The 15 Most Criminally Underrated Films

A BLOG BY JOHN L. MOSEMAN

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15.  Cobra (1986)

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Cobra is one of those movies I find that no one remembers and yet while it was made by one of the cheesiest B rated producers. (Yoram Globus) It is actually one of the best action thrillers to come from the 80’s. No has ever respected Slyvester Stallone as an actor or as a screenwriter. If you really want evidence of his brillance as a writer  watch this movie and then watch the other film based on the same book. The other that movie shares the name of the book Fair Game. A stupid Cindy Crawford movie which has trite writing to match her acting. This movie had some real edge. In case that does not thrill you then what if I tell you that the director of Rambo: First Blood II & Tombstone directed this movie.

 

14.  U.S Marshals (1998)

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When you think of sequels it’s hard to recapture the magic of the first film. Yet so much of what made The Fugitive great was the performance of Tommy Lee Jones. So it made perfect sense to bring him back to find a new fugitive. Wesley Snipes is very good in this film.

 

Speaking of sequels check out my top 25 sequels of all time!

 

13.  Hero (2002)

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Hero was a who’s who of Chinese Cinema at the time. Not only did it have a stellar cast it was also made by people who havd been in the business for a very long time. The film is above it’s time for effects and stunts and of course Jet Li never lets us down. This movie was so good that Quentin Taratino put his own money down to bring it to American audiences.

 

12.  Layer Cake (2004)

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Where to start? HMMM one of the best casts in recent memory. A whose who of British and Irish actors. Directed by Matthew Vaughn who I think is a an underrated director. Just watch the scene below to see the brillance of this movie. This scene captures just how visceral and chatoic this movie is . BTW this movie had a huge impact on him becoming Bond.

11. Blade (1998)

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This movie was so good and yet fails to get the attention it deserves. I am going to say this Wesly Snipes is one of the most underrated actors and what is perhaps his best role. Mix in the idea of making a comic book movie an edgy independent style action flick this film started a trend in Hollywood and it really acts as the pace horse for films like the Bourne franchise, Punisher, and The Transporter series.

10Empire Records (1995)

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It continues to amaze me of how many people have not seen this film and yet despite that it has the cult classic label attached to it. I think it is because this film defines what Generation X was really about. At least it is part of a few films that time caps a spirit and culture which seems to be faded with the bellbottoms and what not. The film has one of the best soundtracks and when I was in high school this film defined so much for me.

9. Chef (2014)

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This movie is pure and it is near perfect in the overall experience you have while watching it. Jon Favreau never gets the respect he should have for this. A stellar cast with big time talent. A film about passion and self discovery it is a must see.

8. The Art of War (2000)

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The Art of War is one of those movies which slipped through the cracks and probably because Wesley Snipes is a way overrated actor. However if you were not a Snipes fan you would think a film with Anne Archer, Michael Biehn, Donald Sutherland would get more intention. The film honestly puts you on a guessing game with a decent twist.

7. Rambo (2008)

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Rambo is a film that should be loved way more than it should. Not only does it bring attention to the issues of genocide in Burma but Sly takes the character to full circle. I truly believe he is in top form in this film. A movie written and directed by Stallone he continues to be one of the most underrated actors and writers. If you don’t root for Rambo in this film you are evil.  This by itself is a solid action flick with some very intense scenes like the one below.

6. That Thing You Do (1996)

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This is one of the most charming movies ever. It is on my list not because people do not know it or like it. It is a cult classic but that it never receieved the attention it did. This may have started out as a small project for Tom Hanks but this near perfect film should have been Oscar buzz.  The cast is stellar and Hanks makes a movie you want to see.

5. Lucky Number Sleven (2006)

 

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This movie has one of the best casts and it keeps you guessing. Everybody is not who they seem in this film.

4.  Cinderella Man (2005)

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When you consider that this film should have won best film and then realize that it did not it is clear this film is underrated. I think we have come to accept that up until The Da Vinci Code Ron Howard was a great filmmaker. His best movies will always be the ones he did with Russell Crowe.

3.  Oblivion (2013)

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The only film I know Tom Cruise haters to actually like. The film is beautiful and is the gold standard for what a sci film should look like. No one talks about this movie as much as they should and seeing as it is one of the best movies to come out that year. Yeah this movie does not get the respect it deserves.

2.  Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

When you consider how rare a remake is ever better than it’s original. When you consider that everything in this movie works. This movie is far and away better than you think it is. Perhaps it’s because we don’t expect Ben Stiller to be a good actor in a serious film. He is great in this role.

1.  Master and Commander: The Far Side of The Sea (2003)

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Far too many cinema crimes have been made with this film. 1. It should have been made into a franchise because the books are amazing. 2. This is the best acting role of Russell Crowe and he should be given an oscar for his performance. This is an incredible film that deserves the attention it should get.

 

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