Readers’ Choice: Candice Frederick Asks Me …

[To name some] underrated movies

Thanks Candice! You asked a couple of questions that I plan to tackle in separate posts. (So as you can see) I am starting with some films that I feel are grossly underrated. Be warned, there are many repeats from earlier posts on this site.

Shooting Dogs/Beyond the Gates (2005): Overshadowed by the equally emotionally evocative film Hotel Rwanda, Shooting Dogs was another motion picture depicting the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Whereas Hotel Rwanda was based on an actual person, the protagonists in Shooting Dogs were composites of people who lived, fought and died during one of the pointed human atrocities of recent years. US Release 2007

beyond the gates shooting dogs

Children of Men (2006): Almost a perfect film for me. Yes it is dystopian at its most dystopian, but it is equally atmospheric, raw and unflinching in its portrayal of a world that is left without hope. Indeed children are the future.

Detour (1945): Thanks to my dad for introducing this Detour to me. In a world where noir is often identified by John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon (nothing to sniff at, mind you), Detour is a quintessential noir.


In Bruges (2008): The juxtaposing the magical medieval city with the brutal violence of its occupants makes for the perfect setting of a dark comedy.

Jacob’s Ladder (1990): I don’t know what to say about this film except that I have only seen it once and once was more than enough. Sure some of the visuals disturbed me, but it left an indelible mark on my cinematic memory. Even though I could not repeat watch, I think it deserves to have several eyes on it.

Love Jones (1997): A film that most assuredly suffered at the box office due to being labeled as a film for an “urban” audience. But, as with many films that carry this ridiculous burden, Love Jones has the broad appeal of telling a compelling love story that everyone can relate to.


Love and Basketball (2000): Speaking of love stories that were little seen, Love and Basketball is one of my favorite films of the past 15 years. A Sundance hit when released, you really have to check this one out.

The Naked City (1948): A sure hit with cinephiles, not enough people know about this gem that captures the pulse and spirit of a most beloved city so well.

25th Hour (2002): While I am largely not resolute in my opinion of Spike Lee, this is one of my favorite “Joints.”

Strange Days (1995): In 1995, a vision of the near future, as seen by Kathryn Bigelow. Oh yeah, and a kick ass performance by Ms. Angela Bassett.

The Hitchhiker (1953): Cinematic trailblazer Ida Lupino took over directing duties of this true-crime film noir when another director backed out.

The Hitchhiker Ida Lupino

So Candice, there you go! I am going to just leave it there. I really could go on for a spell.

Answers to your other questions coming soon! Well maybe not the overrated actors one … (I’ll see what mood I am in).



  1. I love In Bruges, Love Jones and 25th Hour. I will add some of the rest to my queue to watch!
    Candice Frederick recently posted..The Subjectivity Of “Important” FilmsMy Profile

  2. Great, great, great list! Children of Men is a modern classic. Would you consider it a drama, fantasy, sci-fi or thriller? But I think that’s the rub…it’s genre-transcendent! Love & Basketball, a precious gem that hoops fans and romantics would equally enjoy…rare to see a successful sports flic/love story combo!
    Ja recently posted..Ether Flamed Out In 2013 But Looks Forward To 2014My Profile

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