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Back in the day when public reviews online were not really a thing, a lot of the film’s appeal to the broader audience depended on reviews by critics. Reviews published in newspapers sometimes influenced whether the film would be a box office hit or a flop. 

Today, audiences say the final word on a film’s appeal. While critics’ views matter, let’s not bet the farm on them. Judging a movie is as personal as picking art. One’s recommendation of good movies to watch could be very different from another. And that’s perfectly fine! 

We’re not all film tech wizards, but we sure can say how a movie hits us. Often, awesome films get lost in rating stars. That’s the classic case of underrated vs. overrated. 

Below, we’ve compiled a list of, in our very humble opinion, the most underrated movies. Let us present you with the best-underrated movies that lay in our stacks of favorites. So, here’s to the underdogs of cinema - the movies we cherish, even if they’re not in the limelight. 

Got a hidden film gem? Share the love in the comments!

#1

Stardust

Stardust movie poster

2007 | 2 hours 7 minutes | Directed by Matthew Vaughn | IMDB: 7.6/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
 
Starring Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Sienna Miller
 
Tristan (Charlie Cox), a young man, enters the land of fairies to retrieve a fallen star to win his girlfriend's (Sienna Miller) heart. But what Tristan discovers is a woman named Yvaine (Claire Danes), not a chunk of space rock. Yvaine is in grave danger because an evil witch (Michelle Pfeiffer) wants to use her to obtain endless youth and beauty, and the king's sons need her skills to secure the throne. 

The plot line is your typical fantasy quest filled with obstacles. However, the plot is vivid and innovative within that broad framework. It just wants to be a lot of fun and a sweet little romance. And it does so splendidly. 

Stardust is a movie that more keen fans of entertaining and heartfelt fantasy should discover. It may not be perfect, but it is still very much worth seeing. Besides being arguably one of the best underrated movies of Neil Gaiman adaptations we've seen on screen, it's a delightful experience. It's a terrific example of a modern-day lost treasure.

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#2

The Village

The Village movie poster

2004 | 1 hour 48 minutes | Directed by M. Night Shyamalan | IMDB: 6.6/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
 
Starring Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt, Joaquin Phoenix
 
This movie tells the story of a small village facing a shocking reality right outside its borders. This village appears idyllic at first glance, but the residents of this tight-knit community are terrified of the creatures that live in the nearby forests. It’s another beauty panned by the critics. 

The plot is consistent and of genuine quality, which is unusual in horror. However, do not be discouraged by the definition of being a horror movie. The forest village, which is sparsely populated and desolate, serves as the perfect location for this hidden evil and works as the ideal mood-setter for the movie. 

The plot alone should make The Village a must-see. While some viewers may not connect with the story, those who do will be rewarded with a top-notch movie. This movie’s beauty and brilliance are well-kept secrets.

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#3

The Rules Of Attraction

The Rules Of Attraction movie poster

2002 | 1 hour 50 minutes | Directed by Roger Avary | IMDB: 6.6/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
 
Starring James Van Der Beek, Ian Somerhalder, Shannyn Sossamon
 
The story centers on a love triangle between three Camden College students - a drug dealer, a virgin, and a bisexual classmate. Perhaps this movie has fallen under the underrated movies on Netflix because of Lions Gate's pre-release marketing actions. 

After watching the trailer, one might think of The Rules of Attraction as another silly teen sex comedy. However, this movie didn't mean to be another American Pie, but rather a spoof of previous films and the utterly far-fetched settings they create. And director Roger Avary did a fantastic job of pulling this off. 

The movie dispels stereotypes about sex and college life that have been spread by numerous films before it. The movie conveys this message thanks to an honest and unpolished tone. Although it's not for everyone, watching The Rules of Attraction can be a really satisfying experience.

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#5

The Assistant

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2019 | 1 hour 27 minutes | Directed by Kitty Green | IMDB: 6.4/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
 
Starring Julia Garner, Owen Holland, Jon Orsini
 
Jane (Julia Garner), a recent college grad and aspiring film producer, is the main protagonist in The Assistant. She has recently landed her dream position as a junior assistant to a powerful player in the entertainment industry. 

Jane makes coffee, orders lunch, books travel accommodations, and takes phone calls like any other assistant would do. But as Jane goes about her everyday activities, she becomes more and more conscious of the abuse that subtly permeates every element of her job and decides to speak up about it. 

Although focusing only on what is probably the protagonist’s typical day at work, it’s astonishing how this movie manages to be both intriguing and upsetting to watch. Although entertaining may not be the perfect word to describe it, it’s certainly not dull. 

The apathy of a toxic workplace and the opportunistic behavior of the higher-ups are explored really well with the explicit style of this underrated drama movie. It keeps a subtle suspense, showing how something that seems so ordinary can be so powerful.

