10 Essential Mumblecore Films

Low budget? Amateurish acting? Naturalistic dialogue? It must be mumblecore!

Mumblecore is a terrible name for a film genre. It makes it sound like a movie about barely audible people muttering on a screen for a few hours. And if you€™ve sat through Brokeback Mountain, you know that can get really boring, really quickly. What mumblecore actually is, is a form of dramatic comedy, usually made by Americans in their 20s and 30s, who take a do-it-yourself approach to filmmaking. These are people who grew up loving and watching movies, but are tired of the Hollywood clichés. Most of the films are independent productions and usually are €œslice of life€ features. The characters are just average people - slackers in most cases - who are struggling with day-to-day obstacles like paying their bills and dealing with their friends, family and significant others. Mumblecore has a few focuses; first is that they aim to tell small human stories about unique characters with an emphasis on realism. In order to achieve that realism, they need natural dialogue; in some cases, then, the dialogue is ad-libbed. At times, there is so much improvisation that the actors get writing credits. In the era of CGI and big budgets, micro-budgeted movies may seem like they are doomed to just fade into obscurity on NetFlix, but these movies have been successful and studios are taking notice. As a result, some of the filmmakers and actors in these movies have already moved on to bigger things, like their own successful TV shows or appearing in bigger budget movies and there are a few who are on the cusp of bigger things. Whether they have made it or not, the people who made and appear in these films are the future of dramatic-comedies and are following in the footsteps of film greats like Woody Allen, James L. Brooks and Mike Nichols. Here are 10 essential movies to get you deep into the mumblecore canon...

Robert is a Canadian entertainment, true crime and crime fiction writer. You can visit his website at