Mumblecore is a film genre that was popular in the late 2000s. It’s a nickname for Genre-bending films, which are usually made by young filmmakers who are trying to find their place in the world.


Best Mumblecore Movies

What Are Mumblecore Movies?

Mumblecore is a term that describes a subgenre of independent films. Mumblecore directors are intentionally low-budget, using handheld cameras and improvised dialogue.

The term was coined in 2001 by Film Threat magazine editor Alan Jones, who used it to describe the works of filmmakers such as Joshua Leonard and Elissa Matsueda.

Mumblecore films are characterized by their arthouse style and lack of star power. They often feature characters with deep psychological issues, often sexual or otherwise.

Many of the films focus on stories of young people struggling to figure out their lives, especially those that are trying to make sense of their sexuality or gender identity. Most also contain elements of social realism, such as homelessness and unemployment.



What Are Mumblecore Films?

The term “mumblecore” was coined by actor Jesse Eisenberg in 2006, when he was asked about his involvement with the independent film You Are Here (2006).

In his response, he said that he was “Mumbling” and that it was “a new genre of filmmaking…where you can shoot in your kitchen.”

From there, it became a catch-all term for films like Eagle vs Shark (2008), Kicking and Screaming (2005), and My Best Friend’s Girl (1999) that feature low-budget production values and protagonists who struggle with personal issues such as loneliness, depression, or drug addiction.

Best Mumblecore Movies

The mumblecore genre is a new one that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It’s also known as “mumble rap,” referring to the style of music that is often used in these movies.

The best of this genre are incredibly unique and provide some of the best laughs you will ever have. Here are some of our favorite mumblecore movies:

Best Mumblecore Movies

  1. The Puffy Chair (2001) – This is one of the first mumblecore movies and it’s still a classic today. It follows two young men who live in a small apartment, trying to figure out what they want out of life. They spend all their time hanging out, drinking and making fun of each other. It’s a great introduction to this style of filmmaking, but it doesn’t hold up well compared to later efforts like The Spectacular Now or Safety Not Guaranteed .
  2. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) – This film is based on Greg Sestero’s book about his friendship with classmate Rachel McAdams while they were growing up together in Arizona around 1990-1991. It was written by Jesse Andrews and stars Thomas Mann as Earl and Connie Britton

10. Drinking Buddies (2013)

 Drinking Buddies is a 2013 American drama film written and directed by Joe Swanberg. The film stars Jake Johnson, Olivia Wilde, Ron Livingston, Anna Kendrick, and Lena Dunham.

The film centers on two best friends named Olly (Johnson) and Charlie (Livingston) who meet up for drinks at the bar every Wednesday night. The two are in various relationships with other people but spend most of their time hanging out together.

They discuss their lives and problems, which mostly revolve around relationships with women and their jobs as waiters/bartenders.

The film was released theatrically on April 7, 2013 in a limited release. It received generally positive reviews from critics who praised its focus on realistic characters and dialogue.[1]

Drinking Buddies [Blu-ray]
  • Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick (Actors)
  • Joe Swanberg (Director) - Joe Swanberg (Writer) - Paul Bernon (Producer)
  • Spanish (Subtitle)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

9. The Puffy Chair (2005)

 This is a story about the Puffy Chair, or what is commonly known as a recliner. It’s not much more than a piece of furniture with arms, but it’s been through a lot. It’s been in my house for years and I’ve used it for sleeping, for watching TV and for sitting in when I want to relax.

I’ve never really thought about the chair much and that’s probably because it hasn’t changed much over the years. It still has the same comfortable cushions on its seats and it still looks pretty much like it did when I bought it.

But a few months ago something changed – I started thinking about this chair a lot more than usual.

It was no longer just something that sat around looking pretty; instead, it became an object of contemplation and debate. What would happen if we had to give it up? Would we be able to replace it? Would we have to buy another one? How could we afford that? What would happen if we didn’t get replaced at all? And so on and so forth…

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8. Mutual Appreciation (2006)

Andrew Bujalski, a writer and director who is best known for his low-budget comedy films, has a way of making you feel like you’re sitting next to him at the movies. Mutual Appreciation, his first feature film, is set in a New York apartment building where the residents are constantly watching each other in their apartments through their windows.

It’s an observational comedy that follows the lives and daily routines of a group of people living on the same floor. In many ways, this movie feels like one long shot: as Bujalski follows these characters around their apartments we see them doing normal things like going to work and having dinner with their families or reading magazines or playing cards.

