15 Underrated Movies From The 2000s That Are Really Worth Watching.

Moon (2009)

Rockwell plays Sam Bell, who is nearing the end of a three year stint on the moon as the lone caretaker of a mining base. His only companion is a computer named GERTY and to make matters worse, communication problems allow him to only send recorded messages to his family on earth. When he discovers another human being in a trapped lunar vehicle, Sam’s chance at returning home is put in considerable jeopardy. A homage to the classic sci-fi films of the 60?s and 70?s, Moon is an extremely well crafted film that benefits from very good special effects, despite a budget of only five million dollars, and a career best performance from Sam Rockwell. Moon is a superior example of an often neglected genre, hard science fiction, which puts more emphasis on ideas than action and tries as much as possible to conform to scientific realism. IMDb: 7,9 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twuScTcDP_Q

In Bruges (2008)

Arguably the best crime film since Pulp Fiction, In Bruges bears some resemblance to that film in that it deftly combines humor and drama and it also stars two hitman who spend the majority of their time in inconsequential dialogue. The film now has a substantial following although it is still underseen and under-appreciated. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson both turn in career best work, Farrell even won a Golden Globe for his role, as hitman ordered to hide out in Bruges, Belgium after a hit goes wrong. The two see the sights of Bruges but Ray, Farrell’s character, is despondent since he fouled up the last mission by accidentally killing a young boy, a cardinal offense in this particular crime organization. When Ken, Gleeson’s character, is ordered to kill Ray, he instead lets him escape, setting up an encounter with their boss, played by a delightfully angry Ralph Fiennes. In Bruges is probably the funniest serious movie you’ll ever see, despite a main character who is suicidal for most of the movie and with loads of dark overtones, the movie finds time to insult some fat americans and have an unforgettable night with the two hitman and a dwarf actor. The ending of the film is surprisingly powerful and the film as a whole is one that will stay with you long after you first watch it. IMDb: 7,9 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6YVLl7-DNI

The New World (2005)

A sort of cinematic tone poem, The New World touches on familiar movie ground, although in a completely new way. The New World is a retelling of the founding of Jamestown,Virginia and the legend of John Smith and Pocahontas. Unlike the Disney version, this movie is grounded in realism, with much attention paid to making the costumes, scenery, and sets as authentic as possible. What makes this film, and all Malick’s films, divisive is that they really don’t care for traditional styles of storytelling. While told in a linear manner, The New World abandons narrative to a degree, focusing on isolated, almost random moments between characters and most of the important information is told through voiceover. The strengths of the film are its incredible cinematography, strong performances, and peculiar atmosphere IMDb: 6,7 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmhoJML3LpI

The Fall (2006)

The Fall doesn’t contain any profound insight into human behaviour or have any brilliantly witty dialogue but if you accept that cinema is an inherently visual medium, that is that images are by nature more important to a film than words, then The Fall is one of the most inherently cinematic of all films. The Fall is one of the most unique movies you’ll ever watch. Lee Pace plays a movie stuntman stuck in a hospital who regals a little girl with an epic tale that provides most of weight of the movie. He has an ulterior motive in telling the stories, which I won’t spoil for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but that doesn’t stop them, as imagined by the little girl, from producing some of the most astonishing images ever put on film. Tarsem Singh insists that no CGI was used anywhere in the film and if that is indeed true, it is almost a miracle. IMDb: 7,8 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeAyIQ_OT_I

I’m not there (2009)

Most of the praise for I’m Not There revolved around Cate Blanchett’s incredible portrayal of 1960?s Bob Dylan, and deservedly so since it was one of the most impressive performances of the decade. Even so, the rest of the movie seems to be ignored which is hardly fair since its a refreshingly original movie from beginning to end. I’m Not There is not technically about Bob Dylan, rather it casts six different actors portraying different aspects of Dylan’s persona at different parts of his life. Blanchett plays the most recognizable version of Dylan to most people but Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, Ben Wishaw, and Marcus Carl Franklin all get their turn to put their own stamp on one of music’s most enduring icons. Of course it goes without saying that the film has an absolutely brilliant soundtrack but almost every facet of this movie is done very well, its editing is top notch, its acting extraordinary, its writing fresh, and it’s more entertaining than many gave it credit for. IMDb: 6,9 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyXdhJfVd0I

