21st Century’s 100 Best Movies That Are Overlooked

Yes, The Shawshank Redemption and Mulholland Drive are both fantastic movies, but what is the point of reminding you of that in every list?

Beyond frequent cult overstatements and box office revenue correlations, we decided to count down the 100 best and most unjustly little-known movies. A list of real suggestions you can make your way through.

Our purpose at agoodmovietowatch is to reference movies you haven’t yet seen, that you can watch immediately and love. To do this, we only recommend movies that have received a high rating on IMDb combined with a high score on Rotten Tomatoes. This means that these movies have been appreciated by both critics and viewers, so you can trust that they’re awesome. We also only suggest movies that didn’t make a huge splash at the box office or which didn’t get the attention they deserved, so there is little chance you have already seen them.

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Okja (2017)

Director Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer) does something quite amazing with the $50 million budget Netflix gave him: he makes a simplistic movie. But man, is it good. Okja tells the story of a “super pig” experiment that sends genetically modified pigs to top farmers around the world. In Korea, a farmer’s granddaughter forms a special relationship with one of these super pigs (Okja). When the company who originally ran the experiment want their pig back (performances by Jake Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton) – the two find an ally in an animal advocacy group led by Jay (Paul Dano). This is a straightforward movie, but nevertheless it is entertaining and full of thought-provoking themes and performances from an excellent cast.

(agoodmovietowatch)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction
Actor: Ahn Seo-hyun, An Seo Hyun, Andreas Fronk, Barbara Wallace, Bettina Skye, Byun Hee-bong, Byun Heebong, Choi Woo-shik, Cory Gruter-Andrew, Daniel Henshall, David Bloom, Devon Bostick, Faith Logan, Giancarlo Esposito, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Lee Bong-ryeon, Lee Jung-eun, Lily Collins, Lynn Marocola, Park Keun-rok, Paul Dano, Rebecca Husain, Seo-Hyun Ahn, Shirley Henderson, Steven Garr, Steven Yeun, Tilda Swinton, Waris Ahluwalia, Woo Shik Choi, Yoon Je Moon, Yoon Kyung-ho
Director: Bong Joon-ho, Joon-ho Bong
Rating: TV-MA
Train to Busan (2016)

A zombie virus breaks out and catches up with a father as he is taking his daughter from Seoul to Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city. Watch them trying to survive to reach their destination, a purported safe zone.

The acting is spot-on; the set pieces are particularly well choreographed. You’ll care about the characters. You’ll feel for the father as he struggles to keep his humanity in the bleakest of scenarios.

It’s a refreshingly thrilling disaster movie, a perfect specimen of the genre.

(Juan Manuel)
Genre: Action, Drama, Horror, Thriller
Actor: Ahn So-hee, An So-hee, Cha Chung-hwa, Chang-hwan Kim, Choi Gwi-hwa, Choi Woo-shik, Dong-seok Ma, Eui-sung Kim, Gong Yoo, Han Ji-eun, Jang Hyuk-jin, Jeong Seok-yong, Jung Seok-yong, Jung Yu-mi, Kim Eui-sung, Kim Jae-rok, Kim Soo-ahn, Kim Soo-an, Kim Su-an, Lee Joo-sil, Lee Joong-ok, Ma Dong-seok, Park Myung-shin, Shim Eun-kyung, Sohee, Soo-an Kim, Woo-sik Choi, Ye Soo-jung, Yeon Sang-ho, Yoo Gong, Yu-mi Jeong, Yu-mi Jung
Director: Sang-ho Yeon, Yeon Sang-ho
Rating: Not Rated

Free Watching Options:

Watch Train to Busan (2016) on Hulu for free
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017)

Don’t worry.

Adam Sandler doesn’t suck here.

This is a beautiful family comedy directed by Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha, The Squid and the Whale). 

Sandler plays a recently divorced man (as he tends to do) called Danny (as he’s usually called). Danny moves in with his father, played by Dustin Hoffman, who himself is dealing with feelings of failure.

Both of them are joined by other members of the family, including Danny’s half-brother, played by Ben Stiller. Their family dynamics are portrayed in a beautiful and sometimes moving way. Director Baumbach proves he’s so good, he can make even Adam Sandler sound and look genuine.

