A few months back I wrote my Underrated/Overrated Actors articles and it spurned a spirited debate. It was a great topic and I enjoyed hearing criticism and praise for my ideas. I knew at the time I would need to create another list dedicated to the films that are never given the praise they deserve. The seldom seen movies that are so good, its amazing it took you this long to watch it. No this list won’t be filled with The Empire Strikes Back or Django Unchained. We already know those movies are great. I want the films that are great but have somehow slipped through the cracks over the years. I want ‘The 4’ underrated movies that must be seen.
October Sky (1999)
Based on the life of Homer Hickman, October Sky tells the story of four friends living in a coal town of West Virginia in 1957 who take up building rockets. Jake Gyllenhall is great as Hickman who just wants to get out of his dying town of CoalWood. The story is simple but inspiring. Throw in a strong performance from Chris Cooper as Homer’s father and you have a film that should have garnered more attention at the box office and awards season.
The Iron Giant (1999)
The second film on this list to take place in 1957 is also the biggest flop on the list. The Iron Giant may be the biggest box office dud in this group, but it may be the best film in this foursome. The fact that The Iron Giant is an animated film deters most people from viewing it, but that’s ignorant, in my opinion. The Iron Giant has an amazing coming of age story and its one of the last great animated films before computer animation took over the market. Directed by a pre-Pixar Brad Bird, The Iron Giant is a film the whole family can love. I don’t believe in crying in movies, but The Iron Giant tested my boundaries. My wife, however, cried like a baby when I finally got her to watch it.
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Zombies are a craze right now in pop culture, but Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead was the first to focus more on what people do in their spare time during the apocalypse rather than the zombie action. Dawn of the Dead is also one of the few remakes that improves on the original. The opening sequence is intense as Sarah Polley’s Anna awakens one morning to the zombie outbreak happening in her bedroom. Dawn of the Dead also uses the fast-moving zombie instead of the staggering zombies of Romero. If you are into the zombie outbreak in pop culture and you haven’t seen this film, be sure to check it out. Also note that Dawn of the Dead answers the pregnant zombie question as well.
Falling Down (1993)
Falling down may not be the best movie on this list, but it’s definitely my favorite. Falling Down is a story of a day in the life of William Foster, a man who has reached his boiling point with the society he lives in. One day while stuck in traffic, William abandons his car and begins his trip home. Along the way he wreaks havoc upon the people he thinks are tearing down the country he loves so much. Michael Douglas’s performance is scary, hilarious and right on if you think about inflation and the problems we have as a country today. Falling Down has some classic scenes including the fast food breakfast hours dilemma and an argument involving golf course trespassing that are cringe worthy and hysterical. The guy turns into a sociopath by the end of his journey, yet you still believe in most of his actions and arguments.
What 4 movies do you think are underrated? Let me know on Twitter @CW44CouchPotato or become a fan at Facebook.com/CW44CouchPotato. Don’t forget to check out this article’s companion piece ‘The 4:Overrated Movies’.