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. 

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!

Genre: Drama, History
Actor: Bjorn Granath, Colin Stinton, Dag Malmberg, David Bamber, Ian Blackman, 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
Director: Janus Metz, Janus Metz Pedersen
Rating: R
Official Secrets (2019)

Keira Knightley stars in this incredible true story of an Iraq War whistleblower who remains relatively little-known in the U.S. Katharine Gun was working for the communications office for the British government when she received a memo in the months leading to the war that showed that the U.S. requested illegal wiretapping assistance from the U.K. on U.N. diplomats. In a heroic act, she chooses to share this memo, hoping that it would stop her government (then led by Tony Blair) from going to war. Spoiler alert: didn't happen, but this decision, which first seemed like a personal sacrifice, has severe implications on her family as the government finds out that she was behind the leak. A compelling political mystery of a case that deserves much more attention than it once got.

Genre: Drama, History, Thriller
Actor: Adam Bakri, Conleth Hill, George W. Bush, Hattie Morahan, Indira Varma, Jeremy Northam, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Cranham, Matt Smith, Matthew Goode, MyAnna Buring, Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans, Shaun Dooley, Tamsin Greig, Tony Blair
Director: Gavin Hood
Rating: R
Apollo 11 (2019)

What makes Apollo 11 stand out is its sharp minimalist approach, allowing the archival footage of the mission to the moon to speak for itself. It’s stunning to think that at one point or another we had collectively seen a bulk of the footage in this film, and yet somehow let it lay dormant until the moon landing had been reduced to black and white stills in our collective imaginations. Not only does this film reinvigorate the moon landing with the power that it once held, but it does so in a way that is more thrilling than anything the Marvel CGI wizards could muster. The vibrant score adds a layer of ferocious tension, while the breakneck pace gives the feel of a rollercoaster ride. If there is any fault to find here, it is most definitely with the film’s MAGA style yearning for a time and place that never existed. Spare us the teary-eyed patriotism and the clips of Nixon, a disgraceful criminal, and vile racist, yammering on about the world becoming one. Nevertheless, this is a fantastic example of why most biopics should just be documentaries and why the fanatical fear of spoilers is a tad silly. Spoiler alert: they land on the moon.

(Igor Fishman)
Genre: Documentary, History
Actor: Buzz Aldrin, Deke Slayton, Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong, Todd Douglas Miller
Director: Todd Douglas Miller
Rating: G
20th Century Women (2016)

Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, and many other big names star in this comedy-drama directed by Mike Mills (Beginners, Thumbsucker.) The story spans multiple generations but starts in 1979, where Dorothea Fields (Bening) is finding it increasingly difficult to raise her son alone. She enlists the help of two other women, one her son’s age and the other a New Yorker in her twenties who is very active in the punk scene. The three women, of three different generations and personalities as well as takes on the concept of “only a man can raise a man,” play different roles in this kid’s life. 20th Century Women is based on director Mike Mill’s own upbringing in Southern California.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Alia Shawkat, Alison Elliott, Annette Bening, Billy Crudup, Curran Walters, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, John Billingsley, Kai Lennox, Laura Slade Wiggins, Lucas Jade Zumann, Matthew Cardarople, Mike Mills, Waleed Zuaiter
Director: Mike Mills
Rating: R
Hail Satan? (2019)

The question mark in the title represents the central idea of this fascinating documentary: what if worshipping Satan is the only way of ensuring religious freedom for everyone?

That's what a group of young members known as The Satanic Temple believe, led by a determined and well-spoken Harvard graduate. They embark on a journey across the U.S. to challenge corrupt officials and the prevalence of religious biases in government agencies. They always request that their belief system (Satanism) is given the same favorable treatment as Christianity, effectively proving that authorities will really only accept a show of religion if it's one religion: Christianity.

But their intoxicating energy comes with costs: divisions within the organization and growing pains. This documentary perfectly illustrates not only a misunderstood religion (in the documentary it's referred to as "post-religion") but the difficulties of establishing grassroots movements in general.

Genre: Documentary
Actor: Chalice Blythe, Charlton Heston, Jex Blackmore, Lucien Greaves, Nicholas Crowe, Penny Lane, Sal De Ciccio
Director: Penny Lane
Rating: R
Monos (2019)

This crazy adventure thriller was Colombia's nomination for the 2020 Oscars. "Monos" translates to monkeys, the nom de guerre of a group of teenagers holding an American hostage in an isolated bunker. Other than the occasional visit from their supervisor, they're left to their devices, forming relationships, smoking weed, drinking, and eating psychedelic mushrooms. One day, on top of the hostage, they're also trusted with a milk cow, named Shakira. A party goes wrong and one of the Monos accidentally kills Shakira, triggering a series of events that sends them deep into the jungle, and deep into despair. 

