There's nothing like watching a new movie that resonates with you on a deep and meaningful level — one so riveting that you can't get it out of your head for weeks.
It's one of the most wonderful experiences, and one you wouldn't trade for anything in the world. But do you know what makes this viewing experience even better? When you come across an unknown movie many folks don't know about and it BLOWS YOUR MIND.
These flicks are just as powerful as the blockbuster hits out there, and ones that deserve more shine and viewership than they get.
So, here are some of the most underrated movies everyone should watch at least once, courtesy of r/MovieSuggestions.
Warning: Potential movie spoilers ahead! 🚨
Note: Some posts include topics of suicide, drug abuse, and gun violence. Please proceed with caution.
1. Pacific Rim (2013)
"I rewatched Pacific Rim recently due to not having seen it in a while, and it holds up pretty well. For a film with such a silly premise, it actually manages to use it in a pretty smart way because the movie doesn’t take itself seriously and knows how 'stupid' it is. On top of that, the movie manages to appeal to both fans of monster movies and non-fans. It's like people who enjoy movies like Godzilla can enjoy this movie for its action sequences, but people who want a little more than that can enjoy this film for its impressive CGI and likable characters. The movie also has a really great soundtrack which lives rent-free in my head, and the film also does a romance subplot super fucking well."
2. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
"This movie messed me up so bad, but in a good way. I have seen many disturbing movies, but this movie is something else — it's so creative (and a lot of the credit goes to director Darren Aronofsky). Requiem for a Dream revolves around four characters who are victims of substance abuse — it creatively and frighteningly makes us walk in their shoes, and feel their pain. If you want to see one of the best directions and storytelling, please watch Requiem for a Dream (fun fact: 'Requiem' means to compose music in honor of the dead)."
3. Emily the Criminal (2022)
"Emily the Criminal is a pretty decent flick, and I'm not sure why it hasn't had a bigger release. It stars Aubrey Plaza in a role that's totally different from her usual sarcastic comedic roles, like April Ludgate in Parks and Recreation. She is an underachiever in debt who gets hooked up with a small criminal enterprise to make cash. This film reminded me of Breaking Bad, so if you like that kind of story, you'll like this. Overall, it's well-paced and involving — check it out."
Where you can watch it: In movie theaters
4. Small Apartments (2012)
"Small Apartments is probably one of my favorite films to watch for comfort and familiarity. It's a wonderfully unique look at the different lives of strangers who share a beaten-down apartment complex in the US. Visually, it's bright and attractive, but not to the point where you feel like your eyes are being bombarded with color. The soundtrack is small, but what's played and what's created for the movie will stick in your head. The writing is stunning for the time it took to create, and the cast includes big names like Rebel Wilson, James Marsden, Matt Lucas, Juno Temple, Rosie Perez, and Billy Crystal, which is why I thought it was weird I hadn't heard of it before seeing it a few years ago. It's definitely part of my collection of weird little films that are just delightful to watch. While it's not a love story, the vibes are perfect for watching it with someone you're close to."
5. The Gray Man (2022)
"I'll watch anything Ryan Gosling's in, so my opinion might be a little biased. However, I'm not typically into action movies, but The Gray Man completely blew me away. From start to finish, there was nothing but badass scenes. There wasn't any boring filler scenes, no convoluted romance side-story for the main character — just straight ass-kicking. That's not to say there isn't a great plot, but it's not like a Jason Bourne or Mission Impossible plot that kind of drags along for three hours. It's directed and produced by the Russo brothers, has great fight choreography, which Gosling said he spent seven months training for. And beyond Gosling, it has a pretty star-studded cast, including Ana de Armas, Billy Bob Thornton, and Chris Evans. Ana de Armas has some amazing scenes in it, and honestly made me want to see more of her films.
"The movie is based on a book series, and from what I've read and heard in interviews, there are going to be sequels — so I am PUMPED."
