The 28 best films of all time you've probably never seen

Bobbie Edsor
Friday 08 September 2017 12:41 BST
"My Life as a Courgette" is a French-Swiss stop-motion picture addressing some serious themes under the guise of a family film.
"My Life as a Courgette" is a French-Swiss stop-motion picture addressing some serious themes under the guise of a family film. (YouTube)

When it comes to awards and appraisal, there are some films that clean up every year.

In 2017, we had "La La Land" and "Moonlight," while 2016 saw "Deadpool," "Rogue One," and "Finding Dory" take the stage.

With so much attention on these superstar blockbusters, it becomes far too easy for a quality movie to fall through the cracks -- even with a star-studded cast and reputable director behind it.

Business Insider asked 10 film industry experts, critics, board directors, and editors at some of the world's leading film committees and publications -- from BAFTA to Empire magazine -- for three of their favourite films through the years that haven't received the attention they deserve.

Including everything from gory, vintage horror to stop-motion family flicks, scanotherroll on to discover 28 of the best films of all time that you've probably never heard of.

"The Warrior" (2002) -- directed by Asif Kapadia.

Marc Samuelson, Chair of the BAFTA Film Committee, believes that many acclaimed British directors first gained wider public attention after receiving BAFTAs in the "Outstanding Debut" category. Seven of such films are currently screening in cinemas across the UK as part of the BAFTA Debuts tour. One example of this from previous years is "The Warrior" -- the story of a lone warrior in rural India attempting to escape his violent past.

Documentary master Asif Kapadia's debut feature-length film won two BAFTAs. "Before the BAFTA-winning [biography] 'Senna' and the BAFTA and Oscar-winning [documentary] 'Amy,' there was this sumptuous epic starring renowned Indian actor Irrfan Khan," Samuelson said.

"Hunger" (2008) -- directed by Steve McQueen.

(YouTube (YouTube)

According to Samuelson, "Hunger" is an "unflinching dramatisation of the last weeks in the life of Provisional IRA member Bobby Sands, played by Michael Fassbender.

"McQueen followed this up with the BAFTA-nominated 'Shame,' and the seminal BAFTA- and Oscar-winning '12 Years a Slave,'" Samuelson added.

"Red Road" (2006) -- directed by Andrea Arnold.

"A BAFTA-winner in 2007, 'Red Road' is the debut of Andrea Arnold," Marc Samuelson said.

"This visually striking story of female isolation is a bold introduction to the work of Arnold, who has gone on to win a BAFTA for 'Fish Tank,' and was nominated in 2017 for 'American Honey.'"

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"Me and Orson Welles" (2008) -- directed by Richard Linklater.

(YouTube (YouTube)

"Another film that would make my list (and for disclosure, I produced it!) is 'Me and Orson Welles,'" Samuelson said. Viewers follow a young man (Zac Efron) in his first experience of working in show business as he is yanked into New York theatre circles by famous producer Orson Welles (Christian McKay).

"Richard Linklater, who was already well known for such films as 'Dazed & Confused,' also won the Best Film and Director BAFTAs, as well as multiple Oscar nominations, for 'Boyhood' in 2015," Samuelson added.

"My Life as a Courgette" (2016) -- directed by Claude Barras.

"A remarkable stop-motion animated film that tells a heartbreaking coming-of-age story in a beautiful and honest way," said founder and editor of UK Film Review, Chris Olson.

"The Hippopotamus" (2017) -- directed by Ed Palmer.

This film adaptation of the book by Stephen Fry is "one of the most intense indie thrillers of the year, with two standout performances," according to Chris Olson.

"Torrey Pines" (2016) -- directed by Clyde Peterson.

(YouTube (YouTube)

"A brilliantly diverse piece of filmmaking telling an LGBT story in a unique way. Outstanding creativity and universal themes," Olson said.

"King of Devil's Island" (2012) -- directed by Marius Holst.

This gripping Norwegian drama was chosen by Blazing Minds founder and editor, Karen Woodham. "'King of Devil's Island' is an intriguing and powerful movie that has you glued to the screen until the moment it ends," Woodham said.

