Most Underappreciated Movies

Inside Man directed by Spike lee starring denzel Washington, it was brilliantly executed and well casted. I get it spike lee can be a polarizing figure, but this was light years from his usual work; this was just top notch story telling. I especially enjoyed the slick dialogue, every character speaks with an agenda, and they do it with conviction.
Clive owen and denzel Washington establish an advesarial chemistry reminicent of timothy olyphant and walton goggins, no shit.
I recall the movie was released winter 2006 when great work is forgotten. Anyway thats my thouht on Underappreciated work, would love to hear anyone's thoughts.
Frakkin Tpavlovsbell


  • Primer

    It was made on a tiny (under $10k) budget by a dude and his friends back when digital video was just becoming a feasible thing.  He wrote/directed/edited the whole thing.  It's a movie about time travel so it's right up my alley and the story is complex and interesting.  It avoids (and even plays on) some of the typical time travel pitfalls and paradoxes in an interesting way and rewards repeat viewings.  Definitely not for everyone but I loved it.
    hypergenesbFrakkin T
  • edited March 2015
    A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
    Killer Joe (A rough watch but the drumstick scene, haha omfg. TWD does a second rate knock off of this in the doodlebug hospital episode)
    Chained (Vincent D'Onofrio is at the top of is creepy fuck game here)
    Ghost World (been meaning to create a thread about this one)
    Martyrs (those with delicate sensibilities should keep away)

    Frakkin TTravis
  • Predestination Starring Ethan Hawke. I haven't heard anyone talk about it but I thought it was surprisingly well shot, acted, and a really cool movie. Think low-budget time travel with sixth sense like twist at the end. 
    Frakkin Tghm3
  • Frakkin TFrakkin T Currently Offline
    I liked a lot of the above, including Inside Man, Dark City, Primer, and Martyrs (If someone tries to warn you about Martyrs, you listen. It's seriously fucked.)

    Rob Zombie's movies range from barely watchable to pretty damn entertaining, but I am convinced The Devil's Rejects is his 1 great movie It's grimy and it's twisted and it's beautifully shot. There's no Shyamalan-style twist, but the story turns on a dime about halfway through; the Rejects go from being the hunters to the hunted, and Rob Zombie makes you complicit because you actually like these characters who are absolute monsters. Look for Ken Foree and Michael Berryman and Deborah Van Valkenburg among a whole cast full of recognizable faces. 

    Another good one is Triangle, starring the lovely Melissa George. It's a mindbender that is tightly plotted and rewards multiple viewings. I don't even want to say too much, because every reveal is a mindfuck, and they all pay off in the end. 

  • JoshTheBlackJoshTheBlack Atlanta, GA
    I'd like to second Killer Joe and nominate one of my personal favorite "horror" movies, Pontypool.  It's a strange one that gets better with every viewing.  After my first watch, I didn't even know if I liked it.  I thought about it for days afterward though and my appreciation built.  I've seen it 5 times now and the last time was by far the best watch yet.
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    edited March 2015

    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford -- this gorgeous Western with an impressive cast suffered from a having an awkwardly long title, a languorous pace, and being released in a year that was overcrowded with other fantastic western-themed films like No Country for Old Men, 3:10 to Yuma, and There Will Be Blood.  It is critically acclaimed, but so few people have seen it.

    Kiss Kiss Bang Bang -- I don't think the studio knew how to market this little gem starring RDJ, Val Kilmer, and Michelle Monaghan.  It both satirized and lovingly paid homage to buddy cop films, detective noir, pulp fiction, and Hollywood.

    Half Nelson (2006) -- this may be universally acclaimed, but I don't think many have seen it.  It's a simple story produced for $700,000, scored by Broken Social Scene, and it stars Ryan Gosling as a drug-addicted inner city teacher who strikes up a friendship with a student.   I remember walking out of the theater thinking, "Who is that guy?  He's going to be huge."  Gosling also did incredible work as a self-hating Jewish neo-Nazi in The Believer (2001).

  • I will be adding all of these to to watch list. Thanks
  • ksa1001ksa1001 Plano, TX

    I don't think Inside Man would count as under-rated as it's Spike Lee's highest grossing film and was met with near universal acclaim.

    I've always like The Island (2005), I feel it was lost in Michael Bay's transition from old blow up crap to Transformers crap.

    For what it is, it's pretty good. It's also two films in one; sci-fi first half and 2nd half chase film.

    Narc (2002) was also a very good, gritty cop film. The opening sequence can be nauseating to those subject to Cloverfield type camera sickness, and Ray Liotta did an amazing job.

    The Drop (2014) was also a really good crime film. Last James Gandolfini film and from the writer of Mystic River.
  • WarpFoxWarpFox Nashville, TN
    Killing Them Softly was kind of a sleeper, if I recall. Don't hear a lot about it but it's a pretty solid movie about the business of being in the crime business.

    One of my all-time favorite movies that is criminally underrated (except maybe by some cult fans) is In Bruges. And for that matter, Seven Psychopaths deserves equal praise. You can probably skip London Boulevard, though.

    Two more that I'll mention are Shrink (with Kevin Spacey) and Henry Poole Is Here (with Luke Wilson). 
  • FlashGordonFlashGordon Leeds, UK
    edited March 2015
    @WarpFox good shout on Killing them softly, that is a fantastic little movie. 

    O and to whoever said Gattaca aswell,  great movie.

    I'd say Looper too  love that film and never felt it garnered enough cult status.
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited March 2015

    It's well known enough to where it may not qualify, but Wet Hot American Summer is the funniest movie I've ever seen. I was also really, really pleasantly surprised by They Came Together, a movie I had never heard of until my wife and I were scanning "what's new" in Amazon movies.

