Great Under the Radar Movies

by nkrehbi2 | created - 14 May 2011 | updated - 07 Feb 2012 | Public

A list of movies that you may not hear about getting awards or making money or having nick cage in them, but nonetheless are great.

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1. Monsters (2010)

R | 94 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

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

Six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion, a cynical journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the U.S. border.

Director: Gareth Edwards | Stars: Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able, Mario Zuniga Benavides, Annalee Jefferies

Votes: 81,512 | Gross: $0.24M

A subtle, character-driven low budget movie about aliens. Really unique blend of themes in this movie

2. Valhalla Rising (2009)

Not Rated | 93 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

6.0
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61 Metascore

Forced for some time to be a fighting slave, a pagan warrior escapes his captors with a boy and joins a group of Crusaders on their quest to the Holy Land.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn | Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Maarten Stevenson, Alexander Morton, Stewart Porter

Votes: 48,489 | Gross: $0.02M

Don't know what to say about this movie other than it is nuts. Really unlike anything I have ever seen

3. Brick (2005)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.4
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72 Metascore

A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, Emilie de Ravin, Meagan Good

Votes: 91,068 | Gross: $2.06M

it's noir, it's about kids in high school, it's got Joe Gordon levvit. See it goddammit!

4. Holy Rollers (2010)

R | 89 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

5.9
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51 Metascore

In Brooklyn, a youth from an Orthodox Jewish community is lured into becoming an Ecstasy dealer by his pal who has ties to an Israeli drug cartel.

Director: Kevin Asch | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, Danny A. Abeckaser, Ari Graynor

Votes: 4,533 | Gross: $0.30M

It's just like American Gangster except with more jews. Eisenberg is doing his nervous jewish Eisenbergey thing. Sweet movie

5. Flame & Citron (2008)

Not Rated | 130 min | Action, Drama, History

7.3
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74 Metascore

A drama centered on two fighters in the Holger Danske World War II resistance group.

Director: Ole Christian Madsen | Stars: Thure Lindhardt, Mads Mikkelsen, Stine Stengade, Peter Mygind

Votes: 15,625 | Gross: $0.15M

An interesting, fast, well-acted movie about the Danish resistance in WWII. Mads mikkelsen needs to be in as many movies as possible

6. Hard Eight (1996)

R | 101 min | Crime, Drama

7.3
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78 Metascore

Professional gambler Sydney teaches John the tricks of the trade. John does well until he falls for cocktail waitress Clementine.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson

Votes: 32,339 | Gross: $0.22M

Paul Thomas Anderson's first movie and a great start to his career. Kind of a simple plot, but the characters take it deep and it sets the stage for his more successful films

7. This Is England (2006)

Not Rated | 101 min | Crime, Drama

7.7
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86 Metascore

A young boy becomes friends with a gang of skinheads. Friends soon become like family, and relationships will be pushed to the very limit.

Director: Shane Meadows | Stars: Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley, Andrew Shim

Votes: 105,323 | Gross: $0.33M

Very raw, emotional movie. this movie sticks with you. A bit like england's version of American History x

8. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

R | 160 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.5
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68 Metascore

Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader.

Director: Andrew Dominik | Stars: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Mary-Louise Parker

Votes: 149,150 | Gross: $3.90M

Best Western I have ever seen. the magnificent seven can suck it. In any other year Casey affleck would have won best supporting actor, with Bardem in No Country owning it that year.

9. Idiocracy (2006)

R | 84 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

6.6
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66 Metascore

Private Joe Bauers, the definition of "average American", is selected by the Pentagon to be the guinea pig for a top-secret hibernation program. Forgotten, he awakes five centuries in the future. He discovers a society so incredibly dumbed down that he's easily the most intelligent person alive.

Director: Mike Judge | Stars: Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard, Terry Crews

Votes: 121,158 | Gross: $0.44M

Absolutely hillarious. It's comedy central all the time, but you need to see the real full un-edited version.

10. The Road (I) (2009)

R | 111 min | Adventure, Drama

7.3
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64 Metascore

In a dangerous post-apocalyptic world, an ailing father defends his son as they slowly travel to the sea.

Director: John Hillcoat | Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall

Votes: 195,163 | Gross: $0.06M

Adapted from a book by the same author Cormac Mccarthy that wrote No Country for Old Men. A movie without a real genre. Too dark to be a drama. Not a real horror movie, but it had scenes that scared me more than any other movie has.

11. The Informant! (2009)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

6.5
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66 Metascore

The U.S. government decides to go after an agro-business giant with a price-fixing accusation, based on the evidence submitted by their star witness, vice president-turned-informant Mark Whitacre.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Matt Damon, Tony Hale, Patton Oswalt, Lucas McHugh Carroll

Votes: 56,367 | Gross: $33.31M

It's hard to believe a Matt Damon movie didn't get more pub, especially one as good as this. Really funny in a dry, non-punch liney way

12. The Foot Fist Way (2006)

R | 85 min | Comedy

6.4
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63 Metascore

An inept tae kwon do instructor struggles with marital troubles and an unhealthy obsession with fellow tae kwon do enthusiast Chuck "The Truck" Wallace.

Director: Jody Hill | Stars: Danny McBride, Ben Best, Mary Jane Bostic, Spencer Moreno

Votes: 10,024 | Gross: $0.23M

the film that started Danny McBride's career. A must-see for Eastbound and Down fans. Eastbound and Down is a must-see for people with a sense of humour

13. Dark City (1998)

R | 100 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

7.7
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66 Metascore

A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun.

