From French new wave to 2021 Oscars snubs, here are 12 great films that might not be on your radar.
Even with vaccines for everybody on the horizon, we're always looking for new movies to fill our time.
Over the past year, HBO Max has done a great job of appeasing our insatiable film addiction. From Hollywood classics to new releases, the subscription service is proving to be a wonderful investment for movie and TV junkies.
While HBO Max is probably best known for original series and documentaries, there are plenty of underrated films to check out. Below, we've listed just a few of our favorites.
Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020)
In this independent drama, a 17-year-old named Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) ventures from her native rural Pennsylvania to New York City in order to get an abortion. As her journey becomes increasingly more complicated, Never Rarely Sometimes Always acts as a sobering commentary on modern healthcare and reproductive rights.
The Player (1992)
The Player, a landmark black comedy by Robert Altman, is perhaps one of the best-executed examples of satire in film history. It stars Tim Robbins as Griffin Mill, a Hollywood studio executive who begins receiving death threats from an anonymous screenwriter whose pitches have been rejected.
Swedish psychological drama Persona revolves around a nurse (Bibi Andersson) who begins caring for a famous stage actress who has suddenly stopped speaking (Liv Ullmann). As the pair spend time together, the nurse begins having difficulty differentiating herself from her patient.
Beginners stars Ewan McGregor as Oliver, a young man struggling to navigate his own love life while he mourns the death of his father (Christopher Plummer). Plummer won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, making him — then 82 — the oldest actor to have ever won an Oscar.
In this Japanese comedy-horror film, a group of girls travel to a family home where nothing is as it seems. House has been praised by horror fanatics and might have even inspired My Chemical Romance's "Welcome to the Black Parade."
Best in Show (2000)
Christopher Guest directed this goofy mockumentary in which an array of colorful characters show their ugly sides at the prestigious Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. The stacked cast includes Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge, and Parker Posey.
My Night at Maud’s (1969)
Directed by French new wave icon Éric Rohmer, My Night at Maud's follows four characters — two devout Catholics and two atheists — throughout a series of chance encounters and an unlikely one-night stand.
While it might not be the most well-known entry in David Lynch's filmography, his feature-length debut, Eraserhead, has held up over the past decades. The dystopian, surrealist drama stars Jack Nance as Henry Spencer, a fearful and skeptical man who is left alone with his grossly deformed newborn child.
In the Mood for Love (2000)
In the Mood for Love follows a man and woman who live in the same apartment building in Hong Kong. After realizing their respective partners have been having an affair with each other, the man and woman begin developing feelings, too.
Shoot the Piano Player (1960)
Another piece of critical viewing in the French new wave canon, Shoot the Piano Player follows a man named Charlie, a former classical pianist who has changed his name and now works in a divey Paris jazz bar. The crime drama unfolds when Charlie's brothers, on the run from a mob of gangsters, ask him for help.
Lady Snowblood (1973)
Based on the manga series of the same name, Lady Snowblood is about a young woman named Yuki (Meiko Kaji) who seeks vengeance against the villains who brutally assaulted her mother and murdered her other family members. The Japanese film served as a major inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill.
Smithereens stars Susan Berman as Wren, a narcissistic young woman who's run away from her native New Jersey in hopes to be swept away by the punk subculture in New York City. When she realizes Los Angeles is more her speed, she begins engaging in parasitic relationships in hopes that someone will be able to help her achieve her dream lifestyle.