Underrated, Thought-Provoking Movies

by rivertramply | created - 9 months ago | updated - 9 months ago | Public

Some of my personal favorites in no particular order Cerebral, horror, thriller, action, historical, absurdist

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1. Mr. Nobody (2009)

R | 141 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

63 Metascore

A boy stands on a station platform as a train is about to leave. Should he go with his mother or stay with his father? Infinite possibilities arise from this decision. As long as he doesn't choose, anything is possible.

Director: Jaco Van Dormael | Stars: Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh-Dan Pham

Votes: 230,205 | Gross: $0.00M

2. Pi (1998)

R | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

72 Metascore

A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman, Pamela Hart

Votes: 177,107 | Gross: $3.22M

3. The Fountain (2006)

PG-13 | 97 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

51 Metascore

As a modern-day scientist, Tommy is struggling with mortality, desperately searching for the medical breakthrough that will save the life of his cancer-stricken wife, Izzi.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Sean Patrick Thomas, Ellen Burstyn

Votes: 237,259 | Gross: $10.14M

4. Requiem for a Dream (2000)

R | 102 min | Drama

68 Metascore

The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans

Votes: 821,342 | Gross: $3.64M

5. Agora (2009)

R | 127 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

55 Metascore

A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, concerning a slave who turns to the rising tide of Christianity in the hope of pursuing freedom while falling in love with his mistress, the philosophy and mathematics professor Hypatia of Alexandria.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Rachel Weisz, Max Minghella, Oscar Isaac, Ashraf Barhom

Votes: 69,398 | Gross: $0.62M

6. Girl, Interrupted (1999)

R | 127 min | Biography, Drama

51 Metascore

Based on writer Susanna Kaysen's account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the late 1960s.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Clea DuVall, Brittany Murphy

Votes: 180,972 | Gross: $28.87M

7. Thirteen (2003)

R | 100 min | Drama

70 Metascore

A thirteen-year-old girl's relationship with her mother is put to the test as she discovers drugs, sex, and petty crime in the company of her cool but troubled best friend.

Director: Catherine Hardwicke | Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter, Nikki Reed, Vanessa Hudgens

Votes: 86,285 | Gross: $4.60M

8. Her (2013)

R | 126 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

91 Metascore

In a near future, a lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with an operating system designed to meet his every need.

Director: Spike Jonze | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara

Votes: 593,091 | Gross: $25.57M

9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

R | 108 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

89 Metascore

When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.

Director: Michel Gondry | Stars: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, Gerry Robert Byrne

Votes: 981,613 | Gross: $34.40M

10. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

98 Metascore

In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú

Votes: 656,547 | Gross: $37.63M

11. The Color Purple (1985)

PG-13 | 154 min | Drama

78 Metascore

A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery

Votes: 85,437 | Gross: $98.47M

12. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

PG-13 | 146 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards

Votes: 304,195 | Gross: $78.62M

13. Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

PG-13 | 145 min | Drama, Romance

54 Metascore

Nitta Sayuri reveals how she transcended her fishing-village roots and became one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.

Director: Rob Marshall | Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh, Suzuka Ohgo

Votes: 147,118 | Gross: $57.49M

14. Schindler's List (1993)

R | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History

94 Metascore

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall

Votes: 1,317,175 | Gross: $96.90M

15. The Theory of Everything (2014)

PG-13 | 123 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

71 Metascore

A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior, Sophie Perry

Votes: 440,565 | Gross: $35.89M

16. The Danish Girl (2015)

R | 119 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

66 Metascore

A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda's marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili's groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Amber Heard, Ben Whishaw

Votes: 181,759 | Gross: $11.11M

17. Trainspotting (1996)

R | 93 min | Drama

83 Metascore

Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd

Votes: 674,201 | Gross: $16.50M

18. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

R | 119 min | Comedy, Drama

87 Metascore

A washed-up superhero actor attempts to revive his fading career by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway production.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough

Votes: 618,268 | Gross: $42.34M

19. Frank (II) (2014)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

75 Metascore

Jon, a young wanna-be musician, discovers he's bitten off more than he can chew when he joins an eccentric pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank.

Director: Lenny Abrahamson | Stars: Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Moira Brooker

Votes: 78,524 | Gross: $0.64M

20. Dead Poets Society (1989)

PG | 128 min | Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

Maverick teacher John Keating uses poetry to embolden his boarding school students to new heights of self-expression.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles

Votes: 472,458 | Gross: $95.86M

21. Into the Wild (2007)

R | 148 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

73 Metascore

After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.

Director: Sean Penn | Stars: Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener, Marcia Gay Harden

Votes: 612,306 | Gross: $18.35M

22. The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

PG-13 | 126 min | Drama, Romance

69 Metascore

Two teenage cancer patients begin a life-affirming journey to visit a reclusive author in Amsterdam.

Director: Josh Boone | Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern

Votes: 368,943 | Gross: $124.87M

23. Baby Driver (2017)

R | 113 min | Action, Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.

Director: Edgar Wright | Stars: Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Eiza González

Votes: 512,884 | Gross: $107.83M

24. The Machinist (2004)

R | 101 min | Drama, Thriller

61 Metascore

An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity.

