General Question

alive's avatar

What is your favorite underrated movie?

Asked by alive (2933points) May 27th, 2009

There is always all this hype about movie _____ being the “BEST MOVIE OF THE SUMMER” or winter or fall or spring or ever….

but what are the movies that you like that never got hyped, and are totally under appreciated?

My recommendation is High Heels and Low Lifes
so good and yet so unknown! it is a “chick flick” with big guns, car chases and a heist! its got it all!

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93 Answers

timeand_distance's avatar

Drop Dead Gorgeous.

Or or or
To Wong Foo (“Fu”?), Thanks For Everything.

chelseababyy's avatar

True Romance, not many people I know have seen it, and it’s my all time favorite.
Garden State, although it’s not super low key, it’s also not that huge.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

wildpotato's avatar

The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb. Not a kid’s movie, despite the title and the claymation. Creepy, disturbing, and thought-provoking.

cyn's avatar

edward scissorhands.
the dark knight.
footloose.
the breakfast club.
dirty dancing. ...

chelseababyy's avatar

@cyndihugs I’m sure that none of those are underrated, especially not the Dark Knight

timeand_distance's avatar

i think she was being sarcastic.
maybe.
either way, it made me lol4rl.

chelseababyy's avatar

Me too. I was like… for serious?

cyn's avatar

hey
they’re underrated to me!

chelseababyy's avatar

Hm, does
Mulholland Drive count?

cyn's avatar

slumdog millionaire

chelseababyy's avatar

@cyndihugs What’s your definition of underrated?

eponymoushipster's avatar

Cinderella Man

chelseababyy's avatar

@cyndihugs Slumdog is pretty huge.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@cyndihugs It won an Academy Award for Best Picture!

dalepetrie's avatar

Gotta agree with Drop Dead Gorgeous, True Romance, Garden State and Fear and Loathing. I’d like to submit these for consideration:

Magnolia – PT Anderson’s follow up to Boogie Nights. It was adored by critics, but overlooked by audiences. It is every single thing a true film (note I didn’t say “movie”) should be. It’s the kind of movie with so many facets you can watch it over and over and over and you’ll see something new every time. And if you “get” it, it will keep you thinking for MONTHS after you see it. Most however didn’t “get” it and as such they took it to be an incoherent mess. Let’s just say, unlike most of what Hollywood puts out, this movie in no way explains itself or attempts to hold your hand, you gotta figure this one out. But for the few who do, it’s almost life changing. What it’s about – fate and coincidence, and our role in controlling the two.

The Dark Backward – Judd Nelson, Bill Paxton, Lara Flynn Boyle, James Caan and Rob Lowe star in a movie about two garbagemen…Marty (Nelson) a wannabe comedian, and Gus (Paxton) a complete pervert. One day, Marty begins to grow a third arm out of his back for no apparent reason, and it launches his comedy career. Bizarre and wonderful, like nothing else you’ve ever seen (or ever will).

Last Action Hero – People went to theaters expecting an action movie that would bring them right into the action. But it was a full on comedy/parody which relentlessly skewered the Hollywood ideal of the action film.

The Strait Story – a David Lynch film like no other David Lynch film. Based on a true story, about an old man who hears of his estranged brother’s illness. Problem is, brother lives 2 states away and his only mode of transportation is a riding lawnmower. A movie about the ride, not the destination, and what a hell of a ride.

Grandma’s Boy – Funniest. Stoner. Movie. Ever. Period.

chelseababyy's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic Which movie?

And @dalepetrie GRANDMAS BOY IS BADASS! And you’ve seen True Romance?!! Lurve for you!

dalepetrie's avatar

Oh yeah, I own a copy (two if you count my VHS copy).

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@chelseababyy Slumdog millionaire. Hardly underrated. heh heh

cyn's avatar

fuck
shitt
i thought it meant something else!!!
sorry :(
they are all great movies
i just went to dictionary.com
to look up the meaning of underrated
my bad
this is sad

i should read the dictionary more often

chelseababyy's avatar

@dalepetrie I love that movie, it is quite possibly my favorite movie ever. Especially because Tony Scott is a brilliant director, and Quentin Tarrantino (who actually wrote and sold the script of True Romance to be able to afford to make Reservoir Dogs) is just as, if not a bit more brilliant.

chelseababyy's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic That’s what I thought you meant! Just checking!

