As the summer blockbuster season delivers some of the biggest movies of the year, be sure to check out these smaller, underrated 2019 movies as well. You won’t want to miss them!
It’s hard to believe, but we’re already halfway through 2019! With half a year in movie-going already in the books, the three biggest movies of the year (as determined by their box office gross) are Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, and Aladdin. This top three likely won’t surprise anyone, but you may begin to wonder, if you’ve seen the biggest movies of the year, what are you missing?
While Disney continues to dominate the box office, some (much, much) smaller movies were quite overlooked. However, it’s not too late to catch up on some of the best and most underrated 2019 movies. Check out our picks for the five underrated 2019 movies you don’t want to miss below.
‘Under the Silver Lake’
When it comes to underrated 2019 movies, Under the Silver Lake should be at the top of the list. Unfortunately, bad reviews after its Cannes premiere doomed this movie from the start. Director David Robert Mitchell, whose previous movie It Follows was an indie box office success, proved himself willing to take risks with this satisfyingly weird, impressively ambitious Los Angeles neo-noir.
Starring Andrew Garfield as an unemployed writer who finds himself transfixed by an attractive neighbor that disappears overnight, Under the Silver Lake is a playfully off-beat mystery that only grows in estimation with rewatches. Don’t let this one disappear from your radar — in 10 years, it’ll be a cult classic!
It’s silly to compare anything to Casablanca, but months after first seeing it, I remain struck by how Transit works as a remarkable 21st century companion piece to Michael Curtiz’s iconic 1942 film starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart. There are some obvious comparisons, of course: both films are set during a refugee crisis, centering on a complicated romance between two people wrapped up in the conflict in their own unique and increasingly damaging ways.
However, director Christian Petzold’s film is a far different kind of movie, full of mystery, beauty, and haunting experiences that are all shrouded in a world that feels so much like our own yet so very different. Transit is one of the most underrated 2019 movies, so don’t miss it!
In 2015, Hungarian director László Nemes’ Holocaust drama Son of Saul landed him in the spotlight. After winning awards at major film festivals, Son of Saul went on to be nominated at the Oscars for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film (recently renamed the award for Best International Feature Film). Unfortunately, Nemes’ follow up to Son of Saul, titled simply Sunset failed to make the same kind of waves. It made a small debut and has otherwise been forgotten.
This is especially disappointing considering the immense scope of the movie and the high-wire act Nemes pulls off in the process. Set in Budapest in 1913, Sunset follows one young woman as she navigates a dangerous and secretive world where she does not belong. Her search for her brother and her own true identity takes her down a irreversible path that has to be seen to be believed.
Not many films have the grace or skill to effectively tell a story about aging. Plenty of movies center on death, particularly the act itself and the effects that linger after, but it’s a much different task all together to tell a movie about what it’s like to get older.
Kent Jones’ debut feature Diane comes very, very close. Jones taps into one woman’s generosity, fatigue, joy, and shame. Led by a beautifully rendered performance from Mary Kay Place with stand out supporting performances like Jake Lacy and Andrea Martin, Diane is a poignant and intimate look at the coda of one woman’s life, never flinching despite the uncomfortable and difficult places that journey may lead.
If you’ve made it this long without watching Alex Ross Perry’s new movie, then you need to drop everything, find the loudest TV you can, and pop on one of the most underrated 2019 movies: Her Smell. Do not let the title dissuade you from checking this out — it’s an admittedly unfortunate name for an otherwise stellar movie. Starring Elisabeth Moss in her most transformative role yet, Her Smell is a compelling look at a punk rocker in the midst of a breakdown.
Set over the course of five acts — not unlike a stage play — Her Smell follows Becky, the lead singer of an all girl punk rock band, on five separate nights late in her career. Both Moss’ performance and the film itself are uncompromising in their look at Becky’s wild behavior, unbelievable talent, and personal struggles. Her Smell will pull you in and won’t let go until it chews you up and spits you out — but like, in a good way!