Laser Time – Underrated Movies


This week we’re singing the song of the unsung! What are your favorite underrated movies of the last twenty years? Of all-time?!


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54 thoughts on “Laser Time – Underrated Movies

  1. Watchmen definitely comes to mind. Although its 65 on Rotten Tomatoes isn’t the lowest score, I do think it deserves more praise than it ever really got. IMO it’s a very enjoyable adaptation of the book with some pretty great performances, and is probably Snyder’s best movie.

    It does have its problems (some of the performances are wooden, some plot point changes irk me, things like that), but I think it stands as one of the better DC movies of the modern age.

  2. The Four Rooms which is dare I say Quentin Tarintono’s 2nd best movie behind the other underrated classic True Romance. Really though if you hated Grindhouse go watch Four Rooms it’s on Netflix and it’s a hidden gem.

    1. The Man from UNCLE got mediocre reviews but I really loved it, much like another Guy Ritchie movie I love called Rock N Rolla.

      1. Oh wait I forgot how much I loved Gone Girl Baby Gone Home, I always thought Casey Affleck was a great 3rd fiddle but he had serious chops and it’s a great tale of child abduction and “doing what’s right” vs “following the law”.

        1. Are you sure you weren’t thinking of Gone Baby Gone Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? I know it gets confusing.

  3. I really hated Juno so I often held a grudge agianst Michael Cera, however Nick and Norah, Youth in Revolt and Paper Heart are all really good movies despite being out of my genre. Speaking of Juno the forehead chick was also in this movie called Super with dude from The Office it’s intriguing similarly to Observe and Report and “funny” in some ways it’s a better KickAss.

  4. Living in Oblivion is a movie I never here brought up, but is a GREAT comedy . I don’t if that makes it underrated or just unheard of…That and Monster Squad which hardly ever gets mentioned when people bring up Goonies, Gremlins or Adventures in Babysitting

  5. Haven’t listened yet, but in the wake of Straight Outta Compton, I want to mention Fear of a Black Hat. It is essentially the gangsta rap version of Spinal Tap. I never hear it talked about. Some friends and I discovered it completely at random back in high school and we still quote it.

  6. I liked Man of Steel more than Superman Returns. That’s all I’ll say on that.

    Also, Robocop 2, I favored. Better than the turdmagnet that is 3, anyway.

  7. Under the skin with scarlett johansson
    blew me away a very slow and careful film that draws you in, with a very dark and sinister turn. highly recommend going in blind, the trailers give it away

    1. It’s a fantastic film, though I wouldn’t call it underrated. It’s acclaim was pretty unanimous critically.

  8. Diana gets pedantic time!

    1. Henry is right about “The English Patient.” Just because it’s Oscar bait doesn’t mean it’s bad.

    2. “Millions” is OK, but when Chris said “Danny Boyle,” “money” and “buried,” I thought “Shallow Grave,” which is fucking awesome.

    3. “Miller’s Crossing” isn’t a remake of “Yojimbo,” but more like if you crossed “Yojimbo” with “The Third Man” (also underrated, or at least not well known.) Also, it’s easily one of my 10 favorite films of all time and everyone should go watch it three times in a row right now.

    4. “Out of Sight” is also totally underrated.

    5. I agree with most of the imdb top 20 poll – “Dead Again,” “American Movie” and “Big Night” are so fun. The guys covered my thoughts on “Equilibrium” and “Falling Down.”

  9. 6. Here’s the most pedantic thing I’ve ever said: The adjective form of “Apatow” – as in “something like a Judd Apatow movie” – would be Apatovian, not Apatowian.

  10. I haven’t even listened to this yet, but all I know is that “The Counselor” got a 35% on rt, and it’s fuckin great

  11. Batman Forever! It always gets lumped in with Batman & Robin (which is still a fun watch), but isn’t the completely unwatchable garbage people pass it off as. Forever is a genuinely fun and cool looking 90’s action movie.

  12. M4S List Yo: The lookout staring Joseph Gordon Levitt is a modern classic of small town america heist films, Say it aint so is a great unofficial sequel to Something About Mary and Love me if you dare might be my favorite French film, staring Marion Cotillard, that is currently out of print and mia from all streaming services.