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@cyndihugs It’s ok. I thought Slumdog Millionaire was overrated.

lillycoyote's avatar

I don’t know if it’s underrated but it might just be my favorite movie that a lot of people don’t seem to have seen or heard of. It’s Wim Wenders’ film, Wings of Desire. Fabulous, amazing, wonderful…. I’m not sure why I love it so much but I do. It’s a wonderful film.

kheredia's avatar

“Mar Adentro” or “Sea Inside” is a great movie. Its actually a foreign film but it’s based on true events and deals with a very controversial issue. I thought it was a very deep and intense film.

cyn's avatar

umm
i would say Twilight

chelseababyy's avatar

@cyndihugs Twilight wasn’t at all underrated. It was certainly hyped up. I’m a Twilight fan. Actually a lot of people hated the movie, however they may not know that their budget was only 30mil, which is only a step up from indie films. Worldwide they grossed about 300 mil for Twilight, which means New Moon has a much better budget than Twilight did.

cyn's avatar

@chelseababyy
true
i love the actors :))
however,
i think the book is way
by far much better than the movie
it was different
i felt like if the movie needed something more
probably more time, more emotion, more action…

chelseababyy's avatar

@cyndihugs It wasn’t lacking emotion or action, it was just lacking a lot of detail, and some of the important scenes, but like I said, they had a small budget. New Moon will be much better.

steve6's avatar

Naked Lunch

dalepetrie's avatar

@chelseababyy – I’m a huge Tarantino fan, and yes, it is definitely every bit as good as anything he’s ever done.

Now I got to thinking and I thought of one more.

If you liked Office Space, and you lament how stupid your average human being walking the street is these days, you HAVE to see:

Idiocracy – Mike Judge’s (Office Space, Beavis & Butthead, King of the Hill) 2nd live action film. The premise that some time early in the 21st Century, natural selection took a wrong turn. Man no longer having any natural predators, instead of favoring the most noble traits of man (intelligence, culture, artistic ability), natural selection began to favor the most prolific breeders. They used an example of a guy in a trailer park who knocked up anything that moved, and within a generation, his high school aged football hero son, IQ 82 is celebrating with 3 cheerleaders after a big game, saying, “I’m gonna fuck all y’all”....hence he has sired literally dozens if not hundreds of offspring by the time he takes himself out of the breeding pool. Conversely two Ivy League educated people get married and never have time for kids, until they have fertility problems, and he dies while trying to produce sperm for IVF, by the time they’re out of the breeding pool, their offspring equal zero. And of course science is too busy trying to find cures for male baldness and erectile dysfunction to do anything about it. Enter Luke Wilson, his character is selected for a military experiment because he is average in every way and won’t be missed. Maya Rudolph is a hooker who is also selected for being average and someone who won’t be missed. They are tricked into being cryogenically frozen for a year, but the project gets shut down, and they don’t come out until 500 years later, when all of society has an average IQ of under 20, and the most popular show on TV is “Ow, My Balls,” a show about nothing more than a guy getting hit repeatedly in the balls. Everything is covered with advertising, and everyone is named after snack foods (even the President whose middle name is Mountain Dew). An example of the humor, Wilson after having woken up thinks he’s only a year gone, and goes to God Memorial Hospital to see if everything check out. He sees a doctor (played by Justin Long) who is wearing scrubs covered in advertising, and he’s SMOKING A BLUNT. Here is his diagnosis..“Right, kick ass. Well, don’t want to sound like a dick or nothin’, but, ah… it says on your chart that you’re fucked up. Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit’s all retarded. What I’d do, is just like… like… you know, like, you know what I mean, like…” After Wilson’s confused expression he continues, “Don’t worry scrote. There are plenty of ‘tards out there living really kick ass lives. My first wife was ‘tarded. She’s a pilot now.” And Dax Sheppard plays “Frito”, whom we first meet while he’s drinking a beverage the size of a KFC bucket, while sititng on a recliner slash toilet, while watching “Ow My Balls.” It’s just non stop humor at the expense of stupid people and the marketing and media culture which keeps them stupid. Actually funnier than Office Space in my opinion. But no one saw it because of the anti-commercialism bent, the studio basically buried it.

