My Own Private Classics

by iwals | created - 17 Nov 2011 | updated - 11 months ago | Public

or "Great Movies You May Have Missed." These are movies that I really like but they don't seem to be widely known or well received by critics. Here they are, in no particular order.

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1. Trees Lounge (1996)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama

Tommy is an unemployed mechanic who spends most of his time in a bar (Trees Lounge) in a small blue collar town. He seems to always be thinking, "If only X then I could stop drinking".

Director: Steve Buscemi | Stars: Steve Buscemi, Carol Kane, Mark Boone Junior, Bronson Dudley

Votes: 12,192 | Gross: $0.70M

2. L.A. Story (1991)

PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

66 Metascore

With the help of a talking freeway billboard, a wacky weatherman tries to win the heart of an English newspaper reporter, who is struggling to make sense of the strange world of early 1990s Los Angeles.

Director: Mick Jackson | Stars: Steve Martin, Victoria Tennant, Richard E. Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker

Votes: 26,886 | Gross: $28.86M

3. A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004)

R | 119 min | Drama

48 Metascore

A headstrong young woman returns to New Orleans after the death of her estranged mother.

Director: Shainee Gabel | Stars: Scarlett Johansson, John Travolta, Gabriel Macht, Deborah Kara Unger

Votes: 23,412 | Gross: $0.16M

4. The Grifters (1990)

R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

A small-time conman has torn loyalties between his estranged mother and new girlfriend--both of whom are high-stakes grifters with their own angles to play.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Anjelica Huston, John Cusack, Annette Bening, Jan Munroe

Votes: 22,558 | Gross: $13.45M

5. Ruthless People (1986)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Crime

78 Metascore

A couple, cheated by a vile businessman, kidnap his wife in retaliation, without knowing that their enemy is delighted they did.

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker | Stars: Bette Midler, Danny DeVito, Judge Reinhold, Helen Slater

Votes: 23,129 | Gross: $71.62M

6. Quick Change (1990)

R | 89 min | Comedy, Crime

56 Metascore

Three thieves successfully rob a New York City bank, but making the escape from the city proves to be almost impossible.

Directors: Howard Franklin, Bill Murray | Stars: Bill Murray, Geena Davis, Randy Quaid, Dale Grand

Votes: 17,313 | Gross: $15.26M

7. Ghost World (2001)

R | 111 min | Comedy, Drama

88 Metascore

With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.

Director: Terry Zwigoff | Stars: Steve Buscemi, Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Brad Renfro

Votes: 103,792 | Gross: $6.22M

8. Grand Canyon (1991)

R | 134 min | Crime, Drama

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: 13,511 | Gross: $33.24M

9. The Razor's Edge (1984)

PG-13 | 128 min | Drama, Romance, War

He had everything and wanted nothing. He learned that he had nothing and wanted everything. He saved the world and then it shattered. The path to enlightenment is as sharp and narrow as a razor's edge.

Director: John Byrum | Stars: Bill Murray, Theresa Russell, Denholm Elliott, Catherine Hicks

Votes: 4,379 | Gross: $6.55M

10. Only the Lonely (1991)

PG-13 | 104 min | Comedy, Romance

A Chicago cop must balance loyalty to his overbearing mother and a relationship with a shy funeral home worker.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: John Candy, Maureen O'Hara, Ally Sheedy, Kevin Dunn

Votes: 8,753 | Gross: $21.83M

11. Living Out Loud (1998)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

Judith Nelson quit her medical studies to marry. Years later, her husband, a physician, divorces her to be with another doctor. Deeply frustrated, she now lives alone in her luxury ... See full summary »

Director: Richard LaGravenese | Stars: Holly Hunter, Danny DeVito, Queen Latifah, Martin Donovan

Votes: 4,241 | Gross: $12.90M

12. The Station Agent (2003)

R | 89 min | Comedy, Drama

81 Metascore

When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.

Director: Tom McCarthy | Stars: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, Paul Benjamin

Votes: 62,212 | Gross: $5.74M

13. Outside Ozona (1998)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A drama revolving around a group of strangers brought together by a common occurrence as well as listening to the same radio station.

Director: J.S. Cardone | Stars: Robert Forster, Kevin Pollak, Sherilyn Fenn, David Paymer

Votes: 808 | Gross: $0.01M

14. Red Rock West (1993)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

Upon arriving to a small town, a drifter is mistaken for a hitman, but when the real hitman arrives, complications ensue.

Director: John Dahl | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper, Lara Flynn Boyle, Craig Reay

Votes: 17,425 | Gross: $2.50M

15. Broken Flowers (2005)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

79 Metascore

As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Bill Murray, Jessica Lange, Sharon Stone, Julie Delpy

Votes: 88,792 | Gross: $13.74M

16. Adventureland (2009)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

In the summer of 1987, a college graduate takes a 'nowhere' job at his local amusement park, only to find it's the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.

