9 Most Underrated Netflix Movies, Ranked

Netflix’s collection continues to grow by leaps and bounds; a diverse range of movies are added to the streaming platform every week. It seems almost inevitable that the most-watched Netflix movie will be a mainstream product, but there are a few exceptions to the rule.

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Excellence and obscurity are not inversely proportional. In other words, there are as many great famous movies as there are hidden gems. The mystical aura that surrounds independent cinema is nothing more than marketing; the quality of a film has nothing to do with its origins. That said, there are dozens of underrated movies available on Netflix, some more recognizable than others.

9 Vampires vs. The Bronx (2020) is a seamless mish-mash of themes grounded in witty dialogue

The allegory of gentrification in Oz Rodriguez Vampires Against the Bronx is not subtle, nor is it meant to be. The film treats vampires as proxies for encroaching POC spaces in New York’s Bronx borough – “pale monsters [who] try to demoralize the inhabitants.”

The villainous real estate company even uses Vlad the Impaler as its logo. Vampires Against the Bronx is a seamless mish-mash of themes, from social conscience to bildungsroman, anchored in place by acerbically witty dialogue.

8 Hello, Caesar! (2016) is played and timed with the spontaneous authority of jazz

Joel and Ethan Coen are known for making movies in a wide variety of genres, including crime comedies, intellectual thrillers, and neo-westerns. Their Hello, Caesar! is a fictional parody of a real event in 1950s Hollywood.

The New Yorker hailed Hello, Caesar! for its “light touches of exquisite incongruity […] played and timed with the spontaneous authority of jazz.” Hello, Caesar! deserves a watch, even though it hasn’t received as much critical acclaim as the Coens’ earlier work – “it sits between masterpieces and filmmakers’ duds”.

seven Sorry to Bother You (2018) explores the fundamental forces linking class and capitalism

Director Boots Riley’s razor-centric vision and actor Lakeith Stanfield’s unstoppable courage come together in Sorry to disturb you. It’s a wacky, comedic film about an African-American telemarketer who starts using a different accent when talking to his customers.

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sorry to disturb you tests the fundamental forces that bind class and capitalism, blending “conventional comedy with political satire” to produce a spectacular visual experience. The thematic elements of the film oscillate between reality and fantasy, and it becomes impossible to break them down.

6 The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017) dives straight into the murky depths of the human condition

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos is perhaps best known for directing Favorite (2018), a period black comedy that analyzes the relationship between Queen Anne and her two favorite courtiers. The Killing of a Sacred Deer plunges directly into the murky depths of the human condition.

The film received wide acclaim, with critics calling it the purest form of horror, “free from the shackles of fear of jumping or exposure”. The Killing of a Sacred Deer is held together by a stunning performance from Barry Keoghan, whose anti-villain antagonist is both unsettling and endearing.

The Florida Project examines his characters under the microscope, one slice at a time. The narrative is clean, there are no unwanted edits, and the cotton candy color scheme is both eerie and captivating.

“The Florida Project” is also the pre-construction codename used for Disney World, a perfect metaphor for the undercurrents of desperation felt by the film’s characters. The Florida Project has achieved near universal recognition for exploring the relatively mundane life of a marginalized community with grace and empathy.

4 I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020) highlights mundane aspects of Charlie Kaufman’s surreal aesthetic

Charlie Kaufman’s aesthetic sensibilities can best be classified as mind-bending surrealism, as evidenced by his screenplays for films like Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind (2004) and Being John Malkovich (1999).

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Kaufman wrote and directed I’m thinking of ending things, with Jesse Plemons and Jessie Buckley. The ambiguous setting of the narrative makes it somewhat disconcerting, but “the strange way the story is told reinforces how real the exchanges between the characters are”.

3 Cam (2018) doesn’t offer much closure, but that’s probably the point

CamThe take on the horror genre may not be groundbreaking, but the film’s nervous pacing and ominous atmosphere are worth it, especially for fans of psychological thrillers. The protagonist is haunted by visions of her digital doppelganger, a deepfake version of Alice created by an unknown person or organization.

Cam is an extremely gripping and terrifically scary film “it’s so much more than the sum of its salacious parts”. CamThe ending offers very little closure, but that’s probably the point he’s trying to make.

2 To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018) is incisive, witty, reassuring, enjoyable and deeply heartwarming

by Susan Johnson To all the boys I’ve loved before, the first part of a trilogy, is an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Jenny Han. While the second and third films are passable, they don’t hold a candle to the first.

To all the boys I’ve loved before “plays by teen rom-com rules, but relatable characters […] more than made up for a lack of surprises.” The film was a dormant success, garnering a cult fandom soon after its release. To all the boys I’ve loved before is incisive, witty, reassuring, pleasant and deeply comforting.

1 I Am Jonas (2018) is more than capable of handling its combustible cocktail of emotions

I am Jonah, directed by Christophe Charrier, is a French-language LGBTQ+ film based on the harrowing experiences of its main character. Although I am Jonah relies a little too much on the “painful clichés” associated with LGBTQ+ cinema, it gradually moves away from casual stereotypes.

I am Jonah digs through its protagonist’s traumatic memory for solace, finding both joy and sorrow in the process. I am Jonah is one of the few LGBTQ+ films that can handle its combustible cocktail of emotions.

The two Adams in a time vessel - The Adam Project.  Stanley disguised as an astronaut - Apollo 10 1:2

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Alfonso E. Cramer