I am uncertain of how many times I’ve been introduced to a film that I somehow missed when it came out but immediately fell in love with. Here is a handful of great films that many people missed the first go-round and should give it a watch now.
1. October Sky (1999)
October Sky is a heartwarming coming-of-age drama. Based on the actual story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner’s kid who dreams of building rockets — it takes place in a small coal-mining town in West Virginia. It tells the story of Homer, who wants to learn more about science and leave his town.
2. The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)
This action movie is based on the true story of two man-eating lions that scared a group of people building a railway in Africa in the late 1800s. Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas play the men who have to hunt down the dangerous lions. The Ghost and the Darkness is an exciting and suspenseful story about people trying to stay alive in the face of a dangerous predator.
3. About a Boy (2002)
About a Boy is a funny and touching comedy-drama about the life of Will Freeman, played by Hugh Grant. Will is a carefree single man who lives off the income from a popular Christmas song.
When he makes friends with Marcus Brewer (Nicholas Hoult), a strange and bullied young boy, his life takes a turn he didn’t expect. The movie looks at friendship, family, and personal growth in a touching and funny way.
4. Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
Stranger than Fiction is a one-of-a-kind and thought-provoking film that blurs the line between imagination and reality. Will Ferrell plays Harold Crick, an IRS auditor who finds out that an author, played by Emma Thompson, is writing a book about his life.
As he tries to stop himself from dying, he finds himself in a strange and philosophical dilemma. The movie is a hidden gem and is guaranteed to be a terrific watch.
5. Michael Clayton (2007)
Michael Clayton is an exciting legal thriller starring George Clooney as the title character, a “fixer” in a prestigious law practice. Clayton is in a moral and professional bind when a high-stakes case involving a big agrochemical business starts to fall apart. The film is a must-see for fans of the genre because of its complex story, strong performances, and exploration of moral dilemmas.
6. In Time (2011)
In Time shows a bleak future in which people stop getting older at age 25 but are genetically programmed to live only one more year unless they can buy more time. Justin Timberlake plays a man accused of murder and goes on the run to challenge the system and its differences between classes.
This exciting and thought-provoking movie examines how wealth is distributed and what time is worth. It’s a genuinely unique story.
7. With Honors (1994)
With Honors is a heartwarming comedy-drama with Brendan Fraser, Joe Pesci, and Moira Kelly. I’ve watched it dozens of times, and it is always a great watch.
It’s about a Harvard student who loses his thesis and meets a homeless guy who has it. As they become friends, the movie looks at themes like kindness, human connection, and how important information is. It’s a story that will make you feel good.
8. Eddie and the Cruisers (1983)
Based on a true story, Eddie and the Cruisers is a musical drama about the disappearance of rock musician Eddie Wilson. A journalist tries to find out the truth about Eddie’s life and songs many years later. This movie is a must-watch for music fans who appreciate an incredible soundtrack.
9. The Place Beyond The Pines (2012)
The Place Beyond The Pines tells the stories of two men, played by Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper. Their lives become intertwined when they meet by chance. This emotional and gripping story looks at things like legacy, family, and the effects of one’s actions. Eva Mendes costars.
10. Out of Sight (1998)
Out of Sight is a stylish and funny crime comedy with George Clooney as a charming bank robber and Jennifer Lopez as a U.S. Marshal who has to catch him. The movie mixes comedy, romance, and tension as the two main characters go on an unexpected road trip with many twists and turns.
11. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
This historical thriller is about the famous outlaw Jesse James and his complicated relationship with Robert Ford, who ultimately betrays him. This movie is a nuanced look at fame, hero worship, and betrayal. Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck give outstanding performances, and the cinematography is beautiful.
12. Nightmare Alley (1947)
The film noir classic Nightmare Alley digs into the seedy underbelly of carnival con artists. Tyrone Power plays a charming con man who gets famous by lying his way to the top. However, when he gets caught in a web of lies, he has to decide what is right and wrong. The film is a must-see for genre enthusiasts because of its intriguing premise and moral complexity.
13. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
The story of young love in Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom is told with whimsy and breathtaking visuals. In the 1960s, the story takes place on a remote island in New England. Two preteens run away together, which makes the island’s strange residents join a search party. It stars Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, and Bill Murray.
14. Traffic (2000)
Traffic by Steven Soderbergh is a complex look at the drug trade in the United States and Mexico. The movie tells several stories at once, including those of a Mexican police officer, a DEA agent, and the wealthy wife of a drug dealer. Traffic is an engaging and thought-provoking look at the drug crisis and how it affects society.
15. 21 Grams (2003)
Starring Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, and Benicio del Toro, 21 Grams is an intense drama. Through several dramatic and emotionally charged events, the movie examines loss, redemption, and how people’s lives are connected.
16. Swiss Army Man (2016)
The comedy-drama Swiss Army Man depicts the bizarre and original tale of a guy marooned on an island who makes friends with a talking, flatulent corpse. The movie, which stars Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, is a funny look at loneliness, friendship, and the human condition. It’s a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience.
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