5 Must-See Sundance Movies Coming to a Theater Near You

Plus, enter to win more than $1,000 worth of prizes from Sundance.

JGL's Directorial Debut
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Every year, Colorado gets struck by a tidal wave of films -- and film snobs -- when the Sundance Film Festival comes to town. And each year, dozens upon dozens of films are screened there to much fanfare and debate, only to leave readers wondering which ones they should actually remember by the time they arrive in theaters in the rest of the country.

We’ve rummaged through the many releases of this year’s Sundance slate and assembled a list of the best and most talked-about offerings of the year. If you’re a lover of small, indie dramas, dark comedies, tense thrillers or flat-out, terrifying horror flicks, there’s something here for everybody. Watch out of the majority of these films to hit throughout the coming year.

And in addition to Celebuzz' shortlist of promising Sundance movies, we're giving away a selection of prizes from the festival which celebs took home -- and you can, too! -- by participating in a contest, the details for which are listed below.

Upstream Color

Director Shane Carruth was the mastermind behind the incredibly low-budget, super complex time-travel film Primer, a mind-bender made for seemingly pennies. Beautifully filmed and incredibly evocative, Primer set a high bar, and after many years away from screens, Carruth returns with Upstream Color, a purposefully esoteric tone-poem that’ll keep viewers debating the film’s actual meaning for years to come. Focusing on two lovers caught up in a surreal and abstract tale, the film will be distributed by Carruth through his own company later this year.


Last year’s found-footage horror anthology V/H/S received mixed reviews for its inconsistent short-film omnibus, which featured some spectacular highs as well as disappointing lows. Word out of Sundance this year, however, is that the follow-up S-VHS is flat-out amazing, featuring segments by Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener and Gareth Evans, the director of the unbelievably kick-ass action flick, The Raid. The distributor of the first film, Magnolia, picked this up with the expectation that it’ll be an even bigger critical darling and a hit with fans of the original.

Don Jon’s Addiction

Looper star and neo-Batman Joseph Gordon-Levitt takes up the reigns as director of this shocking/lurid/sexy/funny dramatic-comedy about porn addiction. Starring opposite Scarlett Johannson and Julianne Moore, Gordon-Levitt gives a wildly different performance from his previous, admittedly more dour roles and pulls off an equally impressive feat behind the camera, as well. The film kicked off something of an indie bidding war at the festival, but Relativity Media eventually beat out the Weinstein Company to distribute the film for a festival high of $4 million.

The East

This tense, taut thriller about an eco-terrorism cell calls into question the culpability of corporate executives at a time when they appear more untouchable than ever. Infiltrated by a member of a private security firm, the group attempts to hit three high-level targets in six months, unaware that there’s an intruder in their midst. Directed by Sound of My Voice helmer Zal Batmanglij, The East was picked up for distribution by Fox Searchlight.

Before Midnight

Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are, for all intents and purposes, the equivalent of a filmed play, uber-indie romances that unfold over the course of a single, real-time conversation. Following lovers Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke through their first encounter in Vienna and their reunion ten years later in Paris, the films explore the idea of reality versus romance. Linklater returns nearly another decade later to see where the characters are now in their lives and how their relationship has evolved after seemingly getting together at the end of the last film. Before Midnight was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics.

The Spectacular Now

Coming of age stories are a dime a dozen at almost any level of filmmaking, so you’d be forgiven for rolling your eyes at the thought of another indie, “true to life” teen flick. But The Spectacular Now tells a simple and moving story about growing up as a teenager that’s neither pandering nor manipulative. It’s incredibly honest. The film isn’t cast with twenty-something high-schoolers, but actual teenagers to give this story a real sense of authenticity. The film was picked up by a small New York distribution company called A24 for release later this year.

In addition to a checklist of upcoming movies that first made waves at Sundance, Celebuzz is hooking readers up with designer blankets, scarves and more from clothing companies that helped attendees keep warm in Park City.

Here are the prizes that are up for grabs, presented by Debbie Durkin’s ECO HIDEWAY:

1 Grand Prize Winner

  • Coral Floral Light Fixture from award-winning New Zealand lighting & furniture designer David Trubridge. (Retail value: $360.00, http://www.davidtrubridge.com/Designs/lighting)
  • HUGRZ Boot Wraps sustainably made in the USA. Hugrz boot wraps and accessories are the ultimate conversion kit, allowing you to update your boots and style their look to match your outfit or suit your mood. Wrap your favorite boots to look like fur, animal print or sweater boots.(Retail value: $50.00, www.HUGRZ.com)
  • A scarf designed by Michael Foster, made of 100% organic Egyptian cotton. Bright Bold colours to enhance mood and appearance. Be Bold Be Free. (Retail Value: $125.00, http://www.michaelanthonyfoster.com/)
  • Minky Couture Custom Designer Blankets & Scarves: Retail Value:  (Retail Value $85 - $160.00, www.minkycouture.com)
2 Runner-Up Winners
  • HUGRZ Boot Wraps sustainably made in the USA. Hugrz boot wraps and accessories are the ultimate conversion kit, allowing you to update your boots and style their look to match your outfit or suit your mood. Wrap your favorite boots to look like fur, animal print or sweater boots.(Retail value: $50.00, www.HUGRZ.com)
  • A scarf designed by Michael Foster, made of 100% organic Egyptian cotton. Bright Bold colours to enhance mood and appearance. Be Bold Be Free. (Retail Value: $125.00, http://www.michaelanthonyfoster.com/)
  • Minky Couture Custom Designer Blankets & Scarves: Retail Value:  (Retail Value $85 - $160.00, www.minkycouture.com)
  • Simply register and leave us a comment below telling us what movie you're most excited to see in 2013 -- even if it didn't debut at Sundance -- and let us know why.
This giveaway will close on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 at 11:59pm PST




