TOP 10: Most Underrated Films

The second in a series of movie-related Top-10 lists that are in no way meant to be anything close to comprehensive, but are based solely on the movies I have reviewed here, and will be updated with each new movie reviewed by me that cracks the top 10. Enjoy!
Films here are ranked based upon the difference between my personal 20-point score (translated to a 100-point score) and the lower 100-point score on IMDb. From what I’ve experienced, a film’s rating on IMDb more or less seems to reflect the popular opinion held by both the casual and the serious film critics that I’ve read or listened to.

The criteria:

  1. Must be rated 7.5 or higher by me. 7.5 is the score that earns a “Really good” designation from me. If I don’t consider a film “really good”, I could hardly deem it underrated!
  2. Must be rated lower than 7.5 on IMDb. Conversely, anything rated 7.5 on IMDb (7.3-7.7) or higher isn’t rated low enough for me to consider it underrated.
  3. Must be rated 8.5 or higher by me if rated 7.0 on IMDb (6.8-7.2). This is to ensure that a movie rated “good” by my standard on IMDb is only deemed underrated if it’s considered “amazing” by me.

Without further ado, my Top 10 Underrated Films:

Honourable Mentions (1.0+ rating difference according to the above criteria): Alien³ (1992)First Reformed (2018)Greenberg (2010); The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)I Heart Huckabees (2004); The Informant (2009); Kill Your Darlings (2013); A Knight’s Tale (2001)The Lobster (2015); Your Sister’s Sister (2011)

10. Sorry to Bother You (2018)

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IMDb rating: 7.0
My rating: 8.5 (review here)
Rating difference: 1.5

Maybe not everyone’s cup o’ tea, but in today’s popular movie climate of sequels and remakes, something fresh like this almost always hits the right notes for me, and it definitely helps that the movie’s searing satire is on point as well.

9. Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011)

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IMDb rating: 6.5
My rating: 8.0 (review here)
Rating difference: 1.5

Maybe I just like indie flicks more than the average person. But the characters are just so relatable here-flawed, imperfect, searching for meaning in life. Jason Segel’s earnest teddy bear of a guy is endearing beyond belief. Great, natural performances, a down-to-earth one-day timeline (I’m a sucker for those), and a climax that had me bawling happy tears.

8. Unsane (2018)

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IMDb rating: 6.4
My rating: 8.0 (review here)
Rating difference: 1.6

Sure, maybe there were a few issues with the script but overall I was completely caught up in this chilling psychological thriller from someone who I think is developing into one of my favourite directors- Steven Soderbergh. Foy puts in a great performance, and I loved the aesthetic of the whole film as well. An underrated offering from 2018!

7. Compliance (2012)

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IMDb rating: 6.4
My rating: 8.0 (review here)
Rating difference: 1.6

Perfectly nails the slow-build of tension and horror that every great thriller does, sucking you in as the insanity slowly builds to the point where you, the viewer, can barely watch anymore, but unbeknownst for most of the movie to its own characters under the pressure of a manipulative authority. A terrifying, well-made indie whose scares are rooted in its realistic setting (indeed, this was based off a true story) and perfectly crafted script.

6. The Company You Keep (2012)

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IMDb rating: 6.4
My rating: 8.0 (review here)
Rating difference: 1.6

A refreshing thriller light on action, heavy on intrigue: An investigative journalist, a web of fugitives now all living under different names; questions are asked, secrets are uncovered, people are found, people escape. Perfectly paced, with a stacked cast and great cinematography. I was captivated the entire time, give it a go if you’re in the mood for a journalism-based thriller a la Spotlight!

5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)

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IMDb rating: 6.6
My rating: 8.5 (review here)
Rating difference: 1.9

The entire Hunger Games film series was one of the best cinematic commentaries on war and violence that I’ve ever seen, and its final film concludes it perfectly. Dark, disturbing, and exhausting to watch, it’s far from a crowd-pleasing blockbuster and all the more brilliant because of that.

4. The Spectacular Now (2013)

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IMDb rating: 7.1
My rating: 9.0 (review here)
Rating difference: 1.9

On the surface, it may look and sound like a typical teen romance with some inspirational cheese thrown in there, but that couldn’t be any farther from the truth. It’s raw, real, and just as–if not more–tragic than it is heartwarming. The main characters are flawed and complex, and so is their resulting relationship. To top it all off, it doesn’t have a tied-in-a-bow, grand-final-kiss happy ending, which fits the rest of the flick to a tee. You won’t be disappointed by this one!

3. Batman: The Movie (1966)

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IMDb rating: 6.5
My rating: 8.5 (review here)
Rating difference: 2.0

I guess some people just didn’t get that the campyness here was completely and brilliantly intentional. But to me, with how literally every scene is just dripping with ridiculousness, it’s quite clear, and quite hilarious. Seriously, this might be the funniest movie I’ve ever seen. If your sense of humour permits, every scene will have you in stitches!

2. Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018)

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IMDb rating: 6.9
My rating: 9.0 (review here)
Rating difference: 2.1

Tied for my highest rated movie of 2018, I was mourning its complete absence in the Oscar conversation, especially for what I considered by far the best male supporting turn of the year by Jonah Hill. Alas, the film’s disjointed narrative and indie sensibilities may have turned people off. I, however, thought it all worked extremely well.

1. Bean (1997)

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IMDb rating: 6.4
My rating: 8.5 (review here)
Rating difference: 2.1

I know everyone has different tastes when it comes to comedy especially, and so I realize that Mr. Bean’s brand of over the top goofy slapstick may not generate laughs in every viewer, but my god, it sure did for me here. I laughed to the point of tears on more than one occasion in this film which is pretty much just skit after hilarious skit of the brilliant Rowan Atkinson bringing the goods.

Thanks for reading! What are some of your underrated gems?
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36 thoughts on “TOP 10: Most Underrated Films

  1. some great choices here Joel. I loved All is Lost and Compliance. My list would include – Memorial Day (2011), Taking Chance (2009) (The Kevin bacon one. it has a 7.5 on IMDB, so does that count?) The Rookie (2002), Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995), and Grand Canyon (1991) to name just a few!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks Rob! Haven’t seen any of those you mentioned (except for The Rookie, but that was a while ago), I’ll have to keep an eye out for them! (Though technically Taking Chance would just miss the cut for underrated in my books :P) Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great list. Place Beyond The Pines is underrated indeed. Compliance too! And I had completely forgotten about One Hour Photo, which was great but somehow seems to have slipped into the abyss.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Probably more than I could fit in a comment! But none jump to the top of the list right now. I think you’ve inspired me to write my own underappreciated films post – I’ll let you know when I finish it

        Liked by 1 person

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