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#6

Jennifer's Body

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2009 | 1 hour 42 minutes | Directed by Karyn Kusama | IMDB: 5.4/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 46%
 
Starring Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Brody
 
Honestly, this movie is worth seeing just for Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried in one picture, at the very least. The film is about a demon-possessed hot high schooler, Jennifer (Megan Fox), who turns a hungry eye toward males who never had a chance with her. Needy (Amanda Seyfried), her nerdy best friend, learns what’s happening and swears to stop the slaughter. At the same time, evil Jennifer feeds her thirst for human flesh on the school’s male students. 

If you have a dark sense of humor and like sarcasm, you will appreciate this movie because the dialogue is incredibly quotable. There is a lot of gratuitous gore, but the “scary" portions aren’t actually terrifying. 

In essence, this film makes fun of teen horror movies from the ’80s and will make you laugh when you least expect it. This is a comedy gem filled with wit and humor. Recline your seat and take it all in for what it is - pure entertainment.

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What Makes a Movie Win 5 Stars?

When we finish watching the movie, all we want is to be in a better mood and feel like we didn’t waste our time. But critics dive deeper when rating a movie. They need to consider the potential a movie has to create an emotional impact and also its technical development.  

Engaging Storyline: A compelling plot that keeps viewers hooked from start to finish.

Relatable Characters: Well-developed, and intriguing characters that make the audience feel represented in the movie.

Outstanding Acting: Stellar performances that breathe life into the characters, making them relatable.

Visual Appeal: High-quality cinematography and special effects.

Emotional Impact: Create real emotions in the audience, laughter, tears, or suspense.

Cohesive Directing: How the director makes the film’s elements into a unique vision.

Effective Soundtrack: A well-composed soundtrack that enhances the movie scenes.

Creativity: Bring fresh perspectives or unique storytelling methods on-screen.

Edits & Transitions: Smooth transitions and well-timed scenes.

Cultural or Social Relevance: Cover issues that resonate with a broad audience.

Overall Experience: Leave the audience with a sense of fulfillment after the last scene.

#8

Beyond The Lights

Beyond The Lights movie poster

2014 | 1 hour 56 minutes | Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood | IMDB: 6.8/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
 
Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver
 
Singer Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who has been groomed for stardom by an overbearing mother (Minnie Driver) from an early age, struggles to handle her success. 

Attempting suicide because she can no longer control her situation, Noni is saved by Kaz (Nate Parker), the policeman tasked with serving as her bodyguard. Kaz and Noni are attracted to each other right away. Still, many around them are against their relationship out of concern that it would deviate from the paths set out for each of them. 

Despite having its setting in the glitz, glamor, and mirage of the entertainment world, Beyond the Lights is a relatable story about finding love and freedom. Although there are glaring similarities with other films, Beyond the Lights stands out for its superb performances, straightforward plot, and natural chemistry between the sweethearts played by Mbatha-Raw and Parker. This is a perfect film if you’re searching for something enjoyable and memorable.

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#9

Locke

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2013 | 1 hour 25 minutes | Directed by Steven Knight | IMDB: 7.1/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
 
Starring Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman (voice), Ruth Wilson (voice)
 
The film’s protagonist, Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy), is a construction worker who has just finished his shift and is heading home. On his way home, he receives several calls that reveal details about his personal and professional life. We see how Locke handles this information as it becomes increasingly difficult. 

This incredible underrated action movie will make you experience such a wide range of emotions in only 85 minutes, considering that most of the action happens within one man’s car. 

After watching this, you’ll need a few days to process Locke’s subtle yet complex plot and allow its full impact to sink in. Filmed in just eight nights and with a meager budget, the film is a lesson in how unique and fantastic minimalist cinema can be.

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Echidna learns extreme ironing
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Absolutely brilliant movie - the story unfolds through his conversations - settle in and enjoy the drive.

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What Are Overlooked Movies?

Overlooked movies are the hidden treasures in the world of cinema. They’re the gems that somehow slipped under the movie’s critics’ radar, not getting the attention they deserve. These films might not have had massive marketing campaigns or huge budgets. Still, they hold something special - exceptional storytelling, stellar performances, famous actors, or a unique perspective. 

It’s like finding a secret menu item at your favorite restaurant. Once you discover it, you wonder how it went unnoticed for so long. So, underrated movies are basically the unseen heroes in the cinema world.

#11

That Thing You Do

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STJ
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6 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Best part of the movie is Chris Isaak. Hate the bubblegum music and Tom Hanks the pedo even more.

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What's the Most Underrated Movie?

Picking the most underrated movies is like finding needles in a haystack. There are countless hidden treasures out there. Usually they tend to fall under specific categories like film noir for example. There are countless underrated animated movies, underrated horror movies, and even underrated disney movies. 

Personally, I have a soft spot for "The Perfume" movie. It often flies under the radar due to its dark theme and unimaginable plot, which may not appeal to mainstream audiences. Despite its stunning cinematography, it didn't receive the widespread recognition it truly deserved.

