Undefended: Unloved Gems

This month – in honor of February, that veritable dumping ground of studios’ cinematic refuse – FilmFisher’s writers picked their favorite underrated, underseen, unknown, unappreciated, and generally unloved films.

Travis Kyker

  1. Alien: Covenant (Ridley Scott, 2017)
  2. The Village (M. Night Shyamalan, 2004)
  3. Hail, Caesar! (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2016)
  4. The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, 1999)
  5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher, 2008)

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A.C. Gleason

  1. Sorcerer (William Friedkin, 1977)
  2. In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray, 1950)
  3. Bone Tomahawk (S. Craig Zahler, 2015)
  4. The Big Gundown (Sergio Sollima, 1966)
  5. The Fog (John Carpenter, 1980)
  6. The Resurrected (Dan O’Bannon, 1991)
  7. Galaxy Quest (1999)

Timothy Lawrence

  1. Ryan’s Daughter (David Lean, 1970)
  2. Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1982)
  3. The Man Who Wasn’t There (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2001)
  4. Munich (Steven Spielberg, 2005)
  5. The Lone Ranger (Gore Verbinski, 2013)

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Joshua Gibbs

  1. The Girl on the Bridge (Patrice Leconte, 1999)
  2. Joe vs. the Volcano (John Patrick Shanley, 1990)
  3. Where’s Marlowe? (Daniel Pyne, 1998)
  4. Morvern Callar (Lynne Ramsay, 2002)
  5. Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)

James Valmassoi

  1. Shame (Ingmar Bergman, 1968)
  2. The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies, 1992)
  3. Camera Buff (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1979)
  4. Tampopo (Juzo Itami, 1985)
  5. Porco Rosso (Hayao Miyazaki, 1992)

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William Connor Devlin

  1. Birth (Jonathan Glazer, 2004)
  2. Gremlins 2: The New Batch (Joe Dante, 1990)
  3. Lone Star (John Sayles, 1996)
  4. Starship Troopers (Paul Verhoeven, 1997)
  5. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Luc Besson, 2017)

Tom Upjohn

  1. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
  2. Festen (Thomas Vinterberg, 1998)
  3. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, 2000)
  4. Last Days in the Desert (Rodrigo García, 2015)
  5. Under the Silver Lake (David Robert Mitchell, 2019)

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Jackson De Vight

  1. Much Ado About Nothing (Joss Whedon, 2012) – Tight, well composed, intimate, feels like watching the play while being the most cinematic iteration of this show.
  2. Kingdom of Heaven (Ridley Scott, 2005) – Director’s cut
  3. The Sword in the Stone (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1963) – Classic, funny, unique, great sense of whimsy.
  4. Warrior (Gavin O’Connor, 2011) – Well written, solid drama, excellent acting.
  5. Chef (Jon Favreau, 2014) – Cooking is a lifestyle, solid acting, I love food.

Robert Brown

  1. Topper Returns (Roy Del Ruth, 1941)
  2. A Tanú (The Witness) (Péter Bacsó, 1969)
  3. Treasure Planet (Ron Clements and John Musker, 2002)
  4. The Gospel of John (Philip Saville, 2003)
  5. Superman Returns (Bryan Singer, 2006)

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Joel Bourgeois

  1. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 1999)
  2. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (George Lucas, 2002)
  3. The Lone Ranger (Gore Verbinski, 2013)
  4. Cloud Atlas (Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis, 2012)
  5. The Hudsucker Proxy (Joel and Ethan Coen, 1994)

Robert Heckert

  1. The A-Team (Joe Carnahan, 2010)
  2. Tombstone (George P. Cosmatos and Kevin Jarre, 1993)
  3. Disney’s Robin Hood (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1973)
  4. Me, Earl and the Dying Girl (Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, 2015)
  5. The Brothers Bloom (Rian Johnson, 2008)
Timothy Lawrence

A graduate of the Torrey Honors Institute at BIOLA University, Timothy Lawrence teaches great books through Torrey Academy in Southern California. He writes essays and fiction and counts the Coen Brothers and George Lucas among his personal heroes.

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