cyn's avatar

@chelseababyy
lacking a lot of detail!
which means less emotion and less action

cyn's avatar

and less time

chelseababyy's avatar

@cyndihugs I don’t think it lacked emotion at ALL. I think they just took out a lot of scenes from the book. But I think they did good what they had.

chelseababyy's avatar

@dalepetrie He’s amazing isn’t he. My other name is the Black Mamba you know. I will definitely look into that movie.

steve6's avatar

@dalepetrie I liked The Strait Story. I didn’t know it was a Lynch film. The old guy, I can’t remember his name, died after winning an award for his role in that movie. Music was good. Good closing scene with Harry Dean Stanton.

kheredia's avatar

@dalepetrie I LOVE IDEOCRACY!!!!! It’s hilarious and it really makes you think about what we’re doing with our lives. It seems as though we really are capable of being that ideotic. LoL.. anyhow, great film.

dalepetrie's avatar

@kheredia – I can’t count the number of times I was laughing so hard I couldn’t even BREATHE during that movie.

essieness's avatar

Drop Dead Gorgeous
Pan’s Labyrinth
Whale Rider
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Mirrormask
Into the Wild although I’m not sure that one is really underrated

rooeytoo's avatar

@essieness – I was going to say Whale Rider, I loved that movie, the little girl triumphed in the end.

I didn’t know if it was seen anywhere except in Australia and New Zealand.

There is an Australian classic called The Castle, I think it was released in USA with a different name.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

In the vein of international films, there is a terrific movie called “Good Bye Lenin!” which is a story about an east german son whose mother, a staunchly loyal East German supporter, has a heart attack and goes into a coma for weeks, during which time Germany is reunified. The doctor tells the son that any shock could cause her to have another heart attack and die. Thus he begins an elaborate ruse to hide the reunification of Germany from his bedridden mother.

Wonderfully touching and funny movie.

shrubbery's avatar

@rooeytoo, Whale Rider and The Castle are definitely not underrated in Australia :P
Though Hey Hey it’s Esther Blueburger is.

essieness's avatar

Oh and that little French film, Amelie. Really cute!

dalepetrie's avatar

In 1995, Jim Jarmusch directed a movie starring Johnny Depp, featuring Crispin Glover, Lance Henrickson, John Hurt, Robert Mitchum, Iggy Pop, Gabriel Byrne, Billy Bob Thornton and Alfred Molina. It was called Dead Man, and it was filmed entirely in black and white. Depp plays a young man named William Blake who goes out west in the later half of the 19th century to take a job as an Accountant…a job that has already been filled. He encounters an Indian Guide named “Nobody” who believes Blake is the reincarnation of the English Poet of the same name. Blake’s spiritual and physical journey turns him into a real old west outlaw. It’s a strange little movie, very unique and thought provoking, amazingly well acted and beautiful to look at…but very few have seen it.

steve6's avatar

Is that the one with the Indian Graham Green, soundtrack by Neil Young, with Green always asking for tobacco?

cyndyh's avatar

I liked Dead Man. I love the way the music just puts you in a different pace mentally throughout. I liked Ghost Dog better though. After seeing several Jarmusch films I was surprised by the pacing and humor in Coffee and Cigarettes.

I love the movie Barcelona and most people haven’t seen it or heard of it. It’s hilariously quotable. A lot of that one sticks with you for a long time afterward.

mrwhoopie's avatar

@wild potato Good answer.great overlooked movie! And Jason and the Argonauts.

bezdomnaya's avatar

@chelseababyy I love True Romance! I didn’t realize it was so underrated though. I knew it was a box office flop, but I think it’s become a cult classic since then. All I have to say is: it’s Brad Pitt’s most hilarious acting ever. And Gary Oldman is amazing in it.

rawpixels's avatar

Very Bad Things

dynamicduo's avatar

Man Bites Dog is a really crazy movie. Battle Royale is another although it’s become a bit more mainstream in the past few years. Both are subtitled in English. I hgihly recommend both of them.

SirBailey's avatar

Snakes on a Plane!!!

Haroot's avatar

Oldboy (Korean film) deserves more global recognition.

Poser's avatar

Four Rooms.
Scent of a Woman.