#12

Daredevil

Daredevil movie poster

2003 | 1 hour 43 minutes | Directed by Mark Steven Johnson | IMDB: 5.3/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
 
Starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell
 
Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck), blinded by toxic waste as a little boy, has gained extra skills in his remaining senses. He views the murder of his father as an ideal chance to battle crime and, in this way, help New York City. 

Daredevil, a masked punisher, puts his life in danger every night to prevent prisoners from escaping. An excellent and unexpected surprise, this dark and moody superhero yarn is possibly the most enjoyable comic book movie in Hollywood during the early boom of such films. 

The film’s fine quality derives from pleasantly witty writing that offers consistently snappy dialogue, unexpected story twists, standout acting performances, and originality. 

It was expected that Hollywood would start baking more superhero movies after X-Men and Spiderman became mega hits. Daredevil genuinely added something new and didn’t appear rushed or repetitive. Fans of superhero movies are in for a treat with this one.

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Huddo's sister
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I couldn't get through more than 10 minutes, but I don't generally go for this sort of film.

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#13

Speak

Speak movie poster

2004 | 1 hour 29 minutes | Directed by Jessica Sharzer | IMDB: 7.2/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 80%

 
Starring Kristen Stewart, Elizabeth Perkins, Richard Hagerman
Melinda (Kristen Stewart), a first-year high school student, has been silent since she called the police at a summer party. However, no one knows that star senior Andy (Eric Lively) sexually assaulted her at that party. She draws back in fear into herself to conceal her secret as her former friends shun her for being a rat, and her parents are too preoccupied to notice her problems. However, Melinda finds comfort in her painting class with Mr. Freeman (Steve Zahn). 

There are no shocks, plot twists, or mysteries because the plot is relatively straightforward and linear, and the predictable trauma of Melinda is shown even in the movie trailer. The realistic story, the superb directing, and the magnificent performances, especially that of Kristen Stewart, make Speak a hidden gem. This movie is worth seeing not because it’s a masterful piece of cinema but because it sends a strong, upbeat message.

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What Movies Does Roger Ebert Recommend?

Roger Ebert, the well-known film critic, had an eclectic taste in movies, appreciating various genres and styles. Some of the films he highly recommended include:

1. “Citizen Kane” (1941) - Directed by Orson Welles - one of the greatest films ever.

2. “Apocalypse Now” (1979) - Francis Ford Coppola’s epic war film.

3. “Fargo” (1996) -The crime-thriller movie by the Coen’s brothers. 

4. “Taxi Driver” (1976) - Martin Scorsese’s highly controversial masterpiece.

5. “Schindler’s List” (1994) - Steven Spielberg’s iconic mix of black and white movies.

These are just a few examples. Ebert’s extensive reviews cover a broad spectrum of films, from classics to contemporary releases, showing his diverse appreciation for movies of all times.

#17

Win A Date With Tad Hamilton!

Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! movie poster

2004 | 1 hour 35 minutes | Directed by Robert Luketic | IMDB: 5.6/10 | Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
 
Starring Kate Bosworth, Josh Duhamel, Topher Grace

The eccentric, self-deprecating manager of a grocery shop, Pete (Topher Grace), is deeply in love with his best friend, Rosalee (Kate Bosworth). Sadly, she has no idea whatsoever. Pete puts off confessing his affections to Rosalee when she wins a date with her favorite actor, Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel). After their initial meeting, Pete must fight to win Rosalee’s heart when Hamilton moves to their little town to pursue her. 

It’s the kind of movie that many now-grown-ups will consider a cult classic as it’s so charming and amusing and so early 2000s! It’s definitely not an Oscar contender, but, at the same time, it never tried to be. Accepting this movie for what it is - a small guilty pleasure that will lift one’s spirits and make one laugh.

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#18

Sleeping With Other People

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#20

Edge Of Tomorrow

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Jihana
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Awesome movie. Really clever concept. I've read a second movie is in the making.

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#31

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World

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Lamarianjc
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Absolutely love this movie! It really took me by surprise the first time I watched it. The whole concept stayed with me for days after my first watch. I highly recommend it.

#35

Shrek 2

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Amy Watkins
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Shrek 2 make almost A BILLION DOLLARS in the box office. This is not an underrated movie.

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#37

Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World

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#40

Changeling (2008)

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ItsJess
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I prefer the movie also called The Changeling with George C Scott, it has one of the most frightening scenes I've ever seen in a movie.

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#42

The 13th Warrior

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Octavia Hansen
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Story by Michael (Jurassic Park) Crichton -- imagined actual story of Beowulf before it became myth and legend. It's natural, dirty, filthy conditions, hard hitting warriors with a thirst for adventure. Worth every minute!

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#45

Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer

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Jihana
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's.... Ok... The book was way better, since you can describe scents, but you cannot SHOW them.

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#47

Kingdom Of Heaven

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Octavia Hansen
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hated the ending. After getting so many people killed, the man gives up, goes home, lives a life of nothingness . . . can't ruin an ending to a bad film. Lot of money spent on fighting.

#50

Blood Diamond

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