30 Most Underrated Movies to Watch in 2021

Most-Underrated-Movies

Are you ever fed up with hearing about the same movie suggestions from your friends, critics, and even movie review websites? Most film enthusiasts like to watch cinema that is worth watching but did not get the attention it deserved. Therefore, this post is dedicated to all the most underrated movies that are well-made films but did not catch the attention of critics and award shows.

This list would not contain the box office bombs that later gained cult status like Shawshank Redemption. We only talk about the movies that did not get their due credit due to some reason.

Here are the 30 most underrated movies that you must watch if you love good cinema.

1- The Nice Guys (2016)

Genre: Action/Comedy

IMDb Rating: 7.4

Writer & Director: Shane Black

Cast: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice

The crime comedy with the dynamic detective duo of Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe make this film a 2-hour fun treat and one of the most underrated movies.

Set in 1970’s Los Angeles, the mismatched private detective duo creates an alliance to solve a mysterious death of a porn star and a missing girl that leads to a possible government conspiracy.

The chemistry between the leads, the powerful performance by Angourie Rice, and the fast-paced screenplay make this a perfect movie to watch on Hulu to have to good laugh with friends.

2- Enemy (2013)

Genre: Thriller/Mystery

IMDb Rating: 6.9

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon

If you like psychological thriller mysteries, then Enemy is a must-watch underrated movie for you.

The story revolves around a college professor (Jake Gyllenhaal) who accidentally discovers his look-alike in a movie and gets curious to know the private affairs of his look-alike.

This movie may not make a lot of logical sense, but the emotional sense experience is extraordinary.

3- Nightcrawler (2014)

Genre: Crime/Thriller

IMDb Rating: 7.9

Writer & Director: Dan Gilroy

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton

Another great unknown movie that has garnered a following over the years with one of the most iconic performances of Jake Gyllenhaal.

Louis Bloom, a con man in a desperate attempt to make money, adopts a new career of crime journalism and starts gallivanting LA searching for a nocturnal crime. To catch the money shot, he becomes a participant than a mere observer to get the first visuals of a crime scene.

Currently, it is one of the best underrated movies to stream on Netflix to enjoy a great crime thriller story.

4- Predestination (2014)

Genre: Sci-fi/Action

IMDb Rating: 7.5

Writer & Director: The Spierig Brothers

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor

Predestination is one of the most underrated movies in the sci-fi genre. This mind-bending drama will surely keep you thinking about this movie for days after you complete watching it.

A top temporal agent receives his final time-traveling assignment to pursue a criminal and prevent him from launching a genocide attack. The assignment turns into a never-ending exploration of love, fate, and the agent’s identity.

5- Children of Men (2006)

Genre: Sci-fi/Thriller

IMDb Rating: 7.9

Writer & Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Cast: Julianne Moore, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Clive Owen

The haunting prediction of the world and the future of mankind portrayed in this underrated film will shake to the core.

In 2027, the future of mankind is threatened when all women on Earth become infertile. To prevent humans from extinction, a former activist and bureaucrat get into the mission to transport the only pregnant women into safety in the midst of chaos. Another great underrated movie that deserves to be noticed.

6- Upgrade (2018)

Genre: Action/Sci-fi

IMDb Rating: 7.5

Writer & Director: Leigh Whannell

Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Melanie Vallejo, Steve Danielsen

Set in the near future, a burglary causes Grey Trace to suffer from paralysis and mourn his wife’s death. To avenge his wife’s death, Grey implants an experimental chip in his body that gives him superhuman strength to fight any threat.

The great action sequence, amazing performances, and an engaging revenge drama make this flick a must-watch.

7- In Bruges (2008)

Genre: Crime/Comedy

IMDb Rating: 7.9

Writer & Director: Martin McDonagh

Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes

The dark comedy expert Martin McDonagh released this gem almost a decade ago, which went completely unnoticed despite being nominated in Academy for best original screenplay.

After a job gone wrong, a guilt-ridden hitman, Ray, has to hide in Bruges, Belgium, the place that Ray hates the most, along with his partner Ken.

8- The Constant Gardener (2005)

Genre: Thriller/Mystery

IMDb Rating: 7.4

Director: Fernando Meirelles

Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston

The mystery and journey of uncovering the truth will keep you stick to the screen.

A British diplomat (Ralph Fiennes) move to Kenya for a new post with his social activist wife (Rachel Weisz). Soon the wife was found murdered out in the wilderness with her friend (Hubert Koundé). The incident triggers the diplomat to unearth the real reason behind his wife’s death that unfolds the disturbing revelation about corporate corruption.

