Underrated Films

Some of the most underrated films of recent memory.
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The French Connection (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection. (104 mins.)
“ "The French Connection" did win the Best Picture Oscar and was and is still regarded as one of the best action movies of all time, but it is still greatly underrated. Owen Roizman's groundbreaking cinematography and Don Ellis' haunting, mesmerizing score are two of the film's most notable (and most underappreciated) aspects. "The French Connection" is one of the greatest films of all time for a lot of reasons. It's more than just a car chase. ” - steveman1236
Straight Time (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
After being released on parole, a burglar attempts to go straight, get a regular job, and just go by the rules... (114 mins.)
Director: Ulu Grosbard
“ “Straight Time” isn't the greatest film of the 1970s, but to me, it is the most underrated. This is one of the most involving crime stories ever put on screen, and Dustin Hoffman delivers one of the very best performances of his career. It's a rarity to come across someone who has heard of this film. ” - steveman1236
Hammett (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Fictional account of real-life mystery writer Dashiell Hammett, and his involvement in the investigation of a beautiful Chinese cabaret actress' mysterious disappearance in San Francisco. (97 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
“ "Hammett" is a total mess, but its flaws can be forgiven if you take into account what it went through during production. Frederic Forrest turns in a solid performance, evoking memories of other hard-nosed detectives played by great actors like Jack Nicholson and Humphrey Bogart. "Hammett" is by no means a great film, but it's an interesting one that has been almost completely forgotten. ” - steveman1236
River's Edge (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A high school slacker commits a shocking act and proceeds to let his friends in on the secret. However, the friends' reaction is almost as ambiguous and perplexing as the crime itself. (99 mins.)
Director: Tim Hunter
“ "River's Edge" is an offbeat and often clever crime story that remains forgotten to most. ” - steveman1236
Talk Radio (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A rude, contemptuous talk show host becomes overwhelmed by the hatred that surrounds his program just before it goes national. (110 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
“ Eric Bogosian was robbed of an Oscar nomination, let alone an actual Oscar itself. This film is fueled by both his mad dog performance and his vibrant script, and it's also one of Oliver Stone's least known works. ” - steveman1236
The Fisher King (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake. (137 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
“ "The Fisher King" is a flawed film with several changes in tone, but its heart is in the right place and Gilliam's vision is extremely inventive. ” - steveman1236
Shadows and Fog (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
With a serial strangler on the loose, a bookkeeper wanders around town searching for the vigilante group intent on catching the killer. (85 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
“ Most cite "Shadows and Fog" as one of Woody Allen's worst films, but it's far from bad. Actually, it's short, creative, funny, and has some great cameos. There are some gags that don't work here and there, but it remains to be one of Woody Allen's most underrated works. ” - steveman1236
Laws of Gravity (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The lives of two incompetent young men from Brooklyn spin out of control after a friend returns from Florida with guns to sell. (100 mins.)
Director: Nick Gomez
“ Impatient people are unlikely to tolerate Nick Gomez's slow-moving "Laws of Gravity" for more than a few minutes, but if you stick around long enough, a story begins to emerge. Peter Greene does an excellent job in his role. ” - steveman1236
Light Sleeper (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A drug dealer with upscale clientele is having moral problems going about his daily deliveries. A reformed addict... (103 mins.)
Director: Paul Schrader
“ "Light Sleeper" is yet another Paul Schrader film in the vein of "Taxi Driver." There are parts of it where the story does sag, but for the most part, it is a gripping and enthralling film about the dark side of human nature. Willem Dafoe does a great job as well. ” - steveman1236
A River Runs Through It (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The story about two sons of a stern minister -- one reserved, one rebellious -- growing up in rural Montana while devoted to fly fishing. (123 mins.)
Director: Robert Redford
King of the Hill (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A young boy struggles on his own in a run-down motel after his parents and younger brother are separated from him in 1930s Depression-era Midwest. (103 mins.)
“ People don't much remember 1990s Steven Soderbergh, and "King of the Hill" is one of his finest films. Don't be led into believing that this is "family friendly" material. It takes a good number of dark turns. ” - steveman1236
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A naive business graduate is installed as president of a manufacturing company as part of a stock scam. (111 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
“ "The Hudsucker Proxy" has the reputation of being one of the Coen brothers' least successful films, both at the box office and with the critics. To me, it's clever and humorous and bursting at the seams with creative energy. A true gem of a film. ” - steveman1236
What Happened Was... (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
This darkly humorous film explores the personal psychic landscape of two lonely New Yorkers. Jackie and Michael are coworkers at a large law firm... (91 mins.)
