Good Movies That Aren’t Blockbusters

Re-posting this…because I want a good movie and I’m sick of all the usual suspects…


{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.


6 thoughts on “Good Movies That Aren’t Blockbusters

  1. Burnt Offerings!! That’s the bomb! Bette Davis and Karen Black? Hell yeah! Also love Galaxy Quest, Kissing Jessica Stein and Road to Perdition. I’ll have to check out the others.

    Go see Drive!! Immediately!

  2. I haven’t seen any of these, yikes!I’ll bookmark this for when I’m wanting to red movies! I’ll add Shallow Grave to your suspense/thriller list. It’s aweseome. Early Ewan McGregor.

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