25 of the Most Underrated/Overlooked Films Ever Made

by bRaNdInFeNnEsSy1988 | created - 1 month ago | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

25 of the most underrated/overlooked films ever made

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1. Only God Forgives (2013)

R | 90 min | Action, Crime, Drama

37 Metascore

Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok's criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm, Gordon Brown

Votes: 101,682 | Gross: $0.78M

(Drama) - 2013 - Director: Nicolas Winding Refn - Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas .. the most downright misunderstood masterpiece that I can think of .. Refn is one of the rarest talents in modern cinema. period.

2. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

R | 160 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

68 Metascore

Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader.

Director: Andrew Dominik | Stars: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Mary-Louise Parker

Votes: 158,556 | Gross: $3.90M

(Drama/Neo-Western) - 2007 - Director: Andrew Dominik - Starring: Casey Affleck, Brad Pitt, Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner .. honestly, this is - hands all the way down - one of the greatest motion pictures ever shot ,, and yet you've probably never even heard of it, or its extremely underappreciated Australian director.

3. Lolita (1962)

Not Rated | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A middle-aged college professor becomes infatuated with a fourteen-year-old nymphet.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon, Gary Cockrell

Votes: 84,209 | Gross: $9.25M

(Drama) - 1962 - Director: Stanley Kubrick - Starring: James Mason, Peter Sellers, Shelley Winters .. should be much, much, much more appreciated than it is .. the novel is one of the best works of twentieth-century literature, but the film's even better; 'Lolita' is - quite literally - perfect filmmaking, and very misunderstood.

4. The Brown Bunny (2003)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama

51 Metascore

Professional motorcycle racer Bud Clay heads from New Hampshire to California to race again. Along the way he meets various needy women who provide him with the cure to his own loneliness, but only a certain woman from his past will truly satisfy him.

Director: Vincent Gallo | Stars: Vincent Gallo, Chloë Sevigny, Cheryl Tiegs, Elizabeth Blake

Votes: 13,038 | Gross: $0.37M

(Drama) - 2003 - Director: Vincent Gallo - Starring: Vincent Gallo, Chloe Sevigny .. an outright phenomenal and incredibly moving, thought-provoking masterpiece of independent cinema that gets overshadowed by ignorant reviews and a non-simulated scene of fellatio .. Vincent Gallo may indeed be an asshole, but he's made two of the best films of all time of any sort, let alone of independent cinema.

5. Killing Them Softly (2012)

R | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

Jackie Cogan is an enforcer hired to restore order after three dumb guys rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse.

Director: Andrew Dominik | Stars: Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins, Scoot McNairy

Votes: 125,122 | Gross: $15.03M

(Drama/Gangster) - 2012 - Director: Andrew Dominik - Starring: Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins, Ben Mendelsohn .. from the same genius of a filmmaker as 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' - this film is almost as good as that one, but even fifty times more underrated; so far, as of 2019, Andrew Dominik's most recent film, although it was released seven years ago .. Dominik is one of the most underappreciated filmmakers alive - if not the most.

6. Mother! (2017)

R | 121 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

75 Metascore

A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer

Votes: 163,685 | Gross: $17.80M

(Drama/Horror) - 2017 - Director: Darren Aronofsky - Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer .. to say this film is brilliant is a definite understatement; it is, in my own opinion, Aronofsky's best since 2000's 'Requiem for a Dream', or at least as good as 'The Wrestler' and 'Black Swan' .. honestly, though, I think it is just so shocking and wild that it offends people b/c of their personal, subjective problems .. Aronofsky dropped a powerful bomb two years ago, and everyone was too offended to notice, including even some critics.

7. After Hours (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

An ordinary word processor has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho who he met that evening at a coffee shop.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Verna Bloom, Tommy Chong

Votes: 50,910 | Gross: $10.60M

(Comedy/Drama) - 1985 - Director: Martin Scorsese - Starring: Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Teri Garr, Catherine O'Hara, John Heard .. one of Marty Scorsese's best films of his entire career, and although the picture is critically adored, it is largely unknown to the general public to this day.