Director: Tom Noonan
“ Tom Noonan's "What Happened Was..." is one of the finest independent films out there. Noonan takes advantage of his claustrophobic setting and turns "What Happened Was..." into an unsettling experience. ” - steveman1236
Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
An African American man is hired to find a woman and gets mixed up in a murderous political scandal. (102 mins.)
Director: Carl Franklin
“ I was not a huge fan of Carl Franklin's "One False Move," but I do agree that the man has talent. There are some wonderful shots set up in "Devil in a Blue Dress" as well as likable performances and detailed set design. It's an entertaining noir. ” - steveman1236
Living in Oblivion (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Film about filmmaking. It takes place during one day on set of non-budget movie. Ultimate tribute to all independent filmmakers. (90 mins.)
Director: Tom DiCillo
“ Tom DiCillo has one of the most original minds in independent cinema, and his "Living in Oblivion" is a hilarious satire about all of the trials and tribulations of independent film making. "Living in Oblivion" hasn't encountered very many negative reviews, but it deserves more credit than it is given. ” - steveman1236
Smoke (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A Brooklyn smoke shop is the center of neighborhood activity, and the stories of its customers. (112 mins.)
Director: Wayne Wang
“ "Smoke" is endearing, poetic, and filled with rich performances. This is a film that touches on so many levels. ” - steveman1236
Lone Star (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
When the skeleton of his murdered predecessor is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths many other long-buried secrets in his Texas border town. (135 mins.)
Director: John Sayles
“ John Sayles is a name often associated with independent cinema. "Lone Star" represents his most mainstream attempt. It's an all-around great film with a complex script, snappy editing, and an ensemble cast. ” - steveman1236
Affliction (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A deeply troubled small town cop investigates a suspicious hunting death while events occur that cause him to mentally disintergrate. (114 mins.)
Director: Paul Schrader
“ Paul Schrader is one of the most underrated film makers out there. His works are always well-received by critics, but audiences tend to be harsher towards them. "Affliction" is one of the greatest films made about the effects of violence, and it is his crowning achievement. Absolutely stunning performances from Nick Nolte and James Coburn. ” - steveman1236
The Apostle (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
After his happy life spins out of control, a preacher from Texas changes his name, goes to Louisiana and starts preaching on the radio. (134 mins.)
Director: Robert Duvall
“ The main reason why “The Apostle” succeeds is because of the large amount of heart that Robert Duvall puts into it. He deserved the Best Actor Oscar more than anyone else simply because of how convincing he is as his character. ” - steveman1236
Rosewood (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A dramatization of a 1923 horrific racist lynch mob attack on an African American community. (140 mins.)
Director: John Singleton
“ "Rosewood" touches on the subject of racism yet again, but does so with more emphasis on the storytelling aspect. It's quite possibly one of the best films about the topic. ” - steveman1236
Croupier (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An aspiring writer is hired as a croupier at a casino, where he realizes that his life as a croupier would make a great novel. (94 mins.)
Director: Mike Hodges
“ "Croupier" is hands down one of the absolute best films of the 1990s. Met with critical acclaim at the time of its release, "Croupier" has slowly become forgotten as the years have progressed. Clive Owen has a mesmerizing performance as Jack Manfred; one that is sure to captivate audiences. ” - steveman1236
Jerry and Tom (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Tom and Jerry are two hit men, they work by day at a third-rate second-hand car dealership. Tom is a veteran and Jerry is a novice in their business... (107 mins.)
Director: Saul Rubinek
“ "Jerry and Tom" is a wonderful film with terrific performances and inventive direction, yet it remains horrifically unknown to 99.9% of the world. ” - steveman1236
The Tao of Steve (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Underachieving, overweight kindergarten teacher Dex finds a woman who forces him to reexamine his Zen-like system of seduction. (87 mins.)
“ Donal Logue has always been a favorite actor of mine and he's great in "The Tao of Steve," which is a charming romantic comedy. ” - steveman1236
The Way of the Gun (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Two criminal drifters without sympathy get more than they bargained for after kidnapping and holding for ransom the surrogate mother of a powerful and shady man. (119 mins.)
“ Christopher McQuarrie has often been cited as a one hit wonder. Many call "The Usual Suspects" the only notable contribution that he's made to the film industry. But they forget about "The Way of the Gun." Here is an entertaining, well-constructed, well-choreographed film that's as violent as it is funny. Critics have pretty much damaged this one's reputation, but I think it's a great piece of cinema. There are a plethora of well-directed scenes. ” - steveman1236
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
“ The fact that "Frailty" was directed by Bill Paxton makes it all the more impressive of an effort. The tension that he creates is almost suffocating. What an overwhelmingly haunting film. ” - steveman1236
K-PAX (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
PROT is a patient at a mental hospital who claims to be from a far away planet. His psychiatrist tries to help him, only to begin to doubt his own explanations. (120 mins.)
