July 26, 2016

54 Films That Aren't Appreciated Nearly Enough as They Should Be

'Buffalo '66' (1998)
While some of cinema's greatest films bask in the warmth of their accolades, others live in complete and utter obscurity.

From the beginning of cinematic history until now, we've seen brilliant films created by visionary filmmakers that end up in the deepest recesses of both critics' and moviegoers' minds, only to be unearthed years later at the bottom of some Wal-Mart bargain bin. It's sad. It's unfair. But this video from video essayist Darren Foley of Must See Films attempts to remind us of 54 films that are notoriously underrated, under appreciated, and sometimes even completely forgotten.

To be fair, with so many films being made year after year, it's impossible to give each one the recognition they deserve. Great films slip through the cracks all the time—they don't get nominated for Oscars, don't have much of a following, or simply fade away into the blackness of our memories.

But, it's kind of romantic, don't you think? I mean, if someone asks you what you think the greatest horror film of all time is and instead of saying The Exorcist or Suspiria you say Wake in Fright, don't you kind of love the expression on their face? Wake in Fright is one of those gems that should never have been lost, especially in a warehouse in Pittsburg for 25 years, but it gives cinephiles moments of pure joy, like the one I'm having right now, to reopen the vaults, poke through the mess, and revive the memories of great films that have been discounted, disregarded, and left behind.

'Lars and the Real Girl' (2007)

Here's the list from the video's description:

  1. The Legend of Kasper Hauser
  2. A Scanner Darkly
  3. Straight Time
  4. What Dreams May Come
  5. Two Lovers
  6. After Hours
  7. The Last Detail
  8. Buffalo 66
  9. Ed Wood
  10. Synecdoche, New York
  11. Wristcutters
  12. Martha Marcy May Marlene
  13. Enemy
  14. Pi
  15. Man on the Moon
  16. The Fisher King
  17. The Hill
  18. A Fish Called Wanda
  19. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
  20. Bringing Out the Dead
  21. In Bruges
  22. Bottle Rocket
  23. Glengarry Glen Ross
  24. Joe
  25. Dead Man
  26. The Assassination of Jesse James
  27. Ikiru
  28. Brick
  29. The King of Comedy
  30. Fearless
  31. Out of Sight
  32. Punch-Drunk Love
  33. One Hour Photo
  34. Blow Out
  35. Under the Skin
  36. The Great Beauty
  37. Rope
  38. Lars and the Real Girl
  39. Hit me
  40. Klute
  41. Barry Lyndon
  42. The Hunt
  43. 25th Hour
  44. Candy
  45. Hesher
  46. The Colour of Money
  47. Mysterious Skin
  48. Springbreakers
  49. All is Lost
  50. The Fountain
  51. Vanilla Sky (Bonus)
  52. Frances Ha (Bonus)
  53. Amelie (Bonus)
  54. Holy Motors (Bonus)

What are your favorite underrated, under appreciated, and forgotten films? (Yo! Welcome to the Dollhouse.) Let us know in the comments below!     

Your Comment

21 Comments

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (1920)

The Dreamers (2003)

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

Rusalka (2007)

L'écume des jours (2013) Mood Indigo eng.

July 26, 2016 at 5:18AM

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Satantango (1994)
Vengeance is Mine (1979)

July 26, 2016 at 7:31AM, Edited July 26, 7:31AM

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Special (2006)
Skeletons (2010)
The Love Child (1988)

July 26, 2016 at 8:06AM

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Fresh (1994)
The Straight Story (1999)
Sunshine (2007)

July 26, 2016 at 9:10AM, Edited July 26, 9:10AM

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Lucas Abel
Owner / Operator, Abel Digital, LLC
74

These don't really seem underappreciated. Some, but there are many lauded classics and fairly popular new ones on the list. I had seen more than thirty of them, and my knowledge of films is far from encyclopedic...

July 26, 2016 at 10:11AM, Edited July 26, 10:11AM

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Blow Out deserves to be on IMDb's top 250.

July 26, 2016 at 10:51AM, Edited July 26, 10:51AM

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Lorenzo Ducai
Director/Cinematographer/Editor/Wedding Photographer
457

I was on location to watch some of the scenes setup in the alley (Venice, Calif) and transformed into something it really wasn't there before. Amazing set designers and painters at work. Spoke to many of the crew as well. One of the best part of living in LA was location sets and watch how it's done. The movie was great !

Back in those days, there were no security people chasing you away. Cops were there, to make sure the traffic was flowing but not interfered with people watching close by. Miss the old days....

July 26, 2016 at 1:57PM

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P41
165

The Fall (2006)
Little Otik (2000)
Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1962)
Basically all of David Lynch and Lars Von Trier movies

July 26, 2016 at 2:53PM

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Sarang Hashemi
Director, Cinematographer, Editor
1

Little Otik. Yes.

July 27, 2016 at 10:27AM

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Daniel
161

Streetwise (1984)

The Reflecting Skin

Shattered Glass

Party Monster: The Shockumentary (even better with the commentary track)

Jackie Brown (well known but highly underrated. Arguably Tarantino's best.)

Swimming (one of the ten best screenplays of the last three decades)

Overnight

Tequila Sunrise (another exceptional screenplay)

To Live And Die In L.A.