Mary and Max (2009)

Claymation is hardly the most alluring genre and indeed, Mary and Max has hardly the most enjoyable sounding plot. It is the story of two lonely individuals, one a young girl from Australia and the other an obese New Yorker with Asberger Syndrome, who become unlikely pen pals and who correspond for the better part of twenty years. It might not sound great but Mary and Max is an extraordinary display of filmmaking prowess, starting with the gorgeous animation, continuing with wonderful voice acting from its cast, and most importantly it has a story that is simple, sincere, and profoundly emotional. Mary and Max runs the whole gamut of emotions, being in turns funny, depressing, joyful, and melancholy. It deals with a variety of relatable ideas including loneliness, and anxiety, and also confronts more complicated issues such as depression and mental disorders. The sum of the parts ends up making Mary and Max one of those rare movies that truly has something for everyone. IMDb: 8,1 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgRjB8PEDkM

Immortals (2011)

Immortals only received a 36% on Rotten Tomatoes and it has a 6.0 out of 10 on IMDB despite having several good qualities that make it stand out from other films with similar subject matter. To start with, the film itself looks gorgeous. Director Tarsem Singh brought his trademark visual flair to this film and crafted a brilliantly stylized portrayal of Greek mythology. The acting ranges from acceptable to above average and the fight scenes are very unique and enjoyable to watch. It might be an exercise in style over substance but in this case, with a style like this, it actually works. IMDb: 6,0 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VdONYkKFmQ

The Fountain (2006)

Darren Aronofsky’s massive, gorgeously flawed epic was hugely divisive upon its release in 2006 and to this day, reactions range from mockery to adulation. It is not a perfect movie but somehow, all the flaws add to the films impact, resulting in one of the most unique movies in film history. Originally a 70 million dollar star vehicle for Brad Pitt, the budget was cut nearly in half when he dropped out before filming began. To save money, the special effects team brilliantly concocted a CGI free orgy of sights, resulting of some of the most glorious visuals ever put on film. Aided by Clint Mansell’s magnetic score, The Fountain is a near unprecedented experience of sights and sounds that generate most of the acclaim for the movie. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is disappointingly unfocused. Much of this can be attributed to the tortured production that the creative team went through but the overall product remains undeniably impressive. The Fountain is extremely ambitious as it attempts to tell three story-lines separated by thousands of years, telling a classic love story in the midst of ruminations on life, death, and the quest for immortality. IMDb: 7,6 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9bc6fS0X4Y

Shame (2011)

Controversially snubbed at the Oscars, in part to its heavy subject matter, Shame is one of the most powerful films released in the last decade. Michael Fassbender is simply incredible as the main character Brandon, who suffers from sex addiction which he manages to keep secret from his friends and coworkers. When his sister comes to stay with him, his world is complicated even further by her presence. Despite incredible praise from many critics, with Roger Ebert naming it his 2nd favorite film of 2011, Shame has not been widely seen or recognized by many film fans and it was egregiously passed up at the Oscars for both for Best Picture and Best Actor. It is a courageous film that bravely confronts touchy subject matter and does so in a way that manages to be both artistic and powerful. The real shame of this film is that it has not received the recognition it deserves. IMDb: 7,3 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh2w0iym0Gk

The Descent (2005)

Six women plan a spelunking trip and find themselves in an unexplored and unmapped cave. Things go desperately wrong when they find themselves pitted against a race of devolved humanoids who dwell in the cave and the survivors have to band together to try and escape. The Descent is a marvelously crafted film, imbibed with top-notch performances from its cast, fantastic cinematography, and great monsters to top it all off. Like all the best horror films, The Descent conjures up a wonderfully bleak atmosphere and the twists and turns eventually lead up to a particularly shocking ending. Despite appearing on many lists of best modern horror films, The Descent is still not as well known as lesser horror films like Paranormal Activity or Insidious, despite it being one of the most unique horror film of recent years. IMDb: 7,2 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mujk825LXk

