21 Great Films You Probably Haven’t Seen (or Didn’t Know Existed)

I’m sure you haven’t seen some (if not all) of these films. I’ve included their respective trailers for your viewing pleasure – although some of them really don’t do the film justice. If you ever get the chance to grab a copy of these films, trust me and check ‘em out ’cause some of these movies are highly underrated and seriously deserve more love.

Across the Universe (2007) – The film’s plot is centered on songs by The Beatles — and that’s what makes this musical romantic drama special.

American Pop (1981) – An animated adult drama. This is personally one of the best-looking animated films that ever existed (especially considering the year it was released) – Kanye West even paid tribute to it on his “Heartless” music video. Its storyline and voice-acting is equally good, telling the story of four generations of a family of musicians.

The Basketball Diaries (1995) – The true story of poet Jim Carroll. The year was 1995 but you could already tell from this movie that Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg were going to become great actors.

Big Trouble in Little China (1986) – One of my favorite action/fantasy films of all time! It’s got supernatural martial arts and it’s funny (mostly thanks to Kurt Russell). It also features a storm villain that inspires Mortal Kombat‘s Raiden.

The Black Cauldron (1985) / Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) – It’s a tie because both of these animated films bombed at the box office for being “too dark for children”. Although I agree they were both dark animated films, I don’t feel they deserved to be flops. The Black Cauldron is known as Disney’s darkest film ever – which is what makes it cool; While Mask of the Phantasm is by far one of the greatest Batman films (next to The Dark Knight). Great cartoons with stories worthy of a live-action film adaption.

China Strike Force (2000) – A Hong Kong action film. Aside from it starring my favorite (Hong Kong) actor Aaron Kwok, it also features Coolio (Yes, the rapper) and Mark Dacascos (Crying Freeman, Cradle 2 The Grave, Iron Chef America) as the film’s villains. If you love Jacky Chan movies, you will definitely love this.

Drive (2011) – If you thought The Transporter was the coolest getaway driver, think again. Ryan Gosling is such a bad-ass (as a nameless character) in this movie that you forget about all the pretty boy roles he’s played in the past. Its arthouse violence makes this movie a beautiful piece of work.

Equilibrium (2002) – This movie is awesome because 1) It introduces us to a fictional martial art known as Gun Kata (a.k.a. Gun Fu) and 2) We get Christian Bale performing said martial art. I’m sure the only reason this movie flopped was because it suffered from comparison to The Matrix. But as much as I love The Matrix, this movie is still super cool in my book.

Follow That Bird (1985) – There are a lot of Muppet movies but there are only two Sesame Street films (to date). This was the first of those two and I still love it today as much as I did when I first saw it as a kid.

Frozen (2010) – Little did you know, there was another Frozen that released three years before the Frozen every man, woman and child know today. Letting go was the last thing you’d want to do in this suspense-filled thriller.

Go (1999) – The only way to describe this film is it’s a “junior Pulp Fiction” – which is fine since Pulp Fiction is one of the greatest films of the 90’s. If there was such a place called Tarantinoland, this movie would be part of it.

Green Street Hooligans (2005) – When you hear the name Elijah Wood, you probably think Frodo or Lord of the Rings. I, on the other hand, think of this movie.

Idle Hands (1999) – An obvious homage to Evil Dead 2. I will never understand why this horror comedy flopped. Not only is it hilarious, but it also introduces us to the hottie known as Jessica Alba.

Ip Man (2008) – Ip Man is a Hong Kong martial arts film with some of the most insane fight scenes ever! If you do not know who Donnie Yen is, you will after watching this movie.

On The Job (2013) – This Filipino action thriller is so well-written that it easily falls under the same level as Martin Scorsese‘s The Departed.

Pee Mak (2013) – A Thai comedy horror based on a legend of Thai folklore. It’s really more of a comedy than a horror ’cause it’ll keep you laughing throughout the entire movie.

The Replacements (2000) / Man of Tai Chi (2013) – It’s a tie for these two Keanu Reeves films. The characters of The Replacements are cliché, and its storyline is anything but original — but that’s precisely what makes this sports comedy a guilty pleasure to watch. Man of Tai Chi is a multilingual Chinese/American film. It marks Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut and is the first time we see him doing Kung Fu again since The Matrix.

Sanctum (2011) – “What could possibly go wrong diving in caves?” you ask? This movie tells you what. Although it’s best viewed in 3D, it’s not necessary. You can just see it for what it is – a thrill ride of an adventure with James Cameron as Executive Producer.

A Scanner Darkly (2006) – An animated sci-fi thriller based on the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name. Not only are its visuals hypnotic, but it also puts Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson and Winona Ryder together in one movie.

Sukiyaki Western Django (2007) – Before Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino was affiliated with another Django film. Directed by Audition‘s Takashi Miike, it’s a film that mixes Samurai and Western traditions. It’s weird, violent and a must-see for movie fanatics and Tarantino fans alike.

Swing Kids (1993) – A drama set in pre-World War II Germany. Another early Christian Bale movie I’ll never understand why it flopped. The music was great, the drama was sincere and it personally could’ve arm-wrestled with the likes of Schindler’s List and Life is Beautiful.

Which ones have you seen?

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3 thoughts on “21 Great Films You Probably Haven’t Seen (or Didn’t Know Existed)

  1. I have seen Basket ball diaries, Equilibrium, Drive, Frozen and other one or two..btw cool list. Keep it up man. :)

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