10 movies every gent should but likely hasn’t seen
Gents, with such a plethora of movies out there to choose from, it can be an extremely difficult and time consuming job finding the real gems in and amongst the detritus out there. As we know all too well, tinsel town is not afraid to release some time devouring dross out into the world of cinema and many films are not worth your valuable time to endure – yes we are looking at you Twilight, Iron Man 2, the Hangover 3 or anything with Adam Sandler in. Fear not our good sirs, for we have shortlisted 10 movies in no particular order that may have evaded your attention.
Mr Nobody is a futuristic movie revolving around the last remaining mortal on earth known as Mr Nobody. The 118 year old retells his life story whilst on his deathbed and is set in the year 2092. Mr Nobody recalls his past in a time before humans have achieved immortality, setting much of the film in the present day. The movie examines key life decisions and the different effects of these decisions on the rest of your life.
Written and directed by Jaco Van Dormael, Mr Nobody was released in 2009 in several countries and yet despite starring Welshman Rhys Ifans amongst several other British actors, only eventually made its way to UK audiences in 2011 with a straight to DVD release. With a lack of marketing, Mr Nobody has largely remained under the radar, explaining why you may not have seen or even heard of it.
Having won several ‘Best Film’ awards across Europe for its poignant storyline, brilliant soundtrack, engaging directing and a stand out performance from Jared Leto, it will most certainly have you asking questions afterwards and is one we highly recommend you watch.
OK yes, it is a romcom. We know, we know, not our favourite genre gent but bear with us, because Garden State is not your usual, run of the mill romantic comedy. It is written, directed and stars Scrubs funny man Zach Braff, but do not expect any comical, slapstick daydream skits in this flick. Garden State is far more subtle in its comic delivery and depicts the life of a twenty-something, moderately successful actor who has returned home for the first time in 9 years following the death of his mother. During his stay, the character reengages with old acquaintances and discovers how life has been different for the people who stayed in the garden state.
If you are unfamiliar with Zach Braff, then it is easy to see why you may not have seen this movie. With the success of Scrubs, Braff’s popularity is far more rooted across the pond and with this film being far more understated and subtle, it is undeservedly overlooked by many.
A great directorial debut for Braff, his character is quietly troubled with life issues, particularly the relationship with his father and the female lead played by Natalie Portman is almost the polar opposite of Braff. This leads to some lively on screen chemistry and relatable dialogue. If the lady in your life suggests watching a romcom this weekend, gentlemen we propose you make it this one.
A Scanner Darkly
Sci-fi dystopian setting? Check. A gripping and haunting story? Check. All star cast? Check. Dark comedy? Check. This 2006 animated thriller/comedy hybrid looks at the darkly comedic but tragic story of drug use and addiction in the modern world. The movie focuses on undercover cop Bob Arctor as he loses to fight the war on drugs.
Now when we say animated film, we do not mean this a Disney cartoon. Using the technique known as ‘rotoscoping’, the movie was shot in live-action photography which is then overlaid with an advanced animation process. The result? A very slick and stylised film with a sense of confused realism which enhances the overall theme of paranoia and makes you feel like you are almost a part of this drug fuelled dystopia.
With many hidden meanings and plotlines and based off sci-fi genius Phillip K. Dick’s novel of the same name (Dick also wrote ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ which went on to become scifi classic Bladerunner), this movie is definitely worth a watch and is one which may have you giving it a second viewing soon after.
Man On The Moon
Let’s be honest, Jim Carrey has been fairly hit and miss with his films of late and if you are not a fan of his brand of comedy which ruled much of the 90s then you likely steered clear of any flick starring him. Take it from us though, Man on the Moon is not one to avoid. Carrey has on many occasions shown he is capable of more than his slapstick, over the top acting – Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and The Truman Show to name but a few – and Man On The Moon is perhaps his best example of this. The film centres on Carrey starring as the late Andy Kaufman, a brilliant, innovative and very eccentric comedian.
Kaufman split opinion immensely in the states yet did not enjoy much success or fame in the UK which will help explain why his name might not ring any bells. Do not let this stop you watching however, as the movie is entertaining and engaging.
The movie is gripping from the start with an excellent performance from Carrey interacting with the audience as if it was Kaufman himself talking. It is genuinely funny whilst showing how a man can be impossibly stubborn whilst pushing practical jokes to the utmost limit and guarantees that you are constantly left guessing what is real and what is false as this intriguing story unfolds.
The Machinist is a psychological thriller/drama starring Christian Bale as an industrial worker with extreme insomnia who begins questioning his sanity. It follows Bale through his day to day activities, displaying various problems which include obsessive compulsive disorder, paranoia and the infamous anorexia.
Although this is a highly respected movie, it was by no means the commercial success of some of Bale’s other flicks – his role as Batman and American Hustle to name a couple. The film was created on a rather shoestring budget of $5 million (to put this into perspective, Evan Almighty cost $175 million) and was not a huge box office success which is somewhat of a shame as Bale arguably puts on the performance of his career, including his dramatic weight-loss which is often cited when discussing body transformations.