"Stellan Skarsgard puts on a terrifying performance as the warden of the boys' prison in Scandinavia. It is based on a true series of terrible events that happened in 1915, which adds to the sheer power of the film," she added.

"Mood Indigo" (2013) -- directed by Michel Gondry.

"Mood Indigo' takes us into the rather strangle visual world of director, Michel Gondry, in only the way that a Gondry film can," Karen Woodham said.

"'Mood Indigo' is full of mood-swings. From the happy start with its stop-frame animation and dancing mouse character, through the moments of love with Chloé and Colin, to the times of illness with their world decaying around them, to the moment of loss, prepare to be emotionally exhausted by the end."

"Bad Taste" (2000) -- directed by Peter Jackson.

(YouTube (YouTube)

Once seen, "Bad Taste" is a movie "never forgotten", according to Karen Woodham.

"An original story of big-headed aliens snacking on a village of locals, this crazy film was regarded too violent and gory upon its original release," Woodham said. "It's worth checking out just to see how a director can go from such a low-budget movie to being one of Hollywood's best-known directors."

"Beautiful Girls" (1996) -- directed by Ted Demme.

Set in small-town Massachusetts, "Beautiful Girls" tells the story of a man (Timothy Hutton) returning home for his high-school reunion and meeting up with the group of friends he left behind.

Jonathan Pile, deputy editor of film magazine Empire, recommends the film for its humour, relatable characters, and "knock-out bar room singalong scene." "It's like [1997 Thriller Romance] 'Grosse Pointe Blank,' but without the 'I'm a professional killer' complications," Pile added.

"The Last Supper" (1995) -- directed by Stacy Title.

"A black comedy that premiered at the 1996 Sundance Festival, it sees a group of five liberal students (one of whom is Cameron Diaz in an early role) decide to invite a series of right-wing guests for dinner and bump them off to 'make the world a better place,'" Jonathan Pile said.

"Smart, dark and, over two decades later, surprisingly timely."

"The Orphanage" (2007) -- directed by J.A. Bayona.

"The Orphanage" is the feature debut of J.A. Bayona, whose next film will be "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom."

Pile describes the title as a "horror film set in an abandoned orphanage, which a couple are attempting to restore and reopen. It balances two compelling mysteries -- one historic, one present day -- and never resorts to cheap scares."

"Living in Oblivion" (1995) -- directed by Tom Dicillo.

(YouTube (YouTube)

Daniel Battsek, director of Film4, believes that "Living in Oblivion" is a film that everyone should see and describes it as "a Dr Strangelove-style wickedly funny satire on the perils of low(no!)-budget independent filmmaking, directed by the underrated Tim DiCillo.

"Steve Buscemi is perfectly cast as 'Nick' -- a director on the edge of a nervous breakdown. But my favorite character is 'Wolf' (Dermot Mulroney), the cameraman sporting a beret, black leather vest, and a whole load of artistic 'attitude,'" Battsek said.

"One from the Heart" (1982) -- directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

"The Telluride Film Festival has just celebrated another of Francis Ford Coppola's under-appreciated masterworks, 'The Cotton Club,' but this one actually bankrupted his Zoetrope Studio so I think takes the biscuit," Film4's director Daniel Battsek said.

"It's a Las Vegas set (anti)love story where protagonists Terri Garr and Frederic Forrest have 'fantasy' romantic liaisons with Raul Julia and Nastassja Kinsky in order to sure up their rocky relationship.

"There's some weird mumbo jumbo technical process which made the movie look beautiful but fake and probably doubled the budget for no noticeable gain."

"Adventureland" (2009) -- directed by Greg Mottola.

"This is my own personal 'under-appreciate' movie as it was produced by Miramax during my tenure," Battsek said.

"'Adventureland' is a coming of age romance directed by Greg Mottola ('Superbad') and set in a trashy but fun amusement park. The lead actors, Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, both went on to bigger things but the real joy of the piece is in the cameos from Ryan Reynolds, Martin Starr, Kristen Wiig, and Bill Hader," he added. "Why the movie didn't really click at the box office I will never know."

"Nightcrawler" (2014) -- directed by Dan Gilroy.

