21 Underrated Films From The Winners Of The 95th Academy Awards

·12 min read

There were plenty of surprises at the 95th Academy Awards last Sunday, with Everything Everywhere All at Once and All Quiet on the Western Front taking home some of the biggest prizes of the night.

Ke Huy Quan encourages Oscar Viewers to keep their dreams alive
Ke Huy Quan encourages Oscar Viewers to keep their dreams alive


But while we know what movies were celebrated on Hollywood's biggest night, there are plenty of movies that could (and should) re-enter the spotlight due to their association with this year's Academy Award winners. With this in mind, I've assembled 21 films from the 95th Academy Award winners that are worth seeking out ASAP.

1.The Death of Dick Long (2019)

A concerned man sin a yellow shirt stares in a dark kitchen

Cast: Michael Abbott Jr., Virginia Newcomb, Andre Hyland, and Sarah BakerDirector: Daniel ScheinertRuntime: 100 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

Following the success of Swiss Army Man, Academy Award-winning director Daniel Scheinert took a brief sojourn from his creative partner, Daniel Kwan, to helm The Death of Dick Long, a shocking slow-burn drama that tracks a mystery surrounding a tragic death and those who may know more than they let on. Inspired by true events you won’t want spoiled for you, The Death of Dick Long will keep your eyes glued to the screen and your jaw firmly on the floor once you put the pieces together.

A24 / Via youtu.be

2.You Cannot Kill David Arquette (2020)

David Arquette laughs alongside a luchador in a locker room

Cast: David Arquette, Patricia Arquette, Courteney Cox, and RJ City.Directors: David Darg & Price JamesRuntime: 90 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

Prior to winning an Academy Award for his stellar work on Everything Everywhere All at Once, editor Paul Rogers had only a select few editing credits to his name, including the aforementioned Death of Dick Long, The Eric Andre Show, Dream Corp. LLC, and the documentary You Cannot Kill David Arquette. The compelling, inspiring, and occasionally heartbreaking latter film follows actor David Arquette’s complicated legacy in the medium of professional wrestling and his bloody and blistering comeback trail in the late 2010s, including his harrowing near-death experience after a death match gone wrong.

Elevation Pictures / Via youtu.be

3.Blue Steel (1990)

Jamie Lee Curtis hides behind a car while pointing a gun

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Ron Silver, Clancy Brown, and Louise FletcherDirector: Kathryn BigelowRuntime: 102 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

Jamie Lee Curtis may be best remembered for her turns in True Lies, Everything Everywhere All at Once, and the Halloween franchise, but she shines exceptionally bright in one of her sadly forgotten lead roles in Blue Steel. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who would later helm Zero Dark Thirty and Point Break, Blue Steel follows a rookie cop (Curtis) who is accused of killing an unarmed man after a sociopathic robbery witness (Ron Silver) steals the assailant's gun and begins stalking the officer in question.

MGM / Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy

4.The Passion of Darkly Noon (1995)

Brendan Fraser stares down at his bloody hands in a dark room

Cast: Brendan Fraser, Ashley Judd, Viggo Mortensen, and Grace ZabriskieDirector: Philip RidleyRuntime: 99 MinutesRating: Not RatedRotten Tomatoes

A harrowing psychological horror movie from the director of The Reflecting Skin, The Passion of Darkly Noon also offers a completely unique and intense dramatic lead performance from a young Brendan Fraser. The film surrounds an ex-cult member (Fraser) who loses everything and is eventually taken in by a pair of good samaritans, whose volatile romances and family hostilities push him toward dangerous temptations.

Fugitive Features / Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy

5.Supercop (1992)

Michelle Yeoh prepares for a fight by posing in a defensive stance

Cast: Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Maggie Cheung, and Yeun WahDirector: Stanley TongRuntime: 91 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

The third film in the acclaimed Police Story franchise, Supercop helped launch Michelle Yeoh into international stardom while ushering in the leading man status of Jackie Chan for United States audiences. The film follows a pair of police inspectors (Chan and Yeoh) who go undercover to infiltrate a powerful drug cartel, and while the cookie cutter plot may not draw you in, the breathtaking action choreography and mind-melting stunt work is guaranteed to leave you amazed.

Golden Way Films / Album / Alamy

6.Sunshine (2007)

Michelle Yeoh stands near a wet window as a fire rises on the other side

Cast: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, and Michelle YeohDirector: Danny BoyleRuntime: 107 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

A cult classic sci-fi/horror hybrid that remains among the most underrated entries in Danny Boyle's oeuvre, Sunshine takes place in a universe where the Earth's sun is dying, which urges humanity to send a team to deliver a device that would revive the star. However, a series of unexpected events turns their desperate situation into far more dire territory, which puts the admittedly outstanding ensemble (which includes the always-great Michelle Yeoh) in peril from the most unpredictable threat imaginable.

