By Cole Parkinson
In the age of superhero movies and massive blockbusters, there are tons of movies that are great but don’t necessarily make lots of noise at the box office. But money certainly is not everything — especially when it comes to movies. Plenty of bad movies have made lots of money and some truly great flicks have bombed.
Some become cult classics and some fade into obscurity. But one thing is for sure, there are always tons of movies out there that people may have never heard of but upon viewing, it could become one of your favourite movies. With that in mind, here are a handful of movies that have been slept on for too long that I think deserve some love.
Before the late Chadwick Boseman was Black Panther, he did a fantastic job showcasing Jackie Robinson’s journey as Major League Baseball’s first black player. This movie certainly didn’t bomb, but it also didn’t light the world on fire — but this movie has it all.
Great casting, great direction, and a legitimately great story that anyone can take something from. Robinson’s life story is truly inspirational and the work done in this movie showcases that. At just over two hours, it’s a lot to fit into a single movie, but I think they did a great job.
Almost Famous (2000)
While this one gained cult status due to its release on DVD/VHS after its theatrical run, it did pretty badly at the box office. I think its legacy is fairly well covered now, but there are still tons of people who haven’t seen Almost Famous yet.
The story of a young writer covering a famous rock band is based on director Cameron Crowe’s life and packs tons of great moments throughout the runtime. It’s funny, there’s great music, and it gives you a great idea of what life on the road brings. It may be portrayed glamorously in some movies, but Almost Famous shows the good and the bad. This was Patrick Fugit’s first big role, but despite his young age, he carries this movie.
Here’s another one that flopped at the box office and I kind of get why — this is a weird movie. I can understand why people don’t like it, but I found it fascinating. It’s part science fiction, part horror, and a whole lot of asking yourself “what the hell is going on?”
I like movies that make you think and I don’t always need a movie to hold my hand throughout each beat, and this one does not do that at all. I highly recommend checking it out and not reading anything about the plot. I think it’s best to go in with an open mind and have no idea what to expect plot-wise.
Listen, Cloverfield may not be your traditional “slept-on film” but I also don’t think it gets the love it deserves. As a found footage movie, there are tons of great moments in this movie and with it clocking in at under 90 minutes, once it gets going, it never stops. Shaky cam may not be for everyone, and I usually don’t like it either, but it does work with this movie because you truly feel like what you see on screen actually happened. I was guilty of dismissing this movie for a long time, but after I finally did watch it one night during college, I was blown away. I still think about it all the time and with a true sequel coming, I highly suggest watching this when given the opportunity.
Get Him to the Greek (2010)
As a continuation of the great Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I think Get Him to the Greek is truly one of the funnier movies I’ve seen. Comedy is a tough one to suggest because it’s so diverse and what you find funny, others may not, but I do think people will find something to like with this one. Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, and Sean Combs provide tons of laugh-out-loud moments and I still quote tons of lines from this movie.
Good Time (2017)
Robert Pattinson is a great actor, and while some may only really point to his portrayal in Twilight, he has proven time and time again that he can nail a wide variety of characters. And with Good Time, I think it was one of the first times I truly saw him as one of my favourite actors. This movie is a rush, let me tell you.
If you’ve seen Uncut Gems, which has the same directors as this one (Josh and Benny Safdie), and you liked it, this has a similar feel. It’s a gritty thriller about brothers on the run after a bank robbery, but that’s all I’ll say as this is another one where you need to experience the movie.
Layer Cake (2004)
The role that won Daniel Craig 007 came from his portrayal of XXXX in Layer Cake. While this isn’t a Jame Bond movie, I understand why it helped Craig get the role.
He’s absolutely mesmerizing every time he’s on screen and you can feel his confidence through the screen. I love Layer Cake and it brings plenty of twists and turns throughout the movie. You may read the synopsis and think you know what’s to come, but you don’t. I also can’t hear “She Sells Sanctuary” by the Cult without thinking about this movie — and I truly don’t mind.
Christopher Nolan has some of the biggest movies of the past few decades with the Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, Interstellar, and Dunkirk, but one of his movies that does not get enough love is Memento. It’s another weird movie and it’s played out in two different sequences — one shown chronologically and the other played in reverse, so you definitely have to pay attention, but it’s well worth it. The story is gripping and keeps you guessing from start to finish — and it’s one of those movies that needs multiple viewings to get everything. It may not feature tons of action or big sequences, but the story is fantastic, the direction showcased how good Nolan was going to be, and the casting was spot on. If you haven’t seen this one, strap in!
The Nice Guys (2016)
The Nice Guys is one of my favourite movies of the past 10 years. The fact we never got a sequel is an absolute travesty and I hope one gets made. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are absolutely hilarious and their chemistry carries this movie. There are tons of laughs and the story is so much fun and it keeps you guessing — I have a hard time believing people wouldn’t like this one. The fact it didn’t light up the box office still bugs me because people didn’t give this one a fair chance and if we did, we might have got a sequel.
If there’s one movie on here that I think the large majority of people would like, this would be it. Give it a chance and I bet you come out of it laughing and hoping for another one.
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