You’re sitting at home with nothing to stream. What do you do? What. Do. You. Do? You check out the following list of the best movies you’ve never seen, that’s what. It comes fully loaded with bona fide masterpieces from various corners of the world. Most of these titles are somewhat obscure when compared to more obvious choices, but don’t take to mean they’re even slightly second-rate. As with all buried treasure, a little extra digging can lead to great reward. (Here’s where to stream 50 great movies you’ve probably never seen.)
To determine the 25 best movies you’ve probably never seen, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on audience rating and popularity from IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon and Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator. Movies with a combined total of at least 10,000 and no more than 50,000 IMDb audience votes and Rotten Tomatoes audience votes and Tomatometer critics’ votes were ranked according to their Tomatometer score as of August 2021. Only films made in 1950 or later were included, and documentaries were not considered. Information on cast, director, and year of release came from IMDb.
Take the noirish “Sweet Smell of Success,” for example, which tells a dark tale of power and influence on Broadway. It’s one among a number of Old Hollywood films that’s only now catching on with critics and audiences. Then we have French gems such as Robert Bresson’s prison thriller “A Man Escaped” and the 1986 period piece “Jean de Florette.” While these movies have strong followings overseas, they tend to elude most American viewers. (These are the best foreign films of all time.)
Along similar lines is “The Twilight Samurai,” a major award-winner in Japan that doesn’t have much of an American following to speak of. Or consider Taiwanese director Edward Yang’s arthouse gangster epic “A Brighter Summer Day,” which is as gloriously executed as it is generally overlooked. And here you were thinking there was nothing to watch when you’re just a few clicks away from your next favorite film.
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