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10 Great Movies That Don’t Get The Recognition They Deserve

23 November 2017 | Features, Film Lists | by Pedro Morata

There are films that due to a few factors, or simply bad luck or bad promotions, are not well accepted by the general public. Other times there are cases in which a great movie is made but it is not disclosed. There are many cases that occur when a film does not have the recognition it deserves.

On this list, there will be titles that, due to circumstances, do not have the true recognition they deserve. These should be films that when mentioned to anyone, the answer should be: “Oh yes, that movie is great!” And the reality is that when you name any of the films on this list, the answer is: “Oh yes, that movie sucks!” And it’s sad. Sometimes, the answer is just: “Oh, I do not know that movie,” which is a sin, but at the same time enviable to be able to watch any of these films for the first time.

That said, we present to you this list of 10 films that don’t get the recognition they deserve. You are welcome to comment on the movie you miss on the list in the comment section. So, here we go:

 

10. Perfect Blue (1997)

satoshi kon movies_

“Perfect Blue” was the first film directed by master Satoshi Kon, who sadly passed away years ago. Perhaps it is his best work in a short filmography that is already excellent, with films like “Paprika,” “Millennium Actress” and “Tokyo Godfathers.” Kon creates a very intriguing story that captivates you as the film progresses. Its perfect narration and overwhelming and disturbing atmosphere makes “Perfect Blue” one of the best psychological thrillers ever made.

Mima Kirigoe is a j-pop singer who enjoys moderate success along with two other girls in the vocal group Cham. However, the desire to open up to new experiences leads her to leave music and develop her career as an actress.

Little by little, in her new occupation, Mima detaches herself from the image of “pop idol” that accompanied her, to a change that does not feel good at all, and for which she is harassed and threatened by an old fan who does not forgive the betrayal. Mima herself develops a deep sense of guilt, and begins to confuse reality with her memories and suffer temporary lapses, which leads her to question her own identity.

This dark psychological thriller is a labyrinth elaborated by a convoluted plot that is diluted between two worlds: the real one and the imaginary one. One of the main successes of “Perfect Blue” lies in its use of the concept of “cinema within the cinema.” The reality is blurred playing with the viewer, disorienting it in several moments where it is difficult to establish a separation between the story in the film starring the young aspiring actress and the film itself.

Add also the oneiric halo that envelops and hypnotizes the viewer, and the truth is that the whole movie feels like Lynch. Yet, here the surrealism is much less symbolic and closer to a horror film.

Definitely watch this one if you haven’t, for this is not only one of the best anime films ever made, but one of the most intriguing psychological thrillers ever told on screen. Roger Corman defined “Perfect Blue” once as: “An overwhelming and powerful film, if Alfred Hitchcock had teamed up with Walt Disney, they would have made a movie like this.”

 

9. Sunshine (2007)

“Sunshine” is a fascinating work of science fiction, another indispensable contribution to the genre that provokes or revives the sensation of staying totally amazed with that universe to which we belong and with everything that we do not value enough until the moment in which the problems arrive. That is the approach of the film directed by Danny Boyle.

Within five years the Sun will be extinguished, and with it the human race will be extinguished. The last hope of the men is the Ícarus II, a spaceship manned by six men and two women, whose mission is to carry a gigantic explosive charge that would breathe new life into the star and allow it to shine again, thus saving the population of Earth. The problem is that the ship Ícarus had already carried out the same mission seven years before and had failed.

“Sunshine” can have several problems, and the most visible one is the implausibility of the plot. As much as it is science fiction, the mission of bringing a gigantic bomb to reactivate the dying sun… okay, it may sound ridiculous and unrealistic, but in return, “Sunshine” offers us a more than worthy spectacle. The anguish accompanying the characters of the film is real, and the final act becomes something like “Alien.”

Many critics have not been able to scratch the surface of “Sunshine” and see beyond the premise, claiming that the film lacks realism, since it is impossible for the Sun to be extinguished for five billion years. As Danny Boyle said: “The universe is unpredictable.”

In any case, it doesn’t matter. “Sunshine” presents us with this possibility: the Sun is dying and only one pump could reactivate it. Is it realistic? No, it’s science fiction. Is it plausible? As the film builds it: of course.

 

8. Year of the Dragon (1985)

Year of the Dragon (1985)

Michael Cimino is a “cursed” director in Hollywood. His “The Deer Hunter” was a remarkable work and one of the first films to graphically depict postwar trauma in Vietnam, but his most ambitious film, one that was very badly valued, was “Heaven’s Gate,” and for that he was sent to the tacho of the “not eligible” directors for spending a million on a movie that nobody saw. “Year of the Dragon” was the next film he directed, with a lot of luck.