Aethelwine's avatar

Best In Show
River’s Edge
Heathers

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

The Great Underrated Films of the 1980s:

Repo Man
This film defies description. Comedy? Sci-Fi? Satire? It’s got all of those elements, but every time I watch it, I get caught up in its uniqueness. I’ve never seen another film like it. I won’t repeat the errors of other writers and critics trying to write out a capsule description of this film. Just see it.

Cloak & Dagger
This is an absolutely charming film. A lonely child (E.T.‘s Henry Thomas) gets caught up in a web of intrigue, aided by an imaginary friend (Dabney Coleman) who looks just like his absentee dad. I was impressed by this film’s unique premise, clever screenplay, and great performances from the young Thomas and Coleman. See it.

Into the Night
Jeff Goldblum and a ravishing Michelle Pfeiffer give stellar performances in this quirky story of an insomniac (Goldblum) who gets pulled into a series of misadventures by a crazy chick (Pfeiffer) he meets by accident on a nocturnal stroll. Ostensibly a romantic comedy, it’s got enough quirks and thrills to be entertaining for us guys, too (and Pfeiffer gets naked in it).

Ladyhawke
Michelle Pfeiffer again, and a heroic Rutger Hauer star in this gothic fantasy about two lovers caught in a curse laid on them by an evil cleric. Matthew Broderick plays a young thief who helps them. Directed by Richard Donner, so I don’t need to say anything else.

Others worth mentioning are Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Aliens. However, I think both of these films, the best Science Fiction films of the 1980s, have probably gotten the recognition they deserve.

Aethelwine's avatar

@IchtheosaurusRex Repo Man is a great choice. I really enjoyed that movie!

row4food's avatar

Stranger than Fiction is the only Will Ferrell movie I will watch. I didn’t even hear about this film until someone played it on a team bus trip. Now I own it and could watch it over and over again.

ratboy's avatar

Plan 9 From Outer Space

eponymoushipster's avatar

Everything is Illuminated

dalepetrie's avatar

@eponymoushipster – Yes, excellent movie, starring Eugene Hutz of the rock band Gogol Bordello…incredible movie that no one saw.

and @jonsblond – yes, Best in Show…really any Christopher Guest movie is usually underrated in that they should do MUCH better at the box office, but you just don’t have enough people who will see that type of movie vs. a weepy romantic comedy or big action blockbuster. I think Waiting For Guffman is his best film.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@dalepetrie i read the book, i knew about the band, and i was fortunate enough to get into an advanced screening. the scene with the potato on the floor is so spot on, i was dying of laughter. (it helps that i speak russian, too)

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic: Goodbye Lenin was excellent!
The Pillow Book is one I remember not being very big but very lovely.

chelseababyy's avatar

@bezdomnaya Yeah. Apparently it’s underrated, I don’t know many people who have seen it, but I think it’‘s an amazing film. Romance and action, my two favorites.

Strauss's avatar

Fried Green tomatoes

French Lieutenant’s Woman (original French w/subtitles)

eponymoushipster's avatar

Since Otar Left

hitomi's avatar

A few people listed Repo Man which made me think of a movie that no one else seems to know and it’s certainly not for everyone, but Repo! The Genetic Opera is one of them most bizarrely brilliant things I’ve seen, but I like weird and I like musicals, so it was a win for me.

I think that Saved was also really underrated. It’s a fun satirical movie and I love the acting and the message.

As for older movies – Charade – people forget about it because it was later in Cary Grant’s career and it’s pushed behind Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Roman Holiday and Sabrina as far as Audrey Hepburn’s work goes.

Aethelwine's avatar

@hitomi I agree with Saved. I found that movie at the video store and I really enjoyed it. I laughed out loud several times. I never thought I’d like Mandy Moore but she is great in that movie.

hitomi's avatar

@jonsblond Isn’t she! It’s always surprising to me to see her acting like a bitch… and she’s really not that bad…much better than some of the other young female pop star singers/actors

dalepetrie's avatar

I haven’t seen saved, but speaking of horrible teen female pop stars having good parts in really good movies, I was actually surprised at how good Mean Girls w/ Lindsay Lohan was, and also how well Haylie Duff pulled off her role in Napoleon Dynamite.

