20 Underrated Movies From Legendary Filmmakers

By Sophia Maddox | April 29, 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.

Martin Scorsese: After Hours

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Warner Bros.

"After Hours" stands as one of Martin Scorsese's underrated gems amidst his illustrious career. Released in 1985, the film diverges from Scorsese's signature gangster narratives, delving into the surreal and comedic realms of New York City's nightlife. Set over one chaotic night, the plot follows Paul Hackett (portrayed by Griffin Dunne), whose innocent quest for excitement spirals into a series of absurd misadventures.

Scorsese's direction in "After Hours" showcases his mastery in creating tension and unpredictability within the confines of a single night. The film's kinetic energy mirrors the pulsating rhythm of the city that never sleeps, amplified by its eccentric characters and bizarre situations. Despite its departure from Scorsese's typical themes, "After Hours" retains his trademark visual flair and meticulous attention to detail.

The film's underrated status comes from its initial reception, as the film struggled to find a mainstream audience upon release. However, over time, its cult following has grown, with audiences appreciating its dark humor and surreal narrative.