Stanley White (Mickey Rourke) is a veteran of Vietnam who, after 15 years with the police force, is destined to Manhattan South, a district of New York. Its mission is to eliminate the young gangs that dominate the area. His investigations lead him to the dangerous Chinese mafia, led by Joey Tai (John Lone), whose methods to control drug trafficking are extraordinarily violent. The end of organized crime becomes an obsession for White, but his traumatic past and present situation drag him beyond the orders received.

“Year of the Dragon” has good action, good pacing, excellent performances (mainly from Rourke and Lone) and a lot of originality. Certain details in the plot make it different from other films of its kind. The film has charisma and a great dose of violence that’s loaded with fury. With good direction and good atmosphere, “Year of the Dragon” is a neo noir, gangster and detective film essential for anyone who likes those themes and genres.

 

7. Enter the Void (2009)

Enter the Void

Gaspar Noé is another controversial filmmaker who gives us something to talk about, and makes films that you either connect with or you don’t. This film is an unique experience; if you haven’t seen it yet, it is worth watching, because even if you do not like it, it will not leave you feeling indifferent.

The beginning of the movie is explosive. Oscar and Linda are two siblings who live in Tokyo. The two swear to never separate themselves after the eventful death of their parents. Oscar is a drug dealer and Linda makes her living as a stripper. However, Oscar dies while preparing to complete a trade.

The film introduces you fully to the protagonist, with abundant shots in first person, generating even a tune between your blink and the one of the character. It is an ultra-sensory journey of Oscar’s soul after leaving his body; all related to the Tibetan “The Book of the Dead.” Impossible camera movements, rebel and incendiary shots, an exciting sound, a prodigious direction and a very original and challenging story are a constant challenge for the viewer, from the same initial credit titles.

This is a family drama, with traumatic events that define and rotate alongside relationships, and they are increasingly deeper. This is a film about drugs. This is a movie about death. Not only about the implications of death, but the experience of death itself. And not only about how it ends, but how everything goes back to the beginning. You can even say it’s a movie about life. The hard life.

“Enter the Void” has no equal, nor can it be described. You do not know if you’ll like it or not until you test it, you do not know if you hate it or love it until you experience it, and if you position yourself next to the first ones, you will not be able to stand it. If you are one of the second ones, you will not be able to avoid feeling trapped, guided and attracted by the intense, vibrant and brutal spectacle of “Enter the Void,” a sensory, emotional and cinematographic experience that, for better or for worse, cannot be compared with anything else.

 

6. Munich (2005)

munich 2005

“Munich” is possibly one of the best films by Steven Spielberg, where he demonstrates great maturity as a director, focusing on such a delicate and personal conflict from an objective and reflective point of view. That is why it provoked so many criticisms from both sides.

Based on real events, following the assassination of several Israeli athletes by the Palestinian terrorist group “Black September” during the Munich Olympic Games in 1972, a special Mossad agent had to execute a highly secret mission: to assassinate those responsible.

The film also narrates the Israeli reaction to the massacre: the creation of a command that should be responsible for executing the main perpetrators of the crime, and the revenge would last for more than 10 years. Spielberg brilliantly composes the story of the horrible facts, alternating them with numerous intimate scenes, where as a way of introspection, the feelings, the emotions and the intimate reflections of the protagonists of both sides are detailed.

The message is clear: Violence only brings hatred. It is not the way.

 

 

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  • Abhishek

    Agree with every option but I think Munich got the deserved love. Didn’t it?

    • Ricardo Correia

      By awards maybe, by the public no

      • Jasper Sapien.

        Didn’t really rock the arab world.

    • Yes

  • Mortimer

    A bit strange to see ‘The Tree of Life’ on the same list with ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Last Action Hero’.

    • colonelkurtz

      It seems the list took a brief lapse for a few movies. The top five choices are all fairly disappointing. They’re either bad movies or do get plenty of recognition, at least within the right circles.

  • Amor Asad

    What is there to recognize Star-ship Troopers for? Lots of Cringe?

  • David

    Silence (2016), Victoria (2015), 99 Homes (2015), The Age of Innocence (1993), and The Game (1997).

  • Kosta Jovanovic

    Enter the void?

  • Ricardo Correia

    Watchmen and Godzilla are stupid picks

    • sailor monsoon

      Do you come here just to bitch?

  • ‘Starship Troopers’, you’ve got to be kidding.

  • grootrm

    Good list of movies with a common attribute.

  • AmazingAmy

    Under the skin
    White Material
    I Am Love
    Code Unknown
    Mud
    The Immigrant ( every James Gray film tbh)
    Birth
    Fountain

    • Yes, except the critically lauded Under The Skin.
      Replace Mud with Take Shelter or Shotgun Stories (two superior Nichols flicks)

  • Movies on here I have issue with selecting:
    *Sunshine – is an underrated movie, yes, but it is good, and certainly not great
    *Starship Troopers – made over $120M upon release, and has gained a cult following 20 years later
    *Last Action Hero – c’mon
    *Tree Of Life – the same film that is mentioned on every third “great” film list (including ToC)?
    *Munich – $120M+ at box office, and from Wikipedia: “In 2017, the film was named the sixteenth ‘Best Film of the 21st Century So Far’ by The New York Times”

    • I write for a living and understand how difficult it can be to churn content out, and I am always fair and defensive of the writers on here (who I know don’t get paid much), but there IS an editor here and this list should have been better vetted.

