These Films Need Some Love!
Here's a list of 25 movies that, in my opinion, are among some of the most underrated films and people need to give them a chance!
Everyone has their favorite movie and they have no problem watching those films over and over again. For some, it may be a film like "The Dark Knight," for others it may be a classic film like "The Wizard of Oz." But all too often, people are afraid to take a step off the beaten path and venture into a genre of film they are not used to. Which, in this movie-buff's opinion is a shame. There are many films out there that are fantastic, but because they were not box office hits or critically acclaimed films, people don't bother to give them a try. Well, I'm on a mission to change that. Here is a list of films that deserve some love. There are some films on here that have a following, but that following is of a limited ilk, so my purpose of adding them to this list is to get those films known to the greater population. These films are in no particular order, basically because I couldn't put them in order...simple as that. Without further ado, here is the list of 25 films you need to see!
Best in Show (2000)
Directed by: Christopher Guest
Starring: Parker Posey, Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge
A variety of pets and people gather to compete in a National Dog Show in this "mock-umentary" style film. "Best In Show" is well written and well acted and is filled with funny moments and great one-liners.
Directed by: Johnathan Lynn
Starring: Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Eileen Brennan, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, Lesly Ann Warren, Colleen Camp, Lee Ving
Based on the popular board game, "Clue" follows 6 party guests as they are subjected to a game of who-duunit, as one by one, members of the staff and others are murdered. With it's subtle comedy bits and all-star cast, this film is one that you must check out.
Directed by: Kevin Smith
Starring: Shannon Doherty, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Jeremy London, Stan Lee, Michael Rooker
A cult favorite of many, this film dry, but it is one of the funniest films you'll sit through. After the two main characters (Lee and London) are dumped by their girlfriends, they head to the local mall to take their mind off things, but things don't go as planned.
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Jared Leto, Marlon Wayans, Jennifer Connely, Ellen Burstyn
In this gripping and moving film, four characters lives are thrown into a tailspin when the drugs they abuse begin to take over their lives. This film is raw yet very captivating. It is very well acted and written and Aronofsky is at his best with this film.
Office Space (1999)
Directed by: Mike Judge
Starring: Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, David Herman, Ajay Naidu, Stephen Root, Gary Cole, John C. McGinley
If you've ever worked in corporate America, then you can relate to this film. When a hypnotherapy session goes wrong, Peter Gibbons (Livingston) throws in the towel at work and takes revenge on the job that has taken so much of his life. With some very memorable characters and moments, you won't be disappointed with this modern classic. Livingston shows his true acting skills here and it's a wonder he hasn't been picked up for more roles.
Directed by: Alexander Payne
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein, Jessica Campbell, Colleen Camp, Phil Reeves, Molly Hagan
In this dark comedy, a teacher's (Broderick) personal life becomes complicated when he helps students during the school elections. Both Broderick and Witherspoon give great performances in roles that are a bit odd for the both of them, but the film is very enjoyable and twisted.
American History X (1998)
Directed by: Tony Kaye
Starring: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, Avery Brooks, Elliott Gould
In one of his best films to date, Norton stars as a reformed Neo-Nazi who attempts to stop his younger brother (Furlong) from taking the same road. The film is powerful and moving. Furlong, who is usually rather obnoxious in his roles, gives a strong performance and holds his own with the likes of D'Angleo and Norton.
Road to Perdition (2002)
Directed by: Sam Mendes
Starring: Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Tyler Hoechlin, Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Daniel Craig, Liam Aiken, Ciaran Hinds
When a hitman's (Hanks) son accidentally discovers his dad's profession, bonds of loyalty are put to the test. Few people outside the comic book world n=know that this film is based of a graphic novel, but that shouldn't matter. This film is an emotional roller coaster. It has incredible star power and a talented director at the helm. I can only hope that the two rumored sequels make it to fruition.
Directed by: John Frankenheimer
Starring: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Stellan Skarsgard, Sean Bean, Johnathan Pryce, Natascha McElhone
A former US Agent (De Niro) attempts to track down a mysterious package that is scope of both the Irish as well as the Russians. "Ronin" features one of the greatest car chase scenes ever captured on film and is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. Not to mention, it's De Niro in one of his best roles.
