Underrated Movies

Hundreds (if not thousands?) of movies get made every year. Not all movies get the luxury of being a blockbuster or even getting wide released in theatres. There are a lot that get limited releases or these days, on-demand; so inevitably, many movies fall through the cracks and might not be as widely known as they should be. A lot of movies also get panned by the critics, some justifiably, others not so much, but I don’t trust the critics half the time anyways so whatever. Now I realized while I was doing a Fandom 5 post, that I owned quite a few of these little known movie gems, and wanted to share some of my personal favourite underrated movies.


Feeling the pressures and stresses of the SATs from all those around them, a group of high school students try to steal the answers. I know, it doesn’t sound like much, but what if I told you it starred Chris Evans, Erika Christensen, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Greenberg, Leonardo Nam, and Darius Miles? And that One Tree Hill writer/EP/showrunner Mark Schwann was also one of the screenwriters for the movie? It was a teen dramedy with a caper twist! Such a fun watch that I even worked it into one of my class projects (Sociology class and Strain Theory!), which back in my school days was a surefire sign of how much I loved something.


I’ve already written about how much I loved this movie after seeing its premiere at TIFF, but I’m still bummed that it didn’t get a bigger release.


This was really one of those movies that fell through the cracks. I remember hearing about it, mainly because a lot of One Tree Hill people were attached to it (Elisabeth Harnois, Danneel Harris, Bethany Joy Lenz) but it never got released in theatres and I had the hardest time trying to find it on DVD. One day out of the blue, I found it at Wal-Mart, bought it obviously, and have never seen it in any stores since. The movie is a different take on the co-workers become friends/family plot, though each of the main characters have their own mini-arc within the movie.


Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin star in this romantic drama about a couple struggling to deal with their long-distance relationship – she’s in London, he’s in Los Angeles. Director Drake Doremus and the actors really made you feel for this couple and all their hardships.


I’m pretty sure this wasn’t a big movie when it came out in 2001, but I somehow stumbled upon it. I remember wanting to watch it just because Ryan Phillippe and Rachael Leigh Cook were in it. It’s sort of a cyber thriller, with Phillippe playing a programmer, who tries to take down Tim Robbins’ CEO of a high-tech software company. It’s not the greatest movie in the world by any means, but I thoroughly enjoyed it for many years (it’s been a while since my last re-watch), including this line “And in the real world, you’re fucked!”


This was one of those movies I sought out after finding out that it starred Scott Porter, Bryan Greenberg and Alexis Bledel. Porter’s Tommy takes Greenberg’s Max under his wing, showing him the ropes of being an investment broker and how to socialize with women. Tommy questions his decisions when Max starts getting close to Tommy’s girlfriend Beth (Bledel). Again, it’s not something you expect much from, but the end result was quite enjoyable.


No, I will not shut up about it! I will make any excuse to bring it up! LOL


Have you seen any of these movies? What are some of your favourite underrated/under-appreciated movies? Share in the comments!

Favourites of 2011

It is December 31st, last day of 2011 – I’d say it’s about time I do my favourites list for the year.


  • Adele – 21: This was Adele’s year, you can’t argue with that. I had already liked her from her debut album, but her sophomore effort made me a bonafide fan. Not to mention, hearing her perform live is absolutely INCREDIBLE.
  • Kelly Clarkson – Stronger: Right, because Kelly Clarkson comes out with a new album and I wasn’t going to put it among my favourites? HA! I don’t know what to really say about Kelly Clarkson. She has always been one of my favourite artists, and with each album she releases, there’s a quality about them that makes you connect to it. ‘Stronger’ is no exception; I’ll be listening to it well into 2012.
  • Matt Nathanson – Modern Love: Funny thing about Matt Nathanson, I didn’t really listen to his music before. I mean I had his music on my hard drive but I didn’t listen to it all that often to consider myself a fan. Then I went to see him in concert before his new album got released and now I listen to him all the time. And I saw him in concert a 2nd time, and hopefully a 3rd time in 2012 when he opens up for Kelly Clarkson’s tour. ‘Modern Love’ is just a really good album, with great songs and lots of memories.
  • Lady Antebellum – Own the Night: Last year, I talked about how I loved Lady Antebellum’s song “Need You Now.” This year, my appreciation for them went up another level with their latest album. I’ve never been a big country music fan, but I really love ‘Own the Night.’ It’s an album that definitely has that crossover appeal, but not so much where it’s like Taylor Swift (not that there’s anything wrong with Swift.)
  • The Script – Science and Faith: Technically, this album got released in late 2010 but that was only in Europe. Us North Americans didn’t get the album  until early 2011, so it makes the cut. They pretty much took what was great about their first album and did it again, with bigger hooks.
  • James Morrison – The Awakening: A three-year wait for this follow-up of ‘Songs for You, Truths for Me’ seemed like AGES, but totally worth it. James Morrison just does not disappoint.


