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The Playlist

Director Nicholas Stoller Explains How 'Spring Breakers' & 'Enter The Void' Influenced ‘Neighbors’ & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 9, 2014 2:02 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Director Nicholas Stoller Talks The 5 Movies That Influenced ‘Neighbors’
Director Nicholas Stoller has steadily been rising in the ranks, having worked for many years under Judd Apatow on everything from “Undeclared” to a string of successful studio comedies, including “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and 2012’s “The Five-Year Engagement.” (He was also involve with both of Disney’s recent Muppets movies.) But Stoller is about to break into the big leagues with this weekend’s gut-busting “Neighbors,” a film that pits Seth Rogen’s new dad against Zac Efron’s rowdy frat leader in a war for suburban supremacy. We recently sat down with Stoller and chatted about the five biggest influences on his new film, most of which will be very surprising (especially for those that have already seen the film).

Watch: Annapurna Pictures 2013 Sizzle Reel Celebrates 'Her,' 'American Hustle,' 'Foxcatcher,' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 28, 2014 10:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Annapurna Sizzle Reel Her Spring Breakers American Hustle Foxcatcher
As Sunday's Oscar ceremony rolls closer, Megan Ellison has a lot be proud of. The producer's Annapurna Pictures shingle is behind the film with the most nominations ("American Hustle," with 10 nods and tied with "Gravity"), has another contender in "Her" which is up for a small handful of awards and generally speaking, has a lot to celebrate from across the last year. And just as they did for 2012, Annapurna has cut together sizzle reel highlight their accomplishments in 2013.

Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor: 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Dominates National Society Of Film Critics Awards

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 4, 2014 8:48 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Inside Llweyn Davis
Could "Inside Llewyn Davis" have a few more songs left in its awards season campaign? After a week that left its Oscar prospects in serious question, after being shut out by both the PGA and WGA nominations, the latest from the Coens has scored some big honors at the National Society Of Film Critics Awards.

Frame By Frame: The Best Shots Of 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 24, 2013 11:02 AM
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  • 35 Comments
 The Best Shots Of 2013
Continuing our look at the Best Of 2013, we've come down to definitely the smallest, most fleeting and ephemeral of cinematic elements: the single shot. If in the living organism of a movie, a shot is perhaps just a single cell, but it doesn’t mean that on occasion that one cell can’t take on an importance, weight and memorability totally disproportionate to its size. And in each of the cases we list here, it was a shot that at least some of us found irrevocably “sticky” — an image that, even during the film, had leapt out at us and caught us by surprise, and the one that lingered longest after the credits rolled. In some cases, it’s a shot of particular cinematographic beauty, but we tried to stay away from those that were only that, and instead focus on shots that invested the experience of watching whichever film it was with some deeper thematic significance and/or featured a cat looking at his own reflection.

The Best Movie Music Moments Of 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 24, 2013 9:04 AM
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  • 19 Comments
The Best Movie Music Moments Of 2013
As some of you may know, The Playlist started out way back as a music-influenced movie blog and while our horizons have expanded exponentially since then, we like to keep a finger in that pie, and hope that we’re never remiss in giving the often overlooked audio component of the cinemagoing experience its full due. This year we’ve already run two celebrations of music at the movies: our Best Soundtracks of 2013 and our Best Scores of 2013, but as much as we think they give a good overview, there’s still room to talk about those times when a film’s music has been so integral to a scene that it transcends the wider discussion of whether the whole soundtrack is good or bad, or even whether the movie is good or bad, and creates a small sliver of something special and memorable.

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.

Rex Reed Names 'To The Wonder,' 'Inside Llewyn Davis,' 'Her' & 'Spring Breakers' Among Worst Films Of 2013

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 19, 2013 2:25 PM
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  • 15 Comments
Spring Breakers
Move over Paper Magazine critic Dennis Dermody, there's another New York critic even more cranky and contrarian, and he's been doing it for years. That's right, Melissa McCarthy's biggest fan, Rex Reed of the New York Observer, has weighed in on his worst films of 2013, and usual, he's running hard against the tide.

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.

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).

NY Times A.O. Scott's Top Films Of 2013 Include 'Frances Ha,' 'Bling Ring,' 'Pain And Gain' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 11, 2013 4:46 PM
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  • 3 Comments
We're sure the water cooler is buzzing over at the New York Times today as both of the paper's major film critics have released their assessment of this year's best movies. We've already seen what Manohla Dargis had to say, and now it's time for A.O. Scott to pour one out for 2013.

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