Too Big To Fail

Captain Philips (again, well known but underrated)

Drugstore Cowboy

Fresh

The Lincoln Lawyer

City Of Lost Children

Margin Call

Into The Blue (Pretty sure I'm the only person alive who likes this movie.)

Whatever (Unavailable for a long time. Now on Amazon streaming?)

Suburbia (1996, Richard Linklater)

Primer

Whitey: United States of America vs. James J. Bulger (much, much better than Black Mass)

I Shot Andy Warhol

July 26, 2016 at 5:59PM, Edited July 26, 6:00PM

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Clay Smith
Wannabe screenwriter, film editor, director
210

I like a lot of your picks, but (and I don't mean this to be a troll) what do you like about shattered glass? It used to be my "worst movie I'd seen and compare other bad movies to" movie for a long time. I might give it another shot, it's been a while.

July 26, 2016 at 10:43PM

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Daniel
140

I scrolled down the responses with the express purpose of writing "Shattered Glass." I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees a lot in this film!

July 27, 2016 at 7:27AM

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So many great films. I hope the list continues to grow.

July 26, 2016 at 9:39PM

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Tony F. Marquez
Writer. Producer. Director.
81

You hope more great films get underrated? No soup for you.

July 28, 2016 at 7:30AM

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Thirteen (2003)
Acting nominations for the Golden Globes (Evan Rachel Wood and Holly Hunter) and Oscars (Holly Hunter) on a script written in 6 days by a thirteen year old girl and a family friend as a way to get out of a tough time she was having. The film also received my favorite movie review quote of all time, "The director, Catherine Hardwicke, works with such flair and fury that it’s as if the camera were jutting right out of her heart" (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly).

Shattered Glass (2003)
Although well-reviewed at the time (91% Rotten Tomatoes), I've barely ever heard this movie mentioned. I think a large part of this has to do with people not liking Hayden Christiansen after seeing him as Anakin Skywalker. The rest of the cast includes Peter Sarsgaard, Chloë Sevigny, Hank Azaria, Rosario Dawson, and Steve Zahn.

You're Next (2011)
This movie struggled severely due to the fact that it was marketed as a generic Horror movie, which is exactly what it is not. This movie is hilarious, something I did not expect going into it at reading that it was a "horror-comedy" and a description of one of the scenes that sounded like it was out of a gross-out film. There are major reveals in the movie that are jokes, over-the-top slow motion scenes that are jokes, and casting decisions that are jokes (directors Ti West and Joe Swanberg) - and every one of these things can be taken as a serious horror movie that just isn't that good. The tone is just not for some, but everyone I've shown it to has loved it.

Like Crazy (2011)
A beautiful film shot on a 7D starring Antony Yelchin, Felicity Jones, and Jennifer Lawrence that was improvised based on a 50-page outline. This was the film that reignited my love for making movies a few years ago. Within a few weeks I had purchased a Canon t2i and started writing a script.

Spring Breakers (2012)
A strange, excellent movie. I saw this in the theater directly in front of a group of high school kids who thought the movie starred Riff Raff and that they had purchased tickets to a sweet, sexy movie about spring break.

The Dirties (2013)
A film shot independently in Canada (as in completely outside of the the country's grant framework, etc.) by a group of people in their twenties. They got permission to do some of what they did (go into schools to film scenes), but mostly just did whatever they wanted and asked permission afterward. The people that made this movie also made Operation Avalanche, which played at Sundance and SXSW this year and will be coming out this September (the trailer just came out this week).

Under The Skin (2013)
I had no idea what I was getting into when I went to see this in the theater. It's off-putting, gross (without really showing anything gross), scary, slow (without being boring), and I love it. One of the best soundtracks in years and features my favorite/least favorite sound effect ("pop") in a long time. This is a movie that deserved a Criterion release instead of just being dropped on a barebones DVD (the kind of release where "Widescreen Presentation" is listed as a special feature).

Lost River (2014)
This is a slow movie, with beautiful purples and blues directed by Ryan Gosling. It gets a lot of hate for having colored lights because Ryan Gosling has worked with Nicolas Winding Refn, who also uses colored lights. That sounds dumb, but it's referenced in almost every review. The script is strange, everyone has indicative names (the bully is named Bully, the girl that has a pet rat is named Rat), but I like something about how out there everything is. I suggest checking out the trailer at the very least.

July 27, 2016 at 8:40AM, Edited July 27, 8:40AM

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What about The Fall? :)

July 27, 2016 at 10:20AM

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Jaap Ruurd Feitsma
EU based director and cinematographer
265

Leningrad Cowboys.

Character.

Two Russian gems.

July 27, 2016 at 10:24AM

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Daniel
161

And, I love Buffalo 66.

July 27, 2016 at 10:28AM

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Daniel
161

Maybe you guys should add the note: Underrated in America. because films like Amalie and The Great Beauty (among many others on the list) were praised and referenced all over the world.

July 28, 2016 at 7:28AM

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Rushmore (1988)

I Heart Huckabees (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

July 28, 2016 at 3:47PM

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#1 is not 'The Legend of Kasper Hauser'!

August 2, 2016 at 7:13AM

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Jason Keane
Director of Photography
77