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. 

Good Time (2017)

A fast-paced thriller, and "actually dangerous" movie as envisioned by its directors, Good Time is about a bank robbery gone wrong and one brother trying to get his other brother out of jail in its aftermath. It's a deep and fast dive into New York's criminal underworld that will not give you the time to catch a single full breath. The rhythm here is, without exaggeration, unlike anything I've seen before. It's anxiety-inducing and very... primal. Incredible work featuring a career-pivoting performance from Robert Pattinson as the loose criminal that will do literally anything in the pursuit of seeing his brother free.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Barkhad Abdi, Ben Safdie, Benny Safdie, Buddy Duress, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Necro, Peter Verby, Robert Pattinson, Taliah Webster
Director: Ben Safdie, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, Joshua Safdie
Rating: R
Camp X-ray (2014)

This is Kristen Stewart’s proof that she is more than a lip-biting, vampire-loving teenager. Reactive and emotive, she will not disappoint you here. Rather, expect an electrifying and exceptional performance. Paired with Payman Moaadi, they both make of this work an emotionally poignant movie that questions the notion of freedom in the unlikeliest of places: Guantanamo Bay.

(Thu Phuong T)
Genre: Drama
Actor: Cory Michael Smith, John Carroll Lynch, Joseph Julian Soria, Julia Duffy, Kristen Stewart, Lane Garrison, Nawal Bengholam, Peyman Maadi, Peyman Moaadi, SerDarius Blain
Director: Peter Sattler
Rating: R
Rust and Bone (2012)

This is the type of movie I completely fell in love with but cannot articulate exactly why. Maybe it's the mixture of beauty and pain portrayed, maybe it's the intricate sounds and beautiful imagery, maybe it's the story, maybe it's all of the above. A woman is hit with sudden disability after an accident and calls on an unlikely companion, a night club bouncer by the name of Ali. Together they explore her new predicament and its implications, while forming a special bond. This is a movie that will call upon your internal strength, while portraying how us humans can become strong together. Most of all it provides an immensely powerful, ultimately simple story that is both touching and will stay with you for a very long time. Directed by Jacques Audiard (A Prophet).

(Floor)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Actor: Armand Verdure, Bouli Lanners, Celine Sallette, Corinne Masiero, Jean-Michel Correia, Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Mourad Frarema, Yannick Choirat
Director: Jacques Audiard
Rating: 15, R
Pride (2014)

It’s 1984 and miners in England are on strike against Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s plans to close pits. Their cause has unlikely appeal for Mark Ashton, a human rights activists who decides to take a group of people who had joined an early Gay Pride parade in London to rural England to show support for the (often socially-conservative) miners.

You can see how things might go wrong, but in this case they didn’t. This heartwarming tale is based on a true story. An easy, funny, and relevant movie about the bond that oppression brings to the oppressed. Super earnest, too.

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Abram Rooney, Andrew Scott, Ben Schnetzer, Bill Nighy, Dominic West, George MacKay, Imelda Staunton, Jim McManus, Joseph Gilgun, Paddy Considine
Director: Matthew Warchus
Rating: R
The Death of Stalin (2017)

This is a hilarious political comedy starring the ever-great Steve Buscemi. Set in the last days before Stalin's death and the chaos that followed, it portrays the lack of trust and the random assassinations that characterized the Stalinist Soviet Union. Think of it as Veep meets Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator. Although to be fair, its dark comedy props are very different from the comedy that comes out today: where there are jokes they're really smart, but what's actually funny is the atmosphere and absurd situations that end up developing.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, History
Actor: Andrea Riseborough, Cara Horgan, David Crow, Diana Quick, Jason Isaacs, Jeffrey Tambor, Jonathan Aris, Justin Edwards, Michael Palin, Nicholas Woodeson, Olga Kurylenko, Paddy Considine, Paul Chahidi, Paul Ready, Paul Whitehouse, Richard Brake, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Rupert Friend, Simon Russell Beale, Steve Buscemi, Tom Brooke
Director: Armando Iannucci
Rating: R
Win Win (2011)

Paul Giamatti knocks in out of the park in Win Win. The movie has so much humanity in it as well as a fantastic story that's rooted in normalcy. At last a movie about second chances that is anything but cheesy. The rhythm of the humor in this movie helps you move through the serious themes unscathed (for the most part). In sum, the jokes are spot-on and the acting is excellent.

