The Movies You Maybe Never Saw, But Probably Should

{After hearing from several people that they’ve seen these movies, I’m going to deny that I’m hopelessly out of touch and instead re-name this post to:
Non-Blockbuster Movies That You Might Want to See Again, like Box of Moonlight.)


So I don’t know, some of you may have seen these movies. Probably have, in fact. But these are lesser-known movies that I recommend for whatever reason, some simply because they’re entertaining, if not outstanding. Let me know if you see one of these and liked it.


The Tense Drama:


Unexpectedly good cast and script. In a nutshell, Deterrence is about a newbie United States president, trapped by a snowstorm in a diner, facing the prospect of deciding whether or not to detonate a nuclear bomb.


The Weird:


Strange Shakespearean adaption mingling scenes from the past and present. Beautiful — and sometimes disturbing — imagery. Although there was a storyline, to me, Titus was a series of poetic and dark sequences rammed up your arse. The action is by turns unrelenting and meandering. Only get this if you’re into a movie experiment. That said, this movie shook up my neurons in an ultimately good way.


The Funny:

Real Men

This is a cable standby, and I love it. It’s short and funny, perfect for a quick bite of ridicularity. I love the pairing of Jim Belushi with John Ritter as an FBI agent and hapless insurance salesman, respectively, who team up to save the world. Real Men revels in its silliness and you will too.

Galaxy Quest

I’m sure you’ve caught wind of this one over the years, but it never fails to make me laugh. I’ve watched bits of it a lot over the past week. It’s about an aging Star Trek-like cast of TV characters who are called upon to assist real deal extraterrestrials in saving their planet.


The Romantic Comedy:

Nina Takes A Lover

Completely thought this would be stupid. But overall, a delightful and ultimately heartwarming romp. (Where did I get this back of DVD cover voice all of a sudden?)

Kissing Jessica Stein

Movie about a frustrated woman looking for love, who ends up dating a girl. The scene where they disclose their Mac lipstick shades to each other is classic. Friendly lesbian romantic comedy. (Wow! Still sounding like Mary Hart.)


The Thought-Provoking:


Is Julianne Moore suffering from environmental sickness or isn’t she? Is there anything to New Age healing? Is all this in our heads?


And, if you like Taut Thrillers:

Try Arlington Road

Great pacing and suspense. Makes the paranoids among us not look so paranoid. You need loads of suspension of disbelief for this one, but I’ve got that in spades. Also, I’m paranoid. So win-win!


If You Like Old-School Scary Movies:

Check out Burnt Offerings

I’ve recommended this one before, and after watching it again last night, I stand by it.

If you like spooky movies that haven’t forgotten how to build suspense, tension, mood and atmosphere, this is for you. It’s not in your face, but rather a slow cooker of spookiness.


Others You May Have Heard Of, Or Seen Once, But Are Worth a Re-Visit:

Living Out Loud. (I also really like the soundtrack.)

Holly Hunter rocks and rolls and gets an erotic massage. Also, bonds with an unlikely pseudo-romantic partner. Great movie about how to find yourself after a divorce. This is about taking your power back. (Quick show of hands: who can tell I write promotional copy for a living? Egads!)

One True Thing

I have to say I made the mistake of watching this soon after my mom passed away. And now I know that was probably a good thing. The parallels between this movie and my life are many, but suffice to say, it’s about a woman coming to terms with her mother’s impending death.

Road to Perdition:

Jude Law may be morally decrepit, but he’s a heck of an actor. This movie is big, dark and wonderful. Based on a graphic novel, it’s got that make believe gritty sensibility to it, but soon you transcend the excellent cinematography and become immersed in the story of a father and son running from a mob hit man in the 1930s.


Favorite Movie Soundtracks (Bonus Category):

Empire Records

Stealing Beauty

I louver almost every song on both of these soundtracks and with my fickle heart, that’s rare.


16 Responses to “The Movies You Maybe Never Saw, But Probably Should”

  1. Sadly..or not..I have seen most of those!!

    Watch WAY too many movies!

  2. I’ve seen many of these and am on board with your reviews. Good job. I will check out the others.

    See Lars and the Real Girl. You’ll dig it big time.

  3. mommypie says:

    HA! Not only is Stealing Beauty one of my absolute ALL TIME FAVES, the soundtrack is my single most favorite soundtrack. EVER. I’ve just about worn out the CD over all these years — it’s ALWAYS playing in the car.

    That’s awesome that you love it. I actually only buy soundtracks anymore — SO much better than just a single artist (with a few exceptions).

  4. I haven’t seen most of these, but the ones I have–Galaxy Quest, Kissing Jessica Stein and Arlington Rd.–I liked. So this is a great list for me–thanks.

  5. Da Goddess says:

    If you haven’t seen Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, Keeping Mum, or the classic Breaking Away, you should do so. I especially love these three for different reasons and know there’s a little something inside all of us that would greatly appreciate them.

  6. San Diego Momma says:

    CC and Cheri: You are true moviephiles (wrong word)! I will check out Lars, Cheri. I’ve heard of it, but not seen it yet.

    MP: See? I’m on a plane to Greenland right now to compare more notes on our twinness.

    Jenn: I hope you like one of two of the suggestions!

    Da Goddess: Good movie recommends! Do you know everything or what? You’re like my own personal adviser.

  7. pajama momma says:

    You know it’s really strange, I’ve never heard of any of these movies. I don’t think they were ever advertised even once on Sprout or Nickelodeon, huh, weird.

  8. Jen says:

    Thanks for the great movie recommendations. I haven’t seen many but I did really like Galaxy Quest.

    Btw, this post would be perfect for my next Movie carnival on July 1st.

  9. Melanie says:

    Capital L for Loser because I’ve not seen any of those. Sigh. However, I will take your recommendations and cue them up on my Blockbuster account.

  10. Deborah says:

    It is too sad that I’ve only seen one of these – Kissing Jessica Stein – and the only reason I went to see it (I loved it by the way) is because some scenes were shot in and around my old boyfriend’s antique store in New York!

    Like many of your tribe here I need to get out more! Or, in this case, stay in and watch movies more!

    Thanks for the list. I trust your choices and will seek them out.

  11. FerdC says:

    I haven’t seen a single one of those. I just have to do more couch potatoeing!
    No, seriously, this is one of the reasons I like to blog surf. I get to meet smart and interesting people from an entirely different walk of life. I get to learn new stuff, like this movie list. I’m writing it down now. I’m gonna watch them. They better not be barfy. ; )

  12. Da Goddess says:

    I don’t know everything, but I love movies and will watch just about anything that looks remotely interesting.

  13. Eden says:

    Galaxy Quest! “It turned inside out. And exploded.”

    Empire Records! “I don’t feel the need to explain my art to you, Warren.”

    I recommend, if you like creepy/gothic movies (along the line of The Sixth Sense or The Others), a movie called Haunted. It stars Aidan Quinn and Kate Beckinsale. Netflix it. The effects are a little cheesy but the story is enjoyable and it’s nifty.

  14. Clink says:

    Galaxy Quest is hysterical! Never give up!! Never Surrender!!! Great list!

  15. Jamie says:

    Shit. As if my bursting Google Reader hasn’t stressed me enough, but now there’s this. What’s wrong with me? I haven’t seen ANY of those.

  16. The only movies I’ve seen of the list are the soundtrack ones, that I haven’t listened to the soundtracks of! I LOVED Stealing Beauty (the movie). Even since, I’ve been wanting to go to Tuscany! (that’s where it took place right? I hope?)

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