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.
  2. It follows two young men who live in a small apartment, trying to figure out what they want out of life.
  3. 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 .
  4. 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.
  5. It was written by Jesse Andrews and stars Thomas Mann as Earl and Connie Britton

10. Drinking Buddies (2013)

Drinking Buddies is a refreshingly honest and authentic portrayal of relationships and the complexities of the human experience.

Director Joe Swanberg has crafted a film that feels so real it’s hard not to get lost in the story.

The film follows two brewery employees, Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson), who share a close friendship that blurs the lines between platonic and romantic.

As they navigate their feelings for each other, they must also deal with their respective partners (played by Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston) and the implications of their actions.

The performances in this film are outstanding, with Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson delivering nuanced and relatable portrayals of flawed individuals trying to make sense of their emotions.

The chemistry between them is palpable, and their interactions are both charming and heartbreaking.

What sets Drinking Buddies apart from other romantic comedies is its refusal to neatly tie up loose ends or provide easy answers.

Instead, the film embraces the messiness of real life and leaves the audience to ponder the complexities of human relationships long after the credits have rolled.

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)

“The Puffy Chair” is a charming indie film that captures the essence of a road trip with your significant other.

This mumblecore gem follows Josh and Emily as they embark on a journey to deliver a vintage recliner to Josh’s father.

The film’s low-budget aesthetic and naturalistic performances make it feel like a documentary, and the dialogue feels authentic and relatable.

Mark Duplass, who also co-wrote and directed the film, delivers a standout performance as Josh, a man struggling to balance his commitment to his girlfriend and his desire for independence.

The chemistry between him and his co-star Kathryn Aselton is palpable, and their back-and-forth banter is both funny and heartwarming.


“The Puffy Chair” is a slow-burn love story that celebrates the beauty of imperfection and the power of human connection.

It’s a must-see for fans of indie cinema and for anyone who has ever been on a road trip with someone they love.

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8. Mutual Appreciation (2006)

Mutual Appreciation is a film that is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever struggled to find their place in the world.

Written and directed by Andrew Bujalski, this indie gem is a thoughtful exploration of friendship, love, and the complexities of adulthood.

The film follows the story of Alan, a struggling musician who moves to New York City to pursue his dreams.

Along the way, he meets and befriends a group of quirky and interesting characters, including his ex-girlfriend’s sister and a struggling radio DJ.

Together, they navigate the ups and downs of life in the big city, all while trying to figure out where they truly belong.


What makes Mutual Appreciation so special is its raw and honest portrayal of human relationships.

The characters are flawed and imperfect, but they are also relatable and endearing.

The film is shot in black and white, which adds to its indie charm and gives it a timeless quality.

Overall, Mutual Appreciation is a must-watch for anyone who loves indie films and is looking for a thought-provoking and heartfelt story.

It’s a film that will leave you thinking long after the credits roll, and it’s one that you won’t soon forget.

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 is a heartwarming and thought-provoking film that explores the themes of family, fate, and purpose in life.

The movie follows the story of Jeff, a slacker who lives in his mother’s basement and spends his days searching for the meaning of his existence.

Jason Segel delivers a standout performance as Jeff, bringing a perfect balance of humor and vulnerability to his character.

Ed Helms also shines as Jeff’s uptight and frustrated brother, who is struggling to keep his life together.

The film’s plot is simple, yet effective, and the various subplots offer a well-rounded and satisfying viewing experience.

The cinematography is also worth noting, as it beautifully captures the everyday moments of life and the beauty found within them.

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)

Daddy Longlegs is a raw and intimate exploration of fatherhood, told through the lens of a flawed and reckless dad.

Directors Josh and Benny Safdie expertly capture the chaotic energy of New York City and the tumultuous emotions of their protagonist, played brilliantly by Ronald Bronstein.

The film is at times uncomfortable to watch, as we witness the titular character make questionable decisions and put his children in danger.

But it’s also deeply moving, as we see the love and devotion he has for his kids, even if he doesn’t always know how to express it.

The Safdie brothers have a knack for creating immersive, visceral experiences, and Daddy Longlegs is no exception.

It’s a film that lingers long after the credits roll, leaving you with a mix of emotions that are hard to shake off.