  13. So I had to scour my film collection and the history of movies i’ve seen and trying to remember what I found to be considered underrated. The following list is what I think to be underrated in my opinion.
    Children of Men [Nobody talks about it]
    Pacific Rim [didnt do well in the box office but its fantastic]
    A Scanner Darkley [great cast and story by philip k dick with an unusual aesthetic ]
    The Book of Life [beautifully animated/ underrated animated movies is another topic for another day]
    ace attorney [best video game movie, i will fight all of you!]
    Elysium [great sci fi after district 9]
    sin city 2 [one of the three people to see it in cinema, its not terrible]
    latest riddick movie
    and the worlds end the last of the blood and ice cream trilogy a bit over hyped but a great homage to the 1950’s invasion movies. i will defend this movie.
    and the worlds ends, one f

    1. Children of Men, Pacific Rim, and A Scanner Darkly are amazing movies. Sin City 2 is just south of okay and gets even worse at the end.

    2. Lucky Number Slevin is pretty good for being a crime drama about slight of hand and deception. Bruce Willis is in it, but luckily he isn’t the lead. Rock ‘n’ Rolla is probably my favorite Guy Ritchie movie because it’s probably it feels like the most put together about with it’s storytelling.

  14. Was that banjo and yodeling song that played before the patreon plug from Raising Arizona? I can’t place it…

  15. Everyone should check out two underrated movies written by David Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross).

    Quick honorable mentions to The Untouchables and Ronin, two Mamet-scripted films that you love but probably weren’t sure why, I want to recommend his other movies: The Edge, and Heist.

    The Edge has Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin trying to survive in the Alaskan wilderness after a plane crash. They hate each other. A bear chases them. It’s like Jaws On Land.

    Best line, shouted by Hopkins as he psyches himself up to kill the bear: “What one man can do, another can do!”

    Heist was both written & directed by Mamet, and has Gene Hackman, Sam Rockwell, and Danny DeVito. It’s a “one last job” crime movie, involving Hackman mentoring a young Rockwell on the craft as a favor to DeVito while they attempt to steal a TON of gold.

    Best line, one character explaining Hackman’s craft, “My motherfucker is so cool, that when he goes to bed, sheep count HIM.”

    Both are very underrated, seek them out.

  16. Over the past few years I’ve been delving into lesser known movies thanks to Netflix, so what comes to mind for me are things like: Primer, Safety Not Guaranteed & The One I Love (which is titled like a rom-com, but it’s absolutely not).

    I guess in general these picks aren’t exactly under-rated, but more under-appreciated and under-watched in my opinion.

    The most criminally under-rated movie of all time is Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. I know it didn’t get terrible reviews, but a $48m box office?! For shame, all the nerds that didn’t see it in the cinema… (which includes me) but I did buy it on blu-ray.

    PS. I’m offended Killing Them Softly was mentioned. Pretty good cinematography + ok plot + garbage writing + poorly implemented sociopolitical overtones = subpar movie.
    PPS. I’m not actually offended.
    PPSS. Maybe I am a little… fuck that movie

  17. I think Chris breezed right past it, but 127 Hours is really damn good. I think a lot of people didn’t see it because the guy cuts his arm off in it (that’s only a spoiler if you live down a well). Really good movie and I don’t feel it got any attention at all.
    Also, Sneakers is really damn good and I feel like the movie is completely underground as far as our pop culture is considered.

    1. Also Michael Clayton. If you haven’t seen that movie, it is really good. Especially the ending scene.

  18. So in this past year I have been getting into weird Japanese cinema. For instance there is the dirty samurai movie Hanzo the Razor, the pure action flick Versus (which would make an amazing Monday night movie), and the incredibly bizarre Face of Another (which I love but is both depressing and obtuse). Aside from fair like that, two other movies I will bring up are the Christoph Gans movie Crying Freeman and one of my favorite Jidaigeki (samurai movies) of all time Shogun Assassin. Fun fact, Shogun Assassin, Crying Freeman, and Hanzo the Razor are all based on manga by Kazuo Koike ( who himself is a perfectly rated but under-read manga author that I love beyond words, though I tried to do that anyway.

    Don’t get me started on Underrated Anime, I could record a podcast on that.

  19. I never hear anybody talk about the film Disorganized Crime. It is a comedy heist film where the mastermind of a bank heist gets captured before he can rendezvous with his crew so the crew made up of people that have never met one another have to piece together the original plan. Some of the big names in it are Ed O’Neil, the dad from Boy Meets World (Willaim Russ), Lou Diamond Phillips, and Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster).