Genre: Comedy, Family
Actor: Amy Ryan, Jeffrey Tambor, Paul Giamatti
Director: Tom McCarthy
Rating: R
The Drop (2014)

One of The Drop's many strengths is its dark, clever, yet compassionate script. It will take you into the heart of the Brooklyn crime scene through the characters and their respective more or less fragile lifestyles. The extremely good performances, however, soon become the focus and attire of the film. James Gandolfini couldn't be more at home in this context and excels with his usual menace, yet somehow relatable presence. Tom Hardy, however, surprises in unfamiliar grounds, sharply portraying a vulnerable character, whose vulnerability you will keep doubting. The Drop is consistent from start to finish, and with jaw-dropping moments here and there, it is both an interesting and enjoyable film.

Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Actor: Ann Dowd, Chris Sullivan, Elizabeth Rodriguez, James Colby, James Frecheville, James Gandolfini, Jeremy Bobb, John Ortiz, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michaël R. Roskam, Michael Aronov, Morgan Spector, Noomi Rapace, Tom Hardy
Director: Michael R. Roskam, Michael Roskam
Rating: R
Joe (2013)

Casting is Joe's strong suit, with the notable case of the character of a homeless alcoholic man played by a real-life homeless alcoholic man, as the abusive father of beyond-his-age, responsible 15-year-old Gary. It doesn't stop there either, because Nicolas Cage's performance is one of his career's best (so you can rest assured as far as that is concerned), and somehow still manages to be matched by Tye Sheridan's (as Gary). This added to the bleak and bold Southern-themed script make for a hard-hitting, moving, and compelling tale of growth, and how father figures fit into it. Joe is a proud entry to the genre of powerful, yet enjoyable father-figure dramas, right next to its equally impressive brother-movie Mud.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Adriene Mishler, David Gordon Green, Gary Poulter, Heather Kafka, Lynette Walden, Nicolas Cage, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Sue Rock, Tye Sheridan
Director: David Gordon Green
Rating: R
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

This coming-of-age story based on the bestseller by the same name starts fun but veers towards darker territory. It's about a high-schooler who makes two older friends, played perfectly by Ezra Miller and Emma Watson. But as he gets closer to one of them, his anxieties and past trauma come to the surface. The impressive depth to which the makers of The Perks of Being a Wallflower were able to take it is what elevates it to greatness. It's the perfect mix between easy and challenging. If there is ever such a thing, it's this movie.

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Adam Hagenbuch, Chelsea Zhang, Dylan McDermott, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Joan Cusack, Johnny Simmons, Julia Garner, Kate Walsh, Logan Lerman, Mae Whitman, Melanie Lynskey, Nina Dobrev, Patrick de Ledebur, Paul Rudd, Stephen Chbosky
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Rating: PG-13
Still Alice (2015)

Still Alice is a drama about a renowned linguistics professor (Julianne Moore) who slowly begins to lose words and find herself lost in familiar places, leading to an unexpected diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease. Alice’s husband (Alec Baldwin) and three grown children subsequently struggle to maintain balance as her condition deteriorates, even as she steadfastly strives to maintain her self-composure. Interestingly, Alice uses her professional skills in communication to employ innovative ways to maintain her language and memory as well as possible, despite her ongoing decline. It’s a melancholy yet wonderfully touching film that feels thoroughly honest and real every step of the way. Julianne Moore is superb throughout—a role that earned her a well-deserved Best Actress Oscar for her performance.

(Jamie Rutherford)
Genre: Drama
Actor: Alec Baldwin, Erin Darke, Hunter Parrish, Julianne Moore, Kate Bosworth, Kristen Stewart, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Rosa Arredondo, Seth Gilliam, Shane McRae, Stephen Kunken, Victoria Cartagena
Director: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
Rating: PG-13

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