Aethelwine's avatar

@dalepetrie Loved Mean Girls! Thanks Tina Fey!
Lindsay did well when she hosted SNL too. Hate to admit it though. :)

hitomi's avatar

@dalepetrie and @jonsblond I think it’s okay when you remember that Mean Girls came BEFORE she became a coked out skank. She was actually normal at one point and did good work…well…did Mean Girls it wasn’t until AFTER that she started partying and acting like an idiot. PS. Mean Girls was AWESOME

dalepetrie's avatar

Yeah, I was more referring to her being a teen pop princess, not so much a coked out whore.

cyndyh's avatar

@jonsblond : Lindsay on SNL. I love this one.

Aethelwine's avatar

@cyndyh lol Not the skit I was expecting. The entire episode of SNL with Lindsay was hilarious!

eponymoushipster's avatar

Debbie Downer and the Harry Potter skit are the funny ones from her SNL appearances.

cyndyh's avatar

I did like the whole show, but that skit knocked me off the couch. :^>

dalepetrie's avatar

Three more come to mind….Amores Perros (if you liked 21 Grams or Babel, you HAVE to see this movie, it’s from the same writer/director team), American Movie (if you love to see documentaries about regular people who might be a few beers short of a six pack, this is for you), and Outside Providence (by the Farrelly Brothers who also did There’s Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber…one of their funniest but also their most underrated).

Aethelwine's avatar

@dalepetrie “It’s alright, it’s ok, there’s something to live for… Jesus told me so!”

I couldn’t tell you how many times I have seen this movie. :)

dalepetrie's avatar

Oh yes, you hit on my favorite part of the whole movie. Well that and when Mike was explaining how drugs fried his brain.

Anyone who liked American Movie, and who likes the kind of music you do should go to theaters (if it’s playing in your area yet) and see a movie called Anvil: The Story of Anvil. It’s all about the Canadian heavy metal band Anvil (who are awesome by the way), how they were on the verge of hitting it big in 1984, touring with the likes of Whitesnake, The Scorpions & Bon Jovi, but unlike their counterparts, their career took a different path. now 25 years later, they are living in obscurity, despite having released their 13th studio album, and the film follows the two founding members (who in many ways remind me a bit of Mark Borchart and Mike Schank…well a combo between them and say the fictional trio David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel & Derek Smalls) along an ill fated European tour they embarked and their last ditch attempts to break through to stardom in 2005/2006. These guys are real characters, just regular guys who are doing what they have to in order to keep hanging onto their 30 year dream. It’s somewhat sad, somewhat funny and somewhat uplifting all at the same time. The singer, Steve “Lips” Kudlow is kind of like Mark Borchart 20 years later, only vastly more talented. It’s really a great movie about a great band, but enjoyable as it touches on much of the same pathos as American Movie…I recommend you see it as soon as you can find it playing somewhere.

Aethelwine's avatar

Sounds good. I had heard of the movie but had no idea what it was about. Thanks for the recommendation!

dalepetrie's avatar

@jonsblond – I guarantee you and your husband will get a kick out of it. It may even turn you into Anvil fans.

cyndyh's avatar

I loved American Movie.

chelseababyy's avatar

Oh I forgot one.

Fifty Pills.

It was my favorite when I was a huge stoner. (I no longer smoke pot) It’s pretty cheesy, but I love it.

Strauss's avatar

Things To Do in Denver When You’re Dead

chelseababyy's avatar

I might have to see that @Yetanotheruser, considering, that’s where I live.

Poser's avatar

8 Heads in a Duffle Bag.

mrwhoopie's avatar

What about lenningrad Cowboys??!!

Aethelwine's avatar

Speaking of cowboys, Drugstore Cowboy was a great movie that didn’t make much at the box office.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

science of sleep seems to have gotten a lot of undeserved shit reviews. i think a lot of people judged it by the fact that it was so strange, that they just stamped it with “pretentious indie movie” and disregarded it.
the motorcycle diaries is a brilliant, breathtaking movie, which i’d never heard of until i imdb’d gael garcia bernal and rummaged through blockbuster shelves.
my blueberry nights seemed to have hardly been recognized, and it was absolutely lovely. so much better than – um, let’s see – nearly every heavily publicized romance released at the same time?
big fish also seemed to be one of the less noted tim burton movies. though i’m not sure, because i don’t remember it coming out, so i’m not sure how the media coverage/approval was.
paris, je t’aime was incredible, but was hardly even in theatres!

do note that i live in the united states, so if these movies were anything but underrated in a different country, i’m unaware.

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