Ten Criminally Underrated Movies

by gaf-4 | created - 22 Oct 2010 | updated - 22 Oct 2010 | Public
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1. The Hidden (1987)

R | 96 min | Action, Crime, Horror

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Law abiding people suddenly become violent criminals. A cop and an FBI agent race for answers in this sci-fi thriller.

Director: Jack Sholder | Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Nouri, Claudia Christian, Clarence Felder

Votes: 14,426 | Gross: $9.75M

Terrifically shot on a tiny budget this gem of a movie is paced like a tornado on pep pills. It has great stunts and effects and the dialogue is fantastic. The soundtrack is perfect and the production design would be admirable in a movie that cost ten times as much. Nouri and Machlachlan have great chemistry, Claudia Christians gobsmacking turn as a stripper features the hottest red dress up to and including Maggie Q's from Mission Impossible 3 and Clu Gulagher pops up! What more could you want? Superb.

2. Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

PG-13 | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

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

An I.R.S. auditor suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah

Votes: 200,022 | Gross: $40.14M

Will Ferrell's IRS man Crick is about as far removed from his turns in Anchorman or Old School as is possible and he is just excellent. If you're not a fan of Maggie Gylenhall going into Stranger Than Fiction I guarantee that you will be by the end credits. Best Milk and Cookies scene ever, a stunning opening shot and a wonderful "Flowers" scene are only three highlights in this little beauty.

3. Night of the Creeps (1986)

R | 88 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Alien brain parasites, entering humans through the mouth, turn their host into a killing zombie. Some teenagers start to fight against them.

Director: Fred Dekker | Stars: Jason Lively, Tom Atkins, Steve Marshall, Jill Whitlow

Votes: 16,666 | Gross: $0.59M

A real treat for Horror fans - not just because this is a fantastic little horror flick in its own right but because it tips its hat with such affection to the movies that have inspired it. (Characters are named after horror movie directors) Some fun effects, sparkling dialogue and a terrific performance by Tom Atkins, Night of the Creeps pulls of that tricky feat of balancing horror and comedy nicely. Thrill Me!!

4. Into the Blue (2005)

PG-13 | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
45 Metascore

A group of divers find themselves in deep trouble with a drug lord after they come upon the illicit cargo of a sunken airplane.

Director: John Stockwell | Stars: Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan, Ashley Scott

Votes: 67,544 | Gross: $18.47M

A hell of a great looking movie and not just because Jessica Alba spends almost the entire running time in a bikini. Stunning scenery, aeroplane crashes, boats chases, Josh Brolin, Scott Caan, Ashley Scotts butt turned into shark food... Pure fun- plain and simple.

5. The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)

R | 121 min | Action, Crime, Drama

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

A woman suffering from amnesia begins to recover her memories after trouble from her past finds her again.

Director: Renny Harlin | Stars: Geena Davis, Samuel L. Jackson, Yvonne Zima, Craig Bierko

Votes: 64,797 | Gross: $33.33M

Reason number thirty five why I am not a Hollywood Producer... I would have invested every cent I had in this movie without any doubt that it would be a number one smash hit. To this day I don't know why it wasn't. Fantastically corny action dialogue, over the top action scenes, Geena Davis as lethal as she is sexy, Samuel L Jackson stealing every scene and Craig frickin' Bierko. What the hell was wrong with movie goers in 1996?

6. Miami Vice (2006)

R | 134 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

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

Based on the 1980s TV action/drama, this update focuses on vice detectives Crockett and Tubbs as their respective personal and professional lives become dangerously intertwined.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Li Gong, Naomie Harris

Votes: 99,012 | Gross: $63.45M

Michael Mann's big screen Miami Vice has only the title and the premise in common with its TV series inspiration yet every review and / or criticism seems bent on comparing the two. They are totally different- stop it! A great crime movie loaded with authenticity and detail and one of the most visually stunning movies of the last decade. Hugely underrated - watch it like you'd never heard the name Miami Vice and you are in for a treat.

7. Strange Days (1995)

R | 145 min | Action, Crime, Drama

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A former cop turned street-hustler accidentally uncovers a conspiracy in Los Angeles in 1999.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore

Votes: 59,255 | Gross: $7.92M

After a fantastic opening scene shot in first person Strange Days plays out into a slick, sick and highly memorable thriller. The Virtual Reality rape is a mind-bendingly twisted scene. Ralph Feinnes is superb (of course) but the supporting players really shine - Juliette Lewis is clearly having a blast, Angela Bassett is surprisingly effective as an ass kicking bodyguard and Michael "the voice" Wincott gets a role to sink his teeth into. Ridiculously good. Bigelow rules.

8. So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)

PG-13 | 93 min | Comedy, Romance

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A San Francisco poet who fears commitment suspects his girlfriend may have a knack for killing off her significant others.

Director: Thomas Schlamme | Stars: Mike Myers, Nancy Travis, Anthony LaPaglia, Amanda Plummer

Votes: 29,862 | Gross: $11.59M

The story might be a little on the thin side but this is an under-appreciated comedy. Check out the cast- Mike Myers, Brenda Fricker, Anthony LaPaglia, Alan Arkin, Charles Grodin, Steven Wright, Amand Plummer, Phil Hartman, Debi Mazar and Nancy Travis. Gold.

9. The Lake House (2006)

PG | 99 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

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

A lonely doctor, who once occupied an unusual lakeside house, begins exchanging love letters with its former resident, a frustrated architect. They must try to unravel the mystery behind their extraordinary romance before it's too late.

Director: Alejandro Agresti | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Christopher Plummer, Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Votes: 123,579 | Gross: $52.33M

I wonder if this movie would have rated higher if it had Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks or Tom Cruise and Rene Zellwegger in the lead roles. A lot of the negative comments I hear about The Lake House are aimed at Bullock and Reeves and are not about the performances (which are great) but merely about the fact that they exist in the film. I don't mind a soppy romance movie on occasion - specially when it is as effective, clever and sweet natured as The Lake House.

10. Grand Canyon (1991)

R | 134 min | Crime, Drama

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

Grand Canyon revolved around six residents from different backgrounds whose lives intertwine in modern-day Los Angeles. At the center of the film is the unlikely friendship of two men from ... See full summary »

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, Steve Martin, Mary McDonnell

Votes: 13,441 | Gross: $33.24M

I'll admit it can be a little heavy handed and melodramatic in places but Grand Canyon is a brilliant piece of work. The great ensemble cast really shines (apart from Mary McDonnell's irritating performance) and this gives rare opportunities for Kline and Martin to play it straight. Check out the haunting, fantastically edited and scored opening scene - superb.