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. 

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10.

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton (2017)

After his first serious role in The Truman Show in 1998, Jim Carrey got a shot at playing his idol, the late comedian and performance artist Andy Kaufmann, in Man on the Moon in 1999. When he got the role, a role of a lifetime, Carrey decided to honor Kaufmann's legacy by transforming into him (and his alter ego Tony Clifton) and, in true method-acting fashion, never to leave character. Jim & Andy is the result of 100 hours of behind-the-scenes footage shot at the Man on the Moon set, which was withheld for 20 years over fears of Universal Studios that people would think Carrey was an a**hole. While Carrey was a complete and utter imposition to the film's director, Miloš Forman, and everybody else on set, including Danny DeVito, his transformation (or obsession) was a unique, transformative experience for Carrey, who had been sick of fame and acting before he took on this gig. Whether you buy into this view or see it as a vanity piece of a complete maniac, this is one of the most unique and insane documentaries on Netflix. A mind-blowing portrayal of a complex mind.

(agoodmovietowatch)
Genre: Comedy, Documentary
Actor: Andy Dick, Andy Kaufman, Bob Zmuda, Carol Kane, Chris Smith, Courtney Love, Danny DeVito, David Letterman, Elton John, Hugh Hefner, Jerry Lawler, Jim Carrey, Jon Lovitz, Judd Hirsch, Michael Stipe, Milos Forman, Paul Giamatti, Peter Bonerz, Randall Carver
Director: Chris Smith
Rating: TV-MA
9.

Cold War (2018)

While barely 90 minutes long, Cold War is epic in scope and a modern testament to what cinema can be. Whether we are feasting our eyes on the decaying post-war landscape of Poland, the patinated streets of East Berlin, or the delicate magic of a historic Paris, Cold War offers its viewers meticulously staged black-and-white beauty, conceived by Polish wunderkind director Paweł Pawlikowski and his trusted cinematographer Łukasz Ża. Winner of a slew of prestigious awards, this is a film made for the silver screen, so we recommend leaving your iPhone on the table and getting your hands on the biggest screen you can muster for watching this. The plot is essentially about the obsessive attraction between musician Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and the young singer Zula (Joanna Kulig), who is recruited as the newest member of the former's state-sponsored folk music band. Cold War follows their impossible love for fourteen years and across many European countries on each side of the Iron Curtain. It is a statement on how far artists go for their art, especially when they become constrained not only by dictatorship but also love. A poetic, sexy, and gorgeous movie without a wasted moment. A work of art.

(agoodmovietowatch)
Genre: Drama, Music, Romance, War
Actor: Adam Ferency, Adam Woronowicz, Agata Kulesza, Aloïse Sauvage, Borys Szyc, Cedric Kahn, Jeanne Balibar, Joanna Kulig, Slavko Sobin, Tomasz Kot
Director: Paweł Pawlikowski
Rating: R

Free Watching Options:

Watch Cold War (2018) on Amazon Prime for free
8.

The Imposter (2012)

Simply titled The Imposter, this film by English documentary maker Bart Layton tells an unbelievable tale. Any plot summary doing this film justice has to err on the side of brevity, which is why it will be only one line long: this is the story of Frederic Bourdin, a serial imposter nicknamed “The Chameleon”, who at one time claimed to be the missing son of a family from Texas. The film is so well-shot that it is hard to tell fact from fiction at times and it will force you to remind yourself that this is in fact real life. Expect twists and turns at every corner and brilliant storytelling from real people. If Christopher Nolan created a 48-hour story, it would pale in comparison to this film.

(Tim Lozano)
Genre: Documentary, Mystery
Actor: Adam O'Brian, Adam O' Brian, Adam O'Brian, Alan Teichman, Anna Ruben, Carey Gibson, Cathy Dresbach, Charlie Parker, Frederic Bourdin, María Jesús Hoyos, Mary Twala, Nicholas Barclay
Director: Bart Layton
Rating: R
7.

Honeyland (2019)

The first movie to be nominated for both the Documentary and Foreign-Language Oscar categories and the most awarded film of the 2019 Sundance Festival, Honeyland quietly accompanies the last wild beekeepers in Europe over three years. It portrays the lonely and primordial life of Muratova, which is centered around harvesting honey according to the rules of her ancient ancestors and caring for her ailing mother.

