Here is a list of underrated movies (or if not, at least ones you should revisit from back in the day). See how many "Harry Potter" actors you can spot!
Tom Cruise plays a young, hotheaded Irishman with dreams of sailing to America and claiming a piece of land to call his own alongside Nicole Kidman who plays a spoiled, rebellious landowner's daughter. They run away together and fall on hard times, eventually coming to realize their growing affection for each other. But between the almost-kisses and the fist fights, there's a humor that cannot be denied.
You can rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99 or watch it for free with Amazon's Starz subscription.
Drew Barrymore plays Danielle, a headstrong girl who loves to read by the fire, in this adaptation of the classic folktale. Only in this version, Cinderella doesn't take things lying down, she actively fights for a better life, free from her stepmother and stepsisters — who are all refreshingly vibrant and believable characters.
If you have the DVD mailing service, you can order this on Netflix.
Heath Ledger plays a squire sold into service who takes up his master's lance and poses as a knight, ultimately beating England's champion Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell). On the way, he meets the hilarious Geoffrey Chaucer (Paul Bettany) and goes to a ball where they dance to David Bowie.You can rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99, or if you have the Netflix DVD mailing service you can order it there.
Jim Caviezel plays Edmond in this timeless tale of an innocent man imprisoned. Fernand (Guy Pierce) steals Edmond's fiancé while he rots in prison with a priest (Richard Harris). Come to find out, Edmond's fiancé had a son (Henry Cavill) and it isn't Fernand's.You can rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99, or if you have the Netflix DVD mailing service you can order there.
Paul Walker goes back in time to French Middle Ages to rescue his father, the archaeologist (Billy Connolly). He succeeds after a lot of harrowing adventures, but a friend (pre-fame Gerard Butler) remains behind to fulfill a prophesy. Plus, the bad guy is David Thewlis!
This film is available to stream on Netflix! You can also rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99.
Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor unite for the first time in this hilarious and satirical romantic comedy about love and sex. Barbara (Zellweger) vows she will never fall in love and becomes a bestseller preaching the same to women around the world, while Catcher (McGregor) aims to make her break her vow. But, of course, in classic fashion, they are both caught in the throes of love.You can rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99., or if you have the Netflix DVD mailing service you can order it there.
Ewan McGregor was very busy in 2003 because he has made the list yet again. Now a musical on Broadway, "Big Fish" tells the tale of Edward Bloom through a series of little tales with big details. Bloom's son recalls all of his bedtime stories when he and his wife (Marion Cotillard) visit after his father has a heart attack. Some of these tales include the time Bloom worked in a travelling circus for a werewolf (Danny DeVito), the time he ran into his hometown's poet laureate (Steve Buscemi) in Spectre, Alabama — a metaphor for heaven — and then later as he's robbing a bank, and the time he met a witch in a swamp (Helena Bonham Carter) who later turned out to be a young piano teacher with a crush on him.
You can rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99, or if you have the Netflix DVD mailing service you can order it there. It's free if you have Amazon's Starz subscription.
Heath Ledger makes an appearance on this list again, but this time as Giacomo Casanova — legendary fornicator. Casanova has finally come across the one woman he cannot bed, Francesca (Sienna Miller), and hopes to win her affection by learning her definition of love. Meanwhile, her brother Giovanni (Charlie Cox) lusts after Casanova's fiancé and their mother Andrea makes a pass at her daughter's betrothed Paprizzio (Oliver Platt). All the time, everyone is being persecuted by the Catholic church in the form of Pucci (Jeremy Irons).You can rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99 or if you have the Netflix DVD mailing service you can order it there.
This biopic tells the tale of Beatrix Potter, author of Peter Rabbit and other nursery rhymes. Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor team up again to portray the little-known engagement of Beatrix, as well as her continuous struggle to follow her heart not only romantically but as a modern, independent woman. This film has charm and wit and sweeping English landscapes to boot.You can rent it on Amazon Video for $0.99. and on YouTube for $2.99, or if you have the Netflix DVD mailing service you can order it there.
Amanda (Cameron Diaz) has just dumped her long-time boyfriend because he cheated with his receptionist and needs to get away from everything for a while. Enter Iris (Kate Winslet), who has had her heart broken by a man who strung her along for years (Rufus Sewell — yet again). The women decide to exchange homes for the holiday and meet two men who make them break their vow to swear off men — Graham, Iris's brother and a publisher (Jude Law) and Miles, a film composer (a surprisingly charming Jack Black).You can rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99., or if you have the Netflix DVD mailing service you can order it there. It's available for free on Amazon with their Starz subscription.
The tagline "Before Romeo & Juliet, there was "Tristan & Isolde" couldn't be more apt, because this is a heart-wrenching love story. Tristan (James Franco) washes ashore unconscious after a battle when Isolde (Sophia Myles) finds him and tends to his wounds. She hides him in a cave by the sea because he is from an enemy kingdom. They part after making love only to find out later on that she is to be married off to Tristan's king and foster-father (Rufus Sewell — again!).You can rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99., or if you have the Netflix DVD mailing service you can order it there.
Anne Hathaway brings to life the famous writer Jane Austen, author of "Pride and Prejudice" among others, in this biopic detailing her secret romance with Irish lawyer Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy). This film creates a very lifelike and human portrayal of the Regency era. Jane catches a glimpse of Tom diving naked into the stream, she reads a dirty novel and her parents have adventurous sex. Bonus, Maggie Smith makes an appearance as Jane's would-be in-law.You can rent it on YouTube for $2.99, or if you have the Netflix DVD mailing service you can order it there.
