Underrated or Under-seen Masterpieces (Films and Movies)

by imagineallthenames | created - 26 Jun 2013 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

Underrated if you care for black humor, film noir, and film (as opposed to movie). Please comment!

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1. The Addiction (1995)

Not Rated | 82 min | Horror

A New York philosophy grad student turns into a vampire after getting bitten by one, and then tries to come to terms with her new lifestyle and frequent craving for human blood.

Director: Abel Ferrara | Stars: Lili Taylor, Christopher Walken, Annabella Sciorra, Edie Falco

Votes: 8,320 | Gross: $0.30M

While King of New York and The Bad Lieutenant get only a small share of the credit they deserve, this gem by the same director is totally ignored.

2. Dark City (1998)

R | 100 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

66 Metascore

A man struggles with memories of his past, which includes a wife he cannot remember, and a nightmarish world without a sun.

Director: Alex Proyas | Stars: Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt

Votes: 181,178 | Gross: $14.38M

Perhaps one of the most intelligent, and best shot sci-fi movies ever, it is under-seen and insufficiently appreciated.

3. That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

Recounted in flashback are the romantic perils of Mathieu, a middle-aged French sophisticate as he falls for his nineteen year-old former chambermaid Conchita.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet, Ángela Molina, Julien Bertheau

Votes: 19,059 | Gross: $0.06M

No Bunuel movie gets enough credit for my taste. This one though is more accessible, stunningly well acted and somehow timely. Bunuel at his best.

4. The Silence (1963)

R | 96 min | Drama

Two estranged sisters, Ester and Anna, and Anna's 10-year-old son travel to the Central European country on the verge of war. Ester becomes seriously ill and the three of them move into a hotel in a small town called Timoka.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Ingrid Thulin, Gunnel Lindblom, Birger Malmsten, Håkan Jahnberg

Votes: 16,421

A movie that never was taken seriously when released. A Bergman movie, hence not easy viewing, but stunningly beautiful and psychologically intricate.

5. The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)

R | 120 min | Drama

A World War II widow seeks to adjust to life in postwar Germany.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder | Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch, Ivan Desny, Gisela Uhlen

Votes: 11,373

Hmmm, is there a better German post WWII movie? Probably, but I can't think of it. Disturbingly under-seen considering its power.

6. Touch of Evil (1958)

PG-13 | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

99 Metascore

A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia

Votes: 94,753 | Gross: $2.24M

The last classical film noir, the most discerning of Orson Welles' films.

7. The King of Comedy (1982)

PG | 109 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

73 Metascore

Rupert Pupkin is a passionate yet unsuccessful comic who craves nothing more than to be in the spotlight and to achieve this, he stalks and kidnaps his idol to take the spotlight for himself.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott, Sandra Bernhard

Votes: 78,322 | Gross: $2.50M

Pure genius. Together with Mean Streets it is Scorcese at his absolute unseen best.

8. 13 Tzameti (2005)

Not Rated | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

61 Metascore

A man takes over a dead man's task but doesn't realize the horror it entails.

Director: Géla Babluani | Stars: George Babluani, Aurélien Recoing, Pascal Bongard, Fred Ulysse

Votes: 16,361 | Gross: $0.12M

Shocking movie that was recently butchered by a Hollywood remake. A new Bicycle Thief of our times.

9. Intacto (2001)

R | 108 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

59 Metascore

An enigmatic tale of four incredibly lucky people whose lives are intertwined by destiny are subject to the laws of fate. They discover that they cannot afford to be without luck as they ... See full summary »

Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo | Stars: Max von Sydow, Eusebio Poncela, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Mónica López

Votes: 12,451 | Gross: $0.30M

An action thriller of high quality.

10. The Return (2003)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama

82 Metascore

In the Russian wilderness, two brothers face a range of new, conflicting emotions when their father - a man they know only through a single photograph - resurfaces.

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev | Stars: Vladimir Garin, Ivan Dobronravov, Konstantin Lavronenko, Nataliya Vdovina

Votes: 39,737 | Gross: $0.50M

Even if you play it on mute, and ignore the brands of the cars they drive, this is still easily recognizable as a Russian movie, but its as good as they get.

11. Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama

89 Metascore

A chief of detectives, homicide section, kills his mistress and deliberately leaves clues to prove his own responsibility for the crime.