      • Pedro Morata Rigueras

        Hi Brandon, i know what you mean and you put some valid points, but i should have clarified more why i chose the films on the list before naming them.

        Of course, on some moviegoer circles some of these films are loved, get recognition and have a cult following, but my main point is that the majority of the main audience rejects films like The Tree of Life and Starship Troopers, calling them either boring, empty and pretentious; or either silly, stupid and cringe worthy. Tree of Life for example is a much talked film over the past years, of course, and a lot of people love it; but I’m amazed at the amount of people I’ve shown this movie to and they’ve found it meaningless and boring. Or simply talking about Tree of Life in a conversation, and the only person to defend it is you. And take Last Action Hero for example. I love it, and i know some other people who love that movie and are beloved film fans. A lot of people on the comments section hate it, and yo dont like it either as i can see. One of the beautiful things of art and film in general is to see and discuss different points of view on something. If everyone liked the same things and there was no variety of opinions, all this would be too boring.

        I storngly belive that the only objective thing to say about a film is the runtime, aspect ratio, frames per second, format, etc etc. All the rest is totally subjective, although we try not to believe it.

        Thanks for commenting and sharing your opinion.

        • Vincenzo Politi

          I disagree. There are ways to find out which movies did not get the recognition they deserve “objectively”. You can look at the box office or at what critics said. Instead, it seems like you have written a list about “the movie that don’t get the recognition they deserve from my friends and the people I talk to”. The Tree of Life received the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival: that is, the top prize in the most important film festival in the WORLD. How can you say that movie didn’t get the recognition it deserved???

          • Pedro Morata Rigueras

            Okay, when i talk about “recognition” in the article, i don’t talk about box office or awards, i mean mainly about the audience perception. I still remember when Tree of Life hit theatres on my country. Many people felt cheated. Literally, they wanted their money back, and many people still think that way when they watch that film. Yes, that film received the Palme d?Or at Cannes, but that doesn’t change how many people feel about the movie. And when i mentioned the fact of talking with friends or people in general about the film, i meant it simply as an anectode and a particular fact. And i dont mean just random people, but people that really love film that make a living working in film festivals or in the film industry in some way.

            One of my options for the list that didn’t made it was BvS. That movie crushed it at the box office and is one of the most highest grossing films of all time (rank 51 i think it made), and i still believe is somewhat misunderstood and didn’t recieve enough recognition (critically speaking). it didnt made the list because it is a recent movie and i didn’t want to start a war xD (with all the hate that BvS brings). But again, in the article i meant about subjetctive matters such as how people feel about those films, rather than awards and box office.

          • Vincenzo Politi

            I am one of those who utterly disliked The Tree of Life, but I can’t say it did not receive recognition from the public. Perhaps, European audiences are different from the USA audience, because all my friends actually love that movie.

          • Pedro Morata Rigueras

            Maybe. Just looking at film itself, Hollywood cinema is different in style from European cinema.
            I had a teacher in film school that liked to trash the film and told us that the only film that he wasnt able to finish was the tree of life. And all the friends who i showed the film to, either they fell asleep or they did not like it 🙁

          • Vincenzo Politi

            “Just looking at film itself, Hollywood cinema is different in style from European cinema” — by the way, the Tree of Life IS an American movie, not European. I don’t think there’s too much difference between many Hollywood and European movies: there are many comedies, dramas and romances which are very similar. There is a lot of ignorance of Americans toward anything produced outside the States, that’s true. Also, I must side with your teacher on the assessment of the Tree of Life, LOL. However, all my friends strangely loved that one.

  • Xeno

    I’m sorry, this website used to be a great resource for me years ago and I really am very grateful for all the great movies I discovered here. But I feel like tasteofcinema is turning into yet another generic, thoughtless movie-ranking website. Like, take this list for example. I don’t know about all of the movies mentioned, but:

    – Perfect Blue: One of the most famous anime movies of all time. It is also widely regarded as one of the best movies of it’s genre ever made.
    – Enter the Void: One of the best known movies of Gaspar Noe, who is himself an extremely well known director.
    – Munich: Did great at the box office. Maybe not Spielberg’s most famous movie, still incedibly popular.
    – Starship Troopers: Regarded as a cult movie by many, many fans of the genre.
    – Watchmen: Also very well known, even by people who absolutely hate the genre. (Like me)
    – Godzilla (2014): 500 million at box office.
    – The Tree of Life: There’s no way you haven’t heard about this movie if you’re even remotley interested in cinema. There are a ton of people who praise Malick as some kind of modern-cinema-messiah.

    I mean. Come on.