The 100 Must-Watch Movies You Haven’t Yet Seen

Far too often, cinematic masterpieces get overlooked –– and it’s us cinema lovers who suffer the loss. While some can’t seem to draw crowds upon their box office release, others simply don’t get the critical attention they merit. Whatever the reason, the result is that the streaming landscape is overflowing with hidden treasures that deserve to be unearthed, enjoyed, and duly celebrated. From political thrillers to quirky romances and everything in between, we’ve rounded up the top 100 underrated movies that are on their way to becoming cult classics. 

I Lost My Body

Two storylines take place in this Parisian animation: one of a Moroccan immigrant who works as a pizza delivery guy, and the other of his hand, somehow no longer part of his body, but also going on a trip around Paris.

The hand storyline is not gory by the way, except for one or two very quick scenes. Mostly, this is a film about loneliness and not being able to find your way back, both as an immigrant who misses how they were raised and as a hand who misses its body.

Sporting some of the most beautiful animation work this year, this movie premiered at Cannes where it became the first-ever animated film (and Netflix film) to win the Nespresso Grand Prize.

(agoodmovietowatch)
Genre: Animation
Actor: Alia Shawkat, Dev Patel, George Wendt, Hakim Faris, Jérémy Clapin, Jérémy Clapin, Patrick d'Assumçao, Victoire Du Bois
Director: Jérémy Clapin, Jérémy Clapin
Rating: TV-MA
A Hidden Life (2019)

Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life) is back in full form with this three-hour movie based on a true story. His creation has one of the most beautiful depictions of happiness ever seen in film, portraying the simple yet joyous life of a farmer in the Austrian mountains. You'd have to see it for yourself to understand, but how Malick depicts this character's love for his wife (and her love for him), their children, and even their farming rituals are nothing short of cinematic wizardry. 

This peaceful existence changes when World War 2 intensifies and this farmer is called to serve for the Nazis. He refuses to enroll out of principle and puts himself and his family at great danger and alienation from their village. The question at the center of the film is one that other villagers and the church ask him a lot: what good can his actions do? And the title of the movie is taken from A George Eliot quote: "The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."

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Genre: Drama, History, War
Actor: Alexander Fehling, Alexander Radszun, August Diehl, Bruno Ganz, Dimo Alexiev, Franz Rogowski, Joel Basman, Johan Leysen, Johannes Nussbaum, Jürgen Prochnow, Karin Neuhäuser, Karl Markovics, Maria Simon, Mark Waschke, Martin Wuttke, Matthias Schoenaerts, Max Malatesta, Max Mauff, Michael Nyqvist, Michael Steinocher, Monika Lennartz, Moritz Katzmair, Nicholas Reinke, Sophie Rois, Tobias Moretti, Ulrich Brandhoff, Ulrich Matthes, Valerie Pachner, Waldemar Kobus, Wolfgang Michael
Director: Terrence Malick
Rating: PG-13
Warehoused (2015)

When Sr. Lino started his warehouse job, he had to work for 11 years before being able to sit down during work hours. This is because there was one chair, and he had to wait for his more senior colleague to retire before he could have his turn.

Now, many years later, he’s about to retire. A new recruit is sent to replace him just five days before he leaves. Sr. Lino is disgruntled that the new kid will only have to stand for five days, but on the second day, the kid brings a chair from home and sits.

Warehoused is a comedy about these two characters with completely different personalities as they interact during the few days left in Sr. Lino’s career. The most interesting thing is perhaps how little seems to happen: the warehouse is empty, unvisited, and yet religiously maintained by Sr. Lino.

It’s such a joy to watch the two actors carry this movie. And behind the funny and simple premise, there is a lot that this movie tries to deal with: deceit and lies, the weight of modern working life, and more.

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Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Hoze Meléndez, Jack Zagha Kababie, José Carlos Ruiz
Director: Jack Zagha Kababie
Rating: N/A, Not Rated
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

This unique romance is set during a time when a man would be sent the painting of the woman he was to marry before the wedding could take place. Héloïse, secluded with her mother and a maid on a remote island, doesn't approve of her upcoming wedding and refuses to be painted. Her mother sends for a new painter, Marianne, to try to paint her without her noticing. Marianne has to take on this near-impossible task when she starts having feelings for Héloïse. This makes for a riveting romance where Marianne has to choose between her heart and her art while keeping a huge secret from her love interest.

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Genre: Drama, Romance
Actor: Adèle Haenel, Christel Baras, Luàna Bajrami, Noémie Merlant, Valeria Golino
Director: Céline Sciamma
Rating: R

Free Watching Options:

Watch Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) on Hulu for free
Rosie (2019)

This emotional and moving story is about a mother of four who is forced into homelessness in Dublin. With her husband working in a demanding restaurant job, Rosie is left to take care of the children while trying to find anything resembling accommodation. She starts by seeking the help of the city council, but every facility she calls is full or refuses to welcome them.