Director: Brad Anderson | Stars: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, John Sharian

Votes: 382,158 | Gross: $1.08M

25. Good Will Hunting (1997)

R | 126 min | Drama, Romance

70 Metascore

Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 938,074 | Gross: $138.43M

26. Swiss Army Man (2016)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

64 Metascore

A hopeless man stranded on a deserted island befriends a dead body, and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.

Directors: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert | Stars: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Antonia Ribero

Votes: 117,213 | Gross: $4.21M

27. The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)

TV-MA | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

55 Metascore

A man suffering a family loss enrolls in a class about care-giving that changes his perspective on life.

Director: Rob Burnett | Stars: Craig Roberts, Paul Rudd, Selena Gomez, Alex Huff

Votes: 71,595

28. American History X (1998)

R | 119 min | Drama

62 Metascore

A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.

Director: Tony Kaye | Stars: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Lien

Votes: 1,096,817 | Gross: $6.72M

29. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

74 Metascore

An artificial man, who was incompletely constructed and has scissors for hands, leads a solitary life. Then one day, a suburban lady meets him and introduces him to her world.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall

Votes: 478,032 | Gross: $56.36M

30. A Scanner Darkly (2006)

R | 100 min | Animation, Comedy, Crime

73 Metascore

An undercover cop in a not-too-distant future becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr., Rory Cochrane

Votes: 111,100 | Gross: $5.50M

31. Beetlejuice (1988)

PG | 92 min | Comedy, Fantasy

70 Metascore

The spirits of a deceased couple are harassed by an unbearable family that has moved into their home, and hire a malicious spirit to drive them out.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Annie McEnroe

Votes: 291,578 | Gross: $73.71M

32. Ink (I) (2009)

Not Rated | 107 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

A mysterious creature, known as Ink, steals a child's soul in hopes of using it as a bargaining chip to join the Incubi - the group of supernatural beings responsible for creating nightmares.

Director: Jamin Winans | Stars: Christopher Soren Kelly, Quinn Hunchar, Jessica Duffy, Jennifer Batter

Votes: 21,663

33. The Voices (2014)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime, Fantasy

58 Metascore

A likable guy pursues his office crush with help from his evil talking pets, but things turn sinister when she stands him up for a date.

Director: Marjane Satrapi | Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, Jacki Weaver

Votes: 57,470

34. Bug (2006)

R | 102 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

62 Metascore

An unhinged war veteran holes up with a lonely woman in a spooky Oklahoma motel room. The line between reality and delusion is blurred as they discover a bug infestation.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick Jr., Lynn Collins

Votes: 35,031 | Gross: $7.01M

35. Hard Candy (2005)

R | 104 min | Drama, Thriller

58 Metascore

Hayley's a smart, charming teenage girl. Jeff's a handsome, smooth fashion photographer. An Internet chat, a coffee shop meet-up, an impromptu fashion shoot back at Jeff's place. Jeff thinks it's his lucky night. He's in for a surprise.

Director: David Slade | Stars: Patrick Wilson, Elliot Page, Sandra Oh, Odessa Rae

Votes: 159,961 | Gross: $1.01M

36. An American Crime (2007)

R | 98 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

The true story of suburban housewife Gertrude Baniszewski, who kept a teenage girl locked in the basement of her Indiana home during the 1960s.

Director: Tommy O'Haver | Stars: Elliot Page, Hayley McFarland, Nick Searcy, Romy Rosemont

Votes: 34,532

37. Enemy (2013)

R | 91 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

61 Metascore

A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini

Votes: 188,732 | Gross: $1.01M

38. Mama (I) (2013)

PG-13 | 100 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

57 Metascore

After a young couple take in their two nieces, they suspect that a supernatural spirit named Mama has latched onto their family.

Director: Andy Muschietti | Stars: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nélisse

Votes: 178,729 | Gross: $71.63M

39. Spun (2002)

R | 101 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

41 Metascore

A drug dealer introduces one of his customers, a 'speed freak', to the man who runs the meth lab. A crazy three-day adventure ensues.

Director: Jonas Åkerlund | Stars: Jason Schwartzman, John Leguizamo, Patrick Fugit, Brittany Murphy

Votes: 38,767 | Gross: $0.41M

40. Try (2000)

15 min | Short, Drama

A short film about a young drug addicted couple.

Director: Jonas Åkerlund | Stars: Linda Santiago, Carl Tosterud, Max Vitali

Votes: 388

41. Speak (2004)

PG-13 | 89 min | Drama

After a blurred trauma over the summer, Melinda enters high school a selective mute. Struggling with school, friends, and family, she tells the dark tale of her experiences, and why she has chosen not to speak.

Director: Jessica Sharzer | Stars: Kristen Stewart, Elizabeth Perkins, Richard Hagerman, Allison Siko

Votes: 26,565

42. White Oleander (2002)

PG-13 | 109 min | Drama

61 Metascore

A teenager journeys through a series of foster homes after her mother goes to prison for committing a crime of passion.

Director: Peter Kosminsky | Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Renée Zellweger, Robin Wright, Alison Lohman

Votes: 32,297 | Gross: $16.35M

43. Motivational Growth (2013)

Not Rated | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Ian Folivor, a depressed and reclusive 30-something, finds himself taking advice from a growth in his bathroom after a failed suicide attempt. The Mold, a smooth talking fungus who was born... See full summary »

Director: Don Thacker | Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Adrian DiGiovanni, Danielle Doetsch, Pete Giovagnoli

Votes: 555

44. Rememory (2017)

PG-13 | 111 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi