In a perfect world, movie lovers’ pockets would always be lined with enough cash to buy tickets to every single film that ever screened in theaters, and all the blood, sweat, and tears writers, directors, and actors pour into making said movies would be recognized and applauded.
Unfortunately, we live in the decidedly flawed reality that makes seeing and appreciating every movie pretty much impossible. And with blockbusters like Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Venom, and the Halloween reboot grabbing everyone’s attention in 2018, it can sometimes seem difficult to even head to the cinema to catch something that isn’t a big-budget bonanza.
Year after year, a ton of incredible films are released only to end up going largely unnoticed, and 2018 is no different. But don’t worry about missing out on all the future classics slipping under the radar — we’ve got the scoop on the very best. Here are some of the most underappreciated movies you’ve already missed in 2018.[/nextpage][nextpage]
I Kill Giants
Adapted from writer Joe Kelly and artist J. M. Ken Niimura’s graphic novel I Kill Giants, Danish director Anders Walter’s adaptation stars The Conjuring 2 actress Madison Wolfe as the pint-sized but plucky Barbara Thorson, an oddball outsider who constantly has her head in the clouds, a pair of bunny ears on top of her blonde mop, and a Norse war hammer in her bag. You see, Barbara fancies herself a killer of giants, and is convinced that a horde of them — along with a flurry of other fantasy creatures — are coming to Earth and that she’s the only one who can vanquish them when they arrive. But Barbara’s introversion, middle school ostracism, and obsession with Dungeons & Dragons aren’t the only things that foster her overactive imagination. The young dreamer uses her world of fantasy as a means of escaping the difficulties she faces at home.
Blending together an impactful coming-of-age tale, themes of grief and denial, gorgeous magical realism, solid CGI, and captivating performances from Wolfe and supporting actors Imogen Poots, Zoe Saldana, and Sydney Wade, I Kill Giants is a magnificent monster movie that’s monstrously moving. Critics have applauded it as “never less than engrossing,” and you’ll agree.[/nextpage][nextpage]
Murder is on the menu in writer-director Cory Finley’s Thoroughbreds, a black comedy thriller that centers around childhood friends Lily (The New Mutants’ Anya Taylor-Joy) and Amanda (Ready Player One’s Olivia Cooke) reuniting to cook up a devious plan. Though both are suburban born and raised, Lily’s years at boarding school and an illustrious internship have turned her into a prim and proper goody-two-shoes, whereas Amanda’s unidentified mental disorder has turned her into an emotionless outcast with a smart mouth and stinging wit. Opposites attract in this case, and the two end up fueling the worst in one another as they bond over a shared contempt: They both hate Lily’s tyrannical stepfather Mark (Paul Sparks), and resolve to bring him to a grisly end. Lily and Amanda’s scheming leads them to recruit drug dealer Tim (Anton Yelchin, an actor we sadly lost in 2016), whom the girls manipulate into becoming their personal hitman. The murder mission takes more than a few unexpected turns, arriving at an end you likely won’t see coming.
Rarely do first-time creatives get their debut as right as Finley did with Thoroughbreds, a darkly alluring, “delectable chocolate-covered razor blade” that “drip[s] with malice and deadpan wit.” Most everyone agrees that Thoroughbreds has the potential to be a classic, and despite the film’s lack of big-budget promotion and pre-release hype, the handful of viewers who did see it in theaters were left “squirming, laughing, and gleefully entertained.”[/nextpage][nextpage]
If a “Certified Fresh” label on Rotten Tomatoes is hard to come by, a 100-percent approval rating is a near impossibility. The Endless snagged that coveted score after it opened in a limited run on April 6, but was buried by its box office competition, John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place, which debuted to $50 million that same weekend.
The fourth collaboration between filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, who follow up their Lovecraftian cult classic Spring, The Endless is a perception-twisting thriller that takes one terrifying moment — brothers Justin (Benson) and Aaron (Moorhead) receiving a cryptic video from members of a UFO death cult they were once a part of — and springboards into the insane.
Rather than burning the tape (a decision the dim-witted characters of The Ring would have benefitted from) and getting on with their lives, Justin and Aaron decide to head back to the exact place they narrowly escaped a decade earlier in hopes of finally getting the closure they couldn’t in their youth. Upon arrival, the siblings are affronted with more than just the reminder of their past; as incomprehensible horrors start surrounding the camp, Justin and Aaron are forced to reconsider if the cult was actually preaching truth.
A slow-burning horror that shocks in its second half but frightens the whole way through, The Endless is Edge of Tomorrow meets Annihilation meets 10 Cloverfield Lane, and is an underappreciated movie you’ll wish you had paid more attention to before learning about it here.[/nextpage][nextpage]
Lean on Pete
Lean on Pete
Toplined by burgeoning young star Charlie Plummer as 15-year-old Charley Thompson, director Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete takes everything that made Willy Vlautin’s touching novel of the same name so touching and spreads it beautifully across the silver screen for the world to see. Well, at least for some people to see, since most mainstream audiences missed out on Lean on Pete due to it being released at the same time A Quiet Place crept into theaters. It’s a film festival darling and a favorite among critics, but has gone seriously underappreciated by casual moviegoers.
Lean on Pete follows Plummer’s Charley and his onscreen father Ray, played by Travis Fimmel, as they settle down in rural Portland, yearning for a clean slate and a bandage from the wounds of the past. As Ray spirals further into himself, Charley discovers companionship and camaraderie at a racetrack, where he becomes the new attendant to a weathering racehorse named Lean on Pete and befriends the horse’s owner, Del Montgomery (Steve Buscemi), and his jockey Bonnie (Chloë Sevigny).
But don’t let the premise fool you: Lean on Pete is no light-hearted movie about a young boy and the love he feels for an aging horse and his new pals. As critics have proclaimed, the film is a “haunting tale of survival,” a “heartbreaking look at a marginalized America” that’s “likely to leave you in tatters.”
(Excerpt) Read More at: Looper.com[/nextpage]