Every year, there are great films – and with great films come the films that will be overlooked. You can’t ever really be sure why it happens because it could be a lot of different things. The marketing (or lack thereof), star power, etc. We won’t ever know. What we do know, though, is that the following list is a list of films that we deemed to be the top 5 most underrated for 2014:
This Korean apocalyptic action movie received high praise from the critics but was ignored for the most part by general moviegoers. Why? Couldn’t tell you! It’s in English, it’s got an A-lister star in Chris Evans, it’s got tons of action scenes, and it’s really good.
The movie takes place in a world in which humanity’s misguided efforts to stop global warming have turned the entire world into a frozen wasteland. The only survivors are those who are on board the titular train which has become the basis for an oppressive class-based system of ruling in which the passengers in the back of the train live in squalor and the passengers toward the front live in luxury by comparison.
A revolution ensues and we’re treated to some of the craziest and most well shot actions scenes of 2014 as Evans and his band of rebels make their way to the front of the train to end the oppression once and for all. Throw in some nifty third act twists and a surprising amount of character development and we definitely have a winner here. -Steven Potgeter
Joe is a refreshing reminder that despite all of the embarrassing projects Nicolas Cage has put out in the last decade, he still has the ability to carry a movie. This slow-pace backwoods drama in which Cage plays an ex-con (for those wondering, this particular Nic Cage ex-con doesn’t tell anyone to put the bunny back in the box. Sorry.) with anger issues who becomes a father figure to an abused teenager played by Tye Sheridan. Joe is well acted, suspenseful, and subtly touching hope that someday -when Nicolas Cage stops loving money so much- we’ll have more films like this from him. -Steven Potgeter
Amidst the completely terrible movies from your Steven Seagals, your Danny Trejos, and your Christian Slaters that made up the direct to DVD market of 2014, Stretch stands out like the holy grail would among a bunch of crumpled up Styrofoam cups. A nutty, hilarious comedic take on Collateral’s premise of one crazy night of driving some eccentric around, Stretch wins on pure likability thanks to a confoundingly great Patrick Wilson performance as the cynical, yet endearing everyman Stretch. It’s one wacky situation after another as he drives a coked-up billionaire (played by an uncredited Chris Pine) from place to place, hoping to get a large tip that will save his neck from some loan sharks. Stretch is awesome not just a direct to DVD movie but a movie period. Give it a watch! – Steven Potgeter
2. The Drop
Boasting a solid cast which featured Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini (in his last role), I can’t really see why this movie was so overlooked. Gandolifini even channeled his inner Tony Soprano for this one. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but he was in top form for his final outing.
The film keeps you guessing until the end (which was hit or miss with audiences from what I’ve heard) and there’s not really a dull moment. You care for the characters and wonder what’s going to happen. Plus- there’s an adorable little puppy. Who the hell doesn’t love puppies?
Sure, the critics gave it solid ratings but it never really took off at the box office and didn’t get much recognition when award season came around. Similar to #1 on our list. -Frank Palmer
I’m not really sure why the Academy didn’t give Jake Gyllenhaal a nomination for this movie, but they’ve been known to snub people before, so I can’t really be all that surprised. I could go on about other Oscar snubs but I might as well just make a list entitled “The 5 Worst Oscar Snubs” of all time (Don’t be surprised if you see that in your news feed sometime soon).
Gyllenhaal plays a really creepy guy named Lou, who has a vision for a business that no one really seems to believe in besides himself. He even makes a “friend” along the way, who begins to see just how creepy Lou really is.
In a sort of weird way, this movie is actually a good way of saying “Don’t ever give up on your dreams” – in a creepy, weird kind of way? Okay, maybe not.
I can see why some people wouldn’t really dig a movie like this but I can’t really see why the Academy looked over Gyllenhaal’s performance. He’s been taking all kinds of different roles lately and knocking them out of the park. Hopefully – he’ll begin to get the credit he deserves. -Frank Palmer
So, what do you think? Agree or disagree with our list? Let us know in the comment section!