Director: Elio Petri | Stars: Gian Maria Volontè, Florinda Bolkan, Gianni Santuccio, Orazio Orlando

Votes: 8,133 | Gross: $0.05M

elio Petri! Ring a bell? Didn't thinks so. Politically charged, master of power relations. Somehow he has been forgotten, possibly due to his politics. Nonetheless this movie is a must see!

12. Thesis (1996)

R | 125 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

While doing a thesis about violence, Ángela finds a snuff video where a girl is tortured until death. Soon she discovers that the girl was a former student in her faculty...

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Ana Torrent, Fele Martínez, Eduardo Noriega, Xabier Elorriaga

Votes: 33,756

Spanish low budget movie with an axe to grind with the business. Only for the true movie geek.

13. I Hired a Contract Killer (1990)

Not Rated | 79 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

After fifteen years' service, Henri Boulanger is made redundant from his job. Shocked, he attempts suicide, but can't go through with it, so he hires a contract killer in a seedy bar to ... See full summary »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Margi Clarke, Kenneth Colley, T.R. Bowen

Votes: 5,370

Aki Kaurismaki's simple yet ingenious ploy to remind us to think of our mortality. Beautiful cinematography, and a typical, slow, dark comedy full of life and somehow warmth.

14. L'Atalante (1934)

Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy.

Director: Jean Vigo | Stars: Dita Parlo, Jean Dasté, Gilles Margaritis, Louis Lefebvre

Votes: 13,540

Ok it is not Metropolis, or M, or some other well known silent era movie, but it has struck me like no other silent movie I can think of.

15. The Green Butchers (2003)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

54 Metascore

2 Danish friends are tired of their employer and open their own butcher shop. An electrician accidentally dies in the freezer and he's sold as marinated chicken and business picks up. What happens when they run out of "chicken"?

Director: Anders Thomas Jensen | Stars: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Mads Mikkelsen, Line Kruse, Ole Thestrup

Votes: 18,346 | Gross: $0.00M

Dark comedy, beautifully acted and wickedly hilarious.

16. Dead Ringers (1988)

R | 116 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

86 Metascore

Twin gynecologists take full advantage of the fact that nobody can tell them apart, until their relationship begins to deteriorate over a woman.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jeremy Irons, Geneviève Bujold, Heidi von Palleske, Barbara Gordon

Votes: 38,031 | Gross: $9.13M

A movie worth watching for David Lynch fans, and anyone who enjoys great acting.

17. Soylent Green (1973)

PG | 97 min | Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

In the world ravaged by the greenhouse effect and overpopulation, an NYPD detective investigates the murder of a big company CEO.

Director: Richard Fleischer | Stars: Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Leigh Taylor-Young, Chuck Connors

Votes: 54,277

Edward G Robinsons final movie, with a Bang. He died 9 days after from cancer, in the movie his death scene is, well something everyone must see, for it is not acting, it is being human.

18. The Consequences of Love (2004)

100 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

An introverted man's life changes completely when he finds himself attracted to a young bar-maid.

Director: Paolo Sorrentino | Stars: Toni Servillo, Olivia Magnani, Adriano Giannini, Antonio Ballerio

Votes: 14,049

Paolo Sorrentino recently won an Oscar for The Great Beauty, but this little gem, while less visually attractive, is a much more powerful and cohesive work of art.

19. Swept Away (1974)

R | 114 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

A trip into the Mediterranean sea becomes a trip into the discovery of how society's frameworks of the rich and poor are delicate and temporary.

Director: Lina Wertmüller | Stars: Giancarlo Giannini, Mariangela Melato, Riccardo Salvino, Isa Danieli

Votes: 5,057

"Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto" must be the one of the longest titles ever. The movie is quite excellent, and shockingly has only 3000 votes. Not to be confused with the new Madona version.

20. The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)

Not Rated | 137 min | Biography, Drama, History

The life of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew. Pasolini shows Christ as a Marxist avant-la-lettre and therefore uses half of the text of Matthew.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini | Stars: Enrique Irazoqui, Margherita Caruso, Susanna Pasolini, Marcello Morante

Votes: 9,979

Passolini is not someone you would expect to put together a serious first rate cinematic version of any of the gospels. Yet, he does succeed to bring forth one of the most interesting versions put on reel. Black and White, Neo-realism, and Passolini. No wonder it is ignored, but at ones own loss.

