The Most Underrated Movies of All Time | PRT 2

first posted May 5, 2014
estimated read time: 6 minutes and 58 seconds

I wrote an article of similar name and topic back in 2011, but a lot has happened since then in the world of movies. We’ve had some amazing blockbusters (The Avengers (2012)) and some stinkers too (The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)), but as always, there are some great films that seem to have slipped through the cracks. The following list contains more films (and some repeats from my previous article) that I feel have either skipped deserved critical acclaim, or escaped popular consciousness.


5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)

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5 Centimeters Per Second is a 2007 Japanese animated feature film by Makoto Shinkai and is separated into three parts spanning the life of Takaki

Why It’s Underrated

Other than the beautiful art and scenery of the film, the central theme of distance in 5 Centimeters Per Second is incredibly well executed and fills the viewer with a longing for something more.

In Act 1: Cherry Blossom, a young Takaki befriends Akari who then moves far away. A heart struck Takaki takes the long journey to visit Akari by train and the two share their first kiss. After they spend the night together stranded in a shed, Takaki realises that they will never be together again due to their physical distance.

In Act 2: Cosmonaut, a now teenage Takaki has become an honorable young man – attracting the attention of the sweet Tanegashima. Although he clearly likes her, he is unable to allow himself to be with her because he is still in love with Akari. This act portrays emotional distance, and does a fantastic job of making our hearts feel for both Takaki and Tanegashima.

In Act 3: 5 Centimeters Per Second, Takaki is now a man working a programming job in Tokyo while unknown to him, Akari is preparing for her marriage to another man. Although Akari still thinks of Takaki from time to time, she has clearly been able to move on while Takaki slowly spirals down into depression. This act is about the distance of time.

8 Mile (2002)

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8 Mile is about a young white rapper (Eminem) growing up in the slums of Detroit as he struggles for respect among his (mostly black) peers.

Why It’s Underrated

Despite making the previous list and being very well recieved (Won an Oscar), this just seems to be a movie that everyone has forgotten about. Eminem was phenomenal in his role as ‘B-Rabbit’, the story was compelling, and the whole films just did a great job at seeming ‘authentic’. Even now, most people I know believe that it was based on the actual true story of Eminems life. Hell, first link in Google when typing in “Is 8 Mile a true story” is this Yahoo! Answers page. Although a lot of the themes of the movie were certainly relevant to Eminems personal life and rise to success, the movie was not actually about his life.

Boiler Room (2000)

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A college dropout gets a job as a broker for a suburban investment firm which puts him on the fast track to success, but the job might not be as legitimate as it sounds.

Why It’s Underrated

Great casting, compelling characters, and the American Dream.

Boiler Room also has some of my favourite movie speeches (mainly from Ben Affleck) that are sure to get even the laziest of us motivated to do go out and make money!

Catch Me If You Can

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A true story about Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor.

Why It’s Underrated

Although this is another movie that made my previous list, I added it again mainly due to the amazing combination of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. DiCaprio especially was simply amazing in this role, and the screenplay was extremely well written.

Chaos Theory (2008)

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Ryan Reynolds plays an obsessively organized loving father and husband  who is kicked out of his home after his wife finds out he may have fathered a child while away on business.

Why It’s Underrated

There are really two reasons why I think this movie stands out for me. The first is the amazing dynamic between the characters portrayed by Ryan Reynolds, Emily Mortimer, and Stuart Townsend.

The second is a very powerful scene involving Reynolds where he [spoiler] gets a genetic test to prove that the child is not his and that he has never cheated. The test comes back with 100% certainty that the child is not his because he is sterile. It the raw pain and emotion exuded from Reynolds as he realises that the daughter he loves and raised is not his. [/spoiler]

Mouse over the black box to reveal spoiler

The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

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Based on the Alexandre Dumas novel of the same name, The Count of Monte Cristo is the greatest tale of revenge.

Why It’s Underrated

Not only do I think that this is Guy Pierces greatest performance to date, but I also think that in spite of the numerous changes to the story, The Count of Monte Cristo is one of the best film adaptations around. Jay Wolpert (screenwriter) deliberately rewrote the Dumas story so that Mondego and Dantes started out as best friends; his logic was that it would be a ‘buddy’ film that turned sinister. Wolpert believed that when a friendship soured, the hate generated was both more terrible and more believable.

This is both one of my favourite stories and movies of all time and I strongly recommend a re watch for those that have already seen it.

Howls Moving Castle (2004)

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This animated Hayo Miyazaki movie is about when an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking home.

Why It’s Underrated

Although very popular to fans of animation or Miyazaki, the average person has probably never even heard of this movie even if they have heard of Miyazaki’s more famous Spirited Away (2001).

This movie is based in a unique, interesting, and vastly beautiful word, and even has Billy Crystal voicing a major character. Even if you aren’t into animation I’d still give this wonderful film a watch.

Iron Will (1994)

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This Disney movie is about the young man Will, who after losing his parents competes in one of the most harsh races in the world.

Why It’s Underrated

Sadly unappreciated, it’s hard to even find someone else who has seen this movie! At it’s heart, Iron Will is a story about a man and his dogs, and how you can accomplish amazing feats if you put your mind towards it and don’t give up.

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

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Separated into three stories, The Place Beyond the Pines starts Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Eva Mendes. The first of the three parts begins with a motorcycle stunt rider (Gosling) turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover (Mendes) and their newborn child.

Why It’s Underrated

A very powerful movie with fantastic performances by all involved. The movie makes you question the importance of blood family, and how your decisions affect those around you. I really cannot say much more without spoilers, so just trust me on this one!

Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (2011)

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A fisheries expert (Ewan McGregor) is approached by a consultant (Emily Blunt) to help realize a sheik’s (Amr Waked) vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert and embarks on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible possible.

Why It’s Underrated

Despite being a more slower paced and ‘boring’ movie than the rest on this list,  Salmon Fishing In The Yemen has an amazing cast (I might be biased due to being madly in love with Emily Blunt), with an interesting albeit slow paced story. The draw for me was how real the main characters were.

Stuck In Love (2012)


An acclaimed writer (Greg Kinnear), his ex-wife (Jennifer Connelly), and their teenaged children come to terms with the complexities of love in all its forms over the course of one tumultuous year

Why It’s Underrated

Interesting story and superb casting. Both Lily Collins and Logan Lerman were believable, and of course Greg Kinnear was spot on. Stuck In Love contained witty banter and drama that felt real and believable (which is so rare today) instead of forced.


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Upside Down

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