Movies that deserved better

There are certain movies that, for one reason or another, never got enough recognition.

Maybe they’re crap and you just don’t know about? :)

In any case, there are movies that I think are absolutely fantastic - but are not appreciated as much as I think they should be.

Here are some prominent examples:

  1. Wolf (1994, Jack Nicholson)
  2. Rob Roy (1995, Liam Neeson)

Both movies are fantastic in their own way.

I recognise that Wolf has a questionable ending - and that it’s not a traditional werewolf movie. But it has some of the best writing I’m aware of, and the primary actors are brilliant in their roles.

Nicholson, Pfeiffer, Spader, Plummer are ALL at their peak. The music is also amazing - as are most Morricone scores.

As for Rob Roy, it obviously suffered for coming out at the same time as Braveheart. I was around 18 at the time, and I also liked Braveheart better then.

Today, however, I think Rob Roy is much better - and I honestly don’t think it has any serious flaws. It looks great, the actors are great (Cox, Hurt and Roth especially), it sounds great - and it has some of the best sword fights in cinema history. The dialogue is more realistic than most of these films.

I just love these two films - and I wanted to let it be known ;)

Have you got some similar titles that didn’t get what they deserved - and if so, what was special about them?

I agree with Rob Roy, but Wolf? I haven’t seen it since it came out, but I do not recall it being very good at all.

Though it’s pretty well universally loved amongst people I know, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang grossed a mere 15 Million, and most of that outside the US (IMDB info)

Oooh!!! – IMDB shows Shane Black writing/directing Iron Man 3 (and Robert Downey Jr again).


Two period pieces I really enjoyed:


Moll Flanders

I’ve always thought Dark City deserved more recognition, and no matter how much recognition The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford receives, it’s not nearly enough.


Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a fantastic movie.

I would submit Stake Land: few people watched what I tought was a very well done vampire apocalypse.

I thought Trollhunter was really well-done and could have been a next-gen Blair Witch.

Huh. I had thought Trollhunter kind of was a next-gen Blair Witch. It certainly got a lot of exposure and critical attention in the UK. But, looking at Box Office Mojo, it seems that we were the exception (other than Norway of course). The UK box office was triple the US take. That is a shame. It was a fun movie.

Well the Bill Douglas Trilogy (sorry I know I harp on about it) should have won more prizes especially in Britain.

I find it quite hard to name films I think deserve more recognition as I like my obscurities/oldies so I’m not sure they are films that people in general would like even if I think they should.

Rumble Fish was an absolutely fantastic film, I get why people dislike it but I think it’s very strong, much stronger than The Outsiders. It’s the sort of film I think every teenager should watch though not a very self-aware film its all the better for it.

Assassination of Jesse James goes without saying (oops I just did), really amazing film.

Meek’s Cutoff got a really poor release in the UK though the reviews were good, it seemed to only play for about a week in this country.

Maybe I’ll think up some more later.

As people who know me know, I feel Speed Racer is tremendously fun and underrated.

My own choice would probably be Primer. It certainly got recognition within the SF and film buff communities, but IRL hardly anyone I haven’t personally introduced it to has even heard of it.

Unbreakable is the best superhero movie I’ve ever seen.

One of my favorite movie genres: the really surprisingly good film that somehow fell through the cracks.

I think my #1 pick for a shoulda-been-a-classic (if not for the Red Scare) is the really terrific Warlock. Not the crappy 80’s horror film, the western from 1959. This film should be up there with High Noon, The Searchers or The Magnificent Seven. It’s got a solid cast turning in complex performances (Fonda, Widmark, Anthony Quinn). It’s got a brilliant and dark script, full of twists and motivations you won’t see coming a mile away. It’s got some excellent action set-pieces. It’s beautifully shot in Cinemascope. And virtually no-one has seen it!

It’s up on Netflix streaming. I highly recommend it. If you have any affection for the Western genre at all, it’s a must-see.

Ditto! Though for me Dark City is a bit more style than substance.

But The Assassination… has become one of those films that I can watch over and over again, it’s that mesmerizing.

I also really liked A.I. and thought it should have done better.

But one film that was very well received but in my opinion still not as big as it should have been (or as well remembered?) was the Brazilian film City Of God. That is one of the most well directed films I’ve seen and was so good I re-watched it the day after first seeing it.

Oh and as far as Zombie/Horror movies go, I watched Dead Snow recently and it would not crack my list of top 20 horror films BUT it was a hell of a lot more entertaining than I thought it would be from the reviews I’d read. It was slick, fast paced, gory and just plain fun.

Ohhh, good one, loved that movie.

I think Black Dynamite deserves a much, much larger audience than it has. According to IMDB, it only made $228,477 at the box office. I dunno how many have seen it on disk – I’d be one of 'em – but it seems to be chugging along on its cult hit status, at least.

I also really liked A.I. and thought it should have done better.

Funnily enough, Mark Kermode (famous UK critic) said just last week that he’s revisited his opinion of AI and now thinks it’s really quite good. Personally I can’t imagine that what I remember as a godawful drawn out coda doesn’t still drag the rest of the movie down with it, but maybe.

How dare you! How dare you!

I normally wouldn’t have any idea what to do with this thread – movies that deserved better what? – but just for that, I’m going to pick Warlock, the classic horror series that began with Richard E. Grant, Julian Sands, and some annoying chick named Lori something, I think. She was probably in a John Hughes movie at some point. Or maybe she was the chick who teaches Keanu to surf in Point Break. Who cares. Warlock is great.

“Hey, didja know the Earth is round?”

“For some years now.”


Fair enough.

I must admit, I’ve not actually seen the 80s Warlock. I just assumed it was crappy based on the synopsis and the fact that it stars Julian Sands, one of my least least favorite actors. I hate him more every time he appears on my screen.