(agoodmovietowatch)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Adam David Thompson, Adam Driver, Adam Sandler, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Ben Stiller, Candice Bergen, Carlos Jacott, Cindy Cheung, Danny Flaherty, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Marvel, Emma Thompson, Gayle Rankin, Grace Van Patten, Greta Gerwig, Jared Sandler, Josh Hamilton, Judd Hirsch, Lyne Renee, Mandy Siegfried, Michael Chernus, Mickey Sumner, Rebecca Miller, Sakina Jaffrey, Sigourney Weaver
Director: Noah Baumbach
Rating: TV-MA
Contratiempo (2016)

This movie is like thriller-candy. It is full of twists, it is very atmospheric, and in nicely predictable fashion it will deliver that excitement rush we (most of us) love. Accused of murder, a wealthy entrepreneur hires the best witness preparation expert he can find. They have three hours before the trial to come up with the most solid, plausible defence. But ?, a new witness surfaces. Don’t expect anything overly original, but expect to be entertained.

(agoodmovietowatch)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Actor: Ana Wagener, Annick Weerts, Barbara Lennie, David Selvas, Francesc Orella, Iñigo Gastesi, José Coronado, Mario Casas, Oriol Paulo, Paco Tous, Pere Brasó
Director: Oriol Paulo
Rating: N/A
Blindspotting (2018)

It’s hard to pin point exactly what makes this movie so good. It’s an all-around “movie” movie. I think it can be called a buddy comedy because it is about two best friends who are also movers. It’s about their day-to-day, their families and their relationships. They’re both from the underclass of Oakland, and one of them is black, the other is white. And that’s where it stops being a comedy and becomes a more hard-hitting film. It illustrates gentrification better than any other movie I’ve ever seen. It has relevant and striking commentary on the main characters’ race, upbringing, and identity. But at the end of the day, it has a great plot, and for the most part it’s an easy-flowing movie. It’s half entertainment, half social commentary, and both parts are equally well-done. It’s like movie unicorn, and it’s perfection. One of the two friends is played by Daveed Diggs, who you might know from Hamilton.

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Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Carlos López Estrada, Casey Adams, Charles Johnson, Daveed Diggs, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Ethan Embry, Janina Gavankar, Jasmine Cephas-Jones, Jon Chaffin, Jonathan Groff, Justin Chu Cary, Kendra Andrews, Kevin Carroll, Leland Orser, Nyambi Nyambi, Rafael Casal, Steven Wiig, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Wayne Knight, Zack Duhame
Director: Carlos López Estrada
Rating: R
Mid90s (2018)

It wouldn't be too far of a reach to evoke Kids (1995) while diving into Mid90s. But instead of taking on the HIV crisis, Mid90s is a much more tender, poignant reflection on coming of age in 90's skate culture. Jonah Hill, writer and director, examines the complexities of trying to fit in and the difficult choices one has to embrace individualism. From an opening of physical abuse to scenes of drug usage and traumatic experiences, Mid90s is a meditation not only on culture, but also a subtle examination of what it means to be human, to reach emotional and physical limitations, and to seek acceptance. Filmed in a 4:3 aspect ratio, Mid90s doesn't concern itself with grandiose filmography, but instead the aspect ratio almost reflects the tonal and metaphorical aspects played out on screen. With a smaller dynamic range of color and the familiar dust/scratches, the 16mm film compliments gritty and emotional moments of Mid90s. The emotional range of the film will take the audience from the depths of empathy to laughing out loud, but there is no compromise to the weight of each moment. Jonah Hill's directorial debut is beautiful in every sense of the word.

(Jeremy Flick)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Alexa Demie, Fig Camila Abner, Gio Galicia, Harmony Korine, Jerrod Carmichael, Jonah Hill, Katherine Waterston, Liana Perlich, Lucas Hedge, Lucas Hedges, Na-kel Smith, Olan Prenatt, Ryder McLaughlin, Sunny Suljic
Director: Jonah Hill
Rating: R

Free Watching Options:

Watch Mid90s (2018) on Showtime for free
American Animals (2018)

This crazy heist movie is told in a very original way. Because it's based on a true story, the movie (with actors and a story) is sometimes interrupted by the people it's about. The opening scene even reads: "this movie is not based on a true story, it is a true story". Two friends decide to rob their local library from rare books worth millions. They're driven by money but also by wanting something different than their monotonous everyday lives in Kentucky. The need for a change is a big theme in this movie, but the story and the way it's told never cease to be breathtakingly thrilling. American Animals stars amazing actors like Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk), Evan Peters (Kick-Ass), and many more; but perhaps equally as notable is the director: Bart Layton, who is fresh from his amazing 2012 sleeper-hit The Imposter.