8. Kundun (1997)

PG-13 | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

74 Metascore

From childhood to adulthood, Tibet's fourteenth Dalai Lama deals with Chinese oppression and other problems.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong, Gyurme Tethong, Tulku Jamyang Kunga Tenzin, Tenzin Yeshi Paichang

Votes: 24,454 | Gross: $5.53M

(Drama/History) - 1997 - Director: Martin Scorsese - Starring: Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong .. like 'After Hours' this is one of Scorsese's best films of his entire career, and although the critics have always pretty much approved of it, it has always gone largely unknown to the general public.

9. Rumble Fish (1983)

R | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

63 Metascore

Rusty James, an absent-minded street thug struggles to live up to his legendary older brother's reputation, and longs for the days when gang warfare was going on.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Dennis Hopper

Votes: 29,388 | Gross: $2.49M

(Drama) - 1983 - Director: Francis Ford Coppola - Starring: Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Dennis Hopper, Nicolas Cage .. nowadays this gorgeous, eccentric, original, charming, moving, illustrious masterwork of neo-expressionism from Coppola seems to be finally getting some of the love it always warranted, from both mainstream movie culture and academia .. but for the longest time it was unfairly disliked, and even borderline hated for reasons that are still a thorough mystery to me.

10. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)

R | 134 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

28 Metascore

A young FBI agent disappears while investigating a murder miles from Twin Peaks that may be related to the future murder of Laura Palmer; the last week of the life of Laura Palmer is chronicled.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Mädchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook

Votes: 78,104 | Gross: $4.16M

(Drama/Horror/Mystery/Neo-Noir) - 1992 - Director: David Lynch - Starring: Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Kyle MacLachlan, Moira Kelly .. this is basically Lynch at his most insane and surreal and trippy, and seems to have aged really well with his fans and fans of the show, as well as with most cinephiles .. upon its release, back in '92, it was probably just too shockingly dark and sexual for some people who expected it to be a 150 minute version of the show, which is quite light compared to this.

11. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

R | 128 min | Horror

57 Metascore

The centuries old vampire Count Dracula comes to England to seduce his barrister Jonathan Harker's fiancée Mina Murray and inflict havoc in the foreign land.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves

Votes: 176,098 | Gross: $82.52M

(Horror) - 1992 - Director: Francis Ford Coppola - Starring: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Richard E. Grant .. for anyone who has read the novel, they'll understand that this is as perfect an adaptation as adaptations come; I honestly never understood why some moviegoers and some critics had problems with it .. it's the type of picture that people will watch for centuries - as timeless as the Gothic classic from Bram Stoker.

12. The Village (2004)

PG-13 | 108 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

44 Metascore

A series of events tests the beliefs of a small isolated countryside village.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt, Joaquin Phoenix, Bryce Dallas Howard

Votes: 230,083 | Gross: $114.20M

(Drama/Thriller/Horror) - 2004 - Director: M. Night Shyamalan - Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, William Hurt, Adrien Brody, Sigourney Weaver .. this film is, as of 2019, one of Shyamalan's five masterworks ('The Sixth Sense', 'Unbreakable', 'Signs', 'The Village', and 'Split'), but this picture is the only one that divides people to this day .. it is beautiful, complex, and downright original filmmaking though, and actually a film that turns more and more robust with each viewing.

13. The Great Gatsby (2013)

PG-13 | 143 min | Drama, Romance

55 Metascore

A writer and wall street trader, Nick, finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor, Jay Gatsby.

Director: Baz Luhrmann | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire

Votes: 440,203 | Gross: $144.84M

(Drama) - 2013 - Director: Baz Luhrmann - Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke .. this film is another example of a perfect adaptation; it took Hollywood several misfires throughout a period of about 85 years before Baz finally came along and delivered the adaptation of the classic Fitzgerald novel that was always wanted and always needed .. I think sometimes people just can't see what is often right in front of them - because this is intoxicating, mesmerizing, brilliantly acted perfection right here. ... BTW, what is up with everyone hating on Tobey as Nick Carraway?? He literally nailed the character to a tee!

14. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

R | 81 min | Horror, Mystery

81 Metascore

Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.

Directors: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez | Stars: Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, Joshua Leonard, Bob Griffin

Votes: 218,865 | Gross: $140.54M

(Horror/Mockumentary) - 1999 - Director: D. Myrick; E. Sanchez - Starring: Josh Leonard, Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams .. I don't care what any of the haters say, this stark, minimal, extremely eerie, downright innovative gem of horror of crystalline perfection is the most underrated horror film of all time, just behind Coppola's 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' .. now, I do realize a lot of people have always liked this picture, but it just gets unfairly poked and prodded way too often .. 'The Blair Witch Project' basically invented an entire genre, and back in '99 one out of every two grown adults believed it was a real documentary .. turn off the lights sometime at night in the month of October and watch this alone, while pretending you've never seen it before -- it'll terrify you if you have a pulse.

15. The Funhouse (1981)

R | 96 min | Horror

56 Metascore

Four teenage friends spend the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Elizabeth Berridge, Shawn Carson, Jeanne Austin, Jack McDermott

Votes: 11,113 | Gross: $7.89M

(Horror) - 1981 - Director: Tobe Hooper - Starring: Elizabeth Berridge, Kevin Conway, Sylvia Miles .. Tobe Hooper is often only known for 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (maybe the very greatest of horror films) and for directing 'Poltergeist' (1982) under Spielberg the Charlatan's flawed producing .. but this slasher picture of Hooper's, from 1981, is basically as underrated as a film of any genre can possibly be .. 'The Funhouse' is a truly horrifying and harrowing and immensely suspenseful experience, and shares a lot of the same elements as 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' .. this is three times as suspenseful as Carpenter's 'Halloween'.

16. The Myth of the American Sleepover (2010)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

67 Metascore

Four young people navigate the suburban wonderland of metro-Detroit looking for love and adventure on the last weekend of summer.

Director: David Robert Mitchell | Stars: Claire Sloma, Marlon Morton, Amanda Bauer, Brett Jacobsen

Votes: 3,565 | Gross: $0.04M

(Drama/Coming-of-Age) - 2010 - Director: David Robert Mitchell - Starring: Claire Sloma, Marlon Morton, Amanda Bauer, Amy Seimetz .. this is the debut film of the genius behind 'It Follows' and 'Under the Silver Lake', and it is downright dazzling and enchanting and captivating .. I honestly think this is the greatest coming-of-age film of all time (and that's even above heavyweights of the sub-genre like Reiner's 'Stand By Me') - and although this is saying a lot, to accidentally make a bit of a PUN here, I stand by my word .. Mitchell's cinematic style is just downright hypnotic.

17. Hail, Caesar! (2016)

PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

72 Metascore

A Hollywood fixer in the 1950s works to keep the studio's stars in line.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes

Votes: 113,217 | Gross: $30.08M

(Drama/Comedy) - 2016 - Director: Joel and Ethan Coen - Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Fiennes .. there's a little rule-of-thumb that us 'People in the Know' usually understand: the critics are often wrong, but the average, ordinary masses usually don't know a good film from a Saturday morning cartoon (I basically mean that in a borderline literal way, as sad as that is) .. the Coens dropped a bomb of genius back in 2016, and, although the critics got this one right, the typical masses were two or three steps behind the masters from Minneapolis .. it'll age extremely well though, when people realize just how Coens-esque this Coens picture really is!

18. The Ladykillers (2004)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

56 Metascore

An eccentric, if not charming Southern professor and his crew pose as a classical ensemble in order to rob a casino, all under the nose of his unsuspecting but sharp old landlady.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Tom Hanks, Marlon Wayans, Irma P. Hall, J.K. Simmons

Votes: 94,688 | Gross: $39.80M

(Comedy/Drama) - 2004 - Director: Joel and Ethan Coen - Starring: Tom Hanks, Irma P. Hall, Marlon Wayans, J.K. Simmons .. if this crisp and perfectly dense and genuinely hysterical masterwork of comedy and suspense was from 95% of filmmakers not named the Coen Bros. it probably would be considered that hypothetical filmmaker's best film, and would probably be universally praised to this day .. 2004's 'The Ladykillers' is minimal and hyper-focused and quite dark comedically, as well generally more small-scale than most of the duo's other masterpieces, yet the film is far superior to the 1955 original, and far superior to 'Intolerable Cruelty' (of the same era; the Coens' only dud to date).

19. Paranoid Park (2007)

R | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

83 Metascore

A teenage skateboarder's life begins to fray after he is involved in the accidental death of a security guard.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Gabe Nevins, Daniel Liu, Taylor Momsen, Jake Miller

Votes: 27,867 | Gross: $0.49M

20. Lost River (2014)

R | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

42 Metascore

A single mother is swept into a dark underworld, while her teenage son discovers a road that leads him to a secret underwater town.

Director: Ryan Gosling | Stars: Christina Hendricks, Iain De Caestecker, Matt Smith, Saoirse Ronan

Votes: 15,864 | Gross: $0.04M

(Drama/Horror/Fantasy) - 2014 - Director: Ryan Gosling - Starring: Christina Hendricks, Matt Smith, Saoirse Ronan, Iain De Caestecker, Ben Mendelsohn .. alright, let's start with the critical elephant in the room: the obvious influence of Nicolas Winding Refn's films on 'Lost River' - Refn's style and sense of mise-en-scene and ways of dealing with narrative (de-structuring) are all apparent here, at least in terms of influence .. but, honestly, from what I've seen the four or five times I've enjoyed this dark and brief masterpiece, Gosling quite literally carved out his own style and own way of shooting and own idiosyncrasies as well; wearing your influences on your sleeve is just being honest sometimes, and totally works here because of all the aspects that Gosling completely gets right on his own (terms) .. PS - the performances here are truly exceptional, all the way down the board from Hendricks to Smith to Ronan to Mendelsohn.

21. Halloween (2007)

R | 109 min | Horror

47 Metascore

After being committed for 17 years, Michael Myers, now a grown man and still very dangerous, escapes from the mental institution and immediately returns to Haddonfield to find his baby sister, Laurie.

Director: Rob Zombie | Stars: Scout Taylor-Compton, Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, Brad Dourif

Votes: 103,445 | Gross: $58.27M

22. The New World (2005)

PG-13 | 135 min | Biography, Drama, History

69 Metascore

The story of the English exploration of Virginia, and of the changing world and loves of Pocahontas.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Colin Farrell, Q'orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale

Votes: 79,168 | Gross: $12.71M

23. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, Romance

93 Metascore

The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved.

Directors: Orson Welles, Fred Fleck, Robert Wise | Stars: Tim Holt, Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter

Votes: 20,546

24. Heaven's Gate (1980)

R | 219 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

57 Metascore

A dramatization of the real-life Johnson County War in 1890 Wyoming, in which a Sheriff born into wealth, attempts to protect immigrant farmers from rich cattle interests.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, John Hurt, Sam Waterston

Votes: 12,486 | Gross: $3.48M

25. Alexander (2004)

R | 175 min | Action, Biography, Drama

39 Metascore

Alexander (Colin Farrell), the King of Macedonia and one of the greatest army leaders in the history of warfare, conquers much of the known world.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Colin Farrell, Anthony Hopkins, Rosario Dawson, Angelina Jolie

Votes: 155,743 | Gross: $34.30M

26. Little Monsters (1989)

PG | 100 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

A boy discovers an incredible and gruesome world of monsters under his bed.

Director: Richard Greenberg | Stars: Fred Savage, Howie Mandel, Daniel Stern, Margaret Whitton

Votes: 10,296 | Gross: $0.79M

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