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. 

Nowhere Boy (2010)

In a different change of pace, this biopic focuses on John Lennon’s reckless adolescence and family life instead of his soon-to-be iconic music. It brings an epic rockstar many of us have known our entire lives down to a more relatable level. The young Aaron Taylor-Johnston gives a very angsty performance which feels a little over the top at times. Anne-Marie Duff does comes off too flirtatious for a newly formed mother-son relationship but Kristin Scott Thomas outshines them all with her steely demeanor.

(Christina Ienna)
Genre: Drama
Actor: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Andrew Buchan, Anne-Marie Duff, David Morrissey, David Threlfall, Josh Bolt, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ophelia Lovibond, Sam Bell, Simon Lowe, Thomas Brodie-Sangster
Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Rating: R
The Ides of March (2011)

A slow-burning US political drama, The Ides of March is a character-driven film with great performances from Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman and George Clooney (who is also the director and in part the writer) among many others. Taking place during the last days of the primaries, Stephen Meyers (Gosling) is an aspiring campaign staffer who uncovers a dirty truth about his candidate (Clooney). When Meyers confronts his boss (Hoffman), moral issues arise that collide with the political profession but which are not only limited to it. A smart film, The Ides of March is less of a political thriller and more of a really well made drama that delivers.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Evan Rachel Wood, George Clooney, Gregory Itzin, Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Ehle, Marisa Tomei, Max Minghella, Michael Mantell, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel Maddow, Rohn Thomas, Ryan Gosling
Director: George Clooney
Rating: R
Eddie the Eagle (2016)

Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton) was a man with big glasses and even bigger dreams. As a physically disabled child-turned-oddly determined young adult, he tried his hands at all kinds of sports to earn himself a place in United Kingdom’s Team, only to be shunned and rejected more times than one can count. While his coming home a hero can easily be attributed to Great Britain’s lack of a ski jumper representative to the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, the world has Eddie’s perseverance and never-say-die attitude to thank. A story about conquering greater heights and just taking flight, Eddie the Eagle shows the world how winning doesn’t always mean taking home the crown.

(Christina Hale)
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, History
Actor: Christopher Walken, Daniel Ings, Dexter Fletcher, Dickon Tolson, Edvin Endre, Hugh Jackman, Iris Berben, Jim Broadbent, Jo Hartley, Keith Allen, Mads Sjogard Pettersen, Marc Benjamin, Mark Benton, Rune Temte, Taron Egerton, Tim McInnerny, Tom Costello
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Rating: PG-13
Phantom Thread (2018)

A flawless Daniel Day‑Lewis stars in this thought-provoking romance. He plays a successful dressmaker in post-second-World-War London who falls for a waitress while on an excursion to the countryside. It's hard to tell you what this movie is about without ruining the story for you but I can tell you how it made me feel: it kept me guessing the whole time. Day-Lewis' character is so masterfully played that I felt that every move he made was calculated and that every line meant something. Plus, expect stunning dresses, beautiful country-side sequences, and an all-around gorgeous aesthetic experience.

Genre: Drama, Romance
Actor: Brian Gleeson, Camilla Rutherford, Daniel Day-Lewis, Gina McKee, Harriet Sansom Harris, Julia Davis, Lesley Manville, Lujza Richter, Silas Carson, Vicky Krieps
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Rating: R
Laurence Anyways (2012)

This is a gorgeous French-Canadian movie with out-of-this-world sound work.

Laurence is deeply in love with his girlfriend, Fred. On his birthday, he announces to her that he wants to restart his life as a woman, having always hated his male body. Fred doesn't know how to take the news: “everything I love about you is everything you hate about yourself”.

Laurence Anyways is about how their romance continues after this revelation. There are so many reasons to watch this movie: the story, the acting, the cinematography; but trust me, the soundtrack alone is reason enough.