21. Nazarin (1959)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama

A priest in a poor community lives a charitable life in accordance with his religious principles, but many others do not return the favor.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Francisco Rabal, Marga López, Rita Macedo, Ignacio López Tarso

Votes: 4,806

Bunuel's modern Christ in Mexico.

22. Suicide Kings (1997)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

43 Metascore

A group of youngsters kidnap a respected Mafia figure.

Director: Peter O'Fallon | Stars: Christopher Walken, Denis Leary, Sean Patrick Flanery, Mark Watson

Votes: 25,118 | Gross: $1.69M

6.9 really! While imperfect, it is charming movie with a great performance by Christopher Walken.

23. Damnation (1988)

120 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A lonely barfly falls in love with a married bar singer.

Director: Béla Tarr | Stars: Miklós Székely B., Vali Kerekes, Gyula Pauer, György Cserhalmi

Votes: 4,712

Bela Tarr's masterful 1988 movie is painfully slow for some, deeply evocative for others. A brilliant study of the death of communist societies under the weight of immorality. Have patience!

24. Dreamcatcher (2003)

R | 134 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

35 Metascore

Friends on a camping trip discover that the town they're vacationing in is being plagued in an unusual fashion by parasitic aliens from outer space.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis

Votes: 86,316 | Gross: $33.72M

Cheeky, grotesque, ridiculous, a guilty pleasure sure to become a cult classic in the near future. Give it a shot if you like cult movies!

25. Metropolitan (1990)

PG-13 | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

A group of young upper-class Manhattanites are blithely passing through the gala debutante season, when an unusual outsider joins them and stirs them up.

Director: Whit Stillman | Stars: Carolyn Farina, Edward Clements, Chris Eigeman, Taylor Nichols

Votes: 8,940 | Gross: $2.94M

Witty, evocative, perhaps best categorized as a period piece misplaced in Manhattan. Its topic is foreign to most, yet it holds a certain universal appeal.

26. The House of Yes (1997)

R | 85 min | Comedy, Drama

54 Metascore

A mentally unbalanced young woman - who is convinced she is Jackie Kennedy - flies into a murderous rage when her brother returns home to reveal he is engaged.

Director: Mark Waters | Stars: Parker Posey, Josh Hamilton, Tori Spelling, Freddie Prinze Jr.

Votes: 7,390 | Gross: $0.62M

Incest, insanity and Parker Posey!

27. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Not Rated | 106 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit".

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart, Juano Hernandez

Votes: 17,369

Quintessential Film Noir!

28. A Most Violent Year (2014)

R | 125 min | Action, Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

In New York City 1981, an ambitious immigrant fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city's history.

Director: J.C. Chandor | Stars: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola

Votes: 62,597 | Gross: $5.74M

29. Let the Corpses Tan (2017)

Unrated | 92 min | Thriller

62 Metascore

A grizzled thug and his gang head to an island retreat with a haul of 250 kilograms of gold bullion to lay low; however, a bohemian writer, his muse, and a pair of gendarmes further complicate things, as allegiances are put to the test.

Directors: Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani | Stars: Elina Löwensohn, Stéphane Ferrara, Bernie Bonvoisin, Michelangelo Marchese

Votes: 2,126 | Gross: $0.09M

30. The Ninth Gate (1999)

R | 133 min | Mystery, Thriller

44 Metascore

A rare book dealer, while seeking out the last two copies of a demon text, gets drawn into a conspiracy with supernatural overtones.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Johnny Depp, Frank Langella, Lena Olin, Emmanuelle Seigner

Votes: 157,484 | Gross: $18.66M

Dark, brooding, morally disturbing, yet great acting quite a neonoir by Roman Polanski.

31. Following (1998)

R | 69 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

60 Metascore

A young writer who follows strangers for material meets a thief who takes him under his wing.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Jeremy Theobald, Alex Haw, Lucy Russell, John Nolan

Votes: 80,917 | Gross: $0.05M

32. Power (1986)

R | 111 min | Drama

After a close friend drops out of politics, a political consultant helping to find a replacement finds a web of corruption and deceit as well.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Richard Gere, Julie Christie, Gene Hackman, Kate Capshaw

Votes: 2,580 | Gross: $3.80M

Sidney Lumet's lowest rated movie is actually a mature work by one of the greats, unfortunately it is a movie about ethics, and not flawless in dealing with such an noncommercial theme. It is about a main character that discovers the nature of the game he is playing, and the consequences of his professionalism. A hired gun realizes that the game is not a game, it is power. While not Lumet's masterpiece (see Network), it is still a worthy movie, brutally underrated.