Charlie Cox makes a reappearance on this list as a poor shop boy, Tristan, who ventures into the magical land adjacent to his small town to capture a fallen star to bring back to the girl of his dreams (Sienna Miller — his sister in Casanova!). But instead of a lump of space rock, he finds Yvaine (Claire Danes). Unfortunately, a prince (Mark Strong) and a witch (Michelle Pfeiffer) are also after her and for far more sinister reasons — to cut out her heart and give them immortality. Luckily, they are saved and Tristan is trained in swordsmanship by a sky-pirate (Robert De Niro). Also, Gandalf (Ian McKellen) narrates the opening, and Ricky Gervais (creator of "The Office") appears as a monkey voiced salesman.This film is available to stream on Netflix! You can also rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99.
Steve Carell plays widowed Dan who struggles to raise his three daughters Jane (Alison Pill), Cara (Britt Robertson) and Lily. Amidst these struggles, he unknowingly falls for his brother's girlfriend (Dane Cook; Juliette Binoche). Luckily, his brother drowns his sorrows in the arms of Dan's previous date, Ruthie "Pig Face" Draper (Emily Blunt) — there's a musical number and everything. Meanwhile, Dan's daughters confront him with classic issues such as driving, going to college, dating and dealing with the death of their mother. Plus, Dianne West and John Mahoney appear as Dan's caring, pushy and hilarious parents.You can rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99, or if you have the Netflix DVD mailing service you can order it there.
The titled Miss Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) is a nanny who has received her last assignment and is instead sent to the soup kitchen. Desperate, she steals the business card of one Delysia LaFosse (Amy Adams) from her employment agency and finds herself in a whirlwind of affairs as Delysia's social secretary. We meet Nick (Mark Strong — second appearance on this list) who owns the flat she lives in and the nightclub she sings in, Phil who is casting the show she wants a part in — and has slept with him to secure the part, and Michael (Lee Pace) who is a piano player at Nick's club and wants to marry and take her to America. Pettigrew helps Delysia chose true love and on the way finds her own happiness — and some food finally, even though she has to step over Edythe (Shirley Henderson) to do it.This film is available to stream on Netflix! You can also rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99.
If you liked "Juno," here's another movie that Ellen Page is fantastic in. She plays Bliss, a young girl in a small Texas town who finds her inner speed demon at the Roller Derby and adopts the alias "Babe Ruthless" rather than follow the wishes of her mother (Marcia Gay Harden) and participating in beauty pageants. Among the Derby skaters are "Smashley Simpson" (Drew Barrymore), "Maggie Mayhem" (Kristen Wig) and "Johnny Hot Tub" (Jimmy Fallon).You can rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99, or if you have the Netflix DVD mailing service you can order it there.
If it was Michael Cera you loved in "Juno," here's a treat for you too. Scott is a dorky kid from Canada in a band who falls in love with one Ramona Flowers who has ... wait for it ... seven. Evil. Exes. These include, Matthew Pattel, who has an army of demon hipster chicks; Lucas Lee (Chris Evans), skateboarding pro and TV star; Roxy Richter (Mae Whitman), Ramona's experimental girlfriend; asian twins Kyle and Ken Katayanagi; Todd Ingram (Brandon Routh), who is later arrested by the Vegan Police for eating chicken; and Gideon Graves (Jason Schwartsman), the mastermind behind the League of Evil Exes.
All the while, Scott's little sister (Anna Kendrick) and hostile friend (Aubrey Plaza) try to reason with his unreasonable attachment to Ramona. Plus, Alison Pill appears again as Scott's angry drummer or ex-girlfriend.You can rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99, or if you have the Netflix DVD mailing service you can order it there.
Tom Cruise makes the list again at the tail-end as Roy Miller, secret agent extraordinaire, who is trying to save the world while burdened with the quizzical June Havens (Cameron Diaz). Roy drugs her, changes her, drives her up a wall and she gives it all right back. By the end of the movie, June — an upscale mechanic — is shooting at bad guys and laughing in their faces, and Roy is walking through fire to prove that he is "happy to see her."You can rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99, or if you have the Netflix DVD mailing service you can order it there.
I cannot say for certain, but I think that this is the most underrated film on the list. This movie should be put into a DVD player at least once a week in every home in America, if not the world. Domnhall Gleeson plays Tim, a time-travelling sap who uses his ability to woo Mary (Rachel McAdams). The best thing about their love story is that they are married halfway through the film and for the rest of the time, it focuses on married life (i.e. fights, work, babies). The magic of this film though is in the casting: Tim's parents (Bill Nighy, Lindsay Duncan) and Tim's flat-mate (Tom Hollander) are especially hilarious in their own rites. Not to mention the soundtrack is phenomenal.You can rent it on YouTube or Amazon Video for $2.99, or if you have the Netflix DVD mailing service you can order it there. But really you should just own it.
Harry Potter key: Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore (in "Sorcerer's Stone" and "Chamber of Secrets"); David Thewlis as Remus Lupin; Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange; Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall; Shirley Henderson as Moaning Myrtle; Domnhall Gleeson as Billy Weasley; and Bill Nighy as Rufus Scrimgeour.