For one reason or another movies can often get missed or overlooked on the release schedule be it from terrible marketing or just not connecting with audiences upon their initial release. Whatever the reason here are 10 hidden gems from the last decade which are worth discovering.
Youth In Revolt
Tapping into the awkward charms of Michael Cera this indie comedy unsurprisingly sees him playing the terminally awkward Nick who rather check out old movies and records while generally failing to connect with anyone around him until he meets the beautiful Sheeni who shares his love of records and French Culture leading him to create a rebellious and swave alter-ego François Dillinger (complete with pencil moustache) to win her over while wrecking havok on the lives of those around him.
For those who felt that the Fast and Furious movies were still alittle grounded will find a lot to enjoy in this 2010 debut anime feature from Takeshi Koike whose work as a director is probebly best know for World Record his contribution to the fantastic Matrix animated anthology The Animatrix
Here he brings together a colourful cast of racers for a nitro fuelled take on Wacky Races as the intergalactic high speed race the Redline which this time will be taking place on the android planet Roboworld. This is a film packed with action and visual flair while still highly accessable to even the none anime fans amongst you.
The Devil’s Double
This film actually made my top 10 list of the decade but seeing how it’s pretty much fallen under the radar it’s worth recommending again especially for the duel performances of Dominic Cooper who here plays Iraqi soldier Latif hired to become the double or bullet catcher for Saddam Hussein’s son Uday. Initially excited to share Uday’s life as he has acess to everything he owns from the massive palaces, fast cars and flashy wardrobe only for the dream to soon turn into a nightmare as tensions in the palace increase and Uday’s lifestyle starts spiralling out of control.
A gripping thriller based on a true story, it’s a film which hooks you from the start while peppered with it’s share of surreal moments such as watching Saddam play tennis with himself, while your never sure which of these two men is the real dictator.
50 / 50
Based on screenwriter Will Rieser and his battle with spinal cancer, here Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays public radio journalist Adam as we follow his battle with cancer in a film which both funny as it is touching especially as Joseph undergoes treatment connecting with his fellow patients over Weed Cookies while his best friend Kyle (Seth Rogan) looks after him. A refreshing change of pace from the usual terminal illness dramas while both actors really tap into the material with great on screen chemistry as we chart the highs and rock bottom lows of Adam’s battle.
I Kill Giants
Based on the indie graphic novel of the same name this was initially a film I was alittle disapointed in the first time I watched it having expected something like Troll Hunter instead finding something more akin to The Wasp Factory as reality clashes with small island magic and fantasy as the bunny ear wearing giant slayer Barbara secretly protects her small village from the giants secretly invading its shore or atleast that’s what your lead to believe as she draws the new girl at school Sophia into her world, but does it hide a darker reality?
Featuring energetic performances from both Madison Wolfe and Sydney Wade while Zoe Saldana keeps the adult connection to this world as the school psychologist this would make an interesting pairing with Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures
Pain and Gain
Following on the mini-trend of adapting magazine feature stories for the screen which gave us Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring and was followed by this true crime drama from most shockingly of all Michael Bay!!
Featuring none of his explosions, battling robots or ridiculous action set pieces here he strips things down to basics to tell the story of three bodybuilders who hatch a plot to extort wealthy new client Victor Kershaw out of his assets only for their plans and attempts to get away with the crime spiralling rapidly out of control especially once Ed Helms private investigator starts looking into the case. An engrossing story combined with plenty of Bay’s visual flair even if nothing is blowing up.
My Entire High School Sinking Into The Sea
Using a diversive doodle style of animation which if you can get past it will find a film which delivers a quirky take on a disaster movie when the cliff the school is located on breaks throwing the school and students into the ocean were they must now battle through the floors to escape.
Bringing together a diversive range of voice talents including Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, Reggie Watts, Maya Rudolph and Susan Sarandon adding an almost Wes Anderson quirkiness to the film.
Funded through Kickstarter the second film from Jermy Saulnier marked him out as a serious talent to watch which he only reinforced with it’s follow up Green Room. Here though he gives a slow burn meditation on revenge as vagrant Dwight (Macon Blair) discovers that the man who killed his parents twenty years ago has been released from prison early and sets out to get his revenge.
This really is a film best seen with as little expectation as possible and while it starts off perhaps alittle slow once it gets rolling it grabs hold of you and refuses to relinquish its grip till its played out its grim finale.
Big Bad Wolves
Following a series of violent murders of young girls, three men soon find their lives on a collision course with each other. Gidi (Tzahi Grad) the father of the latest victim now fuelled with a lust for revenge, Miki (Lior Ashkenzai) a rouge police detective and Dror (Rotem Keinan) a school teacher and main suspect, who despite being arrested once already by Gidi only to be released due to Miki and his teams’ vigilante actions. Now Dror finds himself captured again by Gidi and the now suspended Miki who are determined to get him to confess to the murders they believe he is responsible for.
While Israeli cinema might not be over well renown outside of World Cinema fans, it certainly seems to be something which directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado are trying to change, as having launched their careers by making Israel’s first horror film with their debut Rabies they now follow it up by essentially giving the country its second with this film, which also came with a glowing recommendation from Quentin Tarantino who proclaimed it as being the “Best Film of The Year”. While the heavier torture scenes really took away from my enjoyment of the film and rating it higher, this is still unquestionably brave and exciting film making at its best.
So there’s our top hidden gems from the last decade, but did we miss one your favourites? Let us know in the comments your own hidden gems from the last decade