20 Underrated Movies From Legendary Filmmakers

May 17, 2024

Martin Scorsese: After Hours

Embark on a journey into the lesser-known realms of cinema, where hidden treasures await discovery. Within the vast archives of legendary filmmakers lie forgotten masterpieces that deserve a second glance. From the enigmatic twists of David Lynch's "Lost Highway" to the heartfelt nostalgia of Tim Burton's "Ed Wood," these films defy conventions and offer unique insights into the creative genius of their creators. Amidst the shadows of their more celebrated works, these underrated gems beckon audiences to explore uncharted territories of emotion, imagination, and storytelling. Join us as we shine a light on 20 cinematic treasures that may have slipped under your radar.

Warner Bros.

"After Hours" stands as one of Martin Scorsese's underrated gems amidst his illustrious career. Released in 1985, the film diverges from Scorsese's signature gangster narratives, delving into the surreal and comedic realms of New York City's nightlife. Set over one chaotic night, the plot follows Paul Hackett (portrayed by Griffin Dunne), whose innocent quest for excitement spirals into a series of absurd misadventures.

Scorsese's direction in "After Hours" showcases his mastery in creating tension and unpredictability within the confines of a single night. The film's kinetic energy mirrors the pulsating rhythm of the city that never sleeps, amplified by its eccentric characters and bizarre situations. Despite its departure from Scorsese's typical themes, "After Hours" retains his trademark visual flair and meticulous attention to detail.

The film's underrated status comes from its initial reception, as the film struggled to find a mainstream audience upon release. However, over time, its cult following has grown, with audiences appreciating its dark humor and surreal narrative.

Tim Burton: Ed Wood

Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

"Ed Wood," a masterpiece by Tim Burton, often stands overlooked amid the filmmaker's more prominent works. Released in 1994, the film serves as a loving homage to the titular filmmaker, widely regarded as one of the worst directors in cinema history. Johnny Depp delivers a captivating performance as Ed Wood, portraying his infectious enthusiasm and unwavering dedication to filmmaking despite countless setbacks.

Burton's direction infuses "Ed Wood" with a blend of whimsy and melancholy, capturing the eccentricities of its characters and the peculiar charm of the B-movie industry. The film delves into Wood's unorthodox methods and his unconventional collaborations with an eclectic group of actors and crew members, including the iconic Bela Lugosi, played by Martin Landau in an Academy Award-winning performance.

Despite its critical acclaim and cult following, "Ed Wood" did not achieve the same commercial success as Burton's more mainstream projects like "Batman" or "Edward Scissorhands." However, its celebration of the indomitable spirit of independent filmmaking makes it a hidden gem within Burton's filmography.