Director: Iain Softley
“ Forgettable as it is, "K-PAX" is well-acted with an intriguing story. I was amazed to find out underrated this one is. ” - steveman1236
Session 9 (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Tensions rise within an asbestos cleaning crew as they work in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back. (100 mins.)
Director: Brad Anderson
“ "Session 9" is a flawed horror film that isn't nearly as scary upon a re-watch, but the atmosphere that Brad Anderson creates will chill the bones of those who watch it the first time around. As a whole, "Session 9" isn't entirely effective, but as individual parts, it's terrifying. ” - steveman1236
Auto Focus (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A story about "Hogan's Heroes" star Bob Crane and his friendship with John Carpenter. (105 mins.)
Director: Paul Schrader
“ "Auto Focus" is a startlingly bleak portrait of a man whose own addiction was his eventual downfall. Again, like most of Paul Schrader's films, "Auto Focus" wasn't well-received by audiences, who found it to be tiresome and average when it's actually meaningful and well-acted. ” - steveman1236
Dark Blue (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A robbery homicide investigation triggers a series of events that will cause a corrupt LAPD officer to question his tactics. (118 mins.)
Director: Ron Shelton
“ I don't really understand where all of the animosity for "Dark Blue" came from. This film has been raked through the mud by both critics and audiences alike, yet there's nothing bad about it. You know, it's not heavy on originality, but Kurt Russell is solid as the lead and the finale is explosive. ” - steveman1236
Stander (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The life and career of Andre Stander, a South African police officer turned bank robber. (111 mins.)
Director: Bronwen Hughes
“ Thomas Jane gives the best performance of his career in "Stander." Now, that's not saying much, but in a way, it is. "Stander" is an immensely entertaining heist flick and, at the same time, a well-made biopic. ” - steveman1236
Wonderland (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
In the police investigation of a brutal crime scene, one man was at the center of it all: legendary porn star John Holmes. (104 mins.)
Director: James Cox
“ "Wonderland" gets a lot of crap from critics, but it's actually a very good film. The cinematography and editing get a little frantic and overpowering from time to time, but there are parts that are realistic and engaging, and Val Kilmer has a remarkable performance. ” - steveman1236
Criminal (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Two con artists try to swindle a currency collector by selling him a counterfeit copy of an extremely rare currency bill. (87 mins.)
Director: Gregory Jacobs
“ The reception that "Criminal" has received is unfair because it's always being compared to the film that it's based upon, "Nine Queens." John C. Reilly is very slimy in his role and the story is handled with adequate direction from Gregory Jacobs. ” - steveman1236
The Sasquatch Gang (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Young, fantasy/sci-fi aficionado Gavin Gore and his friends stumble onto some huge footprints in the woods. A local cop, reporter and a renowned Sasquatch authority investigate, while two of Gavin's dim-witted neighbors hatch a scheme to profit from the situation. (86 mins.)
Director: Tim Skousen
“ Look, I wasn’t a huge fan of “Napoleon Dynamite” either, and while “The Sasquatch Gang” might use some of that film’s style of humor, it’s a heck of a lot funnier. Wonderful comedic performances scattered throughout. ” - steveman1236
Pontypool (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A psychological thriller in which a deadly virus infects a small Ontario town. (93 mins.)
Director: Bruce McDonald
“ "Pontypool" doesn't ever go anywhere, and that's okay. It's an effective horror film that doesn't deliver as many scares as one might expect, but it has plenty of charm. Stephen McHattie is a joy to watch. ” - steveman1236
Red (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A reclusive man sets out for justice and redemption when three troublesome teens kill his dog for no good reason. (93 mins.)
“ "Red" is not a perfect film, but the performance from Brian Cox is the very best of his career. ” - steveman1236
Leaves of Grass (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
An Ivy League professor is lured back to his Oklahoma hometown, where his twin brother, a small-time pot grower, has concocted a scheme to take down a local drug lord. (105 mins.)
“ “Leaves of Grass” is an uneven film, but Tim Blake Nelson’s inventive script and Edward Norton’s wonderful dual performance make up for the few flaws that it has. ” - steveman1236
The Trip (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Steve Coogan has been asked by The Observer to tour the country's finest restaurants, but after his girlfriend backs out on him he must take his best friend and source of eternal aggravation, Rob Brydon. (112 mins.)
“ Those who watch "The Trip" without having previously seen the BBC show will get much more than they bargained for -- in terms of laughs, that is. This is a hilarious motion picture. ” - steveman1236