The Playlist

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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  • 161 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.

Review: Asghar Farhadi's Mature, Complex & Impressive 'The Past' Starring Berenice Bejo & Tahar Rahim

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 19, 2013 5:30 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The Past
When "The Past" opens, we see a couple communicating through a thick pane of glass at an airport. They can't hear each other, but through gestures and mouthed words, they can get the gist of what the other is saying, but between them is an immovable object that prevents a full understanding of what they mean to say. It's an apt visual metaphor with which "A Separation" director Asghar Farhadi's opens his latest film, a picture that finds four lives thrown into turmoil over hidden feelings, confused emotions and a dark secret that could change everything.

Oscar Winner Asghar Farhadi Talks 'The Past,' What Awards Recognition Means To Him & His Next Project

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • December 18, 2013 12:10 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The Past Berenice Bejo Asghar Farhadi
Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi‘s work has been quietly stunning audiences for almost a decade. His last three films—”Fireworks Wednesday,” “About Elly“ and ”A Separation“—racked up festival accolades from Berlin to Tribeca to Sydney, with the latter film going on to win both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012. (“A Separation” also received a nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards, a rare international coup.) Farhadi’s latest film, Golden Globe nominee “The Past (Le Passé),” has also been selected as Iran’s submission to the 2014 Oscar race (nominations will be announced on January 16th).

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.

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.

12 Films To See In December

  • By Kristen Lopez
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  • December 2, 2013 12:26 PM
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  • 2 Comments
12 Films To See In December
Christmas is coming, which means annoying family members giving you an excuse to hit the movie theater if only to escape from their incessant babbling. Or maybe that’s just how I settle things in my family? Regardless, in honor of the twelfth month, this month’s Must-See List is celebrating its own twelve days of Christmas with two additional movies worth seeing. What do you have planned for your Christmas movie watching list? Check our list (twice) below.

Watch: U.S. Trailer For Asghar Farhadi's Powerful 'The Past' Starring Bérénice Bejo & Tahar Rahim

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 19, 2013 1:30 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The Past, Asghar Farhadi, Bérénice Bejo
Named this summer as one of our Best Films Of 2013...So Far, a Cannes winner for Best Actress (Berenice Bejo) along with an Ecumenical Jury prize for director Asghar Farhadi, it may have been a quiet for the past few months, but Sony Pictures Classics is finally starting to run with "The Past." And this first trailer gives you all you need to know as you add it your must-see list before the end of the year.

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.

How Will Cannes Films Like 'Inside Llewyn Davis' & 'Only God Forgives' Fare During Oscar Season?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 30, 2013 2:40 PM
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  • 3 Comments
While it's a more diverse celebration of film of all kinds, few could argue that Cannes hasn't provided a major launching pad for awards movies over the years. From "No Country For Old Men" and "Inglourious Basterds" to "The Artist," "Midnight In Paris," "Amour" and "Beasts Of The Southern Wild," barely a year passes without something popping up at Cannes which makes a big splash with the Oscars come the following February.

The 5 Best Films Plus The Highs & Lows Of The Playlist's Cannes 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 29, 2013 12:57 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Cannes 2013 wrap
And so it's time to wrap up our time at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and gently put it to bed. The consensus that seemed to emerge, and that we're on board with, was that this was a strong year at the festival, and if there was no single, unexpected, left-of-field standout (no "Holy Motors" leapt out of the bushes and startled everyone) that was more than compensated for by the base standard being higher than in previous years.

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