Director: Greg Mottola | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Kelsey Ledgin

Votes: 142,165 | Gross: $16.03M

17. Henry Poole Is Here (2008)

PG | 99 min | Comedy, Drama

44 Metascore

Henry Poole moves in to a house in his old neighborhood, to spend what he believes are his remaining days alone. The discovery of a "miracle" by a nosy neighbor ruptures his solitude and restores his faith in life.

Director: Mark Pellington | Stars: Luke Wilson, Radha Mitchell, George Lopez, Adriana Barraza

Votes: 11,593 | Gross: $1.84M

18. Into the Wild (2007)

R | 148 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

73 Metascore

After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.

Director: Sean Penn | Stars: Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener, Marcia Gay Harden

Votes: 496,341 | Gross: $18.35M

19. Playing God (1997)

R | 94 min | Crime, Thriller, Drama

When he loses his job, a famed surgeon abandons his former life and enters the criminal underworld as a gunshot doctor for criminals.

Director: Andy Wilson | Stars: David Duchovny, Timothy Hutton, Angelina Jolie, Michael Massee

Votes: 6,783 | Gross: $4.05M

20. Heroes (1977)

PG | 112 min | Comedy, Drama

35 Metascore

A Vietnam veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder breaks out of a VA hospital and goes on a road trip with a sympathetic traveler to find out what became of the other men in his unit.

Director: Jeremy Kagan | Stars: Henry Winkler, Sally Field, Harrison Ford, Val Avery

Votes: 1,387 | Gross: $33.50M

21. Benny & Joon (1993)

PG | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

57 Metascore

A mentally ill young woman finds her love in an eccentric man who models himself after Buster Keaton.

Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik | Stars: Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, Aidan Quinn, Julianne Moore

Votes: 49,833 | Gross: $23.20M

22. I Wake Up Screaming (1941)

Passed | 82 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Why is Inspector Ed Cornell trying to railroad Frankie Christopher for the murder of model Vicky Lynn?

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone | Stars: Betty Grable, Victor Mature, Carole Landis, Laird Cregar

Votes: 3,060

23. A Thousand Clowns (1965)

Unrated | 118 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A middle-aged iconoclast, doggedly avoiding the tedium of employment and conventional life, faces the prospect of losing custody of his young ward.

Director: Fred Coe | Stars: Jason Robards, Barbara Harris, Martin Balsam, Gene Saks

Votes: 2,838

24. Phenomenon (1996)

PG | 123 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

41 Metascore

An ordinary man sees a bright light descend from the sky, and discovers he now has super-intelligence and telekinesis.

Director: Jon Turteltaub | Stars: John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitaker, Robert Duvall

Votes: 68,421 | Gross: $104.64M

25. Get Shorty (1995)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

82 Metascore

A mobster travels to Hollywood to collect a debt, and discovers that the movie business is much the same as his current job.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld | Stars: Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, Danny DeVito, John Travolta

Votes: 67,997 | Gross: $72.08M

26. The Cable Guy (1996)

PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Thriller

56 Metascore

A lonely and disturbed cable guy raised on television just wants a new friend, but his target, a designer, rejects him, with bad consequences.

Director: Ben Stiller | Stars: Jim Carrey, Matthew Broderick, Leslie Mann, Jack Black

Votes: 134,886 | Gross: $60.24M

27. Night Shift (1982)

R | 106 min | Comedy

62 Metascore

A morgue attendant is talked into running a brothel at his workplace after a deceased pimp is sent there. However, the pimp's killers don't look too kindly on this new 'business', nor does the morgue's owner.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton, Shelley Long, Gina Hecht

Votes: 12,165 | Gross: $23.60M

28. Carolina (I) (2003)

PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A young woman escapes her wildly eccentric family in search for a life of normalcy.

Director: Marleen Gorris | Stars: Julia Stiles, Shirley MacLaine, Alessandro Nivola, Randy Quaid

Votes: 3,751

29. Slums of Beverly Hills (1998)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Drama

69 Metascore

In 1976, a lower-middle-class teenager struggles to cope living with her neurotic family of nomads on the outskirts of Beverly Hills.

Director: Tamara Jenkins | Stars: Natasha Lyonne, Alan Arkin, Bryna Weiss, Marisa Tomei

Votes: 10,484 | Gross: $5.48M

30. Garden State (2004)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

67 Metascore

A quietly troubled young man returns home for his mother's funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade.

Director: Zach Braff | Stars: Zach Braff, Peter Sarsgaard, Natalie Portman, Ian Holm

Votes: 197,332 | Gross: $26.78M

31. Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

R | 107 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

76 Metascore

Martin Blank is a professional assassin. He is sent on a mission to a small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe, and, by coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time.

Director: George Armitage | Stars: John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Cusack

Votes: 79,236 | Gross: $28.01M