9- Seven Psychopaths (2012)

Genre: Dark comedy

IMDb Rating: 7.2

Writer & Director: Martin McDonagh

Cast: Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell

This dark crime comedy is another masterpiece from the Oscar-winning Director Martin McDonagh that went unnoticed.

An alcohol-addictive screenwriter (Colin Farrell) struggling to finish the story entangles in an underworld criminal when his eccentric buddies kidnap the beloved dog of a gangster (Woody Harrelson). When it comes to underworld movies, the order is the first thing that springs to mind is the order. Let’s check out Underworld movies in order guide and have fun.

10- Burn After Reading (2008)

Genre: Comedy/Crime

IMDb Rating: 7.0

Writer & Director: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

Cast: Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney

I still cannot fathom how this film is still an underrated movie with a top-billed ensemble cast and a top-rated director duo.

Two dishonest gym employees (Brad Pitt and France McDormand) see an opportunity to make big money when they get a disc containing memoirs and mysterious information about a former CIA agent (John Malkovich). However, the planning does not happen as expected.

11- Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Genre: Mystery/Crime/Comedy

IMDb Rating: 7.5

Director: Shane Black

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan

Did you know Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer appear together in a full-length feature film? Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is an underrated gem with engaging screenplay and top-notch performances of top leads.

A thief Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.), accidentally lands in Hollywood where he tangles into a murder mystery with a struggling actress Harmony Lane (Michelle Monaghan), and a private eye, Perry van Shrike (Val Kilmer).

12- Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Genre: Romance/Comedy/Drama

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Writer & Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Cast: Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman

When an Oscar-nominated director collabs with a top-billed cast, it means you are in for a treat but sadly it is another underrated movie. The brilliant comic performance of Adam Sandler and the relatable story will keep your interest in the characters till the very end.

To cope with his frustrating life, a timid and shy entrepreneur Barry Egan (Adam Sandler), calls a phone sex service and falls victim to extortion that would jeopardize his relationship with his sister’s friend Lena Leonard (Emily Watson).

13- Gattaca (1997)

Genre: Sci-fi/Romance

IMDb Rating: 7.8

Writer & Director: Andrew Niccol

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law

To this date, I could not understand why this film is not mentioned in any sci-fi movie discussion and so underrated.

In the near future, the space travel candidate will be shortlisted on genetic status. Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke), who dreams of going to space, has been called “invalid” due to his genetic inferiority. To make his dream come true, Vincent purchases the superior genes of Jerome Morrow (Jude Law).

Even more than two decades after its release, Gattaca stands tall when it comes to special effects and social commentary.

14- Watchmen (2009)

Genre: Action/Sci-fi/Fiction

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Director: Zack Snyder

Cast: Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino

Zack Snyder’s earlier take on turning graphic novels into full-length movies did not get the appreciation it deserves and is another great underrated movie that you should watch.

In the 1980’s alternate America, where superheroes’ existence is pretty normal. A former masked vigilante Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), gets active to kill all superheroes when his comrade is murdered.

15- Sunshine (2007)

Genre: Sci-fi/Adventure

IMDb Rating: 7.2

Director: Danny Boyle

Cast: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans

It is one of the forgotten movies and a sci-fi gem from Danny Boyle is considered way ahead of its time. Before Interstellar, this movie addresses the issue forthcoming ending of human life and the efforts of the astronaut crew to ensure life on earth.

In 2057, the sun is dying that could cause the end of mankind. In a final attempt to save the Earth, a team of astronauts went on a mission to revive the sun with a nuclear fission bomb.

16- The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

Genre: Comedy/Drama

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Writer & Director: Wes Anderson

Cast: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Anjelica Huston

This initial trademark Wes Anderson’s filmography is often ignored by film enthusiasts, which totally deserves your attention.

A renowned oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray), embarks on a mission to avenge the death of his partner, who is killed by a mythical shark. Zissou travels the sea with the team consist of his ex-wife, a journalist, and a man claimed to be Zissou’s son.

17- Brick (2004)

Genre: Mystery/Noir

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Writer & Director: Rian Johnson

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, Emilie de Ravin

When the ex-girlfriend of loner teenager Brendan Frye (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) disappears and is later found dead, he decides to confront the high-school crime ring to investigate the case.

18- Miami Vice (2006)

Genre: Action/Crime

IMDb Rating:  6.0

Writer & Director: Michael Mann

Cast: Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Gong Li

Two vice detectives, Ricardo Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) and Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell), personal and professional lives tangled when they involve in a murder and drug lords case.

19- Dredd (2012)

Genre: Action/Sci-fi

IMDb Rating: 7.1

Director: Pete Travis

Cast: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey

In a futuristic city, where criminals rule the streets and police acts as the judiciary. Dredd, the city’s most feared cop, creates an ally with a trainee on a dangerous mission to take down the drug lord, Ma-Ma.

