Easily the greatest era of Hollywood filmmaking, the Golden Age produced classic after classic—the huge majority of which are still talked about today. However, you might be surprised to learn that there were plenty of underrated movies from that era, too—movies that didn’t receive critical acclaim or box office success in their time but have since been reassessed and praised by many as classics in their own right. Here are 10 underrated Hollywood movies that you should absolutely see if you haven’t already done so!
1) The Drop (2014)
The Drop is a 2014 crime drama thriller movie that revolves around a drop box. Check out The Drop if you are looking for an underrated Hollywood movie. While undervalued, The Drop was well received by critics and received praise for its direction, cinematography, script, and acting. It also made over $15 million at the box office. While it may not be anything groundbreaking (at least in terms of movies), it is definitely a quality watch!
2) 22 Jump Street (2014)
If you love action comedies, then don’t be surprised if 22 Jump Street lands on your list of underrated Hollywood movies. With an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it was one of the best films in 2014 with a phenomenal cast led by Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.
3) The Way, Way Back (2013)
The Way Way Back is an underrated Hollywood movie by director Nat Faxon. Set in a summer vacation destination and starring rising actors like Liam James, Steve Carell, and Toni Collette; The Way Way Back tells a tale of connection through memories and simpler times. When many Hollywood movies try too hard to be noticed, The Way, Way Back lets its scenes unfold naturally—and it’s worth watching for that reason alone.
4) Killing Them Softly (2012)
If you have a thing for crime dramas, then Killing Them Softly is one Hollywood movie that definitely needs to be on your list of underrated Hollywood movies. Despite earning $7 million at the box offices in its opening weekend, it won several critical acclaims and awards. Based on the 1974 novel Cogan’s Trade by George V. Higgins, the film stars Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan, a professional thief who is hired by his friend (Richard Jenkins) to recover three stolen and laundered money.
5) American Hustle (2013)
A true crime-drama movie set in South Boston. The film follows a con artist and his accomplice as they work with an FBI agent, leading them into a global sting operation that focuses on corrupt politicians. Featuring some of today’s best actors like Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams. This is one of those underrated Hollywood movies that you’ll be happy you watched. It’s funny, intriguing, and makes you think of how easily criminals can manipulate others.
6) Melancholia (2011)
Lars von Trier’s Melancholia is a powerful cinematic film depicting an Earth on a collision course with a rogue planet. This mind-altering story of depression and despair from acclaimed director Lars von Trier features outstanding performances from Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Kiefer Sutherland. This movie deserved its place in our list of underrated Hollywood movies you must see before you die.
7) Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
This Hollywood movie is a must-see for kids, adults, and gamers alike. Released in 2012, Wreck-It Ralph was praised for its storyline, visuals, and humor. It’s also an homage to arcade games of old. Ralph—the main character—lives in a video game called Fix-It Felix Jr., which is about as simple as you can get: The goal is to fix all of the broken windows caused by Ralph and his cohorts throughout each level before time runs out.
8) Zombieland (2009)
In director Ruben Fleischer’s uproarious comedy-horror flick, a small band of survivors must figure out how to deal with life in a post-zombie world. Mixing in comedy with some great violence, impressive effects, and well-written characters (Woody Harrelson was an inspired choice), Zombieland is one of those underrated Hollywood movies that you absolutely must see!
9) Face/Off (1997)
Nicolas Cage and John Travolta’s Hollywood movie of a lifetime is one of those films that should not be missed. Released in 1997, Face/Off depicts two characters: Sean Archer (Travolta) and Castor Troy (Cage). Each character is involved in their own quest to recover plutonium from an adversary, and both must utilize their quick thinking and intelligence to defeat their enemy.
10) Manchester by the Sea
There’s no denying that Oscar-winning Manchester by the Sea is a great movie. Casey Affleck plays Lee Chandler, a man returning to his hometown after having gone through some serious family turmoil. But despite its popularity and acclaim, there are other great movies that get overlooked too often and Manchester by the sea is one of those underrated Hollywood movies.