10 Overlooked Films from Renowned Directors


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There are solely a handful of administrators working right now who consistently pump out such exceptional films that every new release is taken into account an event. And there are fewer nonetheless whose cinematic repertoire is so diversified and spectacular that their films will be remembered for many years to return.

But typically, this could presumably be an issue. A director might launch a movie that’s so good and precedent-setting; something that reverberates around the globe and strikes a chord with everyone who watches it to such a level that each different movie that director makes is instantly compared to it. From that time forward, the legacy of that movie will overshadow every little thing that has come earlier than and after it.

This is, admittedly, a good downside to have. It’s the signal of a successful director. But it may possibly additionally result in lots of overlooked movies. It’s time we give some of those motion pictures the attention they deserve, so here’s 10 widely overlooked movies from some of the most renowned directors working right now.


10 Insomnia (Christopher Nolan)

Movie Poster for Christopher Nolan's 2002 crime-mystery film Insomnia

Before he revolutionized the superhero genre along with his Dark Knight trilogy, Christopher Nolan spent the early years of his career crafting dark, brooding crime thrillers. After the one-two punch of Following and Memento, Nolan confirmed his status as a noir maestro with Insomnia, a slow-burn mystery that follows two Los Angeles homicide detectives investigating the homicide of a high school lady in a small Alaskan town where the solar doesn’t set.

Al Pacino offers a masterful efficiency because the troubled, more and more sleep-deprived detective who makes a grave mistake that puts him in the crosshairs of the killer. And Robin Williams plays towards sort as a cold and methodical local who might or is in all probability not liable for the young woman’s demise.

Although the movie was well-received when it was initially launched in 2002, it has been overshadowed by Nolan’s big-budget superhero and sci-fi epics. But belief me: Insomnia is greater than worthy of your attention.

RELATED: Christopher Nolan Movies, Ranked from Good to Best

9 Panic Room (David Fincher)

Poster Image for David Fincher's 2002 movie Panic Room

Alongside Tarantino, David Fincher is the master of turning pulpy crime tales into cinematic artwork. While it’s hard to argue that any film in Fincher’s repertoire is “overlooked,” there might be one that by no means receives plenty of mentions, and that’s 2002’s Panic Room.

The film stars Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart as a divorced woman and her diabetic daughter who must cover in their newly-purchased home’s secure room when three violent burglars break-in, trying to find a missing fortune the wealthy and reclusive previous owner could have left behind. Panic Room features pitch-perfect appearing and David Fincher’s distinctive medical path, which elevates the relatively straight-forward story into something far more unique and rewarding.

8 Super (James Gunn)

Movie Poster for James Gunn's 2010 superhero comedy Super

Before his tenure at Marvel (and now DC), James Gunn was a gleefully over-the-top indie filmmaker whose bread and butter was button-pushing motion pictures. And no movie better encapsulates Gunn’s mad genius than his 2010 superhero satire, Super.

This bleak, irreverent comedy follows sad-sack Frank Darbo – performed impeccably by Rainn Wilson – whose unhappy life is upended when he receives a vision from God, proclaiming he’s been particularly chosen by the almighty to struggle crime and save his metropolis. Invigorated by his new objective in life, and determined to rescue his drug-addict spouse from a sleazy strip-club proprietor, Frank turns into The Crimson Bolt, an unhinged vigilante who deals out vicious beatings along with his trusty pipe wrench.

Super is a far-cry from Guardians of the Galaxy and even Suicide Squad. It’s disturbing, uncomfortable, and down-right hysterical if you’re on the film’s depraved wavelength. Don’t miss it.

7 Monster (Patty Jenkins)

Movie Poster for Patty Jenkin's 2003 crime-drama Monster

Patty Jenkins made a name for herself when she directed Wonder Woman in 2017, which many view as one of the best film to come back out of DC’s struggling cinematic universe. But earlier than she directed Diana Prince’s origin story, the long-time tv and business director made her feature debut with the powerful and gritty Monster.

Monster is a 2003 biographical crime drama that focuses on serial killer Aileen Wournos, a prostitute who robbed and killed seven of her male patrons over the course of one year. Charlize Theron offers the performance of a lifetime because the film’s violent but finally sympathetic protagonist. It’s by no means a straightforward film to watch; it’s bleak, brutal, and – as individuals familiar with the true story already know – doesn’t have a happy ending. But Theron’s efficiency – which Roger Ebert considers “one of the best performances within the history of cinema” – and Patty Jenkins’ assured direction actually elevate a probably exploitative story into one thing more personal and human. It’s no walk in the park, but this highly effective movie is certainly value testing.

6 Matchstick Men (Ridley Scott)

Poster for Ridley Scott's 2003 movie Matchstick Men starring Nicolas Cage and Sam Rockwell

Ridley Scott needs no introduction. The legendary director has been working behind the camera for close to 60 years, and is responsible for classics like Alien, Blade Runner, and Gladiator. But no film in his huge catalog has been more missed than his 2003 crime-comedy Matchstick Men.

The film stars Nicolas Cage and Sam Rockwell as two con-artists about to pull off the biggest swindle of their career, but their delicate and well-laid plans are interrupted by the sudden arrival of Cage’s fourteen-year-old daughter. Cage gives a brilliantly comic (and neurotic) performance as the group’s lead scammer, and Rockwell’s usual dry charisma is on full display. Alison Lohman is equally fantastic as the rebellious teenager, who finally will get wrapped up in her father’s con recreation. And let’s not overlook Hans Zimmer’s buzzing rating.

