I watched them. I know they're good. Now it's your turn to watch them!
Underrated & Unappreciated
I’ve been thinking about doing this list for a while. Within the last remaining months of 2018, I began to realize that there were a lot of movies that I thought were particularly good and worthy of success yet were either met with critical or financial failure. Sometimes both. As time went on during the course of last year, the list of films that I regarded as underrated or simply unappreciated by fellow movie-goers grew. There were many cinematic efforts that I believe had truly shined in one way or another with its material, yet general audiences lashed out against them or didn’t even bother seeing them. So here I am now, with my list of flicks from last year that I believe deserve way more credit and reward than they initially received. In this list I will attempt to discuss why I believe that they deserved a little bit more than what most seemed to have been willing to give at the times of their release and even delve into a little as to why they may have failed in reception or box office numbers. Are all of these movies I’m about to list complete masterpieces? No, not at all. Many of them are certainly flawed, but in my opinion,they still turn in an enjoyable piece of entertainment that I don’t think should be glossed over as they seem to have been. A few of these films on this list even made it onto my top twenty favorite films last year, but I tried my best to limit that down as best as I could in order to avoid redundancy. With that being said, here is my list of the most underrated and unappreciated films that I saw from 2018!
20. The Predator
88 Million Dollars
160.5 Million Dollars
This is pretty low on the list with only hitting last place because at the end of the day the film still did make a pretty solid profit, but it was met with some extremely scathing hatred from the fan base and critics alike, which is why it still makes it on my list for being somewhat unappreciated. I honestly and truly do not know what it is with the general audience and their disappointment/hatred with every installment of the Predator franchise that has come out since the 1987 Schwarzenegger original classic. Every sequel that has ever been released, setting aside the Alien vs Predator movies, have been met with some major backlash and it takes so many years to ever get another installment added to the series and I have no clue as to why that is. In the year 1990 we were given the very first sequel, which featured Danny Glover in the lead, and I still find that to be one of the most underrated films of all time because it is wildly entertaining. But because it was met with such anger from the fan base, we didn’t get an official Predator sequel (again, setting aside the AVP movies) for twenty years. It took twenty years to get a stand alone Predator film again. That being the 2010 Robert Rodriguez produced Predators, which I also thought was a fun and solid action flick that for whatever reason was hated by seemingly everyone because after that it took another eight years to get what is now Shane Black’s The Predator. Not perfect by any means; it has issues in terms of tone, some of the CGI is relatively lackluster and overall the writing comes off as an early 90s B-movie knockoff of Predator, but that is what I also found to be part of its charm. Plus the gore effects are pretty fun to watch as well as the characters are all pretty likable with some fairly colorful and goofy personalities that I couldn’t help but have a good time with.
If I were to guess as to why this failed in reception, other than the weird curse that this movie series has, I’d say it was largely due to the advertising campaign being pretty bad. Making the film come across as unfunny and kind of lame, it even threw me off when I saw the trailers for The Predator. However, with most movies, I went in with an open mind and what I came out with was some pretty decent entertainment. I don’t think the rest of the world went in that way though and that may be why the majority of viewers disliked their experience since they may have gone in simply wanting to hate the movie. Do I know this for sure? No. All I can do is theorize and give a general hunch as to why, I don’t really know for sure. But all I know is that it seems like I’m in a small boat on this one. I might be wrong and this is just a hunk of crap that I enjoyed. But I would say it’s still worth a watch at least. It’s not my favorite of the Predator series, but I still found enough to be entertained by it. Take that for what it’s worth, I suppose.
The Predator on Amazon Prime Video
19. Den of Thieves
30 Million Dollars
80.5 Million Dollars
This pick is another that is more based on critical reception rather than financial, but again this was a really fun and actually rather ambitious action flick that was met with underwhelming reception from critics. Most of which calling Den of Thieves no more than a rip-off of Michael Mann’s crime thriller epic, Heat. And… yes, I can’t deny that is kind of true. It borrows heavily from that film, but just because Den of Thieves is far from original, doesn’t mean that there can’t be fun to be had here. Gerard Butler gives the most Gerard Butler of Gerard Butler on steroid performances of his whole career and it is really kind of amazing to witness. Also, the level of world building that the writing accomplishes in order to establish every character and their personal lives was a rather pleasant surprise that I didn’t anticipate when I went into the movie. However, there are other shortcomings that the film does have in its writing as it is rather convoluted. Particularly with its ending that is pretty sloppy. But overall, Den of Thieves is a lot of fun and oddly enough breezed by in its over two hour runtime. Perfect? Again, not even close. But entertaining as hell and that’s really all I can ask for from Gerard Butler being awesome.
Den of Thieves on Amazon Prime Video
18. Three Identical Strangers
[ESTIMATED] 1 - 4 Million Dollars
12.3 Million Dollars
If I were to guess, I would say that Three Identical Strangers probably made a profit against whatever budget it had, but sadly I could only find an estimate on Wikipedia; which is not all that reliable of a source to say the least. I would assume it couldn’t have cost more than a couple million to produce as the site suggests, but it still feels like somewhat of a shame that this was still barely seen by much of anyone in the entirety of the planet Earth because this documentary was actually really intriguing to watch. I was charmed by the relationship between these three separated at birth triplets and as the story kept unfolding in how their unbelievable predicament came to be, my eyes were glued and my ears were perked to figure out what happened to these three guys. There are even some disturbing allusions that this film makes, leading to some pretty largescale schemes that may have been afoot that resulted in everything that ever happened to these guys as well as other sets of twins that were separated at birth. I will say that it seems probably a bit far fetched as they don’t really have enough proof to support their case about certain things, but at the same time they do acknowledge that they don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle and that what they found could mean anything. But the things they did discover does imply some terrible things that people in power could have been allowing to happen to infants back in the 1960s.