But at the same time he’s also filming everything with a handheld camera so that it feels intimate and personal like you’re eavesdropping on someone’s life through their window.

Mutual Appreciation is not just about observing people from different floors in an apartment building; it’s also about observing how we all observe each other. It’s about how we look at each other through our windows and how we respond when we see someone else looking back at us — whether it’s because they want something from us or because they just want to be

Mutual Appreciation [Blu-ray]
  • Justin Rice, Rachel Clift, Andrew Bujalski (Actors)
  • Andrew Bujalski (Director)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

7. Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2012)

 Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2012) is an American comedy-drama film made by Duplass Brothers Productions, starring Mark Duplass and his brother Jay Duplass. The film was released on August 18, 2012 in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland.

[1] The brothers had previously directed their first feature film together in 2005 with The Puffy Chair.

The film was screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2012 and was released nationwide on DVD and Blu-ray on November 20, 2012 by IFC Films.[2]

Jeff (Mark Duplass) is a struggling writer who lives in his family’s house with his brother Josh (Jay Duplass), his sister Erin (Amy Seimetz), her husband Dan (Eric Wareheim), and their son Charlie (Riley Stearns).

Jeff has been living in the house since he graduated college ten years earlier but still writes there every day. He is forced to deal with financial issues as well as his own personal issues such as anger management and relationships.

Jeff, Who Lives at Home
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer (Actors)
  • Jay Duplass (Director) - Jay Duplass (Writer) - Jason Reitman (Producer)
  • (Playback Language)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

6. Daddy Longlegs (2010)

In the film Daddy Longlegs, a father and son bond over their love of baseball. The father’s obsession with the game leads him to become a bit of a weirdo, but we learn that he has some serious issues. The movie is based off of a book by the same name written by Josh Safdie, who also directed it.

It stars Forest Whitaker as Leonard Pearlman and Jacob Vargas as his son, Ray. However, even though these two are at the center of this film, it is primarily about the relationship between Leonard and Ray.

The relationship between these two men is one that goes beyond just being fathers and sons. They are also best friends who share in each other’s joys and sorrows together as well as in their own separate ways.

This leads to some interesting conversations about life, love, and how people can live out their lives without fear or anxiety about what may happen next.

In many ways this film reflects the reality of life which is that everything happens for a reason even if we don’t always see it at first glance or understand why it’s happening

Daddy Longlegs
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Ronald Bronstein, Sage Ranaldo, Frey Ranaldo (Actors)
  • Josh Safdie (Director) - Josh Safdie (Writer) - Casey Neistat (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

5. Joshy (2016)

Joshy is a very good movie. It’s a hilarious, touching film that’s full of heart. It’s story is about a young boy named Joshy who has just lost his mother and is forced to live with his grandmother in the family home in Queens.

The film is told through flashbacks and flashforwards which makes it more intriguing and keeps you guessing at what will happen next.


The best part about this movie is that it has an amazing cast, including Anna Kendrick, John Cho, Diego Luna, Nick Offerman and Jake Lacy.

This film is about Joshy trying to make sense of his life after losing his mother. He struggles with depression and loneliness but tries to overcome them by playing video games with his friends or watching movies with his grandmother.”

Joshy [Blu-ray + Digital HD]
  • Thomas Middleditch, Adam Pally, Alex Perry (Actors)
  • Jeff Baena (Director) - Michael Zakin (Producer)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

4. Wendy and Lucy (2008)

Kelly Reichardt’s second feature, Wendy and Lucy, is a quiet, understated drama about the difficulties of small town life, though it doesn’t feel like an “ordinary” small town at all. The film unfolds in a single day in the lives of two young girls: Wendy (Bel Powley), who lives with her mother Karen (Michelle Williams) and sister Lucy (Isabelle Nélisse), and their friend Sue Ellen (Kate Mara).

It’s clear that Karen is struggling to keep her family afloat after losing her job as a nurse; despite years of trying to save up for college tuition, she has recently been forced to make a choice between staying home with Wendy and Lucy or going out looking for work. Sue Ellen,

meanwhile, is busy living up to her full potential by working as a stripper but even though she makes enough money to support herself and pay rent on her own apartment, she feels unsatisfied by her home life: She wants more from life than being a mommy’s little girl.