Fox Searchlight Pictures / A7A Collection / Photo 12 / Alamy

7.Relic (2020)

Bella Heathcote ascends a creepy set of stairs in an old house

Cast: Bella Heathcote, Robyn Nevin, Emily Mortimer, and Chris BuntonDirector: Natalie Erika JamesRuntime: 89 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

Between their experiences guiding the Marvel Cinematic Universe toward a saga-ending new chapter and winning an Academy Award for producing Everything Everywhere All at Once, the Russo brothers produced a dread-inducing horror offering that went under the radar thanks to a release in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. A critical hit that unsettled audiences at drive-in theaters around the country, Relic follows three generations of women living in a decaying countryside home who begin to suspect that the elderly matriarch's strange behavior is linked to a dark presence hiding in their walls.

Prod DB / Jackson Finter / AGBO / Carver Films / Nine Stories Productions / Alamy

8.Welcome to Collinwood (2002)

A group of shady characters are distracted while rehearsing a safe cracking exercise

Cast: Sam Rockwell, Luis Guzmán, Patricia Clarkson, and William H. MacyDirector: Joe and Anthony RussoRuntime: 86 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

Produced by Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney (who also appears in a small role), Welcome to Collinwood surrounds a band of misfit criminals who decide to pull off a jewelry heist, but come to find that anything and everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. The off-beat comedy has certainly grown in cult film status over the years by its persistent presence in syndication and premium cable reruns, but the film is also known as the feature film directorial debut of the Russo brothers, who nabbed an Oscar for their unlikely work as producers of Everything Everywhere All at Once.

Warner Bros. / AJ Pics / Alamy

9.Splice (2009)

A bald, scarred woman and a brunette woman share a moment of reflection

Cast: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chaneac, and David HewlettDirector: Vincenzo NataliRuntime: 107 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

This creature feature from Cube filmmaker Vincenzo Natali follows a pair of scientists who clone a human-animal hybrid named Dren, who exhibits incredible intelligence, superhuman strength… and an evolving physical form that puts its creators in mortal danger. A cult classic in the age of streaming, Splice has more than one connection to the 95th Academy Awards, as it stars Women Talking filmmaker Sarah Polley and was executive produced by Pinocchio filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.

Dark Castle Entertainment / AJ Pics / Alamy

10.Take This Waltz (2011)

Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen stand back-to-back in a kitchen

Cast: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby, and Sarah SilvermanDirector: Sarah PolleyRuntime: 116 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

Before they were co-stars in The Fabelmans, Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen both starred in Take This Waltz, a critically acclaimed drama about a young woman torn between her sweet yet unfulfilling marriage and a bohemian neighbor. While the filmmakers earned rave reviews and award consideration, this sophomore directorial effort from Sarah Polley, who won this year's Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, was sadly ignored during its own respective Oscar season in 2011.

Mongrel Media / Cinematic Collection / Alamy

11.Crimson Peak (2015)

Mia Wasikowska walks down a dark mansion hallway with a candelabra

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, and Charlie HunnamDirector: Guillermo del ToroRuntime: 119 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

Prior to becoming an Academy Award golden boy with films like The Shape of Water and Pinocchio, Guillermo del Toro scratched his Gothic horror itch with the big budget haunting film Crimson Peak. The star-studded film ultimately underperformed at the box office upon its theatrical release, but its reputation has only improved over the years as a home video and streaming favorite.

Legendary Pictures / Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy

12.The Boy (2015)

U.S. Theatrical Poster for "The Boy"

Cast: Jared Breeze, David Morse, Rainn Wilson, and Bill SageDirector: Craig William MacneillRuntime: 105 MinutesRating: Not RatedRotten Tomatoes

Not to be confused with the creepy doll movie of the same name from the following year, The Boy follows a young boy living in a remote motel with his deadbeat father who begins to exhibit sociopathic tendencies. A brooding thriller that'll burrow itself under your skin, the film is made all the more chilling thanks to the score by Volker Bertelmann, aka Hauschka, who won the Oscar for Best Original Score this year for All Quiet on the Western Front.

Spectrevision / Alamy

13.Roadgames (1981)

Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis and a dog ride in a truck

Cast: Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marion Edward, and Grant PageDirector: Richard FranklinRuntime: 100 MinutesRating: PGRotten Tomatoes

A really excellent hidden gem in the horror/thriller genre, Roadgames was directed by Alfed Hitchcock protege Richard Franklin and surrounds a truck driver (Stacy Keach) who believes that a hitch-hiker he befriended (Jamie Lee Curtis) has been kidnapped by a serial killer roaming deserted highways. Tense and gripping, it’s yet another early role for Curtis that hinges on her natural charisma and her steadfast dedication to extraordinary performances in genre pictures, which paid off big time at this year’s Academy Awards.

Prod DB / Essaness Pictures / Quest Productions / Alamy

14.Rush (2013)

Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda as he sits in a red Formula One vehicle

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, and Alexandra Maria LaraDirector: Ron HowardRuntime: 123 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

Though Ron Howard has not had the best critical or commercial success in recent years, there's no denying that his stylish racing epic Rush has been among his best. Detailing the rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda in an exhilarating fashion, Rush is one of the more underrated studio flicks from the filmography of co-star Daniel Brühl, who picked up an Oscar this year as a producer on the Best International Feature, All Quiet on the Western Front.