The Grey (2011)

Liam Neeson plays a suicidal wolf hunter who survives a plane crash with a few other members of an oil drilling team, stranded in the middle of nowhere. With no weapons and no place to hide, the survivors slowly get picked off one by one by a pack of wolves who’s den lies nearby, leading to the film’s devastating climax. The Grey features Liam Neeson’s finest performance since Schindler’s List, as he brilliantly plays a man with a dual nature, suicidal before the plane crash but absolutely determined to survive afterwards. The cinematography and musical score are also top notch and while it has some flaws, including about 15 flashbacks to the same scene with Neeson’s wife, overall The Grey is an incredibly affecting example of filmmaking at its finest. IMDb: 6,8 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpelgXUSquc

The Guard (2011)

The debut film of John Michael McDonagh, The Guard is a hilarious twist on the buddy cop genre as Gleeson’s character gleefully goes against the grain while Don Cheadle’s FBI agent is the classic by-the by the book straight man. Mark Strong and Liam Cunningham round out a great cast who are provided with some brilliant dialogue from McDonagh who wrote the film as well. The Guard’s colorful characters are its driving force but sadly it remains underseen. It’s the all time highest grossing film in Irish history but made less than five million dollars in the U.S. Luckily, The Guard picked up excellent reviews and even scored a Golden Globe nomination for Brendan Gleeson. Hopefully, the accolades will eventually turn The Guard into something of a cult favorite where more film fans would be exposed to it. IMDb: 7,3 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRsMLuCP8a0

Valhalla Rising (2009)

A sparse, gritty film, Valhalla Rising is a typical Refn film. It is slow, almost to a fault, focusing not on dialogue or plot but on images, mood, and emotions. In many ways, Valhalla Rising is almost a silent film but I doubt there was ever a silent film near this brutal. Long stretches of the film are punctuated by scenes of brutal violence where the main character, called one-eye, reveals himself to be an unstoppable killing machine. Valhalla Rising is a study in minimalism, none of the characters except One-Eye have names, characters rarely speak, and few details are given as to where the plot is going. What Valhalla Rising succeeds at is creating an almost hallucinatory atmosphere and a tone that hints at barely controlled violence. It is a challenging watch to be sure but for patient viewers, Valhalla Rising is a brilliant work that is inherently cinematic. IMDb: 5,9 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RI0Y3jI4S0

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

The Life Aquatic is one of the most charming movies you’ll ever see. To be fair, it’s a strange movie, the sets look like sets, the CGI is purposely unconvincing, and the actors portray their characters as idiots. The film is almost an arthouse version of Anchorman in that it is purposely stupid and endlessly quotable but The Life Aquatic triumphs by bringing loads of heart to the table and it really grows on you after multiple watchings. The characters are delightfully memorable with Bill Murray’s deadpan Steve, Willem Defoe’s Klaus, and Owen Wilson’s Ned Plimpton being the standouts but Jeff Goldblum, Cate Blanchett, and Angelica Huston are great as well. The strength of the film comes from its characters but it is also very well-written, has endless amounts of endearing little details, and the final showdown with Steve’s mortal enemy is always more than a little bit poignant. IMDb: 7,2 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZVxCNwBqXI

Pandorum (2009)

The crew of a seemingly abandoned spacecraft awaken without remembering who they are or what exactly their mission is. One of them, Corporal Bower, goes out to investigate the ship only to find it nearly overrun by a devolved form of humanoids. He meets a few passengers still fully human and they being to discover the dark secret of their ship. Pandorum is not a great film by any means but I have no idea why it was as poorly received as it was. It is solid in nearly every respect, and gets very good performances from the principle actors including a notably good one from Dennis Quaid. The most common criticism I can find is that Pandorum is not particularly original and to be honest it really isn’t. It draws from many sci-fi films such as Alien but regardless, it still manages to stand on its own as a perfectly fun popcorn movie. IMDb: 6,7 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMEhkTxs3_E