The Sundance Film Festival is still going strong, but there are already some movies that have many critics talking and film distributors ponying up the big bucks for the rights.
The selections at this year's fest range from violent action thrillers to coming of age dramas and experimental films that take 12 years to make. Regardless of the genre, Sundance has again offered a ton of movies worth talking about and checking out.
Below we have a rundown of the movies that have people buzzing in Park City. You can also check out our interview with the casts of several of the films.
The Story: Andrew (Miles Teller) is a jazz drummer who becomes obsession with percussion perfection while enrolled in an intense music conservatory. Things only get more extreme when he joins the band led by one of the instructions there, J.K. Simmon's Terence Fletcher.
The Buzz: Both Teller and Simmons would raves on the opening night of the fest for their high-energy performances, with my calling the young star "the next big thing." Sony Pictures Classics snapped up the distribution rights a few days later, so it shouldn't be too long before you can check it out for yourself.
The Story: Keira Knightley has her own case of arrested development in the new film from Lynn Shelton. The actress plays Megan, who runs away from a proposal to hang out with her new, 16-year-old friend, played by Chloe Grace Moretz.
The Buzz: Director Lynn Shelton is no stranger to Sundance, but "Laggies" is getting some of her best reviews ever from the fest. Like "Whiplash," "Laggies" was quick out the gate as one of the earliest acquisitions. A24 will release "Laggies" at some point in the near future.
The Story: Richard Linklater, the director behind the "Before" series, filmed this last-minute festival entry over the course of 12 years. The cast would get together for three or four days each year, and film another snippet in the life of a boy. The end result is a movie that's longer than two and a half hours, in which you watch a boy grow from 7 to 19 years-old, and it's astonishing.
The Buzz: After waiting over a decade for this project, the film community has gone made with praise for the project. The word masterpiece has been thrown around more times and I can say, but when considering the magnitude of the film, it's hard to argue against the most passionate supporters. This is an important movie that people will be discussing for a long time.
The Story: "SNL" alum Jenny Slate plays a Brooklyn-based comedian that winds up pregnant after a series of bad decisions. Even though she doesn't plan on going through with the pregnancy, she struggles with telling the father, who is essentially a stranger, anything about the situation.
The Buzz: Compared favorably to "Girls," "Obvious Child" appears to be the next meaningful entry in a growing genre of young women in crisis in Brooklyn. (Also see: "Frances Ha") A24 bought up the distribution rights to the comedy.
The Story: "Cooties" is what happens when the creators of "Saw" (Leigh Whannel) and "Glee" (Ian Brennan) team up to write a movie. This horror flick tells the story of an elementary school, where the student body is infected with something that turns them into cannibals, so the teaching staff (featuring Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson) are left to fight for their lives.
The Buzz: Based on its premise, "Cooties" could have gone in a bad, bad direction, but the film fans at Sundance absolutely ate up the twisted humor.
"The Skeleton Twins"
The Story: Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader get serious for this story of estranged twins, who are reunited in their childhood hometown after a crisis brings them together.
The Buzz: By far one of the best reviewed movies of the fest, "Skeleton Twins" is earning raves for the two leads. Wiig and Hader have caught many of the attendees by surprise with their stirring dramatic performances — which are still very funny, by the way.
"Listen Up Phillip"
The Story: Philip (Jason Schwartzman) is a successful author awaiting the publication of his second novel.
The Buzz: "Listen Up Philip" is earning praise from critics for Schwartzman's strong performance and the unique structure of the movie. The film takes on a novelistic form, following series characters, as opposed to just sticking with the title character.