33. Romeo Is Bleeding (1993)

R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A womanizing, crooked cop on the payroll of the mafia is confronted with the reality of his double life after he is asked to kill a beautiful and ruthless Russian gangster.

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: Gary Oldman, Lena Olin, Wallace Wood, Juliette Lewis

Votes: 12,631 | Gross: $3.28M

34. The Kremlin Letter (1970)

M/PG | 120 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

During the Cold War a Naval Intelligence officer endowed with a powerful photographic memory is transferred to the CIA to participate in a covert operation in Moscow.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Bibi Andersson, Richard Boone, Nigel Green, Dean Jagger

Votes: 1,696 | Gross: $0.24M

A flawed gem, most certainly worth the two hours. Amazing performances from the cast directed by John Houston.

35. Housebound (2014)

Not Rated | 107 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

76 Metascore

A young woman is forced to return to her childhood home after being placed under house arrest, where she suspects that something evil may be lurking.

Director: Gerard Johnstone | Stars: Morgana O'Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Ross Harper

Votes: 30,574

Hilarious!!!

36. The Devils (1971)

R | 111 min | Biography, Drama, History

49 Metascore

In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier seeks to protect the city of Loudun from the corrupt establishment of Cardinal Richelieu. Hysteria occurs within the city when he is accused of witchcraft by a sexually repressed nun.

Director: Ken Russell | Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Oliver Reed, Dudley Sutton, Max Adrian

Votes: 12,522

Vanessa Redgrave = :0

37. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)

R | 155 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

57 Metascore

A visiting city reporter's (John Cusack's) assignment suddenly revolves around the murder trial of a local millionaire (Kevin Spacey), whom he befriends.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, Jack Thompson, Irma P. Hall

Votes: 35,631 | Gross: $25.08M

If you have note read the book, watch this movie!

38. Let the Corpses Tan (2017)

Unrated | 92 min | Thriller

62 Metascore

A grizzled thug and his gang head to an island retreat with a haul of 250 kilograms of gold bullion to lay low; however, a bohemian writer, his muse, and a pair of gendarmes further complicate things, as allegiances are put to the test.

Directors: Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani | Stars: Elina Löwensohn, Stéphane Ferrara, Bernie Bonvoisin, Michelangelo Marchese

Votes: 2,126 | Gross: $0.09M

Artsy, gutsy and the movie Tarantino fan should kinda appreciate, it is a dark and deceptive visual tour de force.

39. Fido (2006)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror

70 Metascore

Space radiation turns the dead into Zombies. Zomcon fights zombies and finds ways to pacify and use them. On pre-teen Timmy's (Kesun Loder's) 1950s suburban street, they all have a zombie doing menial chores. Timmy's zombie becomes his pet and friend, and is named Fido (Sir Billy Connolly).

Director: Andrew Currie | Stars: Kesun Loder, Billy Connolly, Carrie-Anne Moss, David Kaye

Votes: 27,520 | Gross: $0.30M

Hard to find satire on modern family.

40. Hard Candy (2005)

R | 104 min | Drama, Thriller

58 Metascore

A teenage girl raids a man's home in order to expose him under suspicion that he is a pedophile.

Director: David Slade | Stars: Patrick Wilson, Ellen Page, Sandra Oh, Odessa Rae

Votes: 149,570 | Gross: $1.01M

41. Man Bites Dog (1992)

NC-17 | 95 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A film crew follows a ruthless thief and heartless killer as he goes about his daily routine. But complications set in when the film crew lose their objectivity and begin lending a hand.

Directors: Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde | Stars: Benoît Poelvoorde, Jacqueline Poelvoorde-Pappaert, Nelly Pappaert, Hector Pappaert

Votes: 34,452 | Gross: $0.21M

Mass Media gets ripped in this prophetic satire.

42. Night Watch (2004)

R | 114 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror

58 Metascore

A fantasy-thriller set in present-day Moscow where the respective forces that control daytime and nighttime do battle.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov | Stars: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Vladimir Menshov, Mariya Poroshina, Valeriy Zolotukhin

Votes: 51,222 | Gross: $1.49M

Together with Day Watch makes for a cultish sci-fi almost masterpiece.



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