Originally planned as an environmental documentary, this film evolved into something completely different, as it often goes with immersive documentaries, when the Macedonian directors Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov met beekeeper Hatidže. The film takes another sudden turn when Muratova's life is upended by a nomadic family settling next door, threatening her tradition, her way of life, and her natural environment.

This unbelievable cinematic journey is a feast for the eyes thanks to the amazing work done by cinematographer Samir Ljuma. However, despite the awe-inspiring imagery, Honeyland never imposes on its subject, creating an incredible intimacy with Hatidže's life and her natural environment. Breathtaking!

(agoodmovietowatch)
Genre: Documentary
Actor: Hatidze Muratova, Hussein Sam, Nazife Muratova
Director: Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska
Rating: Unrated

Free Watching Options:

Watch Honeyland (2019) on Hulu for free
6.

Icarus (2017)

Director Bryan Fogel, who you might know as the guy behind Jewtopia, initially set out to chronicle his exploration of doping to win an amateur cycling race. He starts off by reaching out to experts to help him with obtaining and administering said drugs, one of which points him towards Russian scientist Grigory Rodchenkov, the director of Russia's national anti-doping laboratory. Rodchenkov eagerly agrees to help him out.

Little did he know that his Russian acquaintance would transform Fogel film from a self-experiment documentary into a true-crime political thriller, when the scientist admits to being involved in a state-sponsored doping scheme of epic proportions on camera. Putin is obviously not amused.

Aside from all the madness that unfolds in this Netflix production, it's Rodchenkov's likeable and eccentric personality that makes the story more relatable and human as well as giving you a rare glimpse into the upper echelons of a country like Russia. As the plot thickens, one can't help but think that Fogel too is in over his head. Rightly award-winning, this is gripping stuff even if you're not into sports!

(agoodmovietowatch)
Genre: Documentary, Mystery
Actor: Bryan Fogel, Grigory Rodchenkov, Nikita Kamaev, Victor Webster
Director: Bryan Fogel
Rating: TV-MA
5.

Wind River (2017)

Phenomenal and heartbreaking, Wind River is a true masterpiece by Taylor Sheridan, the man behind Sicario and Hell or High Water. In a Native American Reservation, a local girl is found dead and a young detective (Elizabeth Olsen) tries to uncover the mystery. She is accompanied by a tracker (Jeremy Renner) with his own dark history in the community. It’s not a very rewarding movie at first, so don’t expect an incredibly fast-paced story from the get-go. However, when everything unfolds, it’s not only action-packed, its reflections on indigenous communities are deep and poignant. How this remains a relatively known movie is shocking, it has to be one of the best mysteries of the past 20 years.

(agoodmovietowatch)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Actor: Austin R. Grant, Blake Robbins, Devin Hansen, Elizabeth Olsen, Eric Lange, Gil Birmingham, Graham Greene, Hugh Dillon, Ian Bohen, James Jordan, Jeremy Renner, Jon Bernthal, Julia Jones, Kelsey Asbille, Martin Sensmeier, Mason D. Davis, Mason Davis, Matthew Del Negro, Tantoo Cardinal, Tara Karsian, Taylor Sheridan, Teo Briones
Director: Taylor Sheridan
Rating: R

Free Watching Options:

Watch Wind River (2017) on Fubo for free
4.

Captain Fantastic (2016)

Former activists Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) and his wife Leslie drop out from modern consumerist society to raise their six children in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. They teach them how to raise and kill their own food, to survive in nature through boot-camp-like workouts, and homeschool them in literature, music, and left-wing philosophy. Instead of Christmas, they celebrate Noam Chomsky's birthday. Then, one day, this unusual family life is shaken by a phone call and they are forced to leave their life of adventure to reintegrate into American life.

Directed by Matt Ross, who also brought you Good Night, and Good Luck, the film offers a poignant look at alternative living, the effects of modern technology, and the nature of good parenting. Viggo Mortensen is indeed fantastic as the grizzled father and was rightly nominated for a Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Actor. George MacKay and the entire cast of “children” also deliver terrific performances. As emotionally raw and thought-provoking as it is funny, Captain Fantastic will have the viewer decide if Ben Cash is the best father in the world or the worst.