Admittedly, I didn’t see that many movies this year, especially in theatres, and so I’ve been catching up as they’ve gotten released on DVD (or I watched it on the plane during my vacation). I’m sure this list would’ve been more extensive had I seen more movie, but this will do.

  • Crazy Stupid Love: Cast alone – Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone – I’m pretty sure we were guaranteed a good movie experience. Also, let’s not forget the line that hooked us all – “It’s like you’re photoshopped!” What could’ve easily been a cliche-filled chick flick, ‘Crazy Stupid Love’ was everything a romantic comedy should be –  a comedy about love with a lot of heart.
  • Like Crazy: Saw this at the Toronto International Film Festival, and absolutely loved it. It’s a heartbreaking story about 2 people who are trying to keep a long-distance relationship alive, and all these obstacles that come with their situation. You might’ve seen something like this portrayed in other movies, but not in the same way that it was done here. Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin made you believe every moment, every struggle. It felt so real, you forgot you were watching a movie.
  • Midnight in Paris: A Woody Allen movie that seemed to appeal to a much wider audience. I myself can’t even pinpoint exactly why I liked the movie so much. It could’ve been the whole modern look at the 1920s and the culture of the 1920s, mixed along with the fact that it was set in Paris, which has its own magical quality to it.
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene: After hearing such great things about it from Sundance, when I found out they were playing it at TIFF, I knew I had to go see it. I remember after seeing the movie, not knowing exactly how I felt about, which I think is what makes it such a good movie. It’s a different kind of movie. It’s sort of a psychological thriller but not. It kept you on edge. Also, Elizabeth Olsen is a wonder playing the title character(s). She’s definitely got a bright future ahead of her.
  • The Adjustment Bureau: A smart sci-fi type of thriller. From beginning to end, the movie hooks you. Although I must admit from time to time, I did compare the movie to a mix of ‘Fringe’ and ‘Monsters, Inc. ‘ (the Bureau is like the Fringe Observers, and get around town using doors like the monsters from Monsters, Inc.).
  • X-Men First Class: With the exception of January Jones, the rest of the cast was great. Going back to the beginning of the X-Men storyline was a breath of fresh air in the series.
  • Super 8: J.J. Abrams. Steven Spielberg. Alien invasion type movie. Do you really need more? Yes? Well, how about the fact that the movie is carried by a group of kids and it works? Kids acting that well at that age just make the rest of us look bad. Oh well, still a really good movie.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2: This list wouldn’t be complete without Harry Potter. It’s the end of an era! And there’s nothing else to say about it.


  • Nikita: The show was good when it started and slowly found its footing getting to its winter finale in 2010. When 2011 came, the show came back kicking ass. I was already a fan, but I became an obsessive nerd about the show, always on the lookout for where they were filming in hopes of meeting Maggie Q and Shane West. I hope that despite its Friday timeslot, the show continues to thrive and be picked up for another season because I can’t imagine a Nikita-less TV world.
  • Once Upon A Time: They got me hooked at the mention of fairy-tales. Fairy-tale characters cursed to live their lives as normal people, with no recollection of their other life? Genius. Obviously, the trick is balancing the fairy-tale world with the real world, and so far it’s working.
  • Revenge: I figured I would like this show when I first heard about it/saw previews, I didn’t realize how much I would love it. ABC bringing back the primetime soap? Good call. Emily Van Camp is wonderful in her role as Emily Thorne, out to get payback for her father. Madeleine Stowe as Victoria Grayson is flat out perfect. Twists, turns, backstabbings, cliffhangers – the show’s got it all.
  • Happy Endings: So many shows have come and gone, trying to do the whole comedy about a group of friends, which inevitably lead to being compared to ‘Friends,’ yet somehow ‘Happy Endings’ stood out. The hook of the show was that 2 within the group were getting married but then Dave gets left at the altar by Alex, and the friends trying to deal with having to pick sides. But the show’s grown so much from that. They still bring up the Dave-Alex relationship here and there, but the show is now really about this group of friends. Also, they have endless amounts of pop culture references which is really all I need to stay tuned!
  • Hart of Dixie: Regardless of the fact of whether you believe Rachel Bilson as a doctor or not, this show is so full of charm. With a cast that includes Rachel, Scott Porter, Wilson Bethel, Jaime King, and Cress Williams, the chemistry is endless. Once you start watching, you can’t help but like it.
  • How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Fringe, Community, So You Think You Can Dance, Modern Family, The Vampire Diaries: Because I still really love these shows, and there’s nothing else to say about it.