(YouTube (YouTube)

"One of the darkest and most sinister movies I have ever seen, Jake Gyllenhaal plays his most powerful role on film to date in the character of 'Nightcrawler''s Lou Bloom," said Back to the Movies founder and editor Sean Evans.

"Bloom is mind set on achieving the American Dream by any means necessary as he orchestrates and manipulates his way to success. It's a revelation."

"The Void" (2016) -- directed by Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie.

"'The Void' is a science-fiction horror movie that slipped under the radar last year," Sean Evans said.

"It's a throwback to the golden age of horror and is a wonderful mash up of sci-fi and creature feature horror. One worth watching if you love your 80s style horror mashups."

"The Island" (2005) -- directed by Michael Bay.

Back to the Movies editor Sean Evans described the film as "heavily underrated."

"'The Island,' starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson, is science-fiction thriller directed by Michael Bay. The movie was released in 2005 but it was way ahead of its time. One of the best science fiction films I've ever seen."

"Wanda" (1970) -- directed by Barbara Loden.

(YouTube (YouTube)

"Barbara Loden's sole directorial offering is one of the great unsung masterpieces of American cinema," said Little White Lies editor Adam Woodward.

"A stinging critique of the patriarchy, it follows a Pennsylvania woman who abandons her family in search of a better life, only to fall in with an abusive petty criminal."

"The Streetwalker" (1976) -- directed by Walerian Borowczyk.

"In Walerian Borowczyk's eccentric erotic romp, a man leaves his family to spend time with a Parisian prostitute, with whom he falls in love," Woodward said. "Gradually, the reason for why he left his family is revealed. Contains an egg sex scene."

"Demon Seed" (1977) -- directed by Donald Cammell.

"Donald Cammell's dark social satire provocatively taps into our collective fear of technology, centring around a sentient machine which forcefully inseminates a woman," Adam Woodward said.

"A hidden gem of the sci-fi genre and an eerily prescient precursor to Black Mirror."

"The Brother from Another Planet" (1984) -- directed by John Sayles.

(YouTube (YouTube)

"This sci-fi oddity was written and directed by John Sayles," said Live for Films editor-in-chief, Phil Edwards.

"It stars Joe Morton as a mute alien slave who escapes to Earth and tries to comprehend the life he finds there. Meanwhile, the 'Men in Black' are after him. Funny, thought-provoking and mesmerizing to watch."

"Last Night" (1998) -- directed by Don McKellar.

"Don McKellar's apocalyptic black comedy follows a mixed bag of people as they prepare for the end of the world," said Edwards.

"We are never told what is causing the apocalypse, but it has been known about for a few months. We watch as people connect with others and generally try and come to terms with life before everything ends. Oh, and one guy tries his best to fulfill all the sex fantasies he ever had."

"The Man From Earth" (2007) -- directed by Richard Schenkman.

"Written by Jerome Bixby, the story involves a university professor who, during his farewell party, explains he is an immortal who has been around for 14,000 years," Edwards said. "What follows are various discussions and arguments about life, religion, biology and so much more."

"In the Mouth of Madness" (1994) -- directed by John Carpenter.

Luke Walkley, chief editor of film news and review site Movie Marker, described this film as "an oft forgotten horror gem by John Carpenter that feels like a lost Stephen King novel brought to life."

This is "the story of a missing writer and the insurance man who goes to find him, only to arrive in the writer's hometown to find it exactly as described in the [writer's] gruesome and terrifying novels."

"Popatopolis" (2009) -- directed by Clay Westervelt.

"An absurd peek behind the curtain of no-budget filmmaking through the career of prolific B-Movie director Jim Wynorski," stated Liam Herrefernan, awards editor at Movie Marker.

"Lower your standards and suspend your disbelief as you enter the morally questionable world of cinema's most prolifically understated director."

"The Reflecting Skin" (1990) -- directed by Philip Ridley.

(YouTube (YouTube)

Hannah Woodhead, a writer at Movie Marker, said: "Not an easy watch or for the faint of heart, but 'The Reflecting Skin' is a beautifully shot horror set in rural America."

"It also features a young Viggo Mortensen in his first leading role."

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Read the original article on Business Insider UK. © 2017. Follow Business Insider UK on Twitter.

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