critical and commercial success…’ Five words that actors, directors and producers long to hear spoken about their film. When a movie is lauded by critics and frequented by audiences it has satisfied its financial and artistic responsibilities. So often though great films have failed to win over critics or audiences, or sometimes both. Here are some of our favourite underrated films of years gone past.
The New World (2005)
Never mind Tree of Life, Terrence Malick’s The New World is the great auteur’s tour de force. Upon its release in 2005 it received mixed reviews and just recouped its budget, it came and went, nobody noticed. However, it just happens to be one of the greatest American films ever made. It is slowly gaining recognition from academics and revisionist critics and will be as revered as Citizen Kane in time.
Buffalo ’66 (1998)
Indie classic Buffalo ’66 is well loved by film buffs but criminally has not had the audience it deserves. It’s a wonderful artsy meditation on life and features hipster culture from when it was actually cool.
American Psycho (2000)
Most audiences and critics considered Mary Harron’s adaptation of the novel to be rather disappointing it has, however, gone on to become one of the most popular cult films of recent years.
Jackie Brown (1997)
Ask anybody to name all of Tarantino’s films and I guarantee Jackie Brown is the one most frequently left off the list. It’s a great shame because this ‘blaxploitation’ picture is one of Tarantino’s best films – second only to Pulp Fiction.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Often considered to be one of Stanley Kubrick’s weakest offerings, the film did well at the box office and was critically well received. Eyes Wide Shut deserves more attention; it’s a truly captivating drama.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
It may feature everybody’s least favourite Bond in George Lazenby (whose voice was actually dubbed by another actor), but this is easily one of the best Bond movies. 007 spends half the film pretending to be an effete and prudish genealogist, whilst infiltrating Blofeld’s organisation – terrific stuff!
Exorcist director William Friedkin hardly endeared himself to the gay community when he made a film about a homosexual serial killer who kills gay men due to self-loathing. It was considered an outrage at the time – but it ain’t half bad actually.
Stephen Soderbergh’s adaptation of Lem’s classic science fiction novel garnered mixed reviews and lost money at the box office. It has its flaws but at the time there was little else in the way of thinking man’s sci-fi; well worth seeing.
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The second Bond film on the list; Tomorrow Never Dies is again one of the best in the series, but rarely talked about. Its villain Elliot Carver is a hilarious send-up of Rupert Murdoch and his sidekick Mr Stamper is a wonderfully naff, nineties antagonist.