The Best Island-Set Movies You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we take a vacation and explore the best movies you’ve never seen that are set on islands.)

It’s the summer movie season, which means it’s the season of big, CG-filled adventures, and one of the biggest (and most CG-filled) of this summer’s offerings is next month’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I bring it up for a wholly different reason, though, as its franchise features some of the most well-known movies set on islands. It might seem like a pointless designation, but island-set features are almost a sub-genre to themselves as they create an immediately understood atmosphere for the story at hand.

Their geography dictates isolation from the rest of the world, and that in turn works to build suspense, desperation, and tension (if that’s the goal). Protagonists are far removed from civilization, , and the setting works to enhance their loneliness whether it be a dramatic adventure (Cast Away), comedy (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), survival tale (Lord of the Flies), coming of age story (The Blue Lagoon), folk horror (The Wicker Man), or underappreciated Michael Bay flick. Of course, you’ve already seen those movies.

Keep reading for a look at some of the best island-set movies you’ve never seen.

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The Best Superhero Movies You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we look up in the sky for the best superhero movies you’ve never seen.)

You may or may not be aware of it, but superhero movies are big business these days. From Supergirl to Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, from Darkman to Doctor Mordrid, audiences just can’t get enough of heroes with superpowers and/or good intentions. One just released in theaters to the biggest opening weekend in film history, meaning the people suggesting “superhero fatigue” is setting in are clearly not to be trusted. They’re not all as successful as the likes of Condorman (pictured above), though, and that’s where I come in.

My name’s Rob, and while I hesitate to call it a “superpower” exactly, I do enjoy drawing attention and eyeballs towards underappreciated and underseen films. The big names in this genre belong almost exclusively with Marvel and DC, so I’m going to point you elsewhere for movies that satisfy your need for justice, action, and the kind of heroics that only a cape and mask can provide.

Keep reading for a look at six of the best superhero movies you’ve probably never seen.

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The Best South Korean Horror Movies You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we take a look at the best South Korean horror movies you’ve never seen.)

Train to Busan and The Wailing are two of the best horror films in recent years, and they couldn’t be more different. The former is a highly energetic and suspenseful zombie tale while the latter blends a methodically paced battle between good and evil with some incredibly intense sequences. Toss in less recent fare like Thirst, The Host, and A Tale of Two Sisters, and it’s clear that South Korea is home to some terrific and terrifying horror movies.

Of course, as you probably surmised by the title of this post, I’m not here to talk about the great movies you’ve already seen – I’m here to recommend ones you haven’t. Below, you’ll find six Korean chillers featuring murder, madness, monsters, and more. Some of the threats are supernatural while others are all too human, but all of them are worth watching with the lights off and a hot cocoa in your hand.

Keep reading for a look at the best South Korean horror movies you probably haven’t seen.

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Movies Directed by Actors

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition we take a look at some lesser-known movies directed by actors.)

The big film hitting screens this weekend is a horror film starring and directed by John Krasinski, and while A Quiet Place is neither the first nor the last movie to be directed by an actor it’s definitely the most recent. The joke about actors wanting to direct is an old one, but most never actually make the jump behind the camera. Those that do often leave acting behind in the process while others find a way to balance the two careers – sometimes in the same film.

Robert Redford, Sarah Polley, Denzel Washington, and Angelina Jolie are just a few of the many actors turned directors whose films have won both awards and recognition, but plenty of others have toiled behind the camera far less noticeably. Did you know that Al Pacino and Tom Noonan have each directed four movies? Or that two of the six friends from Friends have helmed films? I’ll let you Google to see if I’m lying on that count, but for now, keep reading for a look at some worthwhile movies you’ve probably missed that were directed by actors.

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(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we unsheathe a handful of good to great movies that feature unexpected scenes of swordplay.)

This week’s biggest new release in theaters is Pacific Rim Uprising, the sequel to 2013’s Pacific Rim. Director Guillermo del Toro and stars Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam aren’t returning for the follow-up, but you’ll be happy to know the Jaeger with the big-ass sword is back for more. Why does a giant, Voltron-like mecha-suit in a sci-fi, future-set world use a weapon as old school as a sword against giant monsters? I’m not sure, but Voltron has one too so maybe it’s an homage? Regardless of the reason, there’s something oddly appealing about seeing a sword come into play where you least expect it.

It’s understood that there will be swords and swordplay in certain period films, pirate adventures, or fantasy epics, but it can be just as entertaining seeing them appear in films outside of those genres. There’s something almost anachronistic about the sudden arrival of a sword in films like Pulp Fiction, Demons, Attack the Block, or Lifeforce, but you know the drill. I’m not here to talk about the movies you know – I’m here to spread the word about the good to great to just plain fun movies most of you have never seen. So keep reading for a look at six movies that probably shouldn’t feature swords (or swordplay), but do anyway.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we celebrate the Academy Awards with a look at six movies that were nominated for Best Picture over the years and then barely spoken of again!)

