20 most underrated movies of the last 20 years (1990-2010)

by Jaimie Kanwar | created - 14 Sep 2010 | updated - 21 Sep 2010 | Public
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1. Limbo (1999)

R | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In an economically devastated Alaskan town, a fisherman with a troublesome past dates a woman whose young daughter does not approve of him. When he witnesses the murder of his shady brother, he, the woman and the kid run to the wilderness.

Director: John Sayles | Stars: David Strathairn, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Vanessa Martinez, Hermínio Ramos

Votes: 5,324 | Gross: $2.00M

2. We Own the Night (2007)

R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
59 Metascore

A New York City nightclub manager tries to save his brother and father from Russian Mafia hitmen.

Director: James Gray | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Danny Hoch

Votes: 76,408 | Gross: $28.56M

3. Running Scared (2006)

R | 122 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
41 Metascore

A low-ranking thug is entrusted by his crime boss to dispose of a gun that killed corrupt cops, but things get out of control when the gun ends up in wrong hands.

Director: Wayne Kramer | Stars: Paul Walker, Cameron Bright, Chazz Palminteri, Vera Farmiga

Votes: 91,602 | Gross: $6.86M

4. Sherrybaby (2006)

R | 96 min | Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
66 Metascore

Sherry tries to integrate again into society and become a good mother.

Director: Laurie Collyer | Stars: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ryan Simpkins, Sam Bottoms, Michelle Hurst

Votes: 10,726 | Gross: $0.20M

5. K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)

PG-13 | 138 min | Drama, History, Thriller

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
58 Metascore

When Russia's first nuclear submarine malfunctions on its maiden voyage, the crew must race to save the ship and prevent a nuclear disaster.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Harrison Ford, Sam Spruell, Peter Stebbings, Christian Camargo

Votes: 52,756 | Gross: $35.17M

6. Miami Blues (1990)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An ex-con's first act of freedom is moving to Miami where he restarts his old criminal ways with even more potency.

Director: George Armitage | Stars: Fred Ward, Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cecilia Pérez-Cervera

Votes: 6,614 | Gross: $9.89M

7. The Human Stain (2003)

R | 106 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
57 Metascore

When a disgraced former college dean has a romance with a mysterious younger woman haunted by her dark, twisted past, he is forced to confront a shocking fact about his own life that he has kept secret for fifty years.

Director: Robert Benton | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman, Ed Harris, Gary Sinise

Votes: 26,851 | Gross: $5.38M

8. Dark Blue (2002)

R | 118 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
57 Metascore

A robbery homicide investigation triggers a series of events that will cause a corrupt LAPD officer to question his tactics.

Director: Ron Shelton | Stars: Kurt Russell, Ving Rhames, Scott Speedman, Michael Michele

Votes: 18,415 | Gross: $9.06M

9. Smart People (2008)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
57 Metascore

Into the life of a widowed professor comes a new love and an unexpected visit from his adopted brother.

Director: Noam Murro | Stars: Dennis Quaid, Thomas Haden Church, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Page

Votes: 21,387 | Gross: $9.50M

10. Margot at the Wedding (2007)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Drama

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
66 Metascore

Margot and her son Claude decide to visit her sister Pauline after she announces that she is marrying less-than-impressive Malcolm. In short order, the storm the sisters create leaves behind a mess of thrashed relationships and exposed family secrets.

Director: Noah Baumbach | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Flora Cross, Zane Pais

Votes: 17,373 | Gross: $1.96M

11. Pride and Glory (2008)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
45 Metascore

A family's moral codes are tested when Ray Tierney investigates a case that reveals an incendiary police corruption scandal involving his own brother-in-law. For Ray, the truth is revelatory, a Pandora's Box that threatens to upend not only the Tierney legacy but the entire NYPD.

Director: Gavin O'Connor | Stars: Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Noah Emmerich, Jon Voight

Votes: 55,496 | Gross: $15.71M

12. 12 and Holding (2005)

R | 94 min | Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
65 Metascore

After his twin brother is accidentally killed by vengeful bullies, a 12-year old boy and his friends face the harsh realities of death, teenage hormones, and family dysfunction.

Director: Michael Cuesta | Stars: Conor Donovan, Jesse Camacho, Zoe Weizenbaum, Annabella Sciorra

Votes: 6,342 | Gross: $0.10M

13. We Don't Live Here Anymore (2004)

R | 101 min | Drama, Romance

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
66 Metascore

An indiscretion between two close friends tears down their respective marriages.

Director: John Curran | Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern, Peter Krause, Naomi Watts

Votes: 8,577 | Gross: $2.04M

14. The Yards (2000)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
58 Metascore

In the rail yards of Queens, contractors repair and rebuild the city's subway cars. These contracts are lucrative, so graft and corruption are rife. When Leo Handler gets out of prison, he ... See full summary »

Director: James Gray | Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron, James Caan

Votes: 17,388 | Gross: $0.88M

15. Summer of Sam (1999)

R | 142 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
67 Metascore

Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American Northeast Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Esposito

Votes: 32,730 | Gross: $19.28M

16. Pandorum (2009)

R | 108 min | Action, Horror, Mystery

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
28 Metascore

A pair of crew members aboard a spaceship wake up with no knowledge of their mission or their identities.

Director: Christian Alvart | Stars: Dennis Quaid, Ben Foster, Cam Gigandet, Antje Traue

Votes: 130,611 | Gross: $10.33M

17. A Simple Plan (1998)

R | 121 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
82 Metascore

When three blue collar acquaintances come across millions of dollars in lost cash they make a plan to keep their find from the authorities but find complications and mistrust weaving its way into their plan.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, Bridget Fonda, Brent Briscoe

Votes: 54,779 | Gross: $16.31M

18. Separate Lies (2005)

R | 85 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
71 Metascore

A couple's marriage is complicated by the introduction of a third party.

Director: Julian Fellowes | Stars: Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Hermione Norris, John Warnaby

Votes: 3,768 | Gross: $0.92M

19. Eye of the Beholder (1999)

R | 109 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

4.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  
29 Metascore

A private eye shadows a female serial killer of men all over the U.S. without her knowing as he, strangely enough, occasionally acts as her guardian angel.

Director: Stephan Elliott | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Ashley Judd, Patrick Bergin, Geneviève Bujold

Votes: 13,756 | Gross: $16.46M

20. Q & A (1990)

R | 132 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young district attorney seeking to prove a case against a corrupt police detective encounters a former lover and her new protector, a crime boss who refuses to help him in this gritty ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Nick Nolte, Timothy Hutton, Armand Assante, Patrick O'Neal

Votes: 4,342 | Gross: $11.21M