List

Hidden Gems 4.0

By Cecilia Cygnar

Even more titles you could have skipped past while browsing...

  • The Damned United

    2010

    The Damned United goes deep into the recesses of soccer to live and breath the sport. It is a good film. The story is strong. Not knowing the inner workings of British football did not hinder my enjoyment. The story is based on a real character in British football history, and a real period in their football’s legacy. Part drama, part thriller, all sports film, it is quite an entertaining flick, whether you’re British, American, a soccer fan, or just enjoy a good movie!

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  • Archangel

    2006

    This fast-paced and engaging thriller, set in Russia, involves a British historian and the legacy of Joseph Stalin. Based on a novel by Robert Harris, Archangel is based on some actual events that came out in recent years about members of Stalin’s lineage, but the story takes more than a little creative license. Moody and dark, the film's atmosphere helps the suspense along. Daniel Craig is convincing as the historian on the hunt for the truth. It will also will appeal to history buffs, given past events in the former Soviet Union.

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  • It's Kind of a Funny Story

    2011

    This film is about relationships of all sorts. Although many films about relationships veer off onto predictable roads of sex and happily-ever-after, this film proudly proclaims that nothing is predictable. After all, it takes place in a mental hospital. Happily-ever-after for these patients is a little different than it is for the rest of us. If this movie had ended with Craig and Noelle walking into the sunset, the innocent vision of this film would have been ruined. It is touching without being anywhere near sappy. It is sweet and endearing without being over-the-top or preachy.

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  • Junebug

    2006

    It's hard to say whether I liked this film or I felt so sorry for the characters that I took pity on the film. It's a slice of southern small-town American living. George moved to Chicago but reconnects with his Southern roots on a trip home. Even though he seems to be at the center of the story, I got more out of the supporting characters and their troubles. Amy Adams' character is so complex in her simplicity that she could star in a movie all her own, which may be why she got so many raves for her over-the-top yet understated performance, including an Oscar nomination for supporting actress.

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  • Ondine

    2010

    Fairytales usually do not have "happily ever after" endings, and that's what is great about this film. It's never too pushy with its level of the fantastical. I usually do not go for movies with any type of supernatural element, but this one captivated me with its lush Irish setting and fleshed-out characters. By the time I realized fantasy was part of the story line, I was already hooked. Because of the strong acting and storytelling, I was able to put aside my preconceived notions, mainly due to director Neil Jordan’s (The Crying Game, Michael Collins) vision—he makes sure that this film about myths and legends stays well rooted in reality, though he gives us enough whimsy to keep us entertained.

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  • Mumford

    1999

    A truly sweet and charming film about a psychologist whose appearance in the small town of Mumford forever leaves a mark on all of its residents. With his simple, boyish charm, Loren Dean is perfectly naive and dumbstruck when the townspeople begin flocking to tell him their deepest, darkest secrets.

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  • The Dish

    2001

    This is the story of how a small Australian town is turned upside-down overnight when NASA needs to use its large satellite for the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing. Sam Neill plays the by-the-book chief who has difficulties controlling his less-than-professional staff. This film did not get much buzz when it was in theaters, and I was pleasantly surprised by the cast, the story, and the subtle way it weaves together all of the plot points. It's a sweet, unassuming dramatic film with quite a bit of comedy tossed in.

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  • Hysteria

    2012

    A funny (very funny), charming, historical, based-in-reality film about...wait for it...the invention of the vibrator. Yes, you read that correctly. Yes, that vibrator. Part comedy, part drama, all heart...based on actual events. Now, I do not mean to make fun of this very important invention (sarcasm here). But, the movie itself makes light of it, not of the invention necessarily, but with the overall humorous tone the film takes.

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  • Brothers

    2010

    A tough film to sit through, this powerful drama stays with you long after it ends. My appreciation increased as I thought more and more about its messages and meaning. Based on a Danish film from 2004, Brodre, this intense story revolves around two brothers. At the beginning of the film, Tommy, the black sheep of the family, is released from prison. The favorite son, Sam, will soon head to Afghanistan for another tour of duty. While in the Middle East, Sam is presumed dead in a helicopter accident. The ending still sends a chill down my spine just thinking about it. This is not only an underrated film, it also is filled with dynamite performances by all of the major players. An excellent, yet disturbing film.

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  • Adam

    2010

    Adam is a strong film that is tough to watch. I continuously felt sorry for the main character, Adam, who has Asperger's Syndrome. The script is written so that we do feel bad for him. The film opens with his father passing away and he now lives alone, which is new territory for Adam. He has few, if any, friends, and lives his life through habits he knows. When he meets a new neighbor, Beth, his insulated world threatens to either unravel or expand to include her. A touching, sweet film, it is part love story and part drama. You will admire the strong performances by both Hugh Dancy, who plays Adam, and Rose Byrne as Beth.

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  • The Station Agent

    2004

    In this simple movie, nothing really happens, aside from small strides the characters make in getting closer to each other. Sometimes, especially with the main character (played with perfection by Peter Dinklage), nothing is said at all. It takes its time to say, or show, what it needs to, and leaves out all of the other stuff. It’s like a case study of the human psyche or even the human spirit. Regardless of how little happens, though, I came away feeling moved and affected. If action movies or fast-paced films are your speed, this one might not sit well with you, but I recommend giving this small film a chance.

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