The Playlist

The Best & Worst Trends Of 2013

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 3, 2014 2:33 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Best & Worst Trends Of 2013
We’ve just wrapped up the highest grossing year in history with the movie industry capturing $11 billion in domestic receipts. Lost within the field of hits and flops were common re-occurrences, ideas and motifs that resurfaced consistently throughout the year to make 2013 its own beast, labeling our shared cinematic experience as a moment in time.

'American Hustle,' 'Wolf Of Wall Street,' 'Before Midnight' & More Earn WGA Nominations But Not Coens

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 3, 2014 1:35 PM
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  • 1 Comment
David O. Russell, American Hustle, Playlist exclusive
Are awards season voters no longer entranced by the magic of the Coen Brothers? Even with "Inside Llewyn Davis" earning no shortage of acclaim, that has not translated into very much love from awards types, with the film getting completely shut out of the Producers Guild Award nominations yesterday. And today, the Writer's Guild have also shunned the sibling duo.

Oscars: Could Critical Favorites 'Act Of Killing' & 'Stories We Tell' Miss Out On Documentary Nominations?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 17, 2013 6:07 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Over the past weeks and months, we've used this space to take a close look at almost every Oscar category (bar the shorts: we'll focus on those once the nominations are out and we've seen the films), and making our rolling predictions in the process. Just in time for Christmas, we've reached the end, with just one category left: Documentary.

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.

The 15 Best Documentaries Of 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 11, 2013 2:40 PM
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  • 17 Comments
2013: The Best Documentaries of The Year
To devotees of the medium like us, cinema has an unparalleled ability to give form and shape to previously unimagined worlds. But not all unimagined worlds are unreal, an infinite number, in fact, lurk all around us: the astounding personal history of a passerby; the human cost that the news headline crawling across our TV screen cannot capture; the treasure and trash and unclaimed bodies buried beneath our local shopping mall. But despite the unbelievable wealth of material available for it to mine, the documentary format (and we’ve been guilty of this too) has historically often been sweepingly generalized as narrative film’s less glamorous, workhorse sister.

Spike Jonze's 'Her' Wins Best Film & Best Director From National Board Of Review

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 4, 2013 1:42 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Her, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams
So how influential are the National Board Of Review winners? Well, last year "Zero Dark Thirty" won Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress and went on to be shut out in all three categories when the Oscars rolled out. Basically, just remember that there is a gulf between critics and Academy voters (remember the year when "The Social Network" cleaned up in the all early awards?) so just take a breath. That said, it's nice to see the love.

'American Hustle' Tops New York Film Critics Circle Awards, David O. Russell & Jennifer Lawrence Win Big

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 3, 2013 3:08 PM
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  • 13 Comments
First! Once again, the New York Film Critics Circle made filmmakers and studios sweat to get their films screened in time as they position themselves to be the first (official) word on the awards race and augur of things to come ... at least until the National Board Of Review weighs in tomorrow. But for now, it looks like David O. Russell's "American Hustle" is the one to beat over the next couple of months.

'Act Of Killing,' 'The Armstrong Lie,' 'Stories We Tell' & More Make Oscar Documentary Shortlist

So the countdown continues toward the Oscars, with the potential nominees in the Documentary category now narrowed from 147 films to a slim 15. From here, only 5 will eventually make it to the Dolby Theater. Read More »

2013: The Best Films Of The Year...So Far

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 4, 2013 2:56 PM
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  • 69 Comments
The Best movies of 2013 so far
Wow, wait, okay, what? It’s June? Right! So here we are again, rapidly approaching the midpoint of another year, and as is our custom, we’re taking a moment to pause and look back at 2013 so far, and to discuss, debate, and throw hissy fits over what we collectively consider the best films we’ve seen so far. As regards bigger releases, the year up to now has been, if we’re honest, a little so-so, with the blockbuster hopefuls ranging from the slightly disappointing to the outright dire (“Star Trek Into Darkness,” “The Great Gatsby,” “Pain & Gain,” “After Earth,” “Oblivion,” with “Iron Man 3” probably proving the best of the bunch to date). That said, in the smaller screens of your multiplex, and at the arthouse, a few gems have found their way through and there is a positive bevy of films we’ve been lucky enough to catch early, that are coming down the pike soon, that are so good they should drag up the base standard of the year by some margin.

What Are You Seeing This Weekend? 'Gatsby' & 'Peeples' To Attract Lots Of 'Sightseers' But Generate Little 'Aftershock'

  • By Emma Bernstein
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  • May 10, 2013 2:23 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Some weekends are just perfect for dishing out oodles of death and destruction. This one, for instance, brings us a theater schedule that features all manner of gory violence and evil plotting, followed by some good old-fashioned, cold-blooded killin' sprees. We have revenge-hungry assassins, period piece murder, vacationing serial killers, natural disaster fatalities, and a deadly hang-gliding accident. Plus, the Williams Sisters totally kill it on the tennis court. And there's always the chance that David Alan Grier might off Craig Robinson for trying to wed his daughter in the latest "Tyler Perry Presents" movie. Frankly, the debut of B-grade bloodbath "No One Lives" could not be better timed, its title capturing the mood and material of this release slate with judicious pith. With that in mind, we'd like to know, dear readers: which homicidal stories pique your debauched interest? Or will you be hanging with F. Scott Fitzgerald instead? Tell us in the comments below!

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