(Anne Michaud)
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Actor: Alan Humphrey, Ann Dowd, Annalise Basso, Charlie Shotwell, Elijah Stevenson, Erin Moriarty, Frank Langella, George MacKay, Kathryn Hahn, Matt Ross, Missi Pyle, Nicholas Hamilton, Samantha Isler, Shree Crooks, Steve Zahn, Teddy Van Ee, Trin Miller, Viggo Mortensen
Director: Matt Ross
Rating: R
3.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Directed by Taika Waititi, who also gave us Boy (2010) and co-produced What We Do in the Shadows (2014), Hunt for the Wilderpeople is the quirky and magical buddy movie you want if you’re in need of an antidote to a bad day or a steady diet of sad movies.

It tells the off-kilter adventure story of misfit, rap-loving city kid Ricky Baker and his crusty and cantankerous foster parent ‘Uncle’ Hec, played by Sam Neill. ‘Very bad egg’ Ricky has been bounced out of more foster families than he cares to remember and is given one last chance of living with a couple out on a farm in rural New Zealand. After tragedy strikes early in the film, the unlikely pair gets lost in the wilderness and becomes subject to a nationwide manhunt.

Full of dead-pan humor and warm-hearted mockery, this audience favorite fuses visual gags delivered by a charming cast with sweeping shots of spectacular scenery!

(Tara Goe)
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Actor: Cohen Holloway, Hamish Parkinson, Julian Dennison, Mike Minogue, Mike Minouge, Oscar Kightley, Rachel House, Rhys Darby, Rima Te Wiata, Sam Neill, Stan Walker, Taika Waititi, Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne, Troy Kingi
Director: Taika Waititi
Rating: PG-13

Free Watching Options:

Watch Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) on Hulu for free
2.

Incendies (2011)

This French-Canadian slow-burner, written and directed by Denis Villeneuve, will pull you in with one of the best movie beginnings of all time – and its outstanding ending will leave you shaken. To fulfill their mother’s last wish after her sudden death in Montreal, the two twins Jeanne and Simon must travel separately to an unnamed Middle-Eastern country (with strong resemblances to civil-war-torn Lebanon) to deliver letters to close relatives they never knew they had.

The twins’ quest into a dark and staggering family history makes them experience themselves and the violence of war like they had never imagined. Their ordeal is interrupted by a series of flashbacks telling the story of their mother, Nawal Marwan, before leading them to uncover a deeply disturbing secret. Based on Wajdi Mouawad's 2003 play of the same name, this melodramatic war thriller takes a poetic and poignant look at how families are shaped by atrocities – even long the after wars that produced them have ended.

(Fabian K.)
Genre: Drama, Mystery, War
Actor: Abdelghafour Elaaziz, Allen Altman, Baya Belal, Hussein Sami, Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Mohamed Majd, Mustafa Kamel, Nabil Sawalha, Rémy Girard, Rémy Girard
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Rating: R
1.

Short Term 12 (2013)

Understated in budget but lavished with praise, this semi-autobiographical drama by Daniel Destin Cretton flings its audience into the chaotic lives and personal crises of at-risk youths and the passionate social workers that aid them. In his first feature film, the young director draws the viewers into the storm of events and the emotional ups-and-downs of social work in America, going from uplifting to depressing and back – and every emotion in-between.

Set in the real-life and eponymous group home Short Term 12, devoted but troubled foster-care worker Grace is played by Brie Larson, whose shining performance in her first leading role was lauded by critics. Fans will also recognize the supporting actors Lakeith Stanfield and Rami Malek, who broke out in this movie. Short Term 12 is now considered one of the most important movies of 2013 – some say of the decade – owing to its immaculate writing, intimate camerawork, and gripping performances.

(agoodmovietowatch)
Genre: Drama
Actor: Alex Calloway, Angelina Assereto, Brie Larson, Diana Maria Riva, Frantz Turner, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever, Keith Stanfield, Kevin Hernandez, Lakeith Stanfield, Lydia Du Veaux, Melora Walters, Rami Malek, Stephanie Beatriz
Director: Destin Cretton, Destin Daniel Cretton
Rating: R

Free Watching Options:

Watch Short Term 12 (2013) on Fubo for free

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