Monday, April 07, 2008

fairly recent underviewed or under appreciated films

instead of giving my list of underrated films, which i have done before (see below) and may do again, i am giving you a list of 50 films i think have been underviewed. they do not even rate underrating because not enough people have actually watched them to know.* i am only including fiction (not documentaries, since at least 1/2 of the list would be docs). the time period i am working with is the last 10-15 years or so.

1. With Friends Like Harry (imagine a French Hitchcock)
2. Sexy Beast (heist film with Ben Kingsly playing against type)
3. The Proposition (gothic Biblical western morality play)
4. Undertow (southern gothic. like Night of the Hunter)
5. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (snarky action film)
6. Bloody Sunday (before the Bourne films, Greengrass takes us into the heart of the fight over Northern Ireland)
7. Croupier (early proof that Clive Owen is a star)
8. Run Lola Run (German "choose your own adventure" on meth)
9. Dirty Pretty Things (the dark underbelly of immigration)
10. The Iron Giant (brilliant Brad Bird directed cartoon)
11. Junebug (a farily accurate depiction of the south)
12. Sunshine State (John Sayles captures old Florida)
13. Layer Cake (Daniel Craig got the 007 role based on this)
14. Zero Effect (darkly funny Jeff Daniels PI flick)
15. The Squid and the Whale (Jeff Daniels again. Woody Allen-ish family drama)
16. Rodger Dodger (smart comedy about the "cool" uncle)
17. The Devil's Backbone (before Pan's Labyrinth came this)
18. Station Agent (beautiful film about those we forget)
19. Smoke Signals (when was the last time you saw a modern flick from a Native American POV?)
20. Millions (family film by the Trainspotting director)
21. Hard 8 (PT Anderson in Vegas before he was "important")
22. Rabbit Proof Fence (in case you think the US is the only one with a bad history towards natives)
23. Big Night (art vs commerce set in an Italian restaurant)
24. Amores perros (better than Babel)
25. The Quiet American (Graham Greene on the screen)
26. Lonestar (Sayles captures south Texas and family dysfunction)
27. Spartan (Mamet does spy thriller)
28. Thumbsucker (Keanu Reeves does not ruin a family comedy)
29. The Limey (Soderbergh's most underrated flick)
30. Cookie's Fortune (Altman does Southern Gothic)
31. Flirting with Disaster (search for adoptive parents gone awry)
32. Miller's Crossing (Coens do gangster)
33. You Can Count on Me (the irony and insanity of family bonds)
34. The Player (the irony and insanity of Hollywood)
35. No Man's Land (the irony and insanity of war)
36. Heist (I love heist films, esp when Mamet does it)
37. Confidence (I love con game movies)
38. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (should be higher)
39. The Spanish Prisoner (Mamet doing con game)
40. Human Nature (odd little Michel Gondry flick)
41. Tsotsi (morality play set in Africa)
42. Ghost World (quirky and odd film about quirky people)
43. Brick (film noir at High School)
44. Cache (if you like your mysteries French and intriguing)
45. Ruby in Paradise (very real, not Hollywood, very Florida)
46. Osama (Afghani film about the brutality of the Taliban)
47. 21 Grams (brutal and beautiful- not for faint hearted)
48. In the Bedroom (great film, you probably saw it, so not higher)
49. American Splendor (movie based upon reallife comic w/ Giamatti)
50. The Lookout (great bank heist film with twists)

* you may not agree with this list. in fact, you may think some of these films have been seen by enough people, or think others are much more underviewed.

here is a list of some i considered, most of which I liked or loved), but considered them to be seen by many people. these others may be underrated, if not underviewed:

Bottle Rocket, The Lives of Others, Insomnia, I (heart) Huckabees, Unbreakable, 3 Kings, Fearless, Long Kiss Goodnight, Half Nelson, Dick, The Quick and the Dead, Billy Elliot, Gattaca, Akeelah and the Bee, Jarhead, City of God and Dogma (you had better of seen each of these).


james said...

nice work on this man. Couldn't agree more with most of these. love, love, LOVE 21 Grams.

Anonymous said...

The Black Book was a good one....don't see it here though.