As a viewer, the heartbreaking reality of the situation sinks in quickly: Rosie and her husband are priced out and there are too many people in their condition. Their car doesn't fit them. But to her children, relatives, and school officials, Rosie keeps up appearances and doesn't compromise on her overwhelming child care tasks. 

Genre: Drama
Actor: Lochlann O'Mearáin, Moe Dunford, Sarah Greene
Director: Paddy Breathnach
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2010)

Get ready for one hell of a journey. From the writer of City of God, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within is a poignant and powerful action-packed movie. Set in Brazil, the film follows two seemingly opposed characters (one a police officer, one a professor) as they both work to treat the systemic social ills that corrupt the country. As much a social commentary as it is an action-packed drama (think The Departed and The Wire), Elite Squad will take you on a whirlwind journey that will leave you considering the larger issues of poverty, crime, and "doing good" in the world.

(Andrew Ninnemann)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Actor: Andre Mattos, André Ramiro, Caio Junqueira, Charles Fricks, Irandhir Santos, Juliana Schalch, Maria Ribeiro, Milhem Cortaz, Pedro Van-Held, Prazeres Barbosa, Sandro Rocha, Seu Jorge, Taina Muller, Wagner Moura
Director: José Padilha
Rating: Not Rated, Unrated
The Whistleblower (2010)

Based on a true story, The Whistleblower is the biography of a once Nebraskan police officer who volunteers for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in post-war Bosnia. Once there, she uncovers a human trafficking scandal involving peacekeeping officials, and finds herself alone against a hostile system in a devastated country. Rachel Weisz plays the whistleblower in a powerful lead role, but the true star of the movie is its director, Larysa Kondracki, who thanks to near documentary-style film-making delivers a perfectly executed political thriller with utmost authenticity.

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Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Actor: Alexandru Potocean, Alin Panc, Benedict Cumberbatch, Danny John-Jules, David Hewlett, David Strathairn, Jeanette Hain, Liam Cunningham, Luke Treadaway, Monica Bellucci, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Paula Schramm, Pilou Asbæk, Rachel Weisz, Rayisa Kondracki, Sergej Trifunović, Stuart Graham, Vanessa Redgrave, Vlad Ivanov, William Hope
Director: Larysa Kondracki
Rating: R

Free Watching Options:

Watch The Whistleblower (2010) on Fubo for free
The Florida Project (2017)

Every once in a while there are movies that expand the definition of quality film-making. This is one of those movies.

Here is an incredible, yet delicate film that follows three children from poor families who are stuck living in subpar motels. Their lives and friendships are portrayed with honesty and precise aesthetics. It’s a story that at first seems as plot-free as life itself.

It succeeds in capturing an innocence that is usually reserved to a child’s imagination: a precarious living condition full of adventures and fun. It’s hard to describe it beyond that; it’s the kind of film that must be seen to be fully understood.

And it ends on a very high note.

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Genre: Drama
Actor: Aiden Malik, Bria Vinaite, Brooklynn Prince, Caleb Landry Jones, Christopher Rivera, Jim R. Coleman, Josie Olivo, Karren Karagulian, Macon Blair, Sabina Friedman-Seitz, Valeria Cotto, Willem Dafoe
Director: Sean Baker
Rating: R
My Happy Family (2017)

This movie is a dramatic masterpiece and a tribute to loving middle-aged women everywhere. It is unparalleled in the way it portrays its characters and the subtlety with which it tells their stories. The events are centered around a 52-year-old Georgian woman who decides to leave her family home and live alone without much of a notice. She trades chaos and domestic disputes for solitude, and the prospect of sad old age for an opportunity to build a new life for herself. In other words, she trades being the secondary character to her mother, husband, and children, to being the hero of her own story. A genuine and beautiful film. If like me you grew up with a mother who sacrificed everything for you, this will hit very close to home.

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Genre: Drama
Actor: Berta Khapava, Dimitri Oragvelidze, Giorgi Khurtsilava, Giorgi Tabidze, Goven Cheishvili, Ia Shugliashvili, Mariam Bokeria, Merab Ninidze, Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Gross, Tsisia Qumsishvili
Director: Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Groß
Rating: N/A
303 (2018)

A sweet and romantic German movie about two Berliners who meet randomly and go on a road trip to the south of Europe. It might seem like a silly premise but it's actually a philosophical movie, one that feels very realistic. The two characters debate human nature, politics, relationships, etc; almost throughout their trip. And they're played by excellent newcomers who ooze charisma and make the question of what will happen between them incredibly thrilling.

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Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Actor: Anton Spieker, Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey, Caroline Erikson, Mala Emde
Director: Hans Weingartner
Rating: Not Rated

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