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10 Underrated Netflix Movies You Might Have Missed

With all of the thousands of Netflix movies available today, it’s hard to decide which movie will be the “right one” — even after two hours of scrolling through all the options. Of course, there are always the “Critically Acclaimed” and “Popular Now” sections to catch all the pop-culture references, but what if you want to watch something else? It can be hard to commit to a movie for the night, especially when its ratings, writing, cinematography, etc., are questionable, but with some movies, you’ll never know until you judge it for yourself.

After spending all of our time indoors and watching movies, it’s likely that we’ve gotten through most of those popular sections of movies to watch, so we made a list of a few movies that won’t be on those lists. There is a wealth of underrated movies on Netflix if you’re willing to look, but if you’re not, here are some suggestions.

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The King (2019)
The King
62 %
r 140m
Genre Drama, History, War
Stars Timothée Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris
Directed by David Michôd
In what is a somber and well-told tale of the ascent to power of Henry V (Timothée Chalamet), The King is a slow-burning period drama that is driven by its powerful performances. This is a great way to be introduced to the new, on-screen talent Chalamet if you haven’t already seen Call Me By Your Name or Lady Bird and want to prepare for the new Dune movie.
Stargate (1994)
42 %
pg-13 116m
Genre Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Stars Kurt Russell, James Spader, Jaye Davidson
Directed by Roland Emmerich
This underrated ’90s flick is a seriously great way to nerd out to sci-fi, mythology, and inter-dimensional travel all at the same time. When a team of researchers discovers an interstellar portal in Egypt, they recruit military and scientific personnel to travel through the gateway and discover what’s on the other side. Though the overall positive experience is somewhat lessened by one or two performances in the movie, the action and timely special effects are a great way to enjoy the other great performances from Kurt Russell and James Spader.
The Machinist (2004)
The Machinist
61 %
r 101m
Genre Thriller, Drama
Stars Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón
Directed by Brad Anderson
In one of the best Christian Bale performances to date, he becomes the 120-pound insomniac for Brad Anderson’s The Machinist. As an industrial factory employee by the name of Trevor Reznik, he hasn’t slept in over a year because of his insomnia. As the days go on, he has a very hard time differentiating what is real and what is fantasy. Even though this film is famously known for the weight loss that Bale went through to portray the chronic insomniac, that doesn’t take away from the thrilling narrative that successfully makes the audience question the same reality.
Captain Fantastic (2016)
Captain Fantastic
72 %
r 118m
Genre Adventure, Drama
Stars Viggo Mortensen, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso
Directed by Matt Ross
One of the few — but always great — performances from Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic is a heartfelt tale that wisely comments on the expectations and happenings of modern society. When Ben Cash’s (Viggo Mortensen) wife Leslie suddenly dies, he is forced to take his six children that he raised in the Washington state wilderness back into the world.
Léon: The Professional (1994)
Léon: The Professional
64 %
r 111m
Genre Crime, Drama, Action
Stars Jean Reno, Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman
Directed by Luc Besson
A darkly charming and morally divisive movie that you may have missed, Léon: The Professional is a somewhat slow-moving drama that keeps you interested with its incredible performances all the way through. After Mathilda’s (Natalie Portman) family is murdered, her neighbor Léon (Jean Reno) reluctantly takes her in and trains her to fight the brutal outside world. Highlighted by some incredible performances by Jean Reno and Natalie Portman, we see the latter at a very young age showing why she has been an acting force for decades. Not to be overlooked is Gary Oldman in an outstanding performance that blends in with his consistently impressive roles.
Mr. Right (2016)
Mr. Right
52 %
r 95m
Genre Comedy, Action, Romance, Crime
Stars Sam Rockwell, Anna Kendrick, Tim Roth
Directed by Paco Cabezas
I happened upon this little gem after my penchant for action and comedy movies collided with my love for rom-coms. Mr. Right is fun throughout the entire film, and Sam Rockwell is an absolute treasure. The story follows a woman (Anna Kendrick) who is just coming out of a bad breakup. She meets a man who appears to be perfect for her in every way, but as it turns out, he’s a former hitman. This action movie is one of the best on Netflix if you don’t mind some ridiculousness.
Good Time (2017)
Good Time
80 %
r 102m
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Directed by Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie
A wildly original, exciting, and personal film from the Safdie Brothers, Good Time is a slow but sure rise in tension and anxiety that keeps the viewer enthralled. This is a story of Connie Nikas (Robert Pattinson), a selfish con man who dedicates one perilous New York night to the rescue of his brother, who has been arrested after their foolish attempt at armed robbery. In what is arguably Robert Pattinson’s best performance, he complements the crisp writing, distinctive direction, and indelible cinematography that makes this film a visceral experience.
Snowpiercer (2013)
84 %
r 127m
Genre Action, Science Fiction, Drama
Stars Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Ed Harris
Directed by Bong Joon-ho
Oscar-winning director Bong Joon Ho is well-known for his most recent film, Parasite, but his body of work expands much further. Snowpiercer boasts one of the most unique premises: the entire film takes place on a train that holds the last of the world’s survivors after a failed climate-change experiment. This film wholly surprised me and many others with its excellent cast and shocking displays of violence, not to discredit its absolute awesomeness. If you’re thinking it looks like Captain America on a snow train, you aren’t terribly far off.
Sex Drive (2008)
Sex Drive
49 %
r 109m
Genre Comedy, Adventure, Romance
Stars Josh Zuckerman, Amanda Crew, Clark Duke
Directed by Sean Anders
This one definitely isn’t for the family. In this raunchy, coming-of-age late-2000s comedy, a young man is driven by his hormones and a mission to finally lose his virginity. When a typical high school virgin, Ian Lafferty (Josh Zuckerman) meets a girl online through an exaggerated online persona, he is shocked to find that she actually wants to meet up. For him to do this, he must embark on an adventure against all odds (for a high school senior). With hilariously uncharacteristic moments and vocabulary from James Marsden and a surprisingly endearing love story on the side, Sex Drive might just surprise you and become a staple in your list of re-watchable movies.
What Happened to Monday (2017)
What Happened to Monday
47 %
r 123m
Genre Science Fiction, Thriller, Drama, Mystery
Stars Noomi Rapace, Marwan Kenzari, Christian Rubeck
Directed by Tommy Wirkola
Jumping forward to the future: What Happened to Monday is set in a society with a strict one-child policy, which is enforced by an armed and dangerous federation army. A group of identical septuplets (Noomi Rapace) attempts to live a single life as one, all assigned to and named after a day of the week. When Monday suddenly goes missing, it’s up to the rest of the family to find her and stay alive.

Looking for more things to watch? We’ve also found the best documentaries on Netflix as well as the best movies on Amazon Prime and Hulu.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Jacob Kienlen
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jacob Kienlen was a culture writer for The Manual. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, he has considered the Northwest his…
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