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The 5 Most Underrated Movies of 2010-2015


The Guys from {FILM} is a discussion on movies and films from all eras and genres

The 5 Most Underrated Movies of 2010-2015

Shaun Cordingley

As the first half of this decade comes to a close, is taking a look back at the things that we found to be completely underrated (or perhaps more accurately, under-appreciated), first starting with TV series , and now we have moved on to film.

This is, of course, a rather personal preference, however that should essentially be the reason you are reading what we are doing here anyway, as it is entirely opinion based as it is. The way that I decided to break this down is using my IMDb rating and comparing it against the ratings of other users, critic score, and number of votes in an unholy alliance of numbers that really do not mean anything, so in the end I just picked films I wanted to talk about from that giant, math-y list.

I should also mention that I disregarded short films from this list, because there are generally few people who get to see them, unless you are heavy into the festival circuit or comb through Vimeo and YouTube, so I did my best to stick with feature films...that somehow were mostly made in 2011...

5) Melancholia (2011)

Dir: Lars Van Trier

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg. Kiefer Sutherland

This one, I get.  I do: I get why this one was not seen by a lot of people, and I get why there are those who do not like it...and I do not want to be one of those Melancholia fans who you see on the internet (you know, because everyone is a critic) who say that anyone who didn't like the film just didn't get it, but...

As confrontational and uncomfortable of a statement as that is, there is perhaps a kernel of truth in it, in so far as Melancholia is intensely far from trying to be a traditional movie, or follow a traditional narrative. The ending is spoiled in the opening sequence--you literally know exactly what is going to happen at the end of the film, plus Dunst's character (the main character) is meant to be extremely unlikable, as she is basically the physical embodiment of melancholy. I do know, for a fact, having met some folks who did not get it, that there are people who did not get it. They missed the point, they got caught up on small details, they were looking for something else...perhaps something with more conflict and driving story, rather than a movie about hopelessness.

However, the difference with me (as opposed to other internet film jerks) is, I do know that there are those people who got it, who nailed the metaphor, figured out the nature of the tone poem/thematic crush that is Melancholia, and still do not like the film. As far as I'm concerned, that is a completely valid opinion to hold: Melancholia is not for everyone. By no means is it an easy film to watch, and it is not one of those movies that you are immediately raving about to your friends because it's awesome, but for me, Melancholia is a film that has stuck with me forever.  I still think about Melancholia in terms of making and appreciating films (and story), and is one that I do insist everyone at least try and watch once.

Plus it's gorgeously shot, so at the very least you could talk about the camera, and if you don't get through it, or don't like it, you can fake it in conversations with people like me who dug it because you know the ending (worst case scenario, just say "": the perfect code for a situation like that--I promise to talk about something else whenever someone uses that).

4) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Dir. Thomas Alfredson

Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy

Now you may be wondering why a film that was nominated for 3 Oscars made it onto an underrated list...and the explanation to that is this: this film most likely lost money, and has one of the largest discrepancies for me between my IMDb rating and the users....and that completely blows my mind.

Tinker Tailor Solider Spy is one of the best spy movies ever made, without question, for probably every reason it wasn't as popular as James Bond or Jason Bourne: it's about secrecy, it's not flashy, and it is completely grounded in the real story of George Smiley. This is a thinking audience thriller that requires patience, and...well thought. The story does not hold your hand, nor is it pushing anything--while this can be confusing, if you have trouble with the era, or are unfamiliar with the Smiley story, you might get lost if you are not paying attention, but, like a great Pinter production, the film is told through silences, pauses, looks, and camera work as much as it is through dialogue. 

And hey, there's not even any dialogue for the main character for the first 18 minutes of the film...Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a great slow burn of a film that just faded away, and that is a shame.

3) The Raid: Redemption (2011)

Heads up, the trailer is violent.  Like really violent.

Dir. Gareth Evans

Starring: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy

The Raid is the best martial arts action movie of this century, and one of the best action movies ever. Period.

Set in Jakarta, it is simply the story of a police raid (and specifically following police officer Rama) trying to clear out an apartment building held by a heavily armed drug lord and his swarms of goons, with limited ammunition and no backup.

I insist on not telling you any more than what I have--If you haven't seen it, I would skip the trailer even, and just go in...and steel yourself for what is an exhausting and intense whirlwind of and hour and and forty minutes (and be warned: the intensity also lends itself to being a bit gory).

2) Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)

Again, trailer is a bit it's pretty spoiler heavy if you haven't seen it...

Dir. Eli Craig

Starring: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden

One of the best horror comedies of all time, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is one of those films that really blindsided me (getting to go to its' premiere, and had an absolute blast), it is a near-perfect take on the old 'pyscho killer, cabin in the woods' style horror film where in the end, it is just a giant, farcical misunderstanding.

I think that this is one of those movies that I watch two or three times a year since it came out (and you know, we could get it/it was streaming), and at no point have I enjoyed it, or appreciated it less. This film is a must for any horror movie fan, and if you're not a horror movie fan, but are OK with gore, then you also need to see Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.

Even writing about it now makes me want to watch it again...

1) The Wind Rises (2013)

Dir. Hayao Miyazaki

Starring (depends on what language you see it in, but they're all awesome)

This is my #1 without question (and a bit of a spoiler for a future {PODCAST}. To me, The Wind Rises is Miyazaki's best film (it is my favourite by a country mile), and is absolutely gorgeous. The film is the story of the life of Jiro Horikoshi, a famous airplane engineer who designed the infamous Mitsubishi A6M Zero.

The Wind Rises takes a few turns into the usual Studio Ghibli flights into the fantastical in Jiro's dreams, but you also get a look at a beautiful (and terrifying) interpretation of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, The Great Depression in Japan, and a beautiful (doomed) love story. While Miyazaki does take liberties with the story (still making a movie here), the film is charming, beautiful, and, I think, one of the best anti-war films ever made.

Why I do not have more people to talk to about The Wind Rises boggles my mind...I get the popularity of Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and Howl's Moving Castle, but The Wind Rises in terms of story-telling, in terms of synthesis between the magical fantasy, and the real world, and just sheer filmic intelligence, The Wind Rises is Miyazaki's masterpiece.

I just read that last sentence and want to make sure you do not think that it is a pretentious or hard to get film (this is no Melancholia), this is just an absolutely perfectly told story, done in that famous Studio Ghibli animation.

There you have it.

What do you think?  What films from the past 5 years do you think are underrated? I worked within my criteria, but I can assure you that I could easily do another list of the most surprising films from the past 5 years as well...

Let me know what you think in the comments, or hit me up on Twitter to tell me I'm wrong for missing your favourite.

-S (@Shauncord)