Director: Alex Proyas | Stars: Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt

Votes: 169,658 | Gross: $14.38M

Did the matrix before there was the matrix. Doesn't have all the fun action sequences, but very celebral and very cool. And you don't have to deal with Keanu acting confused for 2 hours

14. Layer Cake (2004)

R | 105 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.4
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73 Metascore

A successful cocaine dealer gets two tough assignments from his boss on the eve of his planned early retirement.

Director: Matthew Vaughn | Stars: Daniel Craig, Sienna Miller, Michael Gambon, Tom Hardy

Votes: 144,618 | Gross: $2.34M

the quintessential action movie. Daniel Craig rocks it in his james bond way, great fight scenes, a cool crime plot, sienna miller takes her top off, and no bad dialogue. What more do you want?

15. Hot Rod (2007)

PG-13 | 88 min | Comedy

6.7
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43 Metascore

Self-proclaimed stuntman Rod Kimble is preparing for the jump of his life - to clear fifteen buses to raise money for his abusive stepfather Frank's life-saving heart operation.

Director: Akiva Schaffer | Stars: Andy Samberg, Isla Fisher, Ian McShane, Jorma Taccone

Votes: 65,720 | Gross: $13.92M

the lonly island guys made a movie! And it was awesome!

16. Breaking Away (1979)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.7
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91 Metascore

A small-town boy obsessed with the Italian cycling team vies for the affections of a college girl.

Director: Peter Yates | Stars: Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley

Votes: 18,889 | Gross: $16.42M

a great coming of age story. A little kooky and revolves around someone obsessed with becoming a professional bicyclist. but it's actually a great story about a group of friends growing up

17. Shotgun Stories (2007)

PG-13 | 92 min | Drama, Thriller

7.3
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76 Metascore

Shotgun Stories tracks a feud that erupts between two sets of half brothers following the death of their father. Set against the cotton fields and back roads of Southeast Arkansas, these ... See full summary »

Director: Jeff Nichols | Stars: Michael Shannon, Douglas Ligon, Barlow Jacobs, Michael Abbott Jr.

Votes: 8,517 | Gross: $0.05M

Saw this at Ebertfest, and really enjoyed it. Kind of an understated indie - Winter's bone type movie. Michael Shannon really delivers in the lead role

18. Escape from New York (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Sci-Fi

7.2
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76 Metascore

In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence

Votes: 103,089 | Gross: $25.24M

Maybe it's just under the rader for me because it came out years before i was born. But I love this movie. It has some really funny in retrospec cgi. Kurt Russell as Snake Pliskin is just badass and hillarious at the same time

19. The Proposition (2005)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Western

7.4
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73 Metascore

A lawman apprehends a notorious outlaw and gives him nine days to kill his older brother, or else they'll execute his younger brother.

Director: John Hillcoat | Stars: Ray Winstone, Guy Pearce, Emily Watson, Richard Wilson

Votes: 45,487 | Gross: $1.90M

an Austrailian Western starring Guy Pearce. It's as awesome as it sounds

20. Bottle Rocket (1996)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

7.1
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65 Metascore

Three friends plan to pull off a simple robbery and go on the run.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Ned Dowd, Shea Fowler

Votes: 59,743 | Gross: $0.56M

Wes Anderson's first. It's hard not to like this movie. I love the rest of his stuff, but this is my second favorite behind Rushmore,

21. Animal Kingdom (2010)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama

7.3
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83 Metascore

A seventeen year-old navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him.

Director: David Michôd | Stars: James Frecheville, Guy Pearce, Joel Edgerton, Bryce Lindemann

Votes: 49,257 | Gross: $1.04M

Australian crime drama. A family based movie with some really *beep* in the head family members

22. The Damned United (2009)

R | 98 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

7.6
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81 Metascore

The story of the controversial Brian Clough's 44-day reign as the coach of the English football club Leeds United.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Colm Meaney, Henry Goodman, David Roper, Jimmy Reddington

Votes: 35,697 | Gross: $0.45M

I love soccer, but I think this film holds up even if you don't care for english football

23. The Winning Season (2009)

PG-13 | 104 min | Comedy, Sport

6.6
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53 Metascore

A comedy centered on a has-been coach who is given a shot at redemption when he's asked to run his local high school's girls basketball team.

Director: Jim Strouse | Stars: Sam Rockwell, Emma Roberts, Rob Corddry, Emily Rios

Votes: 5,320

Like Hoosiers with girls. If Shooter had been the head coach for the whole season. Really funny, Sam Rockwell is one of my favorite actors and he kills it in this.

24. Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story (2004)

Unrated | 91 min | Comedy

6.5
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54 Metascore

Caught cheating and banned for ten years, Bobby Dukes, paintball's first superstar, returns to reclaim his title and erase the memory of his tainted past.

Director: Brant Sersen | Stars: Rob Corddry, Paul Scheer, Dannah Feinglass Phirman, Rob Riggle

Votes: 1,127

so damn funny. Stars a lot of guys from the alt comedy scene. People from human giant, earwolf podcasts, the show Children's Hospital. Great stuff

25. Cold Weather (2010)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

6.2
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64 Metascore

A guy who moves back to Portland, Oregon becomes involved in the mystery of his ex-girlfriend's disappearance.

Director: Aaron Katz | Stars: Cris Lankenau, Raúl Castillo, Robyn Rikoon, Trieste Kelly Dunn

Votes: 2,009 | Gross: $0.14M