Comic-book movies have been the new wave for the past couple of years. The Marvel Cinematic Universe itself has accumulated more than $21 billion itself and that number can only be expected to grow as it’s become one of the most routinely released and beloved cinematic series. That has left me to be a bit concerned, however. I love superhero movies as much as the next guy, but there are a lot of other films out there that deserve some credit themselves. So, I’m going to discuss the movies that have captivated me but have gone under the radar and deserve some more recognition.
Searching is a thriller starring John Cho who’s looking for his missing daughter, who disappears one night after a string of unanswered phone calls to her father. It currently holds the spot as my most favorite movie and the only movie to ever give me an anxiety attack while I was watching it. I have some bias with this certain selection, as I believe that found-footage films are a genre that could be phenomenal if done right, and Searching shows just how that can be done. One of the biggest takeaways is John Cho’s performance as a grieving single father desperate to find his daughter, and the editing and music driving in the nail the emotions parents in similar situations must feel. It’s great because it feels so real, which is an aspect that can be difficult for these types of movies.
Wind River (2017)
I like films that have something to say, and Wind River has a lot of shit to say. Jeremy Renner plays Cory Lambert, a Fish and Wildlife agent who discovers the body of a Native American woman, setting off a somber chain of events that can only end bloody. What really ends up bringing the film full circle is the final statistic, giving a brutal and infuriating look into the treatment of Indigenous women. It’s difficult to watch but has one of the most cathartic endings that I’ve seen and all of the performances in the movie are fantastic. It’s one of the darkest films I’ve ever seen, but it shows so much heart that it’s one I believe to be a masterpiece.
I’m a sucker for a post-apocalyptic movie, it’s just a shame that the vast majority in this category tend to pretty weak. Snowpiercer manages to deviate from the norm. Set aboard a nonstop train as it continuously trails a snow-covered mountain following the release of a chemical that alters the climate, forcing it into a new ice age. What made this film so enjoyable is both its portrayal of economic classes and the brutal decisions that have to be made in order to survive. It’s also nice to see that Chris Evans is capable of more than just Captain America and that he can push his creative boundaries into unique roles.
There are just a few of the movies I feel haven’t gotten as much recognition as they deserve, and I’ll have plenty more to come. Obscure movies are certainly gems, but I think all film tends to have a certain beauty to them. The combination of creative efforts it takes to bring such pieces to life is amazing, and something that I’m admittedly a bit envious of. As always, I’m excited to see just what the future holds for this medium and all aspects of what is considered art.