Top 10 Awsome Movies You Have Never Saw

Suggested by SMS

Everyone loves the movies, but no one has time to see every movie that comes out. Inevitably, there are movies that fall through the cracks, and you just never get around to seeing them. Fortunately, we’ve taken the time to let you know of 10 movies that you’ve likely heard of but probably missed. Put these on your “to rent” list, and thank us later.

10. The Sweet Hereafter (1997)


A terrible school bus accident in a small town – might not sound like the most exciting film, but it sure makes for good drama. Atom Egoyan directed a strong cast led by Ian Holm, Bruce Greenwood, and future Away From Her director Sarah Polley. Tensions between grieving parents and an opportunistic lawyer encouraging the filing of a class action lawsuit drive the film, and the film rewards you by not simply providing the same old story. Might not be the happiest film you’ve ever watched, but it’s certainly worth a view (the nice people at Cannes agreed).

9. Ghost World (1998)


You know the name Scarlett Johansson now, but you didn’t know it very well in 2001 when this film came out. She and Thora Birch (the girl from American Beauty) star in this comedy based upon Daniel Clowes’ wildly popular graphic novel (high-class comic book). This movie is about two teenage girls who are not in sync with the world that surrounds them, and they provide a running commentary on that world, until an unconventional love interest (the always great Steve Buscemi, who won an American Spirit Award for this role) for one of them throws a monkey wrench into the works.

8. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007)


This film boasts an absolute all-star team: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei, Albert Finney — with Sidney Lumet directing. The essential plot is that two brothers in desperate financial straits plan to rob their parents’ jewelry store, but there is so much more than that (and any further discussion here would spoil it for you, which would just be wrong). Adding to the strength of this film is the fact that the complex and multi-layered story is presented in a compelling non-chronological fashion. Lumet returns to the form of his earlier classics The Verdict and Serpico, and the acting is flat-out fantastic. Why this movie did not do better in the theaters is beyond us (and we don’t think that the sight of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s butt – yes, you read that right – was the reason).

7. Walking & Talking (1996)


Independent films are hard to find these days…at least actual independent films, not ones put out by the arm of a major studio. In the 1990s, though, truly independent films still existed, and writer-director Nicole Holofcener’s second film fits that bill. If you are looking for an action movie, you should move on. But if you want excellent character studies and charming, witty dialogue (and you enjoy Catherine Keener, Anne Heche, or Liev Schreiber), then this is your movie. Yes, the film is filled with dialogue-heavy scenes, but that is the very reason that this movie has such a strong fan base – you actually care about these people, because you know them (if you are not one of them).

6. Barcelona (1994)


Picking a Whit Stillman film to include is difficult, even though he has only directed three. His first, Metropolis, was in the vein of Walking and Talking, with verbal wit and deeply developed characters taking the place of a lot of action (and it worked well). Barcelona had a bit more action to it than most independent films (which isn’t really saying much), but the treasure here is an adept and flexible cast, led by Stillman stalwarts Taylor Nichols and Chris Eigeman, whose articulate conversations on mundane subjects make you wish you talked like that. The basic plot concerns men (one a businessman working in his company’s Barcelona office, and the other his Naval officer cousin) trying to find love in a foreign country in the early 1980s, but such a simple description of this indie classic is almost an insult. It is (as with so many on this list) a multi-layered character study, and the language and humor don’t feel dated. If you’ve traveled overseas, you will appreciate the cultural commentary (equally aimed at both the visitors and the hosts), but the dialogue and story would have worked in any setting.

5. Mute Witness (1994)


This suspense thriller was filmed in Moscow with a nearly all-European cast (and has old Ben Kenobi himself, Sir Alec Guinness, in one of his last roles). It’s the story of three Americans who find themselves in a dangerous situation that is beginning to spin out of their control. One of them, Billy (Russian actress Marina Sudina), is a mute makeup artist working on a low-budget slasher film — locked in the broken-down film studio late at night, she thinks she witnesses the making of a snuff film, which causes a terror-filled night to occur. This one has drawn comparisons to the work of Brian DePalma and Hitchcock, so it’s definitely worth a look.

4. In Bruges (2008)


This is the movie that so many others wanted to be: a comedy/crime and action thriller taking place in a European setting — that kicked some serious ass. Don’t be fooled by any previews you might have seen – this is not simply Pulp Fiction in Belgium – it is a fast-paced, funny, thrill-a-minute roller coaster that will keep you watching. It was only given a limited release in the United States (much wider in Britain and Europe), but those who saw it loved it (including critics). Need more proof? Colin Farrell won a Golden Globe Award, and screenplay writer Martin McDonagh won a BAFTA (the British Oscar).

3. Lone Star (1996)


Director John Sayles paints a rich and nuanced picture of Texas border town life in this movie, but that is only half the story. Chris Cooper stars as a small town sheriff attempting to solve the decades-old murder of one of his predecessors (and realizing that it just might be his father, who then became sheriff after the disappearance of the other). Kris Kristofferson and Matthew McConaughey portray the previous sheriffs in a series of flashbacks that provide the background for this multi-layered (again, we have to use the word) and complex story, addressing concerns such as race, family history, socioeconomic development, and personal identity. Chris Cooper and Elizabeth Peña give subtle and understated performances that provide a deep understanding of the characters and their motivation for making the difficult choices that have led them to this point. At its core, this movie is a murder mystery, but it’s unlike any mystery you’ve seen.

2. Runaway Train (1985)


You might be wondering why a movie about a runaway train (hence the title) is listed as number two – how great could it really be? Really great. Jon Voight (who was nominated for an Oscar, and won the Golden Globe for best actor), Rebecca DeMornay, and Eric Roberts star in this classic. It really is a basic plotline, in which Voight and Roberts are two convicts who have escaped from a maximum security prison in Alaska, and hop a train headed for the “Lower 48,” but their trip turns terrifying when (as the title clearly states) they are on a runaway train without brakes or an engineer (DeMornay plays a female railroad worker along for this terror ride). As with the other movies on this list, this movie delivers because its characters are well-developed – we don’t have to like these guys to be emotionally invested in their fates.

1. Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai (1999)


Forest Whitaker is an Oscar-winning actor and director, who has enjoyed a long and successful career. This movie, much less known than his other films, explains why Whitaker has had that success. Whitaker stars as the “Ghost Dog,” a mafia hitman who adheres to the ancient code of the samurai (outlined in Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai, which is featured heavily throughout the film). Director Jim Jarmusch is nothing if not a quirky visionary, and he is at his quirky best here. How many times have you heard a crime thriller be described as existential? This movie defies labels, but the beautifully-shot scenes (particularly that of a night drive than can only be described as transcendent) remind you that you are watching artists create….well….art. Critics gave this movie high praise, and it has a very strong (if limited) fan base.