The film centers around these three women each with their own problems but also their own hopes for the future as they try

Wendy and Lucy [Blu-ray]
  • Michelle Williams;Will Oldham;Will Patton (Actor)
  • Kelly Reichardt (Director)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

3. Appropriate Behavior (2015)

 Desiree Akhavan’s Appropriate Behavior is a pitch-black comedy about the friendships and sexual relationships of three women in their late 20s. It’s also one of the most honest depictions yet of female friendship.

Akhavan, who wrote and directed the film, is frank about the specific dynamics between her characters, and how they affect their relationships with men.

The film opens as Sara (Aisha Tyler), an event planner, is engaged to a man she doesn’t love. She meets with her best friend on a rooftop overlooking Manhattan and informs her that she’s breaking up with her fiancé.

Both women are still reeling from their breakup months earlier, when Sara dumped her boyfriend of two years for another woman; now Sara’s ready to move on, but Aisha has spent too long letting herself be defined by her ex — and feels like she can’t let go of him, either.

The conversation eventually leads them to reflect on their own romantic lives: Aisha is still single after being dumped by her last serious boyfriend; Sara has been married twice before, but both marriages ended badly for one reason or another.

The trio then gets together for some drinks at a bar in Brooklyn where Aisha works as a hostess and where she announces that she

Appropriate Behavior
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Desiree Akhavan, Rebecca Henderson, Halley Feiffer (Actors)
  • Desiree Akhavan (Director) - Desiree Akhavan (Writer) - Cecilia Frugiuele (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

2. Funny Ha Ha (2002)

This is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. It’s about a bunch of guys who go to an acting class every day and practice their lines in front of an audience. Then one day they all get called to play a part at a real theater, and they have to act out some scenes.

One of them gets up and starts talking about how he had sex with his girlfriend and then got a call from his dad, but he had to hang up because he was supposed to be working on his lines for the show.

That’s one example of what happens in Funny Ha Ha. There are many more, but I don’t want to give away too much about the plot before you see it.

It’s one of those movies where you can tell that it was made by people who love movies, not by people who just want to make money off other people’s ideas.

The director is Andrew Bujalski, who made Pieces of April (2006). He also directed The Squid and the Whale (2005), which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture!

Funny Ha Ha
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Kate Dollenmayer, Christian Rudder, Myles Paige (Actors)
  • Andrew Bujalski (Director) - Andrew Bujalski (Writer) - Ethan Vogt (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

1. Frances Ha (2013)

Frances Ha is the story of Frances, a young woman who lives with her parents in New York City. She’s an artist, and she’s also a dreamer. She loves to believe in things that others don’t, such as the idea of happiness and love.

In the opening scene, we see Frances dancing on a street in Paris with a group of friends. The camera follows Frances as she dances through the streets, enjoying herself and being happy.

When we meet Frances again six months later at her apartment after school, she is living with her friend Sophie (Greta Gerwig). They’re having a party that night and invite all their friends over to celebrate Frances’ new job as an assistant at a fashion magazine.

But when one of Frances’ friends gets pregnant unexpectedly, she begins to question whether or not she wants to be an artist anymore.

Frances Ha (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
  • Gerwig, Greta, Sumner, Mickey, Driver, Adam (Actors)
  • Baumbach, Noah (Director)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

Characteristics Of Mumblecore Movies

 Mumblecore movies are the new wave of independent movies. These movies do not have big budget, but they are very close to real life. They are about just normal people and how they live their lives.

These movies were made by people who have no money, but they still make great movies.

Mumblecore movies are similar to indie films, but there are some differences between them. Mumblecore is usually made by young filmmakers who don’t have much experience in making movies.

Most of their films take place in their own homes, or sometimes when they go out with friends or family members. The characters in these films often talk about things that normal people talk about when they go out with friends or family members. They may seem too realistic at times, but they’re still enjoyable to watch because they make you feel like you’re a part of the story!

Mumblecore Movies – Wrapping Up

Mumblecore, a term that refers to an emerging subgenre of independent filmmaking, is not a genre in and of itself.

Rather, it describes films that feature characters struggling with the mundane and mundane yet interesting life events.

In other words, mumblecore films are about people who just happen to be living their lives in odd situations.

Mumblecore movies are often characterized by a strong sense of realism (both in their settings and the characters), awkward interactions between their main characters, and a lack of plot structure or conventional narrative elements like dialogue.

In fact, many of the films that fall under this genre are character-driven dramas that focus on interpersonal relationships between the main characters.

While there are many different types of mumblecore movies out there — think “Wet Bum” or “Girlfriend Experience” — we’ve narrowed down our list of top 10 favorite Mumblecore Movies for you to watch below!


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