6. Conversations with Other Women (2005)
"Conversations with Other Women is a romantic drama with Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart as the leads. The movie is presented split screen the whole way through — so while you're watching from two different perspectives, it's a really interesting approach for the viewing experience. I won't delve into the details on how cleverly this technique is used, but it's pretty neat in my opinion. The tagline of the movie itself makes a nod to it: 'There are two sides to every love story.' The main problem with this movie is that the Blu-ray version only shows one side, ruining the entire point of the movie (which is presenting the plot through two different sides). So, if you decide to watch this movie out of curiosity, make sure to watch the DVD release!"
7. Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018)
"Wow, folks...this is the first movie that has scared me in a long time. At one point near the end, I had to pause it to go and make sure my front door was locked, and that there wasn't a murderer or evil spirit in my house. This is a Korean found-footage film, and executed extremely well with amazingly talented actors who sold the entire thing. I've never seen such an excellent and believable found-footage film (I even had to Google at the beginning of the film to see if it was actually a documentary or not). It may have the typical theme of rumored haunted asylum, but I can't say enough how well the actors performed. I felt like I was there with them, thinking exactly like them. This movie has a pretty slow build-up, so watch this movie when you're in the mood to watch a movie (you'll need to pay attention to subtitles if you don't speak Korean)."
8. Orphan: First Kill (2022)
"Fans of the original movie will love this. I went into it not expecting much and thought it would be just 'meh,' but it was way better than I expected. They threw a little plot twist in it, and the actor who played the original Esther is back, and she is awesome. My 17-year-old exchange student from Italy and I watched the original Orphan recently, and she loved it."
9. Citizen X (1995)
"I rewatched Citizen X the other night, and I was just amazed by how good it still is, and how no one talks about it. It’s based on Russian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, who in my opinion is the most evil serial killer of all time. The movie is really a biography as you follow the real investigation of his crimes — I don't want to spoil anything, so just watch it. It’s quality cinema, and I’m really surprised it doesn’t get mentioned a lot. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone recommend it, but I’m sure someone has — just watch it if you want to enjoy a great movie!"
10. Sunshine (2007)
"This movie made my ass stick to the chair until the end — it was really exhilarating and wonderful to watch. The reason it was so good is because it tackled the idea of extinction of humankind. A group of astronauts are sent to the sun to reignite it using some sci-fi devise, and even though everything is fantasy, you hear a lot of technicalities and senses of realism. This movie is also a good thriller, as every astronaut faces some kind of space problem and doesn't forget they're moving toward the sun. So, it's really fun to sit and watch how they accomplish the mission."
11. Shot Caller (2017)
"A man is convicted and is sentenced to prison for a decade because he committed a crime he did not intend to. Because of this, he lost his family, his wife and son, and his status in society. Shot Caller explains how a convict after being released back to society cannot go back to living a 'normal' life. He is a marked man for almost all of his life, which makes you think about people who are wrongly convicted. It's a heartbreaking movie where he has to make decisions not for his own happiness, but to protect his loved ones."
12. A Single Man (2009)
"A Single Man is Tom Ford's directorial debut, and boy, is it a masterpiece! Set in the '60s, it's about a man whose husband dies in a car accident and how he copes with the loss. You get A-list actors like Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, who do a fantastic job. Tom Ford's eye for sophistication and elegance in the fashion industry flows right into the movie — the cinematography is exceptional, and every shot is visually appealing. It is one of my favorite films, and in my opinion one of the most underrated films (nobody I know has seen it unless I beg them to watch it). If you're looking for a slow, beautiful drama to watch late at night with a glass of whiskey, THIS IS IT!"
13. Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes (2020)
"Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes was such a fun little movie. A café owner finds out that he can see precisely two minutes into the future due to a literal time delay on his closed-circuit TV setup between his bedroom and the café he owns downstairs. It's a beautifully simple concept executed superbly with a bunch of shenanigans. At only 68 minutes long, it gets in, does the job, and gets out again at a great pace and doesn't overstay its welcome. It contains the 'sensible' time travel approach of something like Primer melded with the 'one-take' stylings of Birdman, but it's performed more like theatre than film. It has an incredibly effervescent cast who all just exude enthusiasm — it will suck you in and leave you with a big grin on your face."
14. The Old Man & the Gun (2018)
"The Old Man & the Gun is a lovely little character piece (it feels like Fargo by way of Unforgiven, which is meant as a compliment). It tells the story of the waning career of an elderly bank robber, who is just as likely to use charm as violence. Robert Redford is outstanding in the lead role, and really feels like he's living the character. David Lowery's yet again provided a great slow-burn tale (the director's other work includes A Ghost Story and The Green Knight)."
15. A Silent Voice (2016)
"I saw this film for the first time in February of this year, and it hasn't left my mind since. For those who don’t know, it’s a Japanese anime film about a kid who bullies a girl who happens to be deaf, and years later, he comes to regret his choices. He tries to be a better person, and make things up to her. I think this is a movie everyone needs to see (although it is pretty tough to watch at times). I feel like if you have depression or have been bullied or anything the characters go through, it could really work for a lot of people. On top of that, the film also has a great score, impressive animation, and memorable characters — it's a fantastic film I would recommend to anyone. Please watch this film if you haven’t already."
16. On the Count of Three (2021)
"On the Count of Three is a 2021 American black comedy film directed by Jerrod Carmichael, from a screenplay by Ari Katcher and Ryan Welch. It stars Carmichael and Christopher Abbott as two friends who make a suicide pact and set out to have one final day to take care of unfinished business. It has an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes."
17. Fall (2022)
"I'd definitely recommend you watch Fall in a theater before it goes away (for some reason, it got a comparatively small release). It's a horror/suspense film about two friends who are avid rock climbers and daredevils, one of whom suffered a personal loss and deep depression because of it. To get back on the horse, the other girl challenges her to face her fears and climb an old TV tower with her (which is basically just a 2,000-foot metal pole with a ladder). And of course, things don't go as planned. This movie is gut-churning as they climb the tower, and the photography and editing give you a real sense of heights. I'd say I have a moderate/healthy fear of heights, and at times, I definitely had a physical reaction of body-clenching during some scenes (particularly when they hang with bare hands from the top of the tower). Fall is from a few producers behind 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, which was a really good movie.
"Fair warning: This movie is quite preposterous and has many things you could nit-pick, but avoid that because you'll really enjoy it. I recommend you see this in a theater, as the large picture and big sound bring the experience home."
Where you can watch it: In movie theaters
18. Centurion (2010)
"I'm usually quite wary of historical dramas because I know how they can be inaccurate sometimes. The biggest ones manage to create or perpetuate incorrect facts that the general public accepts because visual media makes it easy for them to remember versus reading the actual truth in a dry textbook that they're likely to forget. That being said, Centurion was a great survival film with a lovely cast, and I didn't even mind the narrative device of narration by the main character. While there were some predictable moments, it was more like the satisfaction of seeing cause and affect due to good set-up and pay off, which I think will really be pleasing on rewatches. It's a very entertaining film with good pacing, good acting, and a nice runtime that doesn't go too far over the 90-minute mark. I highly recommend."
19. And Hellbender (2021)
"In terms of witchcraft-themed horror, this movie felt like a breath of fresh air (I kind of knew I was in for a great film when I saw the 'Shudder Original' logo). For those who don't know, they started off as a low-budget studio for short horror films and gained enough notoriety to start making larger projects. I respect the hell out of that, and Hellbender is a masterfully made film. The story is solid, and the acting is great, but I love the visual style the most. There are so many creative shots, and there are several scenes that are super weird and trippy — I genuinely don't even understand how they shot them. I had a blast watching this movie, and I highly recommend it."
Note: Some posts have been edited for length and/or clarity.