when younger thespians were able to truly show their chops (not to mention the cat performances from "Inside Llewyn Davis”). We wanted to highlight their contributions in a stand-alone feature, since so many of our favorite movies this year were enhanced and made real by younger performers.

'Inside Llewyn Davis' & 'Fruitvale Station' Big Winners At Gotham Awards, '12 Years A Slave' Shut Out

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 2, 2013 11:08 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Inside Llewyn Davis Justin Timberlake Oscar Isaac
To the prognosti-box! The first statues have been handed out and the Oscar race has changed! (At least for his evening until the next batch of trophies roll around). The Gotham Awards were handed out tonight in New York City and one highly touted film and another indie upstart led the pack of those taking home statues to fill up their mantle.

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.

Oscars: Can Karen O & 'Short Term 12' Beat Disney's 'Frozen' In The Music Categories?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 25, 2013 2:31 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Oscars, Score, 2013
This week sees the arrival of Disney's "Frozen," the studio's most acclaimed film in years. It's also a serious throwback to the studio's animated musicals of the late 1980s and 1990s, a full-on songfest with multiple numbers of Broadway quality, and that's useful for our purposes, because this week we're going to focus on the musical categories of the Academy Awards.

BFI London Film Festival Diary Day 7: 'Inside Llewyn Davis,' 'Ida,' 'Grand Piano' & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 19, 2013 10:25 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Inside Llewyn Davis
At this point it's more notable when the Coen Brothers make a film that's disappointing than when they make an excellent one: the filmmakers have one of the highest hit rates in the business, and aside from a spotty period in the mid '00s, they've generally gone from great film to great film. That said, some of their most recent films I haven't entirely clicked with: "Burn After Reading" was fun, but feels minor in retrospect, while "True Grit" was uncharacteristically straightforward and old-fashioned in the context of some of their more gonzo affairs. But as you might have heard, "Inside Llewyn Davis" [A] sees them right back on top again, with the film likely to settle into the top tier of their work.

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.

Review: 'Short Term 12' Starring Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr. & Rami Malek

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • August 21, 2013 12:06 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Short Term 12, Brie Larson
It’s Nate’s (Rami Malek) first day at the adolescent foster care facility Short Term 12, and his new coworker Mason (John Gallagher Jr., scruffy and soulful) is regaling the staff with a silly monologue about an unfortunate sharting incident he suffered in the line of duty. It's a funny tale, but it also lays out exactly what kind of people these workers are, willing to forego all bodily comfort in order to make sure these kids are okay. They’re a no nonsense bunch who’ve seen it all and remain unflappable, particularly supervisor Grace (Brie Larson), a steely and impenetrable young woman. They don’t even blink when a skinny kid with bright red hair goes bolting out of the house in his long johns, making a break for it. They just toss their coffee and tackle him on the front lawn before he gets past the gate and past their jurisdiction. This is the opening to “Short Term 12,” the second feature from writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton, based on his short film of the same name, which won the Jury Prize at Sundance in 2009. And even though it is a lightly amusing intro to our main characters and where they work, it’s a strong set up for the themes that will be revisited throughout the film, in the touching story of these young workers and their charges.

Watch: Brie Larson & John Gallagher Jr. Talk 'Short Term 12,' Working With Kids, Upcoming Projects & More

  • By Edward Davis
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  • August 20, 2013 2:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Brie Larson, the 23-year-old actress known for roles in "The United States of Tara," "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," and "21 Jump Street," is having a moment. In fact, she was crowned the unofficial "It Girl" of the 2013 SXSW Film Festival by us and many others. Why exactly? She had (count 'em) four films at the festival this week. They include the Sundance hits "The Spectacular Now" and Joseph Gordon Levitt's directorial debut, "Don Jon," her second co-directed short film, "Weighting" and lastly, "Short Term 12," the movie which won SXSW's coveted top Grand Jury prize this spring.

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