50 Movies You Might Have Missed (1-5)

Too often movie review sites get too wrapped up in the new releases, only mulling over the latest useless wad of cinematic waste that Hollywood deposits into the mainstream of our culture. In addition, some sites, in particular this one, tend to give more negative reviews than discussing what's worth seeing.

I've put together a list of fifty movies that are worth seeing, and none of them are brand-spanking new. These are movies that perhaps you've never heard of, or if you have you may have looked them over. This isn't a list of the best movies ever made, although there are a few that belong on such a list. These are not in any specific order.

Let me know which off the beaten path movies you'd recommend.


1. Das Leben der Anderen "The Lives Of Others"

The Lives of Others movie posterClick to rent or buy this movierent The Lives Of Others


Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s stirring tale of a East Berlin Communist functionary whose party loyalty disintegrates while surveying a rebellious playwright and his beautiful actress girlfriend. The two are being watched to satisfy the gluttonous ego of a party official who fancies the young woman. This, one of Ulrich Mühe’s final performance, he died of stomach cancer in 2007, is brooding but moving. His quiet delivery is remarkably tense as he shows a man who comes to realize the works and beliefs he’s spent his life protecting were all to support a corrupt and despicable cause.

This film is also notable for its frank view under communism. As our own government seeks to entrench itself into every aspect of our lives: health care, education, to how high our thermostats can be set, it’s important to see depictions of where government control takes societies


2. Ba wang bie ji "Farewell My Concubine"

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Set in early twentieth century China, a crooked love triangle forms between two male opera performers and a beautiful whore. The calculus of this is a little off since the triangle is constructed one of the men fawning over the other guy. Yeah, one of the guys is hot for the other guy. This is not a film for many people. First of all, it is in Chinese, so there are subtitles. This will scare many people off (which has always annoyed me.) Secondly, this is a brutal film and I mean brutal. For those of you who don’t know, the Chinese Opera tortures (or at least tortured) its child actors into performing perfectly. It is hard to watch children being beaten and tormented. If you can work past these issues (if you consider them issues) you will find a provoking film that is really something special. If you're a fan of literate, sweeping films, this should be near the top of your must-see list.


3. Dekalog "The Decalogue" I-X

The Decalogue movie posterClick to rent or buy this movierent The Decalogue


This is a series of ten short films about the Ten Commandments. Each short film is an hour long – yes, that means a total ten hours of film. Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski initially wrote these films to be directed by ten different directors. Once he saw what he had created in the scripts, he chose to direct all ten himself. To his credit, he did use different cinematographers for each piece, which gives each films its own individual touch.
Instead of slamming everyone over the head with obtuse messages and a countdown of the Commandments, Kieslowski instead offers characters trapped in dense moral problems. Each character spends their time trying to unravel a tight moral knot in their lives. Some succeed, some fail – just like in real life. With the premise of the film it would seem like these would be moralizing films but they are really deep investigations into moral choices but keep things above board and realistic. Amazing, a series about the Ten Commandments that will speak as much to Christians as it will to non-believers.


4. 12 Monkeys

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Terry Gilliam is probably the most self-indulgent film directors to ever walk behind the camera. This, his least indulgent and most accessible production retains his grandiose style but keeps his story reasonable coherent. Full of twists and clever turns, the movie follows James Cole a prisoner who is sent back in time to uncover the conspiracy of the 12 Monkeys which led to a worldwide epidemic that forced humanity underground. Brad Pitt scored an Oscar Nomination for Best-Supporting Actor for his role as Jeffrey Goines, an animal rights terrorist who James runs into on his trips into the past. Pitt's take on Goines has impacted his entire career. You will see shades of Goines in each of Pitt's performances from this point onward. He found a trick that worked and then commenced to work his trick for the next fifteen years.

Overall, this is a smart, enjoyable movie that is a perfect replacement when what you want to see isn't available - even if you've seen it before.


5. Tsotsi

Tsotsi movie posterClick to rent or buy this movierent Tsotsi


Tsotsi (which means “thug”) is a young punk gang leader in a shanty town slum in Johannesburg, South Africa. The piece opens with Tsotsi thoughtlessly committing a series of vicious and wholly unnecessary crimes that are so reprehensible that even his own gang shuns him. This series of crimes ends with a car jacking. In the film’s only moment that comes close to being predicable, Tsotsi finds a cute infant strapped to a car seat in the back. Strangely stirred by the baby, Tsotsi cannot leave it behind and smuggles the child back to his filthy home in his crime ridden part of town. There he must, for the first time, think of someone other than himself.

If that set up doesn't get you interested nothing will. This is one of the great overlooked films of all time. It is simply stunning. At the heart of the success of this film is Presley Chweneyagae in the titular role. Chweneyagae gives one of the best debut performances ever. His character is real and solid and his screen presence is undeniable. He commands this film. This isn’t some cheap role, this is a fully realized character that goes from being a sociopath to trying to redeem a life of crime. Chweneyagae manages the extreme peaks of this character with a talent that deserves wide praise.







Scott Nehring Christian Movie Reviews





Scott Nehring Christian Movie Reviews




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