The most underrated movies of the 21st century

Originally published at: The most underrated movies of the 21st century | Boing Boing


Big Man Japan, totally under-rated and passed over. Watch it, you’ll agree.


Added to my list, thank you.
I’ve seen a few on the Wired list, but most I had not.
I’m particularly interested in The Assistant and 99 Homes.
I thought that Annihilation was a bigger movie than it was, apparently.
Can confirm Big Fan, it’s awesome. Speaking of Patton Oswalt, he’s in Young Adult with Charlize Theron, which is also great and underrated.


Please Stand By, it’s a bit of a tear jerker, but a Trekkie must see, very intimate film :film_strip:.


Annihilation sounds a lot like a Hollywood attempt to make Stalker for a mass audience. I’ll check it out though…


Based on…

Which I have not gotten around to reading yet, but I hear is really good.

But why the fuck isn’t Jennifer’s Body on that list…

sexy megan fox GIF


Same, and for Vanilla Sky as well.

I was honestly suprised how many of these I had seen during the “discs in the mail” phase of Netflix.


I can’t help thinking that the article should only focus on the first 10 years of the century. It takes about ten years after a film’s release to really see its influence and quality, divorced from initial reactions and what is selling well at the time. Some films just don’t age well at all, whether that’s through being overhyped, or the latest cool, underground thing wearing thin.


I’ve only seen Vanilla Sky. Having seen it, I’m not feeling terribly hopeful for the rest of the list.


How about Primer.

1 Like

That’s the thing about some of these entries.

Vanilla sky was a moderate hit, and critically torn apart. But it was widely seen, widely discussed and almost immediately entered “it’s actually good!” contrarianism. I’d be more inclined to call it over rated, cause it’s not good.

We Need to Talk About Kevin was a smaller movie, but it was financially pretty successful, got great reviews and was a massive bit of conversation for months. Including jokes on SNL and the like. How is that under rated?

A lot of these are well regarded. But just smaller movies that didn’t get wide release.


They admit that the movie did really well. But for some reason they have it on the list because they disagreed with all the critics who didn’t like it, which is weird.

That seems like the weakest of the bunch - or at least of the ones I’ve seen. It doesn’t fit with the rest of the list either, given that it’s a widely-seen but inferior (and frankly pointless) remake that made the list because critics savaged it (for being vapid and then defending the movie by claiming that’s the point, no less).

The person who made the list doesn’t seem to have a consistent notion of who’s “rating” the movies - the audience, the critics?


I read the Southern Reach trilogy but haven’t gotten around to watching Annihilation yet.

In some ways the books reminded me of Lost; the central setting is a mysterious locale that doesn’t seem to adhere to the laws of physics, the central characters’ backstories are revealed slowly and fitfully if revealed at all, the whole weirdness seems to date back farther than most people initially realized, etc. There’s even a bit where someone comes across a big pile of discarded journals from previous expeditions. Also like Lost it’s one of those “try to enjoy the journey rather than hope for a satisfying and definitive explanation for everything” kind of deals.

I’m curious how faithful the movie was to the book. I can see it working as one of those “let’s take inspiration from this story but take some of our own liberties to make it a better cinematic experience” situations like the most memorable Philip K. Dick adaptations.


List should have been called 21st Century Movies I Liked.


I had several years between reading the books and watching the movie (so I may be forgetting some things, since the books kind of slid off my brain a bit), but I’d say it follows the basic plot (what plot there is) of the first book about 65-75% faithfully. The basic structure is there, but it’s hard for a movie to really portray questioning your own sanity/perception/memory as well as the book does, and it isn’t as central to the theme. So the movie has some weird monsters that are different from the book, and other weird stuff. I’d say it’s a solid B-, mainly helped by the cast (which is outstanding).


Hahaha, I remember that fondly.
I used to live fairly close to the Netflix offices in Los Gatos, CA back then and on my way home from work would use the dropbox there to return my disks. Faster turn-around to get me the next title. :slight_smile:

Rick Carver: Up until three years ago I was a regular old real estate agent. Putting people in homes, speculating on property, that was my job. Now in 2006 Robert and Julia Tanner borrowed $30,000 to put an enclosed patio on their home that they had somehow managed to live without for 25 years. Why don’t you ask them about that when they’re spitting in your face while you walk them to the curb? Why don’t you ask the bank what the hell they were thinking giving these people an adjustable rate mortgage. And then you can go to the government and ask them why they lifted every regulation and sat there like a retarded stepchild. You, Tanner, the banks, Washington, every other homeowner and investor from here to China turned my life into evictions.

I’m not an aristocrat. I wasn’t born into this. My daddy was a roofer. OK? I grew up on construction sites watching him bust his ass until he fell off of a townhouse one day. A lifetime of insurance payments and they dropped him before he could buy a wheelchair but only after they got him hooked on painkillers. Do you think I’m gonna let that happen to me? Do you think America 2010 gives a flying rat’s ass about Carver or Nash? America doesn’t bail out the losers. America was built by bailing out winners, by rigging a nation of the winners for the winners by the winners.

You go to church, Nash? You go to church?

Nash: Sure

Carver: Only one in a hundred is gonna get on that Ark, son. And every other poor soul is gonna drown. I’m not gonna drown.

Ramin Bharani and Amir Naderi, screenplay

Locke written and directed by Steven Knight
(2014, Lion’s Gate)

Donal: You want me to run, run for those fucking bastards in Chicago who don’t give a shit whether I live or die?
Locke: No, you do it for the piece of sky we’re stealing with our building. You do it for the air that will be displaced. And most of all
you do it for the fucking concrete because it’s as delicate as blood.

Or “Pretty Good Movies You Sorta Forgot About, and Also Vanilla Sky”.