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5. Joshy (2016)

Joshy is a dark comedy that explores the aftermath of a tragic event in a group of friends’ lives.


The film follows Joshy (Thomas Middleditch) and his friends as they plan a bachelor party weekend in Ojai, California, only to find that their plans are derailed by the group’s collective emotional baggage.

Despite its heavy subject matter, Joshy manages to strike a delicate balance between humor and heartbreak.

The film is anchored by Middleditch’s nuanced performance as the titular character, who is struggling to come to terms with the loss of his fiancée.

The supporting cast, including Adam Pally, Nick Kroll, and Jenny Slate, all deliver strong performances, adding depth and humor to the film’s ensemble.

What sets Joshy apart from other films in the genre is its willingness to explore the complexity of grief and the ways in which it can impact our relationships.

The characters in the film are flawed and often make mistakes, but their struggles feel authentic and relatable.

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)

Wendy and Lucy is a subtle yet poignant film that explores the struggles of a young woman and her beloved dog as they journey through the Pacific Northwest.

Michelle Williams delivers a raw and vulnerable performance as Wendy, a drifter who is forced to confront the harsh realities of poverty and isolation when her faithful companion, Lucy, goes missing.

Director Kelly Reichardt captures the desolate beauty of the American landscape, using long takes and natural lighting to bring an authentic sense of place to the screen.

The film’s minimalist approach allows for a deeper exploration of themes such as class, empathy, and the bond between humans and animals.

While the film’s slow pace and understated style may not be for everyone, those who appreciate nuanced storytelling and nuanced performances will find a lot to admire in Wendy and Lucy.

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

3. Appropriate Behavior (2015)

Appropriate Behavior is an intimate and witty indie gem that explores the complexities of identity and relationships in the modern world.

Written, directed, and starring Desiree Akhavan, the film follows the story of Shirin, a bisexual Iranian-American woman who tries to navigate her way through a breakup, coming out to her conservative family, and finding her place in the world.

The film is a refreshing take on the romantic comedy genre, as it doesn’t shy away from the messiness and vulnerability of human connections.

Akhavan’s performance is both hilarious and heartbreaking, as she portrays Shirin’s struggles with honesty and authenticity.

The supporting cast is equally impressive, with Rebecca Henderson delivering a standout performance as Maxine, Shirin’s love interest.

What makes Appropriate Behavior stand out is its sharp writing and clever storytelling.

Akhavan’s dialogue is witty, insightful, and often relatable, as she explores the nuances of identity politics and cultural clashes.

The film also has a distinct visual style, with its use of vibrant colors and playful editing, that adds to its overall charm.

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)

Funny Ha Ha is a charming independent film that explores the awkward and uncertain years of post-college life.

Written and directed by Andrew Bujalski, this film is a refreshing departure from the typical Hollywood fare.

The plot follows Marnie, a recent college graduate who is struggling to find her place in the world.

She takes a dead-end job and bounces between various romantic prospects, but nothing seems to stick.

The film is a slice-of-life portrayal of Marnie’s experiences as she navigates the tricky terrain of early adulthood.

What sets Funny Ha Ha apart is its authenticity.

The characters are real and relatable, and the dialogue feels naturalistic rather than scripted.

The film captures the essence of those early post-college years, when you’re trying to figure out who you are and what you want out of life.

Bujalski’s direction is understated but effective, allowing the characters to shine through.

The performances are excellent across the board, particularly from Kate Dollenmayer as Marnie.


She brings a vulnerability and honesty to the role that makes you root for her even when she’s making questionable decisions.

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 a delightful and heartfelt film that captures the struggles and triumphs of a young woman trying to find her place in the world.

Greta Gerwig gives a stunning performance as the titular character, bringing a vulnerability and honesty to her portrayal that is both relatable and endearing.

The film is beautifully shot in black and white, adding a timeless quality to the story that emphasizes the themes of self-discovery and growth.

The screenplay, co-written by Gerwig and director Noah Baumbach, is witty and insightful, capturing the nuances of the millennial experience with both humor and sensitivity.

Frances Ha is a film that will speak to anyone who has ever felt lost or uncertain about their path in life.

It is a charming and poignant exploration of friendship, identity, and the struggle to find one’s place in the world.

Highly recommended for fans of indie cinema and coming-of-age stories.

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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