Let’s be honest: Not every year is a great year for movies, especially in Hollywood. Superhero movies, reboots, over-the-top period films and Kevin Hart comedies aren’t for everyone, and sometimes it can feel like there just isn’t enough variety coming out on the big screen.
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If you’ve had a hard time finding something you like at the movies this year, then I’m sorry to say you just might not be looking hard enough. Inside and outside of Hollywood, 2016 has produced a lot of fresh, fun films for audiences everywhere to enjoy — they just aren’t always the most advertised or gushed over, and they can be pretty easy to miss. Fortunately, the year isn’t over and movies are forever, so you still have plenty of time to catch up on the most underrated but mind-blowing movies of 2016.
1. Swiss Army Man
Swiss Army Man, also known as the Daniel Radcliffe farting corpse movie, is not for everyone. But it’s also a one-of-a-kind movie with beautiful practical effects and a unique story, and those don’t come around very often. If nothing else, Swiss Army Man will change how you see Daniel Radcliffe forever.
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2. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping bombed at the box office, but don’t let that influence your opinion of the hilarious comedy. The Lonely Island — Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer — are at the top of their game with original songs that sound exactly like big radio hits, making an excellent musical mockumentary.
3. American Honey
You might be scared off by the three-hour running time (which, I’ll be honest, is no joke), but it’s worth it to see a movie that, again, is unlike anything else you’ll see all year.
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4. Eye in the Sky
Eye in the Sky disappeared almost as soon as it was released, and the film’s quick turnaround probably had something to do with the tricky subject matter: drone warfare. The movie asks whether innocent people can be sacrificed for the greater good and how drones are used.
5. The Edge of Seventeen
The Edge of Seventeen isn’t exactly underrated, but considering how fantastic it is, not nearly enough people are talking about it. The movie is a rare authentic teenage drama that will take you straight back to high school (in a good way). It’s one of the most honest portrayals of a teenage girl I’ve ever seen.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “How did I miss a movie where Daniel Radcliffe plays an FBI agent who goes undercover as a white supremacist?” Well, it’s not a particularly cheerful film, but it is definitely worth a watch, especially in our current political climate.
7. Midnight Special
Before Jeff Nichols’ Loving took awards season by storm, his other film, Midnight Special, had a slightly less enthusiastic reception from audiences. The movie, a quiet science-fiction drama, had a fair amount of buzz but fizzled at the box office.
8. The Bronze
Yet another film that was a success on the film festival circuit and a failure at the box office, The Bronze is an in-your-face comedy about a washed up Olympic gymnast that just won’t quit. Bonus: It stars The Big Bang Theory‘s Melissa Rauch (she co-wrote the script) and Sebastian Stan (the Winter Soldier himself).
9. Don’t Think Twice
Mike Birbiglia’s film about the hardships of improv comedy is a tragically underrated gem. Give it a shot and you’ll be so smitten, you’ll force all of your friends to watch it, too. Trust me.
10. 10 Cloverfield Lane
The pseudo-sequel to Cloverfield Lane, the horror aspect of 10 Cloverfield Lane might have scared off some viewers, but make no mistake: This thriller is a must-see. It’s quietly terrifying, odd and completely entertaining all at once.
Other underrated movies of 2016 that might not blow your mind but are worth checking out include An Invitation, Keanu and Other People. So, here’s to all the underrated movies of 2016 and the many more underrated movies still to come.
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