A film may not be in the race for an Oscar, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth your time to see. If a film is neglected for any reason, it might still be a worthwhile experience. No matter how hard movie-makers try, there isn’t any scientific explanation for why their films aren’t picked up by the general public. Over the years, everything from big-budget projects like Tenet, to little Sundance Jury Awards like Step, has been ignored. If you’ve got a star-studded cast like Zoe Kravitz, Kristen Stewart or Timothee Chalamet, you’re going to get overlooked.
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It’s not difficult to keep an eye out for these underrated choices, but you were probably (and reasonably) too preoccupied this past year to maintain track. For those who pride themselves on finding the best unseen films, yet have been lacking lately, you’re not alone. If you’ve never seen any of these films, L’OFFICIEL has put together a list of the top 10.
It’s a shame there haven’t been any memes based on this cast yet.
Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Bill Hader, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wiig, and Martin Starr feature in Adventureland, a comedy about the world’s worst summer job. College graduate James Brennan (played by Jesse Eisenberg) sets out on an epic European adventure but is forced to work as a summer intern due to his family’s financial difficulties. Emily Lewin (Kristen Stewart), who plays Emily Lewin in the film, introduces him to Adventureland, a run-down neighborhood amusement park.
2. Attack The Block
British-Nigerian actor John Boyega played Moses in Attack The Block before becoming Finn in Star Wars.
A fast-paced, a little scary, but definitely amusing sci-fi adventure, this film was directed by Joe Cornish and released in May of 2011. When an alien invasion of slimy alien monsters descends on a housing complex in South London, the area swiftly transforms into a haunted house.
3. Middle of Nowhere
The 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s Best Director Award went to Middle of Nowhere, yet the film is still widely regarded as underappreciated. It tells the story of Ruby (Emayatzy Corinealdi), a young lady who decides to put her medical student aspirations on hold in order to care for her husband, who is imprisoned. Ava DuVernay’s award-winning film is a journey of self-discovery, written and directed by her.
It was released in 2015 and features a young Zo Kravitz and A$AP Rocky. The story of the unpopular boy (Shameik Moore) was reimagined by filmmaker Rick Famuyiwa as a modern-day high school cliche. When Famuyiwa and executive producer Pharrell Williams decided to re-tell an adolescent story using a mostly black ensemble, they were ahead of their time.
5. Miss Stevens
There was an adolescent comedy-drama starring Timothée Chalamet and Lili Reinhart, but no one saw it. As a teaching chaperon, Miss Stevens (directed by Julie Hart and published in 2016) escorts students to a state theatrical competition for a weekend. A New York Times review, a SXSW premiere, and even a New York Times review didn’t do much to raise its profile.
It’s a heartwarming documentary about a high school Step team in Baltimore that focuses more on community and black female empowerment than gymnasium dance competitions. An award-winning film by Amanda Lipitz that was released in 2017 and won a special jury award at the Sundance Film Festival (perhaps the greatest prize of all). In contrast to Netflix’s Cheer, which was released several years later, the film didn’t enjoy the same level of success.
When the Warner Bros.-produced picture, directed by Christopher Nolan, premiered on August 12, 2020, the anticipation faded quickly. Most people were unable to see the film because it was only available in theaters, with the exception of a few drive-ins. Due to the pandemic, many cinemas were still closed or operating at a reduced capacity, making the movie’s box office prospects slim. Malcom and Marie, Black KKKlansman and Ballers star John David Washington, and Robert Patinson star as the primary characters, respectively. Travis Scott also contributed a song and merchandise for the film’s release, although to little success.