Sleeper Movies: Great Movies that did not make Box Office Hits

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1.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. (142 mins.)
Director: Frank Darabont
“ This movie became #1 on IMDB 250 list only after it went to VHS... what's VHS? remember those days... be kind and rewind... As many of you know this Movie is AWESOME! Why didn't this movie win an Oscar? I demand a 1994 Oscar Year Do over! Really does not matter.. I don't watch the Oscars anymore... who does? ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
2.
Léon: The Professional (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade. (110 mins.)
Director: Luc Besson
“ Natalie Portman was only 12 years old when she did this Movie. I watched in back in 1994 and after that I knew she was going to be a superstar actress. This is an all time favorite of mine that I watched many times over. The uncut version is great! This is also my favorite Gary Oldman movie. See this! ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
3.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which begin when five criminals meet at a seemingly random police lineup. (106 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
“ In my unforgettable & Surprise ending list. top of the top in the Sleeper list... This movie should have won 1,000 Oscars! ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
4.
Let the Right One In (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl. (115 mins.)
Director: Tomas Alfredson
“ Did not see the remake and I think I don't want to. This movie is simply PERFECT! Ending is incredible, also in my unforgettably and Surprise ending list. ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
5.
Equilibrium (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In a Fascist future where all forms of feeling are illegal, a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system. (107 mins.)
Director: Kurt Wimmer
“ Put, Matrix, Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 in one movie and you got a GREAT Sci-Fi, action Movie. One of Christian Bales first and greatest movies! LOVE IT!! ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
6.
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The wanted criminal Riddick arrives on a planet called Helion Prime, and finds himself up against an invading empire called the Necromongers, an army that plans to convert or kill all humans in the universe. (119 mins.)
Director: David Twohy
“ After watching this I was shocked how great it was. Great Characters, great villains, fantastic story-line. Action was awesome and had a big budget feel. Loved it better than Pitch Black. I hope they make another one! ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
7.
Frailty (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A man confesses to an FBI agent his family's story of how his religious fanatic father's visions lead to a series of murders to destroy supposed "demons." (100 mins.)
Director: Bill Paxton
“ So many people I share this movie have never heard of it. I purchased it in the Wal-Mart $5.00 bin. This is in my unforgettable & Surprise movie list too. ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
8.
3-Iron (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A transient young man breaks into empty homes to partake of the vacationing residents' lives for a few days. (88 mins.)
Director: Ki-duk Kim
“ There are a lot of great Korean Movies, this is the best of them all! ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
9.
Happy Times (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Zhao is an aging bachelor who hasn't been lucky in love. Thinking he has finally met the woman of his dreams... (102 mins.)
Director: Yimou Zhang
“ My wife is Chinese from Beijing. I have learned their culture. This movie is a VERY Beijing and Chinese too. SO FUNNY! You will enjoy this one for sure. ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
10.
Big Night (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A failing Italian restaurant run by two brothers gambles on one special night to try to save the business. (109 mins.)
“ Tony Shalhoub before Monk! VERY FUNNY Movie! Makes you want to become an Italian chief! ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
11.
Children of Men (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea. (109 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
“ Why this movie did not make it big... I don't know ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
12.
To Live (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
After Fugui and Jiazhen lose their personal fortunes, they raise a family and survive difficult cultural changes during 1940s to 1970s China. (125 mins.)
Director: Yimou Zhang
“ If you want to get a good idea of the History of China... the hardship and suffering... and how to survive it all, then watch this movie. One of Yimou Zhang Best! Who is Yimou Zhang? He is the BEST Chinese director EVER! ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
13.
A Simple Plan (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
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. (121 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
“ Billy Bob Thornton is at his best. Great story telling. ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
14.
Derailed (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
When two married business executives having an affair are blackmailed by a violent criminal, the two must turn the tables on him to save their families. (108 mins.)
“ You got Clive Owen and the French Guy (Vincent Cassel) who stars in Black Swan... one of the Best Bad Guys on film. This movie is great story telling.. nice twists. ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
15.
Amélie (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love. (122 mins.)
“ So this is where the roaming gnome became famous from. French humor is very clever. ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
16.
Night Watch (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A fantasy-thriller set in present-day Moscow where the respective forces that control daytime and nighttime do battle. (114 mins.)
“ The most expensive Russian Movie Every created before 2004! This is really a cool movie! See it. ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
17.
Day Watch (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A man who serves in the war between the forces of Light and Dark comes into possession of a device that can restore life to Moscow, which was nearly destroyed by an apocalyptic event. (132 mins.)
“ See Night Watch First. (above) ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
18.
The Fall (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality blurs as the tale advances. (117 mins.)
Director: Tarsem
“ The best part of this movie is the girl... great acting.. well come to think of it I don't think she was acting.. that's what made it so great! ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
19.
Primer (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention. (77 mins.)
Director: Shane Carruth
“ You are going to have to watch this a few times. It will keep you up all night. The best time travel movie ever! ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
20.
The Lovely Bones (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Centers on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family - and her killer - from purgatory. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal. (135 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ Strange name, but such a beautiful movie! Saoirse Ronan is the star and as I write this (4/4/2011) it looks like she is off to a great Start (Hanna 2011) ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
21.
Fallen (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Homicide detective John Hobbes witnesses the execution of serial killer Edgar Reese. Soon after the execution the killings start again, and they are very similar to Reese's style. (124 mins.)
Director: Gregory Hoblit
 
22.
Fearless (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A man's personality is dramatically changed after surviving a major airline crash. (122 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
“ A good suggestion from john-janmejaya ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
23.
Inside Man (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A police detective, a bank robber, and a high-power broker enter high-stakes negotiations after the criminal's brilliant heist spirals into a hostage situation. (129 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
“ A good suggestion from john-janmejaya ” - mymoviereviewpage
 
24.
Duck, You Sucker (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An I.R.A. explosives expert on the run in Mexico meets an amoral Mexican bandit; together they are drawn into the Mexican revolution. (157 mins.)
Director: Sergio Leone