We’ve all been there, lying through your teeth to say you’ve seen this movie or that movie. But here are a few ones you’ve probably never seen, but most definitely should have:
- Godzilla – No I’m not talking about Gareth Edward’s homage film from 2014 nor Roland Emerich’s embarrassment of a movie from 1998, I’m talking about the very first Godzilla from 1954. Distributed by the famous Toho company, this was the first, and arguably the best monster movie of all time. With a slow build up, actual science behind the action as well as amazing destruction scenes created with amazing practical effects from craftsmen. This film set the bar for monster movies and made everyone all over the world know and fear the Godzilla name.
2. Downfall (Der Untergang) – I’m sure you’ve seen the world-famous “Hitler loses his temper” scene which has been parodied millions of times. Downfall was nominated for the best foreign-language film and you can easily see why. It’s a heartfelt and emotional tale of Traudl Junge, Hitler’s secretary as we see Hitler’s life in the final days of the war, as well as the final days, told through a few other individuals eyes. Oliver Hirschbiegel’s direction is flawless as he creates what could be argued as one of the best war films you’ve never seen. The movie is gripping, moving and, towards the end, profoundly horrifying as it brings to life an already well-documented story and gives it a new edge.
3. Spirited Away – Master filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki brings another anime classic to life as his 2001 epic blew audiences away. A young girl is forced to work at an empty theme park to save her parents who have been turned into giant pigs. But the park is actually a resort for supernatural entities that are threatened by an evil witch. It sounds weird as hell but it is a rollercoaster of an epic film. The visuals are sublime and they really take your breath away at times. It’s easy to get lost in such a magical tale and to leave your world behind as you enjoy the one created for you by Miyazaki
4. Starter for 10 – I guarantee you’ll recognize every actor in the trailer below that star in this movie. I also guarantee, however, is that you probably won’t have seen this film. This American-British coproduced piece and didn’t do as well as it should have done. The star-studded cast is fantastic and James McAvoy is actually likable despite his character being an evil cheating loser. I never thought there would be a romantic-comedy that I liked but this film is an enjoyable experience that can be enjoyed over and over again.
5. Scott Pilgrim vs the world – Despite getting a massive following before release, this Edgar Wright movie bombed at the box office. Despite not being as good as the comic, this movie is amazing. The visual style makes you think that you’re in a video game. It has some of the best humour you’ll see in a movie and uses a combination of said humour and its visual style to create a fully fledged pixelated masterpiece. Edgar Wright is the king of style over substance and it really shows here. If you want to watch a fun, relatable movie with epic music and fight scenes, hot girls and dumb jokes – then Scott Pilgrim is the film for you.
6. Pay it Forward – Kevin Spacey plays an emotionally and physically damaged social studies teacher who asks his students to come up with an idea that’ll change the world. When one child comes up with a brilliant idea that takes hold of many people, it brings about a wave of human kindness between his teacher, his single mother (played by Helen Hunt) and people all across America. A premise of a promise that director Mimi Leder joyfully and at times depressingly brings to the big screen – make sure you bring tissues.
7. Let the right one in – No not the American version called let me in, Let the right one in is a Swedish film directed by Tomas Alfredson. Several horrific murders intertwine with the newly found friendship between two children Oskar and Eli. An uplifting tale that is at times cute and at times soul-crushingly terrifying. Similar to Pan’s Labyrinth, although it doesn’t quite live up to the book, it definitely teaches current American Jump-scare oriented horror flicks something to learn from. This is without a doubt the best vampire film – Suck on that Twilight.
8. Mr. Holmes – Forget Guy Ritchie’s pulsating take on the Great British detective, Sir Ian Mckellan gives a stellar performance as a near death Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is trying to write the only missing piece of his memoirs and feels that he can do it justice after his sidekick, Dr. Watson, greatly over exaggerated everything about his life. With the help of his young service friend Rodger, Holmes must use what is left of his dementia ridden mind to crack the case. A slower take on the British stalwart detective which really puts a damper on Robert Downey Jr.’s performances simply as these are far more believable and frankly, more enjoyable. A quiet tale that weaves an intricate tale that keeps you guessing around every missing corner.
9. The Rocketeer – Ever wanted to watch La La Land with Jet Packs? No? Well, I bet you do now! The Rocketeer is a fictional war film about an invention that could change the course of the war. There’s an amazing performance as Bill Campbell plays Cliff Secord, a horribly cocky stunt pilot. High octane action, nazis, corny dialogue and Timothy Dalton playing a brilliant evil villain many years before he plays Mr. Skinner in Hot Fuzz. The film watches like a comic book come to life and it is a welcome campy change compared to the drab Marvel and even more so DC films.
10. The Wave (Die Welle) – loosely based on a true story, this is the second German film to feature on this list and boy is it more intense than Der Untergang. From the fall of the Nazis to the rise of the new ones, Die Welle tells the tale who teaches his class that Fascism can rise again, but instead intentionally creates a cult that worships him. Mr. Wenger manipulates his children who become mini nazis and take over their school and try to take over their town. A powerful and hypnotic film that teaches the tale that history often repeats itself. Originally, this movie was set in America but I think changing the setting to Germany gave it a creepier vibe – for the better of course.