There’s almost too much that’s good about Fantastic Fest: experiencing the Alamo Drafthouse for a week straight; the small, friendly, film fan atmosphere; the parties. Oh yeah, then there’s the insane films. Every year Fantastic Fest is filled with a ton of wild genre flicks that either you’ve never heard of yet or already have a lot of buzz surrounding them. As the 2011 festival is set to kick off this week, /Film will be on the ground telling you about the sickest, most disturbing and exciting films playing in Austin, Texas. Before that though, since there’s so much that’s good about Fantastic Fest, we’ve got three lists to get you as excited:

  • The Top 15 Films I’m Curious About – The true gems of Fantastic Fest, these are the wild cards we’re excited for from description alone.
  • The Top 10 Most Anticipated Films – These are films with familiar names or built in buzz from previous festivals.
  • The Top 5 Films of Fantastic Fest 2011 Already – This is a list of five films playing at the Festival we already know to be winners.

Read all of this after the jump and keep checking /Film from September 22-29 for all your coverage of Fantastic Fest 2011. Read More »

One of the unsung films that played at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was Elite Squad 2, the most successful Brazilian film in history, directed by Jose Padilha. In Peter’s review he called the film “a cross between The Departed, The Wire and The Godfather” and I can’t disagree. It’s a taut, gripping look at organized crime with a distinct action slant and Padilha balances it all beautifully.

So the fact that MGM is currently in talks with the director to helm their long-gestating remake of the revered 1987 Paul Verhoeven film Robocop is very exciting news. Read more about it after the break. Read More »

One of the films featured on our extensive Best Movies of 2010 That You Probably Haven’t Heard Of list was a Brazilian action movie titled Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within. The original Elite Squad was released in 2007 (now available on DVD), and was highly acclaimed by critics and moviegoers.

I screened Elite Squad 2 at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, without having seen the first film (as I was told that was not a requirement — although I plan on checking it out when I return home). From director José Padilha, the highly acclimed filmmaker behind Bus 174, comes a crime thriller which might be best described as a cross between The Departed, The Wire and The Godfather.

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As the year comes to an end, anybody and everybody are posting their best of the year lists. Most of these lists contain variations of the same 15 or 20 films. To break the mold, some are even posting lists of the best films of the year that you probably haven’t seen. I find that even these lists are filled with the same movies. And if you’re a film geek reading a site like /Film, chances are you know about most of the movies on these lists.

I wanted to do something different and compile a list of the best films of the year that you’ve never heard of. The selections should be movies that (for the most part) none of your family or friends have heard of, and you might even have to do some extra legwork to get your hands on.

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