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Summer Indies: 'Before Midnight,' 'The Way, Way Back' & 8 Other Must-See Alternatives To Big Blockbusters

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Planning to see a movie over the long weekend but tired at the mere thought of sitting through bloated summer blockbusters like "The Lone Ranger," "World War Z," "White House Down," "Fast & Furious 6," "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "Man of Steel"? There's some good news: Summer 2013 is loaded with high quality art house features, many of which have floundered at the box office for no real good reason. Help change that this weekend with these 10 alternatives to the wide-release behemoths.

1. "Before Midnight"
summer indies
Why you should see it: Because Richard Linklater's third "Before" film might be the best one yet; because it's the one summer movie thus far that could legitimately earn a Best Picture nomination next year.

2. "Frances Ha"
summer indies
Why you should see it: Because Greta Gerwig is the Queen of the Summer.

3. "20 Feet From Stardom"
summer indies
Why you should see it: Because this documentary -- about some of the music industry's most famed and anonymous back-up singers -- is one of the most enjoyable films of the year; because Darlene Love is a true diva in the best sense of the word.

4. "The Kings Of Summer"
summer indies
Why you should see it: Because "The Kings of Summer" is one of the funniest movies of the year, and it truly earns comparisons to "Stand by Me" and "Superbad"; because co-star Nick Offerman wanted to call it "P-ssy Time."

5. "The East"
summer indies
Why you should see it: Because there haven't been very many good thrillers this summer, and "The East" is a very good thriller.

6. "The Way, Way Back"
summer indies
Why you should see it: Because it's heartwarming and sweet and Sam Rockwell owns all.

7. "Mud"
summer indies
Why you should see it: Because Matthew McConaughey is still having a moment.

8. "The Bling Ring"
summer indies
Why you should see it: Because Emma Watson is LOL OMG GR8.

9. "Much Ado About Nothing"
summer indies
Why you should see it: Because Amy Acker should be a huge star; because Joss Whedon directed this Shakespeare adaptation in his literal backyard.

10. "I'm So Excited"
summer indies
Why you should see it: Because Pedro Almodovar is one of the best directors in the world.

But wait, there's more!
Great indies still to come this summer include "Fruitvale Station" (July 12), "Girl Most Likely" (July 19), "Only God Forgives" (July 19), "Blue Jasmine" (July 26), "The Spectacular Now" (Aug. 2), "In A World" (Aug. 9), "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" (Aug. 16), "Prince Avalanche" (Aug. 16), "Drinking Buddies" (Aug. 23) and "Short Term 12" (Aug. 23).

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