8 Most Underrated Movies Of 2015 That Are Definitely Worth A Second Look
As diluted as big screen culture has become, thanks to so many home viewing options and escalating watch-at-your-leisure mindsets, the movies remain exciting. And that fact is not limited to the good ones — we can get just as enthusiastic with our complaints against and hatred for one picture as we can with our admiration and love for another. But, as a result of this, we’re sometimes too eager to slap movies with a extreme reaction right off the bat, which leads to people to dubbing good films great, bad films terrible, and — perhaps most often — films that were more or less worth the price of admission a total waste of two hours. That's how we end up with so many underrated movies from 2015, films that are almost certainly worth revisiting with a clearer mind.
In 2015, we’ve seen plenty of major releases and independent ventures endure this fate, dealing with people claiming that they occupy the lower tier of the calendar year’s cinematic output when they were, in truth, not all too shabby. While I’m not here to claim that some of the general public and critical community’s least favorite entries of ’15 were masterpieces worthy of placement on the next Sight & Sound list, I’d go so far as to say some of the most hated movies of the year were indeed underrated. Here are a few of the bad-rap pictures I’m talking about.
1. Jupiter Ascending
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 26 percent.
Domestic box office: $47.4 million.
I remember, during my first viewing of Jupiter Ascending, as I swelled with excitement over well-choreographed antigravity skate scenes, an endless array of campy alien creatures, and Eddie Redmayne's menacing falsetto, silently asking myself how it could be that so many people walked away from this spectacle of pure imagination with such a sour taste? This is the kind of weird Guardians of the Galaxy promised us and failed to deliver on!
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 56 percent.
Domestic box office: $53.9 million.
Though Will Smith and Margot Robbie's web of romantic con artistry won't go down in the cinematic history books with that of Bonnie and Clyde, their chemistry in Focus will not go unnoticed. Though the swindler picture does grow a bit tedious, it has a good plenty moments of fun to keep the cons (and relationships) exciting along the way.
3. Lost River
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 30 percent.
Domestic box office: $45,431.
The question of whether critics would have been just as cruel to Ryan Gosling's directorial debut were it not, in fact, directed by Ryan Gosling is a valid one. Gosling's ethereal, fever dreamy coming-of-age picture is the epitome of uneven, but it sure does showcase the spirit of an artist who lives hinged on that big screen magic.
4. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 67 percent.
Domestic box office: $45.4 million.
To be frank, I predicted a lower Rotten Tomatoes score for The Man from U.N.C.L.E., remembering only lukewarm word of mouth around the release of the reboot that nobody asked for. Since then, I've grown to remember a few of the peppier, more visually interactive instances fondly.
5. American Ultra
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 44 percent.
Domestic box office: $14.4 million.
Hardly Kristen Stewart's best turn of 2015, but just another reminder that the Twilight veteran remains an unappreciated talent. Her reunion with Adventureland costar Jesse Eisenberg may not be as strong as the aforementioned amusement park comedy, but it does pack the same degree of romantic chemistry you'd hope for as a fan of the pair.
6. Strange Magic
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 17 percent.
Domestic box office: $12.4 million.
Despite that less than inspiring Rotten Tomatoes score, George Lucas' animated fantasy jukebox musical does have some surprising charms. Notably, a bizarre and kooky love story at its center.
7. Run All Night
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 60 percent.
Domestic box office: $26.5 million.
Though it doesn't boast the tempo of Taken or the spirit of Non Stop, Liam Neeson's gritty crime thriller has a father-son story that puts the scripts of both of the above action pictures to shame. Jaume Collet-Serra builds a formidable crime underworld, though makes a few too many vexing visual choices.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 26 percent.
Domestic box office: $34.7 million.
You hated this film, didn't you? Well... OK. I get it. But shouldn't we be championing this kind of whimsy, imagination, and zaniness? No? OK, fine, you can have this one.
No matter how the general audience felt about these films, they're definitely worth revisiting for more reasons than one. After all, even a bad movie can be a good one if you look at it the right way.
Images: Warner Bros. (7); Lionsgate; Disney