So yesterday we did an open thread to find out from you guys if there were any amazing movies out there that we were missing out on because they looked kind of crappy. You know, the kind of movies where you saw the trailer, whispered, “Um, no thank you,” to the person next to you at the theater, and never thought about again a day in your life?
Turns out some of those movies are actually good, because you can’t always judge a book by its cover and nobody’s perfect or whatever. But luckily we all have each other’s backs, and we’re here to lift each up when we stumble…or have a particularly judge-y reaction to a perfectly wonderful movie.
So here they are, friends, the unsung heroes of the Netflix queue. You oughta be ashamed of yourself for writing them off in the first place.
This was my choice, but one echoed by many of our commenters. It’s a movie starring Christina Ricci as a young girl cursed with the nose of a pig. Only watch if you’re completely at peace with developing a crippling, lifelong crush on James McAvoy.
2. Young Adult
If you’re in the mood for a dark, depressing comedy, reader lizinthelibrary recommends Young Adult, which isn’t the fluff piece you might be imagining.
“Somehow I had written this off as a stupid comedy, but netflix kept recommending it on my streaming selections. So I watched it eventually. It’s dark and depressing and the main two characters are basically awful people and I love it. Because it is trying to be cynical and depressing and realistic.”
3. About Time
If anyone was gonna be cynical about a Rachel McAdams time-traveling movie, it was gonna be my editor, Jenni, but she said she was shocked by how much she loved this movie when she saw a screener last year:
“It was one of my most favoritest movies this year. And I went into it completely prepared to hate it and call it a sequel to The Time Traveler’s Wife.”
4. Be Kind Rewind
Perhaps you, like our writer Jill, were skeptical of this film when it came out, but I’m gonna let her talk you right out of it:
“I heard so many people make fun of it when it came out, but I loved it. It’s so sweet and charming. I’m such a Michel Gondry fan because he has such a homemade style. So it’s appropriate that he made a whole movie ABOUT making homemade movies.”
Everything so far has been fairly modern, but now we get a little blast into the past with a movie from 1985, recommended by reader Sara, and seconded by MCR:
“Brazil. Netflix recommended it to me like crazy for the longest time, so I broke down and watched it. I hadn’t realized it was by Terry Gilliam, and it just looked like some crappy 80s movie about South America. It ended up being a really creative futuristic satire about bureaucracy. It’s beautifully shot, too. Never would have guessed!”
I’ll admit that I had no interest in seeing this movie when it came out, but I’m reconsidering now based on this review from Christina Kwan:
“It’s got a Princess Bride feel and is just so funny and sweet. I love it!”
I don’t even need Reese to encourage me to watch this one, because I caught it on Netflix about a year ago, and I was so pleasantly surprised. Super cute movie, clever rom-com structure.
“Much better than I expected and John Patrick Amedori is just really sweet.”
8. Strictly Ballroom
It could probably look outdated given that it came out in 1992, but Abby k. wants you to check out Strictly Ballroom anyway:
“Great soundtrack and fantastic characters.”
And then our same friend Abby jumps into the future nine years to 2001, to recommend the sci-fi comedy Evolution that came out then, saying it’s “just ridiculously funny!”
10. Love And Other Disasters
It always looked like kind of a jokey cheese-fest to me, and even the reader who recommended it admits that it shouldn’t be good:
“I have no idea why I love it—it should be mind numbingly awful. But I love it more every time I watch it. It really highlights how charming Brittany Murphy was. I’m also an incurable romantic.”
11. In Bruges
I remember seeing the preview for this with a group of college friends, and it looked so dumb that it became almost a joke between us. But elle says it wasn’t, and that anyone who hasn’t seen it is missing out!
“Right after I saw it (by myself, nobody would go with me) I kept telling everyone to see it but they kept telling me it looked so stupid. It isn’t, and it proved what I had been saying ever since Collin Farrell came on my radar-he can act he just chooses terrible movies to be in.”
12. Georgia Rule
It’s gonna take some real convincing to get me to believe a Lindsay Lohan movie is good for anything other than schadenfreude, but a recommendation from our coworker Caitlin is a step in the right direction:
“I freaking love Georgia Rule. It’s a lot better than people give it credit for.”
13. It’s Complicated
You don’t have to convince me of the merits of It’s Complicated, because I saw it myself and enjoyed it. But I know there are people out there who turned up their nose at it, so take it from Julia:
The team of Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, and Meryl Streep is unbeatable. Everyone is beautiful and despite the family dysfunction they love each other and communicate well. There’s just the right number of Krasinski hijinks. Meryl owns a bakery that only exists in my dream future. I also like literally any movie that features this song:
14. The Runaways
And finally, from my coworker Meg comes an almost-recommendation for a movie she vaguely remembers seeing. But we like Meg, so we’ll trust her judgement, OKAY GUYS?!?
“In fairness, I don’t remember a whole lot about the movie besides really liking their covers of the Runaways’ songs and also Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett which confirmed my belief that she doesn’t get enough acting credit. I checked on Rotten Tomatoes and this movie has barely fresh rating so I feel like this kind of fits the bill – not so bad it’s embarrassing, but not really beloved.”