Genre: Drama, Romance
Actor: Anne Dorval, Emmanuel Schwartz, Magalie Lepine Blondeau, Melvil Poupaud, Monia Chokri, Nathalie Baye, Sophie Faucher, Susan Almgren, Suzanne Clément, Xavier Dolan, Yves Jacques
Director: Xavier Dolan
Rating: Not Rated
Never Look Away (2018)

It's impossible to describe this incredible movie as one thing or the other. It's an epic three-hour saga that takes you through the Nazi era, the communist era, the rise of capitalism, and the East and West German divide. But more than its historic value, it's a coming-of-age story, one that is based on the experiences of famed German artist Gerhard Richter. It's also a romance, following his experiences finding love and being hit with loss (in no particular order). If you liked the director's other work, the Oscar-winning The Lives of Others, you're sure to love this too.

Genre: Drama, Romance, Thriller
Actor: Anton Rubtsov, Ben Becker, Evgeniy Sidikhin, Hannes Hellmann, Hanno Koffler, Ina Weisse, Jörg Schüttauf, Jacob Matschenz, Jeanette Hain, Lars Eidinger, Oliver Masucci, Paula Beer, Pit Bukowski, Rainer Bock, Saskia Rosendahl, Sebastian Koch, Tom Schilling, Ulrike C. Tscharre
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Rating: R
Honey Boy (2019)

There is so much power to this story based actor Shia Laboeuf’s life. As a kid, he lived with his father on the road during the filming of Even Stevens and other star-making roles. His dad was a war veteran who goes to bikers’ AA meetings and who had a brief acting career himself.  He was full of anger that made Laboeuf later suffer from PTSD, but which he was able to perceive in a fascinating way. 

Putting Laboeuf’s fame aside, this is an incredible movie on emotionally abusive parent-child relationships. It’s a universal story. With Shia Laboeuf as his father and Lucas Hedges as current-day Laboeuf. 

 

Genre: Drama
Actor: Byron Bowers, Clifton Collins Jr., FKA Twigs, Laura San Giacomo, Lucas Hedges, Maika Monroe, Martin Starr, Natasha Lyonne, Noah Jupe, Shia LaBeouf
Director: Alma Har'el, Alma Har'el
Rating: R
The Rider (2018)

This is quite the movie. It’s based on the true story of Brady Jandereau, an ex-rodeo star who suffered from an injury that took him away from riding horses. This is the best part, in the movie, he actually plays himself. His friends in the movie are his real-life friends. And the horse taming scenes are real wild horses being trained (by him). The line between reality and the filmmaking process is so thin here. An absolutely mesmerizing movie, directed by Chinese filmmaker Chloe Zhao. The Rider. Don’t miss it.

Genre: Drama, Western
Actor: Brady Jandreau, Mooney, Tim Jandreau
Director: Chloé Zhao
Rating: R
The Hate U Give (2018)

Such a good movie. The start is reminiscent of great, funny coming-of-age stories. However, a violent event quickly takes place and The Hate U Give becomes a powerful comment on police brutality in America, institutional oppression, and what it's like to be from a marginalized community but try to find your place in the world. But at the end, it's a 'movie' movie, directed by George Tillman Jr. who made the Barbershop movies and Men of Honor (with De Niro).

Genre: Crime, Drama
Actor: Algee Smith, Amandla Stenberg, Anthony Mackie, Common, K.J. Apa, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Sabrina Carpenter
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Rating: PG-13
Our Little Sister (2016)

Hirokazu Koreeda can do no wrong. The director of Shoplifters and Still Walking is a master of dissecting complex family dynamics through a handful of events. In Our Little Sister, three close sisters who live at their grandmother's house learn that their absent father has passed. They travel to the mountains to attend his funeral and meet their half-sister, Suzu, for the first time. Suzu is invited to live with the sisters and join their bond.

This movie is a true-to-the-form slice of life, it's almost drama-free. This absence of plot is an absence of distractions: the sisters are all that matters to Koreeda. His only focus is on how this family becomes bigger, sees past grief, and how the group of close-knit sisters that grew up together can make room for a new addition.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Haruka Ayase, Kaho, Masami Nagasawa
Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Rating: PG

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