With an enthralling plot, brilliant character development, Bale’s performance and expert cinematography which perfectly immerses the audience into Bale’s world, this is one that will keep your attention from start to finish.
Filth is a (very) dark, British comedy based on a corrupt cop in Scotland played by James McAvoy who manipulates and hallucinates his way through a bid to secure a promotion and win back his family.
Based off the Irvine Welsh’s novel – Welsh is better known for Trainspotting – and featuring an impressive British cast, the film is immensely funny, crude and certainly earns that 18 rating. Unfortunately as is the fate of many British flicks, Filth was eclipsed amongst a wave of Hollywood blockbusters and was largely missed outside of Scotland.
Expect violence, drugs and swearing galore. This movie shows the dark sides of depression and mental illness whilst narrated by McAvoy. It will make you laugh and cringe in equal measure whilst also making you think. Well worth a watch (but maybe not one for the family at Christmas).
Drive is a 2011 neo-noir arthouse action thriller and based off the 2005 novel by James Sallis of the same name. The story revolves around an unnamed Hollywood stunt performer played by Ryan Gosling who also repairs cars and also utilises his expert driving skills in the criminal world, offering a getaway driver service. With Bryan Cranston organizing the events, the Driver gives criminals only five minutes to perpetrate robberies and reach his car.
The movie received $35 million in the USA but only £2.5 million in the UK (Inbetweeners 2 hit £12.5 million in one week alone), showing this movie did not gather the success it did across the pond. It may have been down to poor marketing or due Ryan Gosling’s core demographic being disinterested in watching him act in a cool action flick, who can tell?
The plot is not too dissimilar to that of the Jason Statham movie series, The Transporter, however Drive is far more than a simple action flick. The cinematography is extremely stylised, making for a very unique look and feel. Bryan Cranston gives a seminal performance. The story is solid and original. And the soundtrack is downright incredible (ask anyone who has seen it). Reviews on websites such as Rotten Tomatoes proves Drive’s popularity and it really is a must watch.
Dallas Buyers Club
Dallas Buyers Club is the autobiographical movie based on Ron Woodroof in 1985 Dallas. He contracts AIDS and develops a system for smuggling unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas when he found them to be effective in his treatment and his attempt to distribute them to fellow sufferers. The movie shows the life, struggles and opposition Woodroof faced in his battle.
Now you may wonder what an award winning, box office smash of a movie is doing on a list based around the premise that you probably haven’t watched the film? Well we have come across many a gent who outright refuse to watch a film with Matthew McConaughey in – it may have something to do with having to endure ‘How To Lose A Guy In 10Days’ and ‘Ghosts of Girlfriends Past’ on those Saturday nights with the woman in your life.
This thought provoking film could not be further from the McConaughey romcoms of old however. McConaughey and Leto both won Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards for best actor and best supporting actor respectively, managing to once again thwart DiCaprio’s chance at industry recognition. Besides the brilliant acting and on screen chemistry, the movie also boasts an entirely gripping true story. If you failed to catch it at the cinema, we strongly suggest you give it a watch.
Before Christopher Nolan was rebooting the caped crusader with Bale and having DiCaprio running through dreams, he directed this neo-noir mystery-psychological thriller. Starring a relatively unknown Guy Pearce, the film tracks Pearce’s search for the killer of his wife. The crux of the film is that Pearce’s character suffers from anterograde amnesia, meaning he is unable to hold onto recent memories and instead has to leave clues for himself or mementos if you will.
The story was the creation of Christopher Nolan’s brother, Jonathan Nolan, who penned the short story whilst Christopher wrote the screenplay. The film saw success at the box office, both in the US and in Europe and is highly acclaimed by critics. The cinematography is engaging and Nolan’s direction will leave you enthralled and confused (the ideal psychological thriller combination). All highly impressive considering the film won and was nominated for many an award and only cost $5 million to shoot, making memento a testament to how far good acting and a brilliant story can go.
The City of God
Last but by no means least is the Brazilian crime thriller City of God. The film is set in a favela called the Cidade de Deus – translated as “City of God” – and follows two men from their journey from childhood through to adulthood, showing how their lives differ by the choices they have made whilst surrounded by crime and death.
Now this film is shot entirely in Portuguese so unless you are fluent in the language, this will be a film where you will be required to read; however we know that as the gentlemen you are, this will not pose a problem. The film gives a harsh, gritty and realistic look at organised crime in Brazil and is so dedicated to authenticity that many of the actors are from the actual favela and much of the film was shot in Cidade de Deus.
The film was widely popular in Brazil as well receiving multiple awards and critical acclaim in the USA and Europe whilst having a brilliant soundtrack which perfectly matches the setting. We recommend you stop what you are doing and watch this immediately if you haven’t seen it. If you have seen it, we suggest you stop what you are doing and watch this immediately as it most certainly deserves another watch.
So gents there you have it, our list of the 10 films you may not have seen but really should have! Hats off to anyone who has seen all 10. Disagree with any of our suggestions or have any little known gems that deserve to be watched. Let us know below!