20- Silence (2016)

Genre: Drama/Epic

IMDb Rating: 7.2

Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson

If you did not hear of a film directed by Martin Scorsese with a top-notch cast, that is enough to know that the movie is a movie you forgot about.

Set in the 17th century, two Portuguese priests embark on a terrifying journey to Japan to locate their mentor. On their journey, the priests must not be caught by ruling samurai or feudal lords to prevent an excruciating death.

21- The Road to El Dorado (2001)

Genre: Adventure/Comedy

IMDb Rating: 6.9

Directors: Bibo Bergeron, Don Paul, Jeffrey Katzenberg

Cast: Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Rosie Perez

Two swindlers go on the journey to discover the city of gold, El Dorado, when they get a map of its location.

22- The Heist of the Century [El robo del siglo] (2020)

Genre: Comedy/Thriller

IMDb Rating: 7.2

Director: Ariel Winograd

Cast: Guillermo Francella, Diego Peretti, Luis Luque

Based on the real heist in Argentina that is written by the real heist member Fernando Araujo.

In 2006, Fernando Araujo picked a 4-member crew to pull off one of the most ingenious bank robberies in Argentina history.

23- Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

Genre: Biography/Comedy/Crime

IMDb Rating: 7.0

Director: George Clooney

Cast: Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney

Would you like to watch a movie with a factual story that is weirder than fiction? This George Clooney directorial one of the most underrated movies with dark comedies based on the uncanny life of Chuck Borris.

The film revolves around the life of renowned American producer and game show host Chuck Barris who reveals his hidden role as a C.I.A assassin and his trouble of leading two different lives.

24- The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

Genre: Thriller/Horror

IMDb Rating: 7.0

Writer & Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Cast: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan

A renowned surgeon, Dr. Stephen Murphy, takes a teenage boy under his wings after his father’s death on the operating table. The life of Steven falls apart when the boy turns sinister.

25- Thief (1981)

Genre: Action/Drama

IMDb Rating: 7.4

Director: Michael Mann

Cast: James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson

Before starting a civil life with his girlfriend, a high-skilled thief, Frank (James Caan), decides to pull off one last mega heist with the help of a powerful gangster, who will not let Frank leave the criminal activities so easily.

26- Lord of War (2006)

Genre: War/Crime

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Writer & Director: Andrew Niccol

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto

In the early ’90s, a low-level thug turned into an infamous arms dealer, Yuri Orlov, using his former Soviet Union allies to sell warfares to the highest bidder. In the process, he challenges the morality of his profession while being chased by a federal agent.

This big-budget movie has everything from beautiful shot location, big star cast to progressive GGI, and captivating story but it did not get the accolades it deserves.

27- The Florida Project (2017)

Genre: Drama/Comedy

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Writer & Director: Sean Baker

Cast: Brooklynn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Willem Dafoe

In a magical place on Earth, a six-year-old Moonee lives in a motel with her mother in Florida. Moonee, with her two friends, likes to forge their own adventures, while a kindhearted motel manager saves the kids from the harsh reality of the Walt Disney-like place.

28- A Street Cat Named Bob (2016)

Genre: Drama/Comedy

IMDb Rating: 7.4

Director: Roger Spottiswoode

Cast: Luke Treadaway, Bob the Cat, Ruta Gedmintas

Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, the film explores the life of homeless and recovering drug addict musician James Bowen, whose life transforms when he meets a stray cat.

29- The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

Genre: Western/Drama

IMDb Rating: 7.5

Director: Andrew Dominik

Cast: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Rockwell

The western biography explores the events of infamous bandit Jesse James killing by his recruit Robert Ford, who initially idolizes Jesse but soon becomes jealous of him.

30- Prisoners (2013)

Genre: Thriller/Crime

IMDb Rating: 8.1

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis

Despite being on the list of IMDb top rating movies, this movie is criminally underrated.

Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) faces the worst nightmare when his daughter goes missing with her friend. Desperate to find his daughter, Dover takes the matter into his own hand when police failed to find any potential lead.

The gripping story and top-class performance of Hugh Jackman will keep you at the edge of your seat throughout the movie.

Wrapping It Up!

How many movies have you heard or seen from the list? I hope not many. So, grab some snacks, dim the lights and enjoy the most underrated movies of all time. These are the movies overlooked by the movie critics but they have the best content and deserve some attention.

If you want to stream the famous titles rather than the underrated movies then check out our read more section:

Alex Pearson
Alex Pearson

A writer by profession a binge-watcher by passion. Streaming is not enough for Alex; he wants to know every trivia of his latest watch and brag about it everywhere possible.

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