The 90th Academy Awards were this past weekend, and without spoiling anything for those who haven’t watched it yet, some movies won and far more lost. As is always the case on the Monday morning after, a flurry of hot takes were turned into posts that I’ll never read. The thesis on a few of them boils down to a suggestion that certain films, despite their Oscar nomination (and in some cases their win), are bound to be forgotten within a decade. It seems unlikely for the films I’ve seen associated with the idea (Get Out, The Shape of Water), but it’s a definite possibility in general.

Odds are you’re familiar with all of the Best Picture nominees from this century and probably into the ’80s, but dig back a bit further and you might be surprised. Just because you don’t recall a film, though, doesn’t mean it’s not worth remembering. And just because no one’s talking about an older movie, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth being a part of the conversation. So with that in mind, here are six great movies that were nominated for Best Picture and then mostly forgotten.

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(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we celebrate the 9th Annual Women in Horror month with a look at six horror movies you haven’t seen that were directed by women!)

Every month is the right time to celebrate female filmmakers, but those of you who like labels and official designations will be pleased to know that February is Women in Horror Month, It’s the ninth for those of you keeping track, and it’s a good reminder that while there still aren’t enough women making horror movies, there are plenty of great horror movies made by women. Near Dark, Pet Sematary, The Babadook, The Invitation, Prevenge, RavenousA Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and more all come to mind as known and loved examples.

But as I’m sure you know by now – and as the title of the post suggests – I’m not here to talk about the movies everyone already knows and loves. I’m here to suggest some lesser known titles that you probably haven’t seen despite being well worth your time.

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The Best Netflix Originals You Probably Haven’t Seen

netflix the cloverfield paradox deal

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we take a look at the best Netflix Originals that have probably slipped past you unnoticed.)

Netflix pulled something of a fast one Superbowl weekend by not only confirming that they would be premiering the new Cloverfield film, The Cloverfield Paradox, but that it would actually be dropping later that night. No trailers, no previews, and no other marketing beyond this Superbowl ad – all movies should be this lucky. Of course, the one downside to it all is the unfortunate realization that the movie is a bland, poorly-scripted feature manhandled into being a new Cloverfield film. Like Bright and too many Adam Sandler-starring films before it, though, the movie’s quality seems at inverse odds with the attention, clicks, and views it’s gotten.

So let’s give some love to the Netflix Originals that are actually well worth your time! The streaming service releases plenty of great titles from Bojack Horseman and The End of the F***ing World on the series front to movies like Mudbound and I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, but I’m here to recommend six Originals that are both fantastic and sorely in need of more eyeballs.

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The Best YA Adaptations You Probably Haven’t Seen

maze runner

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we take a look at the best adaptations you haven’t seen of young adult novels.)

Young adult (YA) adaptations typically fall into two categories – those featuring characters named Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, or Bella Swan, and those that don’t. The movies in the latter group aren’t as well known and haven’t made nearly as much money, and if we’re being honest, a healthy percentage of them deserve that fate. There are plenty of other good ones, though, from The Perks of Being a Wallflower to The Outsiders, but I’m here to tell you there are also some great ones you’ve probably missed.

One such solid YA movie is 2015’s Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials which in addition to featuring some fun 28 Days Later-like “zombie” assaults also includes some kick-ass action sequences. It’s good! You can skip the dull first installment – teens are forced to run out of a maze, there, now you’re all caught up – and just jump to this second film. Once you do that you’ll be ready for the trilogy’s concluding chapter, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, which opens this week. You’re welcome.

In the continuing spirit of identifying YA movies that are deserving of more love, I’ve done what I do best, or at least what I do bi-weekly, and selected a handful of good to great titles that were released and quickly forgotten to time.

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deathtrap

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we take a look at some of the best Michael Caine movies you probably haven’t seen.)

Most actors go their whole careers without starring in a film destined to stand the test of time. Michael Caine, though, has more classics on his resume than most actors have films in their entire filmography. Alfie, Gambit, The Italian Job, Get Carter, and Sleuth are just a small handful of his most memorable movies, and not coincidentally, they’ve all been remade in the decades since their original release. Of course, Caine is famously an actor who pretty much never says no to an offer, meaning he’s also made more than a few outright stinkers. Between those two extremes sit a ton of films that range from mediocre to magnificent, but for whatever reason they’ve avoided the reputation as being among his best (Without a Clue) or worst (On Deadly Ground). They’re unappreciated, and it’s time to change that.

Keep reading for a look at some of the best Michael Caine movies you probably haven’t seen.

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