(agoodmovietowatch)
Genre: Crime, Documentary, Drama, Mystery
Actor: Ann Dowd, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Drew Starkey, Elijah Everett, Eric Borsuk, Evan Peters, Gary Basaraba, Gretchen Koerner, Jane McNeill, Jared Abrahamson, Karen Wheeling Reynolds, Lara Grice, Pamela Mitchell, Spencer Reinhard, Udo Kier, Warren Lipka, Wayne Duvall
Director: Bart Layton
Rating: R

Free Watching Options:

Watch American Animals (2018) on Hulu for free
Borg vs. McEnroe (2017)

Shia Laboeuf and Stellan Skarsgård star in this true story about one of the greatest tennis matches in history: the 1980 Wimbledon final. The movie dissects what drives both competitors (one played by Laboeuf and the other by Sverrir Gudnason). Their personalities, considered opposites, are studied through their paths and how they got into tennis. All this leads to that one match, in this beautiful story of dealing with competition and fear of failure. Don’t stop watching when the credits roll, read what they say!

(agoodmovietowatch)
Genre: Drama, History
Actor: Bjorn Granath, Colin Stinton, Dag Malmberg, David Bamber, Ian Blackman, Iva Šindelková, Jackson Gann, James Sobol Kelly, Jane Perry, Leo Borg, Marcus Mossberg, Mats Blomgren, Robert Emms, Scott Arthur, Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård, Sverrir Gudnason, Thomas Hedengran, Tuva Novotny, Wille Glyt
Director: Janus Metz, Janus Metz Pedersen
Rating: R

Free Watching Options:

Watch Borg vs. McEnroe (2017) on Showtime for free
Handsome Devil (2016)

I can’t get a song out of my head from this movie: the 1985 UK hit Desire As from Prefab Sprout.

It plays when the two main characters, a sensitive kid who’s bullied by his school for not liking rugby, and the school’s rugby star; talk over the “Berlin Wall” that separates their dorm room.

The song echoes “It's perfect as it stands, so why then crush it in your perfect hands?”. These two seemingly incompatible personalities form a friendship that comes under threat from their school’s traditional authority, especially as one of them is revealed to be gay. 

It might seem like a tough premise, but Handsome Devil is actually a comedy. It’s a sweet and easy coming-of-age comedy.

(agoodmovietowatch)
Genre: Drama
Actor: Amy Huberman, Andrew Scott, Ardal O'Hanlon, Ardal O'Hanlon, Fionn O'Shea, Fionn O'Shea, Hugh O'Conor, Jamie Hallahan, Jay Duffy, John Butler, Mark Lavery, Michael McElhatton, Moe Dunford, Nicholas Galitzine, Ruairí OConnor, Ruairi O'Connor
Director: John Butler
Rating: N/A
We the Animals (2018)

Three half-Puerto-Rican, half-white boys grow up in suburban New York in this personal movie shot on stunning 16mm film.

This movie follows the boys, often literally with the camera behind their backs, as their parents’ relationship goes through turmoil. The kids are often left unattended and have to fend for themselves. The beauty of We the Animals is illustrating how they grow-up swinging between the angry character of their father and the protective nature of their mother.

This is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time, and I think I loved it so much because I was able to relate and feel for the main character (one of the boys). I really hope you will too.

(agoodmovietowatch)
Genre: Drama
Actor: Evan Rosado, Giovanni Pacciarelli, Isaiah Kristian, Josiah Gabriel, Mickey Anthony, Moe Isaac, Raúl Castillo, Sheila Vand, Terry Holland, Tom Malley
Director: Jeremiah Zagar
Rating: R

More lists

A quick recap

Split by genre of this selection on agoodmovietowatch.com
Comedy
46
Drama
185
Documentary
182
Romance
25
Average score
67.3%
from our staff
Average score
85.3%
from our users
There are
99
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