Monos is not an action movie, it's more of a character study. It was loosely based on The Lord of the Flies.

Genre: Thriller
Actor: Deibi Rueda, Julián Giraldo, Julián Giraldo, Julianne Nicholson, Karen Quintero, Laura Castrillón, Moisés Arias, Paul Cubides, Sneider Castro, Sofía Buenaventura, Sofia Buenaventura, Wilson Salazar
Director: Alejandro Landes
Rating: R
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

The movie starts with Luke (Ryan Gosling) as a stunt driver who learns he has a newborn child. Luke wants to properly provide for him, so he turns to robbing banks. That causes conflict with the mother (Eva Mendes) and a police officer (Bradley Cooper), which ends up spanning two generations. The Place Beyond the Pines is gritty and emotional, and at the heart of it, a good take on father-son relationships and long-term consequences.

(Helari)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Actor: Ben Mendelsohn, Bradley Cooper, Brian Smyj, Bruce Greenwood, Craig Van Hook, Dane DeHaan, Derek Cianfrance, Emory Cohen, Eva Mendes, Harris Yulin, Mahershala Ali, Olga Merediz, Ray Liotta, Robert Clohessy, Rose Byrne, Ryan Gosling
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Rating: R
Ruby Sparks (2012)

Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano), a young and promising novelist imagines and writes about his idea of a perfect female companion. Somehow, his words manifest into reality - the beautiful and corky Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan). Soon, however, his magical love turns shallow as his creation begins to think for herself and wrestle against her creation. This romantic comedy has the right amount of wit and emotion with a deep message of loving people just the way they are.

(Christina Ienna)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Actor: Aasif Mandvi, Alia Shawkat, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, China Shavers, Chris Messina, Deborah Ann Woll, Eden Brolin, Elliott Gould, Jane Anne Thomas, Kai Lennox, Mary Jo Deschanel, Paul Dano, Steve Coogan, Toni Trucks, Wallace Langham, Zoe Kazan
Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Rating: R
The Way Way Back (2013)

A story filled with love, laughs, and feelings, "The Way Way Back" takes us back to innocent, coming of age years. With great writing and characters you will love and miss when the movie ends, "The Way Way Back" is 2013's "The Perks of Being A Wallflower." Following their Oscar win for best adapted screenplay for "The Descendants" Jim Rash and Nat Faxon follow with "The Way Way Back". Duncan, played by Liam James , is a 14 year old shy kid who can't stand his mom's new boyfriend, Trent. Duncan is forced to vacation at Trent's beach house and after a few days, he decides to explore the town and eventually comes across a water park where he befriends Owen.

(Abtein Foghi)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Allison Janney, Amanda Peet, Andria Blackman, AnnaSophia Robb, Jake Picking, Jim Rash, Liam James, Maya Rudolph, Nat Faxon, River Alexander, Rob Corddry, Robert Capron, Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Zoe Levin
Director: Jim Rash, Nat Faxon
Rating: PG-13
Youth (2015)

Youth is a film about Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) a famous composer vacationing at a resort in the Swiss Alps with his friend Mick (Harvey Keitel), an accomplished filmmaker, and his daughter Lena (Rachel Weisz). While Fred shuns his work (including an opportunity to play for the Queen of England) and muddles himself in disillusionment, Mick works fervently on his final film, intended to be his life’s crowning achievement. Their remaining time is spent intermingling amongst the guests and reminiscing upon their lives, their achievements, their failures and their undying yearnings. From writer/director Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty), Youth is another charming work offering an array of eccentric characters and quirky scenarios, while also serving as a touching examination of age, wisdom and ultimately personal reckoning.

(Jamie Rutherford)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Alex MacQueen, Carolina Carlsson, Chloe Pirrie, Ed Stoppard, Emilia Jones, Harvey Keitel, Jane Fonda, Loredana Cannata, Luna Mijović, Madalina Diana Ghenea, Michael Caine, Paloma Faith, Paul Dano, Poppy Corby-Tuech, Portia Reiners, Rachel Weisz, Sonia Gessner, Tom Lipinski
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Rating: R

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