8 Mile (2002)
Directed by: Curtis Hanson
Starring: Eminem, Brittany Murphy, Mekhi Phifer, Kim Basinger
A young rapper (Eminem) strives to make it through his troubled life, with his only out being his rapping talent, but the people and problems around him begin to give him doubts. I was really surprised at Eminem and his acting abilities. He won't be winning any awards soon, but I think he's got great potential. Murphy gives a strong performance, as can be expected. The Oscar Winning soundtrack is nothing to balk at either.
American Psycho (2000)
Directed by: Mary Harron
Starring: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage, Reese Witherspoon, Chloe Sevigny, Jared Leto, Willem Defoe
A wealthy New York investment banker (Bale) hides his psychotic, serial killer tendencies from his friends and co-workers. Before he donned the cowl as the Dark Knight, Bale wowed people with his terrifying interpretation of the fictional killer Patrick Bateman. The film is bloody, raw and tons of fun, yet it will creep the snot right out of you.
The Lookout (2007)
Directed by: Scott Frank
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, Jeff Daniels, Matthew Goode, Isla Fisher, Carla Gugino
A once promising high school student (Gordon-Leavitt) finds his life turned upside down after a car accident. As he attempts to life a normal life, he takes a job as a janitor at a bank and thinks take a bad turn when he finds himself in the middle of a planned heist. I think most would agree that JGL is a fantastic actor and his best works are yet to come, but while we wait for those, his roles in such films a "The Lookout" will definitely keep you entertained. The film is sad and tense all at once. Goode gives a great performance as the antagonist of the film as well.
Boiler Room (2000)
Directed by: Ben Younger
Starring: Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Nia Long, Nicky Katt, Scott Caan, Ben Affleck, Jamie Kennedy, Ron Kifkin
A colleger drop out (Ribisis) lands a job in an investment firm and finds himself in a newer, wealthier world, but the job may not be as legit as he'd hoped. It's been called a up-to-date "Wall Street" and I couldn't agree more. It's an intense ride with a hip, young cast. Even the lack-luster Diesel gives a good performance!
The Boondock Saints (1999)
Directed by: Troy Duffy
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Sean Patrick Flannery, Norman Reedus, David Della Rocco, Billy Connelly
Two brothers (Flannery & Reedus) are on a mission to rid the city of Boston of wrong-doers, while at the same time, they are being pursued by a dilligent FBI agent. For those that enjoy a good action flick, this is the one for you. it was an immediate cult-favorite and for good reason. This is a must-see film for those who enjoy a fun, violent film with a little bit of weird mixed in.
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Directed by: Baz Lurhmann
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, John Leguizamo, Harold Parrineau, Pete Postlethwaite, Paul Sorvino, Brian Dennehy, Paul Rudd, Jamie Kennedy, Jesse Bradford
An updated telling of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" set in a modern Verona, but the original dialog is still used. Lurhmann's films are either liked or hated; very rarely is there an in between. This film is very different, but it allows for those who are not fans of Shakespeare's to see the tragic story done in a modern era, making it a tad easier to understand. It's not for everyone, but I think it's worth a watch.
Monster Squad (1987)
Directed by: Fred Dekker
Starring: Andre Gower, Robby Kiger, Stephan Macht, Duncan Regher, Tom Noonan, Brent Chalem, Ashley Bank, Ryan Lambert, Michael Faustino
A group of children recruit the help of "Scary German Guy" to fend off some of the most legendary monsters in history: Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, the Mummy, the Wolfman, and Gillman. What more can you ask for? It's a fun film with great characters and one of the best movie lines in film history...Wolfman does, in fact, have nards.
The Cell (2000)
Directed by: Tarsem Singh
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Colton James, Dylan Baker, Vincent D'Onofrio, Vince Vaughn, Marriane Jean-Baptiste, Gerry Becker
A therapist delves into the mind of a serial killer in hopes that she might save his latest victim. This is a twisted and dark film, that in my opinion, rivals "Donnie Darko" in it's strangeness. It might be a bit too far "out there" for some, but for those who like strange movies, give this one a whirl. It will definitely keep you thinking.
