We live in a world of vastly differing opinions, and it can often be hard to form your own thoughts among so many different voices. For me, this has become especially true in film. With a plethora of Netflix movies to choose from, I find myself seeking out reviews before ever giving things a chance. After all, why should I waste time watching something that didn’t get good reviews?
Well, now that I’m running out of critically acclaimed films to consume, I’m realizing that there are a lot of hidden gems out there that I might have missed. There is a rich wealth of underrated movies on Netflix if you’re willing to look, but here are 5 of my top picks to get you started.
I happened upon this little gem after my pension for action and comedy movies collided with my love for rom-coms. Mr. Right is fun throughout the entire film, and Sam Rockwell is an absolute treasure. The story follows a woman (Anna Kendrick) who is just coming out of a bad break-up. She meets a man who appears to be perfect for her in every way, but as it turns out, he’s a former hitman. This action movie is one of the best on Netflix if you don’t mind some ridiculousness.
Director: Paco Cabezas
Main Cast: Anna Kendrick, Sam Rockwell, Tim Roth
Runtime: 95 minutes
9 was one of those sci-fi movies on Netflix I’d never heard of until someone told me how underrated it was. And after watching it, I wondered how it was possible I never knew it existed. In a world destroyed in a war between man and machine, a hand-stitched doll with the number 9 written on it comes back to life. As the doll tries to decipher the world around him, he finds that he may be one of the last hopes for man’s salvation.
Director: Shane Acker
Main Cast: Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover
Runtime: 79 minutes
All in all, Enemy isn’t terribly underrated, but I’d never heard of it until I stumble upon it on Netflix. It’s also a hard one to explain, exactly. In short, Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a somber history professor that finds himself stuck in a monotonous routine. But when he spots his exact look-alike in a movie, he does everything he can to seek him out. The lives of the two identical men intertwine as they become obsessed with each other in their own separate ways. If you’re looking for a slow-burning thriller movie, this is a good one.
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Main Casst: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon
Runtime: 91 minutes
Anime isn’t for everyone. But if you’re looking to expand your horizons, or just need a break from whatever anime series you may be currently bingeing, this movie is worth a watch. The story follows an ordinary young girl named Mary who finds herself stuck in the country. When she follows a mysterious cat into the woods, however, she finds a strange flower and a broomstick that opens up an entirely new world for her. All in all, this a good movie for everyone in the family with a heartfelt message, great characters, and beautiful art.
Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Giles New
Main Cast: Hana Sugisaki, Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Yûki Amami
Runtime: 103 minutes
If you’re someone who enjoys watching old Bruce Lee movies and needs a similar fix, Bloodsport may just be what you’re looking for. Army Captain Frank Dux goes completely AWOL and travels to Hong Kong to become the champion of a secret martial arts contest. The fights are brutal and there’s no guarantee of survival within any of these fights. As Jean-Claude Van Dammes breakout role, this movie is a great way to dig into the action star’s roots.
Director: Newt Arnold
Main Cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Donald Gibb, Leah Avres
IMDb Rating: 6.8