  20. Two underrated films that come to my mind are Down Periscope with Kelsey Grammer and the last Hitman movie with Timothy Olyphant. I think Down Periscope is a great comedy that stands up and I think the last Hitman movie is probably my favorite game to movie translation.

  21. I guess Life, starring Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy, would be my top choice for most underrated movie. It doesn’t get great ratings online, but every time I watch it I just can’t help but love every minute of it. It’s one of the few movies I can love with sincerity and that’s saying something. To a lesser extent, Edge of Darkness is another of my underrated picks, starring Mel Gibson. I believe this is after his whole drunk, anti-Semitic rant, but I thought this movie was great. Gritty, dark, and just a pure revenge story. Last, but not least, Finding Neverland. It does receive great ratings on sites like IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, but I feel like it’s a forgotten gem more than underrated.

  22. Perhaps not underrated, but mostly forgotten, Breaking Away is excellent. Won best original screenplay, in 1979. Town v. Gown coming of age story set in Bloomington, IN, featuring a young Dennis Quaid, Jackie Earl Haley, and Daniel Stern. Brilliantly acted and completely charming. More people should see it. Also, ridiculous short shorts.

  23. Warrior is an excellent movie by Gavin O’Connor (Miracle) that I think should have been nominated for some sort of Oscar. Not only is it a sports movie, but it’s a family drama and a war drama, juggling several subplots. This is the movie that made me recognize Tom Hardy, who is intimidating as all hell. He really looks like he can rip you in half, and his performance is more subtle, so I think he’s scarier than when he played Bane. Nick Nolte plays an alcoholic, which is what he does best. And Joel Edgerton has an admirable performance, but I think he’ll break out in his career when his movie The Gift comes out.

    Warrior has an 8.2 on imdb. I don’t think many people have watched it since people just think of it as “the MMA movie.”

    – Chris McDougall

    1. Yeah I liked Warrior a lot. Tom Hardy’s been good in so many movies, but I thought his performance as Bane was awful. Same thing as Christian Bale; he’s had a lot of great performances but Bale as Batman was completely ridiculous. I wonder sometime if Nolan just sort of shrugged his shoulders and let the actors do whatever they wanted in that franchise; that type of freedom might explain why Ledger’s performance was so brilliant, but I think it lead to some really terrible performances as well.

  24. The Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes films are great.
    Quentin Tarantino films are trash and the worst is Planet Terror followed by Kill Bill.

    1. Quentin Tarantino didn’t make Planet Terror. That was Robert Rodriguez. He made Deathproof, which is terrible. Planet Terror is fun.

  25. My list of underrated films are Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Attack the Block, both films discussed during the LaserTime episode “Overrated Movies”.

    Yeah, I’m petty. Sorry.

  26. With Chris talking about “Into the Wild”, I have to nominate “Orange County”. Both are stories about upper middle-class white kids who come to terms with being upper middle-class white kids. But whereas I hate stories like “Into the Wild” (sorry, Chris) that are all about rejecting your blessed existence to go on a spirit quest or some bullshit, “Orange County” is all about realizing that you aren’t special, and that your life of comfort was not a cage after all. Throw in great performances from Colin Hanks and Jack Black (probably his best movie), and John Lithgow, Lily Thomlin, and Kevin Kline, and you get an amazing story of coping with being a normal person without being a douche about it. Plus, it gave me the perfect line to mock people talking about their idiotic screenplays: “It’s about vampires…ostensibly. But really it’s about the reunification of Germany,,,”

  27. I gotta go with Celeste & Jesse Forever. It’s a rom-com that’s not a rom-com and yet is the truest rom-com ever. I laughed, I totally didn’t cry shutupyoucried, and I truly enjoyed the fact that love can win in different ways. This isn’t a standard boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, insert random dilemma, happy ending kind of movie. Go watch it if you haven’t. You’ll love it.

  28. I’m going to be douchey and plug a movie I did the music for called Surveillance. I honestly really like it and feel like it’s underrated. It’s a thriller by Jennifer Lynch starring Bill Pullman and Julia Ormond. French Stewart (the squinty guy from 3rd Rock from the Sun) is great in it as a crooked cop who gets off on pulling people over and harassing them.

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