Just Friends (2005)
Directed by: Roger Kumble
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Ferris, Chris Klein, Chris Marquette
A once over-weight high schooler turned record exec (Reynolds) returns to his hometown during Christmas. When he is faced with his former high school crush (Smart), whose rejection turned him into a womanizer, he tries once again to avoid the "friend zone." This film is Reynolds at his best; he is funny and quick-witted. Add to this the well timed hilarious antics of Ferris and Marquette and you have yourself a hilarious film.
Directed by: Brian Dannelly
Starring: Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macauley Culkin, Patrick Fugit, Heather Matarazzo, Mary Louise Parker
When a young girl (Malone) attending a Christian school becomes pregnant, she is demonized and ostrasized by her friends who ultimately turn against her. Yet another dark comedy makes my list. This film has moments that you just can't help but laugh at. It has it's emotional moments as well. Mandy Moore proves herself as a legit actor in this film and Culkin yet again shows that he has come a long way since his "Home Alone" days.
Directed by: David Fincher
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards, Robert Downey, Jr., Brian Cox, Elias Koteas, Chloe Sevigny
A cartoon artist for a San Francisco paper (Gyllenhaal) becomes an amateur detective and is determined to find the identity of the Zodiac killer. Gyllenhaal gives a great performance here, along with his supporting cast. RDJ is phenomenal in this film, as can be expected from him. David Fincher has some amazing films under his belt and I think this one ranks pretty high on that premier list.
Into the Wild (2007)
Directed by: Sean Penn
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Vince Vaughn, Kristen Stewart, Hal Holbrook
After graduating from college, Chris McCandless (Hirsch), gives his $24,000 savings to charity, ditches his possessions and hitch-hikes his way to Alaska to live off the land. Along the way, he meets characters who help shape his short life. One of the most moving and touching films I've seen (the book is incredible as well). Hirsch and his supporting cast are fantastic to watch. If you have not seen this one, add it to your list.
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
Directed by: Eric Radomski & Bruce W. Timm
Starring: Voices of Kevin Conroy, Dana Delany, Stacey Keach, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Mark Hamill
Batman is wrongly accused of a series of murders of Mob bosses in Gotham City, which have all been committed by a new vigilante assassin. Considered by many to be one of the top animated films in history, as well as one of the top Batman films, "Mask of the Phantasm" is dark and gritty and offers up some great story telling. Mark Hamill, of Luke Skywalker fame, voices the sinister Joker in this (and several other) Batman films and his work is incredible and eerie. Even if you are not a fan of animated films, you need to watch this one.
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Robin Williams, Al Pacino, Hillary Swank
A pair of Los Angeles detectives (Pacino and Swank) are sent to an Alaskan town where the sun rarely sets to investigate the murder of a local teenager. This is one of Williams' best roles, though most people may never know it. It is very different from his other roles, much like that of "One Hour Photo." This films really stayed under the radar and it's a shame. It is a very intense movie and takes some very interesting turns.
Big Fish (2003)
Directed by: Tim Burton
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Cruddup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Marion Cotillard, Alison Lohman
A son (Cruddup) learns more about his father (Finney) and his life by reliving some of the stories and myths of his youth. In one of Burton's most colorful films, we are taken to a new and fantastical world, with some very likable and fun characters. On the surface, this film seems very different for Burton, but once you get into the story, you will see the Burton that we all know.
Alpha Dog (2006)
Directed by: Nick Cassavetas
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, Ben Foster, Anton Yelchin, Shawn Hatosy, Sharon Stone, Bruce Willis, Chris Marquette
Based on the actual events of a kidnapping gone horribly wrong and Jesse James Hollywood, who was one of the youngest men to ever be listed on the FBI's most wanted list. The film is sad and depressing, but it is also very riveting. The cast is superb, especially Timberlake in his big-screen debut. Ben Foster is incredible to watch as he seeks vengeance for his brother's kidnapping. Be prepared for a touching and moving film.
If you made it through this list...thanks for reading! I hope you will give some of these films a chance, as they deserve at least that. Some of these films are among my top favorites and I feel they deserve more credit than they receive. Sit back, grab some snacks and enjoy the movies! Of course, feel free to comment on the list and add to it!