Universal Pictures / PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy

15.Bedazzled (2000)

Elizabeth Hurley in a red sequin dress embraces Brendan Fraser in a striped button-up shirt

Cast: Brendan Fraser, Elizabeth Hurley, Frances O'Connor, and Orlando JonesDirector: Harold RamisRuntime: 93 MinutesRating: PG-13Rotten Tomatoes

Even though critics lambasted the film and it debuted in the shadow of the much more successful Meet the Parents, there is an infectious charm to Harold Ramis’s Bedazzled that has kept its fans speaking its praises for more than 20 years, elevating it from frequent late night cable fodder to a minor cult classic. Admittedly, some elements are a bit problematic in retrospect, but that shouldn't discount that the film offers some of Brendan Fraser's best comedic work, and you'll likely find yourself quoting some of his more absurd lines long after the credits have rolled.

Prod DB / 20th Century Fox / Alamy

16.Zero Effect (1998)

Ben Stiller and Bill Pullman sit on a bed near some photographs

Cast: Bill Pullman, Ben Stiller, Ryan O'Neal, and Kim DickensDirector: Jake KasdanRuntime: 115 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

Jake Kasdan may be Hollywood royalty with a bright future thanks to his work on such big studio films as Walk Hard, the Jumanji reboots, and the upcoming Dwayne Johnson vehicle Red One, but he began his directorial career with the off-beat detective film Zero Effect. An ambitious indie comedy that received high praise from Roger Ebert, Zero Effect was produced by Lisa Henson, who earned an Academy Award for her producing work on Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio in 2023.

Columbia Pictures / Castle Rock / Alamy

17.Surviving the Game (1994)

Ice-T crawls across a river on a large log

Cast: Ice-T, Rutger Hauer, John C. McGinley, and Charles S. DuttonDirector: Ernest R. DickersonRuntime: 96 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

One of this writer's high spots at the 95th Academy Awards happened when Jonathan Majors and Michael B. Jordan helped shine a spotlight on filmmaker Ernest R. Dickerson, whose work as a cinematographer with Spike Lee was eventually parlayed into a remarkable career as a director. Fitting enough, one of Dickerson's most entertaining directorial efforts, the ensemble action-thriller Surviving the Game, featured work from costume designer Ruth Carter, who won the Oscar this year for her designs on the film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Impress / United Archives GmbH / Alamy

18.Black Dynamite (2009)

Michael Jai White stands near two women while posing with a gun and nunchaku

Cast: Michael Jai White, Byron Minns, Tommy Davidson, and Kym WhitleyDirector: Scott SandersRuntime: 90 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

Speaking of Ruth Carter's amazing costume design work, Carter was likewise responsible for the costumes in one of this writer's favorite cult comedies, Black Dynamite. For those unfamiliar, the blaxploitation parody film stars Michael Jai White as a kung-fu fighting vigilante who uncovers a shocking conspiracy against his community that goes all the way to the White House, and eventually inspired the highly-praised Adult Swim anime series of the same name in 2012.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment / Cinematic Collection / Alamy

19.2046 (2004)

Zhang Ziyi stands in a room in an ornate dress

Cast: Tony Leung, Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi, and Carina LauDirector: Wong Kar-waiRuntime: 127 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

During his longstanding semi-retirement from acting, Ke Huy Quan did manage to expand upon his skills behind-the-camera as well, working on such projects as X-Men in 2000 and The One in 2001. However, Everything Everywhere All at Once's Best Supporting Actor's most surprising credit may be as an assistant director on Wong Kar-wai's cinematic masterpiece, 2046. The more you know!

Sony Picture Classics / Album / Alamy

20.Finding ʻOhana (2021)

Four young people stare at an old book in a cave

Cast: Kea Peahu, Alex Aiono, Marc Evan Jackson, and Ke Huy QuanDirector: Jude WengRuntime: 123 MinutesRating: PGRotten Tomatoes

Inspired by The Goonies, Finding 'Ohana surrounds two siblings of Hawaiian heritage who relocate to Oahu but stumble on an old diary that may lead them on a quest for lost treasure and an adventure of self-discovery. However, Finding 'Ohana's connection to The Goonies goes beyond its narrative, as 2023 Academy Award winner Ke Huy Quan appears in a small yet pivotal role.

Netflix / Album / Alamy

21.Enemy (2013)

Two Jake Gyllenhaals stand in a dimly lit hotel room

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, and Isabella RosselliniDirector: Denis VilleneuveRuntime: 90 MinutesRating: RRotten Tomatoes

This trippy film from Dune and Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve is moody, unnerving, and experimental, so needless to say, it's not for everyone. However, if you're in the mood for something that'll absolutely give you nightmares (with special credit to The Whale's Academy Award-winning SFX artist Adrien Morot's chilling work), Enemy is absolutely worth a look.

Maximum Film / Alamy / Pathe