The best movies you've never seen
In addition to the titles listed on my favorite movies page, the following titles are "must see" films that you almost certainly missed at your local cinema and may not even have heard of.

Bound- The Wachowski Brothers (of Matrix fame) wrote and directed this very suspenseful crime thriller.  This is the film that the rather dull Panic Room should have aspired to be.  Once it gets rolling, it never loses its edge.  My heart was literally racing during the entire last hour of the film.  And it has lesbians.

The Changeling - Simply the best horror movie I have ever seen.  It does not rely on cheap scares or gory special effects (in fact, there are few to be found).  It's just a terrific film.  So good, in fact, that The Ring ripped off a pivotal scene/plot development without changing one single thing.  Bastards!

Contact - While this film is certainly "mainstream," it never truly garnered the attention it deserved.  The story is complex and deeply human, touching places films do not often go.  It is scientifically grounded; the script was adapted from astronomer Carl Sagan's thoroughly researched novel of the same name.  All of the performances are terrific (well, except for Matthew McConaughey).  The special effects are incredible. This is a rare, *intelligent* movie out of Hollywood.  It is a unique coupling of a big budget and good brains.

eXistenZ - David Cronenberg puts together a mind altering story about a very engrossing video game.  This is arguably his best film since Videodrome and it unfortunately slipped beneath the radar.  The story gets a little tired in the middle, but it is still setting you up for some interesting twists in the third act.  Get ready!

Hedwig and the Angry Inch - A rock musical about a would-be transgendered singer whose operation got botched wouldn't seem like a winner, but it so very totally is.  Having seen both the stage production and the film, it is remarkable how far the latter advanced over the former.  It is downright clever, always funny, even when it is incredibly (and unexpectedly) poignant.  And the songs absolutely rock!

Human Nature - Another film written by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malcovitch, Adaptation) and directed by Michael Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind... also penned by Kaufman).  This one somehow slipped through the cracks, but it is an excellent demonstration of nonlinear storytelling.  Kaufman has a genuine talent for telling stories completely out of sequence such that we can start at the very end of the narrative and yet be completely satisfied as an audience when we progress randomly through the film to reach this same point all over again... this time with a greater understanding of what you only thought you knew.

Kissing Jessica Stein - Okay, this list disproportionately reflects an obsession with lesbians.  Whether said obsession is mine or Hollywood's is up to the viewer to decide.  In either case, this is an intelligent and very well-acted comedy with a lot of heart.  I can't believe I said that.

Mulholland Drive - Finally, a David Lynch film you may actually be able to figure out.  It's full of Lynch's trademark weirdness, but is very carefully constructed.  This is truly a puzzle worth trying to crack.  And there's still more lesbians!

Incidentally, if you're looking for more "best of" lists than you could ever ask for, check out the Best of the Movies section elsewhere on this site.

Copyright 2005 cinemAle[x].
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