    Gattaca and Dark City are great calls. Really good movies. I woke up with the need to take a spontaneous road trip about 15 or so years ago and ended up driving past Shell Beach. I had to pull off and inspect the place because of the Dark City.

    Once again, I don't know if it qualifies I think it did pretty well at the time but I haven't really heard it mentioned in years was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. That movie is soul crushing in all the right ways.

  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    Looper was both a critical and financial smash.  With Johnson set to direct Star Wars Episode VIII, his earlier films will probably get even more attention.  I also really enjoyed the high school hardboiled detective daytime-noir, Brick.  Gordon-Levitt delivered his Dashiell Hammett-esque dialogue beautifully.  
  • Narc was an excellent movie, The Lookout with Joseph Gordon Levitt was largely overlooked. Ben Stiller and Bill Pullman did this indie flick called the Zero Effect, i recall watching it on a recommendation from my sister, pleasantly surprised. I recall giving it multiple views, would love to watch it again to see if it holds up.
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    What Happened Was. I stumbled onto it 20 years ago when it had a very limited cinema release and then I dragged everyone I could think of back to watch it again and again. It's a two person, single set drama about two work colleagues having a super awkward date. It stars Tom Noonan (under-rated "that guy") and Karen Sillas, who would probably only be known to Hal Hartley fans. It also has the most blatantly misleading trailer I've ever seen - it makes it look like the movie is about some creepy murderous stalker, when in fact it's just two people on a date finding out they don't really know each other at all. I watched it again a couple of years ago and it still holds up.
  • ArctorArctor The Netherlands
    edited March 2015
    I don't know if you can consider Primer an underappreciated movie because it's kind of an underground cult classic. Shoe-string budget, most interesting take on a genre ever, plot-puzzle, near-infinite rewatchability... If you haven't seen it and decide to watch it: don't read anything about the plot beforehand but make sure to turn on subtitles, dialog is sometimes less than intelligeable, recorded on mid-end equipment and realistic (in a sense that characters sometimes talk over each other).

    Make sure to pay close attention because at some points in the film plot development suddenly drops on you like a ton of math homework with an unreasonable deadline. Don't be discouraged though, this works in favor of the film as a whole. You will probably only start figuring out the deeper layers of the plot after the 2nd or 3rd watch so don't feel dumb ;)

    It's pretty much my favorite movie, must've seen it 6 or 7 times already. Shane Carruth instantly became my favorite director/actor and I loved everything he made after Primer as well. Upstream Color and the short film Everything & Everything & Everything were both great!

    Seriously check out this guy's work if you're into artsy intelligent features.
  • ArctorArctor The Netherlands
    All this talk of Looper made me think of Carruth because he has a special thanks credit on that film for consultancy ;)
  • aberry89aberry89 California
    "The Fall"  I can't really give this any justice by trying to describe what you're missing if you've never seen it - especially because the visuals are such a huge part of this film. If you have seen it, you know how incredible it is.  I also just have a lot of respect for the filmmaking that is going on here - little to no CGI and took over four years to make.  It's one of those movies that fulfills me, not just passes the time. 
  • aberry89aberry89 California
    @pavlovsbell  The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford  

    OMG, OMG. yes. That movie. God damn. One the best written stories I have ever seen, "the coward" character is never one we respect, flesh out or understand but that film does it. There is not one aspect of that movie I do not like.
  • @ghm3 Some good picks there.

    Election evolves in a way that I didn't expect at all.  I don't usually like Broderick when he ventures outside of his cavalier 80s attitude but this was an exception.

    Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is awesome.  2nd in the "Zomedy" genre only to Shaun of the Dead, imo.

    The angsty teen characters in Ghost World really appealed to me when I saw it as an angsty teen.  Also, the cast is great.

    Primer: Yeah, it won some awards and is a cult classic but that's it.  It didn't get any mainstream attention.  I forget where I heard about it but it wasn't from a trailer in a theater or an ad on TV.  Stop anyone on the street and ask them if they've heard of this movie and they haven't.  Maybe I should commission a podcast on Primer to make A.Ron watch it.

    I've never heard of a lot of those other ones so it's a good bet that they were underappreciated.

    Did anybody like Extract?  Mike Judge's follow-up to Idiocracy?  I thought it was just ok, which is surprising considering how big of a Judge fan I am.
  • @Jim ;

    Actually there are no zombies in Tucker & Dale, it's a straight up horror comedy. 

    Yeah I liked how Election was way darker than you'd expect going in, and has no bow-tie ending.

    I found Ghost World to be pretty depressing, but in an oddly okay way. The most interesting thing to me was how the ending had such clear implications to me but many others have a very different interpretation, hence me meaning to make a thread about it at some point.

    I liked Primer very much but like some others here I didn't consider it to be underappreciated, rather it seemed to be very well appreciated, but it will understandably never have mass appeal. 

    I also just found Extract to be merely okay and a bit of a let down, also as a fan of Mike Judge. I love Silicon Valley though.

    Yeah I was digging kinda deep in my list at times, not all are necessarily brilliant movies or anything, I was trying to think of movies that really stuck with me more than I'd ever expected or were just a pleasant surprise from my expectations, and simultaneously be something that never received all that much exposure. I may be able to scrounge up a few more but that seemed like a decent list to start with at least.
  • @pavlovsbell I also love Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, I brought it up in my Christmas movie thread but neglected it here. It took me years to get my friends to see it, after already owning the Bluray the whole time. It's Robert Downey Jr's real return to the success that most people attribute to Iron Man. 
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