Ridley Scott has made a name for himself with his science-fiction and historic epics, but Matchstick Men exhibits off his lighter, more comedic side. It’s quick, zippy, heartwarming, and undoubtedly value your time.

5 Enemy (Denis Villeneuve)

Alternative Poster for Denis Villeneuve's Enemy starring Jake Gyllenhaal

Much like Christopher Nolan, Denis Villeneuve has turn into the preeminent purveyor of high-minded science-fiction motion pictures such as Blade Runner 2049, Arrival, and Dune. But before his transformation into one of the most in-demand filmmakers working at present, Villeneuve directed what very properly may be his only horror film: Enemy.

Enemy is straightforward to describe however exhausting to understand: it’s a psychological horror film starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Adam Bell, an sad man who goes on an existential journey of self-discovery after spotting his doppelganger in a movie. He turns into obsessed with finding his lookalike, and issues get…bizarre.

Jake Gyllenhaal absolutely commits to the gonzo material, giving not one however two masterful performances because the film’s increasingly unhinged protagonists. Enemy is rather more somber and esoteric than the director’s other work, and should require a quantity of viewings (and a lot of patience) to find a way to absolutely grasp the film’s that means and themes, but this small-scale marvel is more than deserving of your consideration.

RELATED: Every Denis Villeneuve Movie, Ranked.

4 Rumble Fish (Francis Ford Coppola)

Title Card for Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish

Everyone knows Francis Ford Coppola. The madman behind Apocalypse Now and the Godfather trilogy has been blessing audiences around the world together with his wildly audacious films since 1963. And the man doesn’t appear to be slowing down, as he’s set to release his self-funded $120 million magnum-opus Megalopolis in due time. But within the 1980s, Coppola turned his attention to smaller, character-driven dramas, and none are more powerful than his 1983 movie Rumble Fish.

The movie follows Rusty James (played by Matt Dillon), a teenage hoodlum who wishes to be as feared and powerful as his gang-leader brother, recognized round town because the Motorcycle Boy. In plenty of ways, Rumble Fish is a non secular successor to Coppola’s earlier film The Outsiders: they’re coming-of-age tales featuring troubled youth; include a lot of the same solid (the movies had been shot back-to-back); and are based mostly on novels written by S.E. Hinton.

But in distinction to The Outsiders, Rumble Fish allowed Coppola to experiment. The movie is shot in stark black-and-white and features avant-garde cinematography harking again to German Expressionism and the French New Wave. And the rating seems like a mix of 80s pop and 50s surfer rock. The acting is theatrical however by no means over-the-top, and includes a actually harrowing performance from lead Matt Dillon. A current blu-ray re-release from boutique film label Criterion Collection has provided the world with a wonderful restoration, so you have not any purpose not to check out this deeply private hidden gem.

3 Cop Land (James Mangold)

Atlernative Poster for Cop Land, starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Harvey Kietel, and Sylvester Stallone

James Mangold is a tricky director to pigeonhole. He’s dabbled in horror (Identity), romance (Kate and Leopold), westerns (3:10 to Yuma), and perhaps most notably, superheros (Logan). He is, above all, a grasp of human drama, and no film higher highlights his expertise for crafting memorable and conflicting characters quite like his characteristic debut, Cop Land.

The filmfollows Sylvester Stallone’s Freddy Heflin, the mild-mannered Sheriff of a quiet New Jersey neighborhood that’s home to a small cabal of corrupt New York City officers. After a police brutality case puts the officers in the crosshairs of an internal-affairs investigator, Heflin’s loyalties are put to the test.

Led by Sylvester Stallone and supported by an insanely spectacular ensemble solid including big-hitters like Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, and Robert De Niro, you wouldn’t be wrong for mistaking Cop Land for a Scorsese flick. But this low-key stunner is the kind of mid-budget, morally-ambiguous thrillers that studios simply don’t make anymore.

2 After Hours (Martin Scorsese)

Poster for Martin Scorsese's film After Hours

In the world of movie, there are only a few individuals as influential as Martin Scorsese. He has an understanding and management over the medium equal to only a handful of other directors, and every movie released is an occasion. And whereas he’s known for his larger-than-life gangster movies, there’s one movie that almost no one talks about. And that’s After Hours.

After Hours follows mild-mannered Paul Hawkins as he endures the worst night of his life after agreeing to a date with a wonderful woman he meets at a espresso shop. Except for Wolf of Wall Street, After Hours is arguably Scorsese’s only flat-out comedy, however it’s also an anxiety-inducing nightmare. Imagine a romantic comedy directed by the Safdie Brothers and you’re going to get a good sense of the wild delights to be present in After Hours. Don’t sleep on this movie!

1 The Straight Story (David Lynch)

Alternative Poster for David Lynch's The Straight Story

David Lynch is a cinematic cult icon who has made a name for himself together with his beautifully darkish and borderline inaccessible films. From Eraserhead to Inland Empire, Lynch’s distinctive fashion has cemented him as considered one of cinema’s most beguiling auteurs. But one movie in his spectacular catalog is stylistically and tonally totally different from the rest he’s ever accomplished, which is probably why it’s largely overlooked.

The Straight Story follows Alvin, an ailing previous man who decides to experience his trusty lawnmower from Iowa to Wisconsin to go to his dying brother and make amends. The movieis a G-rated(!), Walt Disney biographical drama that couldn’t be extra removed from Lynch’s typically oppressive and nightmarish motion pictures. It’s a easy, heartwarming story directed with a delicate contact. And man, does it pack an emotional wallop. It’s a film that’ll make you wish to call your family members when the credit begin to roll.


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