Default avatar
  • Peggy Bayer
    Peggy Bayer

    I still haven't seen Lincoln yet and I really want to!! Peg~

  • Karla Koenig
    Karla Koenig

    Fruitvale is one I really want to see. It looks compelling from the trailer I have seen.

  • sdadolf

    The movie I’d most like to see in 2013 is Les Miserables, it sure has gotten a lot of press, so I must see what it's all about.

  • Linda Nguyen
    Linda Nguyen

    Don Jon's Addiction looks like it'll be great! What an all-star cast it will have! Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the new Ryan Gosling!

  • Rebecca C.
    Rebecca C.

    I am really excited to see Don Jon’s Addiction. I am a big JGL fan and think his acting skills are wonderful. It's going to be great to see him transition and have a directorial role in this movie.

  • rainesmom1

    I'm counting down the days until the Great Gatsby comes out! The trailers look amazing ~ hopefully it will be worth the release delay. From the Sundance film highlights above, I'm intrigued by Don Jon's Addiction...

  • K Duncan
    K Duncan

    The Sundance 2013 film that I am most excited to see in theatres this year is "Fruitvale"! It was so outstanding that I an thrilled to pay to go see it.

  • Rust Hawk
    Rust Hawk

    I am looking forward to seeing Don Jon’s Addiction - such a contemporary topic and ripe with potential for humor.

  • Heather S
    Heather S

    The Host seems exciting

  • Phylicia

    I'm most excited to see The Great Gatsby! I can't wait to see Leonardo Dicaprio play the handsome, debonair, and deceptive Gatsby. One of my favorite novel and favorite actor in one big movie! Plus in 3D! WOW! It's not a typical summer movie, which is way I'm intrigued and excited!!

  • Cindy Batchelor
    Cindy Batchelor

    don Jon's Addiction! sounds amazing!

  • James

    Looking forward to seeing The Great and Powerful Oz b/c my friend help build the sets for the movies. My friend told me it is a very interesting movie.

  • Andrea Darst
    Andrea Darst

    I'm most excited to see "The Host" because it looks really good and the soundtrack is amazing!

  • Dawn M
    Dawn M

    I would be most interested in seeing The Spectacular Now because it is real life.

  • Aaron

    Colorado? Sundance is in Park City Utah.

  • Amy

    Cant wait to see Beautiful Creatures, the book was so good!

  • Georgia

    Before MIdnight would be the film I would like to see. Why? Because I am a sucker for romatic films

  • Alicia Forrest
    Alicia Forrest

    Don Jon's addiction sounds interesting, I always think it's difficult to watch ones painful journey through addiction and at the same time I can't look away- plus Joseph Gordon-Levitt is easy on the eyes:)

  • Kim

    I would love to see Lincoln as I love period pieces.

  • Jodi Daugherty
    Jodi Daugherty

    I would love to see Les Miserables.

  • klm39

    I can't wait to see On the Road with Kristin Stewart!

  • Nola Fine
    Nola Fine

    I heard Lincoln is great, so that is what I would like to see.

  • joek

    The movie I'd most like to see in 2013 is Les Miserables.

  • tonya f
    tonya f

    really like to see lincoln

  • Kim Fenner
    Kim Fenner

    I want to see Don Jon’s Addiction. I am also a big Scarlett Johansson fan.

  • Wendi S
    Wendi S

    I want to see Don Jons addiction I love the actresse in it and am never dsappointed by there movies.

  • Jea Smith
    Jea Smith

    i want to see "I Used to Be Darker"...i love maryland movie makers

  • berwyn

    I am most excited about seein LINCOLN since it is up for awards

  • cdziuba

    I'm a Scarlett Johansson fan, so Don Jon's Addiction intrigues me the most.

  • rja00

    I have been a big fan of Julianne Moore every since she was on Young in the Restless. My can't wait to see movie would be Don Jon’s Addiction

  • Krystyn Heide
    Krystyn Heide

    I'm excited to see The Counselor and Untitled Terrence Malick Project. Both have stellar rumored lineups — Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara, Brad Piit — and interesting synopsis. Though after reading this post, I want to see Upstream Color, S-VHS and Don Jon’s Addiction too!