20 Underrated Movies From Legendary Filmmakers

By Sophia Maddox | March 11, 2024

Damien Chazelle: Babylon

Embark on a journey into the lesser-known realms of cinema, where hidden treasures await discovery. Within the vast archives of legendary filmmakers lie forgotten masterpieces that deserve a second glance. From the enigmatic twists of David Lynch's "Lost Highway" to the heartfelt nostalgia of Tim Burton's "Ed Wood," these films defy conventions and offer unique insights into the creative genius of their creators. Amidst the shadows of their more celebrated works, these underrated gems beckon audiences to explore uncharted territories of emotion, imagination, and storytelling. Join us as we shine a light on 20 cinematic treasures that may have slipped under your radar.

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Set in the golden age of Hollywood during the transition from silent films to talkies, "Babylon" explores the industry's seismic shifts and the lives caught in its whirlwind. While the movie was largely ignored by mainstream audiences, "Babylon" stands out for its ambitious storytelling and Chazelle's distinctive directorial style. Loosely based on some of Hollywood's movie icons, the story depicts ambition at any cost, all within the excesses of Hollywood.

Chazelle, known for his captivating narratives and dynamic visuals in films like "Whiplash" and "La La Land," infuses "Babylon" with his trademark cinematic flair. The movie's exploration of Hollywood's transformative era promises to offer a fresh perspective on familiar themes of ambition, love, and the pursuit of artistic excellence. Despite the buzz surrounding its production and cast, "Babylon" faced the challenge of living up to the expectations set by Chazelle's previous works.

Wes Anderson: The Darjeeling Limited

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Fox Searchlight Pictures

"The Darjeeling Limited" offers a whimsical journey through the picturesque landscapes of India, punctuated by Anderson's trademark visual style and quirky characters.

Centered around three estranged brothers, played by Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman, "The Darjeeling Limited" follows their tumultuous train voyage across India as they attempt to reconnect and reconcile their fractured relationships. Anderson's direction infuses the film with vibrant colors, meticulously composed shots, and a melancholic yet comedic tone that encapsulates the complexities of familial dynamics and the quest for emotional healing.

Despite its stellar ensemble cast and Anderson's unique directorial vision, "The Darjeeling Limited" received mixed reviews upon its release and failed to achieve the same level of commercial success as some of Anderson's other works, like "The Grand Budapest Hotel" or "Moonrise Kingdom." However, its nuanced exploration of themes such as grief, forgiveness, and cultural immersion make it a poignant and underrated entry in Anderson's filmography. The film was released in 2007.