20 Underrated Movies From Legendary Filmmakers

By Sophia Maddox | April 14, 2024

Wes Anderson: The Darjeeling Limited

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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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.

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.