Monday Movie List ~ Underrated Films

There are quite a few films that I think are truly great but seem to be consistently overlooked by a majority of moviegoers. Here are some of my favorites:
Jakob the Liar — A truly touching story of a Jewish man living in a Polish ghetto during World War II and his efforts to spread hope among his community when there is little to be found. Featuring Robin Williams in a dramatic role, as well as a wonderful turn by Liev Schreiber.
In Bruges — Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell play two Irish hit men laying low in the medieval city of Bruges in Belgium. What begins as ridiculous and funny turns into a sweet and touching story of regret and forgiveness. There’s a reason Farrell won awards for this film.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind — A quirky love story starring Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey (with a fantastic dramatic performance) in which a couple has their memories of each other erased after a bad break-up. It’s the actors’ inspired performances that make this movie so special.
Benny & Joon — There’s simply nothing greater than Johnny Depp channeling Buster Keaton and Mary Stuart Masterson as the mentally-challenged girl who is the object of his affection. Aidan Quinn and Julianne Moore add even more depth and joy to this simple story.
Bringing Up Baby — Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant and a domesticated leopard called ‘Baby’. It’s as goofy and quirky and cheery as any of their individual films, and it features some of my favorite one-liners. Classic Kate Hepburn humor and Cary Grant charm.
Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken — It’s a little schmaltzy and a lot heartwarming, but this film about the symbiotic relationship between a young woman and a diving horse is truly sweet and features a great cast including Gabrielle Anwar, Cliff Robertson, and Michael Schoeffling (the one and only Jake Ryan!).
The New World — Terrence Malick’s exquisite retelling of the English settling of Jamestown and the relationship that develops between Captain John Smith and native Pocahontas. The film is ethereal and powerful and beautiful from start to finish, with rich performances by Colin Farrell, Christian Bale, and then-newcomer Q’orianka Kilcher as the Powhatan princess.
The Mosquito Coast — Harrison Ford plays an eccentric but failed inventor who picks up his family and moves off the grid to a jungle in Central America. My dad finds great inspiration in the man’s desire to create for himself a greater civilization than the one he left behind. Ford’s performance is a reminder that he truly is a gifted actor with more in his bag of tricks than just heroes.
The Count of Monte Cristo — The story is a classic, but it’s the performances of Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce that make this film so engaging. It’s what every historical should aspire to become.
The Quick and the Dead — Sam Raimi’s gritty western starring Sharon Stone as a woman seeking revenge and Gene Hackman as the object of her ire, with a truly nuanced pre-Gladiator performance by Russell Crowe as well as a great turn by Leonardo DiCaprio as a cocky young gunslinger trying to make a name for himself. There are layers in this story that are revealed little by little until the very end.
Rounders — Edward Norton and Matt Damon give this film its depth, and no matter how many times I watch it, I always see something new in their performances. On the one hand it’s a cautionary tale, and on the other it’s a story of the magnitude of friendship. Besides that, it’s just pretty cool at times.
Gattaca — I consider this film one of Ethan Hawke’s very best, though few have taken the time to see it. It’s technically a science fiction story in that it’s set in a future when genetics can be manipulated to create “ideal” children and anyone born with anomalies is treated as a second-class citizen. Hawke teams with Jude Law in order to transcend societal limitations and achieve his forbidden dreams. Despite a cold and sterile look to much of the film, it’s filled with heart and depth and a strong warning about technological advancements.

this topic was borrowed from the Monday Movie Meme on The Bumbles Blog

About Jules Q

sharing stories of life, faith, and love for pop culture

Posted on 13 September 2010, in What I Watch and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great variety here! I’ve seen maybe half of these so I need to step it up! I really enjoyed your summaries… Nicely done!!



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