UNDERRATED SUCCESSFUL FILMS+++
There are movies that do well upon their release either critically, commercially, or both. Yet, they still feel under appreciated.
- •After HoursScorcese fans mark this as one of his best, yet anytime it comes up in conversation, it's usually followed up with "I haven't seen it in years!" I think it's because After Hours is about a decent guy just trying to get through a hell of a night. Not the misanthropic ticking time bombs we follow in his more celebrated work. Not to mention it's half the running length of his other films.
- •Jackie BrownQT fans love it, but it rarely makes it to the top of his canon. For me, this is his best non-Pulp Fiction film. It's the only Tarantino film that takes place in the real world. The characters feel the feels and so do we. They have fears of aging, dying of unnatural causes, and doing what they can to get by.
- •Chasing AmyThe first Criterion DVD that didn't require 0% APR financing for this teen (seriously, remember when they first hit shelves? Most of them cost $40, at least). Everyone loves it, but in the Smith canon, people I talk to treat it differently. Maybe cause it's not a straightforward comedy? It's just as relevant today as it was when it was released.
- •Blade IIThis may seem like a weird choice, but Guillermo Del Toro really made a perfect horror-action hybrid that makes the rest of the series look lame. David Goyer wrote this pre-Batman. Both of them take it seriously and it doesn't feel like a by-the-numbers cash-in. The concept of a super vampire that feeds on humans and vamps sounds tacky, but it's done so well with an epic scope. The reapers, as they're called, are scary looking and nasty af.
- •Punch-Drunk LoveTo the uninitiated, this movie is a real head scratcher. In college, my boss at Best Buy said it's the worst movie he's ever seen. Everyone who gets it, still seems to put this on the lower end of PTA's cannon and given his track record, I understand why. But it's also his most unique film and the most un-PTA of them all. It's in my top ten, always and forever.
- •Point BreakIt has a cult following and is certainly a favorite quotable. But step back and really take a look at how invested Kathryn Bigelow, Swayze, and Keanu really are in the movie. The philosophy is as clear as the action with an existential villain that the hero looks up to... if a guy directed this, we'd just have had surfers with guns. Or worse, Surf Ninjas. Roger Ebert's 3.5 star review nails it, go read it!
- •ZodiacOne of David Fincher's best. Unlike Se7en or Fight Club, which pulled you in on first viewing, this one gets more engrossing upon repeat visits since you have more facts, but that ends up driving you as mad as the characters. Watching them work to solve the case is what I imagine writing the script was like: exhausting. It found new life on the small screen, yet doesn't seem to be acknowledged accordingly.
- •Boiler RoomA low budget release that did fairly well at the time was Wolf of Wall Street from an outsider's POV. Unlike Wolf, it's less satirical and it's natural approach to their excessive lifestyle makes it more shocking. Though you root for Giovanni Ribisi's character and it ends in a more logical, real world way than most movies. I say that as a compliment.
- •Dark CityAlex Proyas' follow up to The Crow. Similar in tone and theme to The Matrix, but made a few months before. They even sold rooftops sets to The Matrix. Roger Ebert liked Dark City so much he recorded a commentary for the DVD release.Suggested by @Hyner