'My favourite forgotten film' – you recommend your best streaming gems

Guardian readers

Sunday’s Illness

A Spanish film featuring the troubled reunion between a fortysomething daughter and the mother who abandoned her 30 years ago. An unusual and intelligent story wonderfully acted with breathtaking cinematography. CanadaShawn

Available on Netflix in the US and UK

The Nice Guys

A weirdly underrated gem of a film from Shane Black. It has very similar vibes to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang but Ryan Gosling is brilliant, as is Russell Crowe. It’s got murder, mystery and a lot of humour while also being very grounded in reality.

I think it’s a great film for this time because it’s very well made, has a wonderful aesthetic but also most importantly it’s a good laugh and very heartwarming. MinusTheBear

Available on Amazon Prime in the UK and on HBO or to rent in the US

The Hidden

Small-time sci-fi adventure with Kyle McLachlan as the laconic alien looking to apprehend another very violent alien which can take over human bodies. Great non-stop fun! MiddenfaceMcNulty

Available to rent in the UK or US

Wake in Fright

Nick Cave sums it up well, I think, when he describes this film as the “best and most terrifying film about Australia in existence”.

A critic once described it as the Peckinpah film you’ve never heard of – it’s not a Peckinpah film, by the way, but it is often compared to Straw Dogs, which came out the same year.

Just watch it. You’ll be glad you did. youngdawg21

A drunken descent into madness and turpitude of a teacher stranded in a remote mining town in the Australian outback. Could be best classed as a psychological horror, Donald Pleasance is something else. ConradKnightSocks

Available on Amazon Prime in the US and on the BFI Player in the UK

The Club

Look for an Australian film about Australian rules football from 1980 called The Club. Based on a famous play. So brilliant as all the intrigue, greed and politics is universal. Jack Thompson, later a character actor in many a US film, plays the coach while the superstar signing was in the chasing pack in Mad Max: Fury Road. Haigin88

Available on Amazon Prime in the UK and US

Shirkers

I’ve seen great fiction films on the site but the documentary offerings have been the real revelation and this one originating from Singapore was the best. Genuinely odd and unpredictable – the characters lack that off-putting performative gloss that many talking heads in doccies possess and the denouement will have you shaking your head and cheering. Do yourself a favour and skip researching the synopsis before you view … leventeia

Available on Netflix in the UK and US

Equinox

Matthew Modine, Lara Flynn Boyle and Fred Ward star. A magical little noirish fairytale of a story about separated twins, fate and inertia. It’s my favorite forgotten film of the 90s – quirky, mannered, beautifully shot, some great performances. A brilliant soundtrack, too. TheLetterO

Available to rent on Amazon Prime in the UK and on Apple in the US

The House that Jack Built

It was pretty disturbing but it was one of those films I couldn’t stop watching behind held-up hands. Lars Von Trier really is one sick puppy. Borucs

Available on Amazon Prime in the UK and US

The Guilty

A Danish thriller which consists of one person speaking on a phone. Tense and taut as a drum, it manages to be far more gripping than most of the dull, action-laden snore fests that pass for thrillers these days. abc987

Available on Netflix in the UK and Hulu in the US

Pariah

Really wonderful and it’s a crime that you could hardly get to see this in a cinema unless you caught it at an LGBT+ film festival. It’s a great debut feature film from the woman who made Mudbound. JBLJL

Available to rent in the the UK and on Starz on Amazon Prime or to rent in the US

Columbus

A beautiful, mysterious and stunningly shot piece. Features a great performance from John Cho and an outstanding one from Haley Lu Richardson. FurtivePygmy

Available on Amazon Prime in the UK and on Kanopy or to rent in the US

The Package

The Package (1989) with Gene Hackman, Tommy Lee Jones, the late John Heard, Dennis Franz and Pam Grier. A hugely underrated late cold war conspiracy thriller that makes eccentric use of locations from Berlin to DC and Chicago. Possibly the last Berlin-set cold war thriller made before the wall came down. Probably explains why so few people have heard of it. apostatae

Available to rent in the UK and in the US

The Hunt

Incredibly moving film showing how rumour and hearsay can destroy a person’s life and how they are powerless once the community makes their mind up. You really feel the helplessness of the main character. In Danish with subtitles. Apparently it was Oscar-nominated for best FL film but it wasn’t one I’d heard much about. phil44sheffield

Available on Amazon Prime in the UK and Hoopla or to rent in the US

Midnight Special

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Great cast (Michael Shannon, Adam Driver), kind of a road movie with supernatural and sci-fi elements that resolves beautifully at the end with strong close encounters vibes. I’m not describing it well, to be fair, but then again it’s best not to know too much about it before you watch. I’m aware it’s not a super obscure movie, but hardly anyone I know has seen it, and it’s always been enjoyed by those I’ve recommended it to. Easy to watch, and even family friendly (for older kids, at least, I think it’s a 12 certificate). StuMcGoo

Available on Amazon Prime in the UK and Hulu in the US

Proof

Overlooked 1991 gem starring Hugo Weaving, Geneviève Picot and a young Russell Crowe. Weaving plays a blind man who just doesn’t trust anyone and is desperate to know what’s happening around him. He meets Crowe’s character and decides to trust him to describe all the photos he (Weaving’s character) obsessively takes of his surroundings. Picot plays Weaving’s housekeeper, with whom he has an … interesting relationship. Intrigue and subtle joys ensue. JackRawlinson

Available on Amazon Prime in the US and to rent on Apple in the UK

Liquid Sky

Alien arrives in New York in a pizza-sized spacecraft. Feeds on an enzyme produced by the brain during orgasm. All kinds of fun and fun characters. norfsider

Available on Amazon Prime in the UK and US

Cold Pursuit

You think it’s going to be another Taken-style formulaic thriller, but it just gets funnier and funnier. The last scene had me in hysterics for at least 20 minutes. realmindfulness

Available on Amazon Prime in the UK and on HBO or to rent in the US

The Last Days of Chez Nous

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An Australian film from the early 90s about the last days of a dying marriage. Much funnier and less melodramatic than that might sound. With a very young looking Miranda Otto and Bruno Ganz! fullerov

Available on Netflix in the US and on Netflix and Amazon Prime in the UK

Steel Rain

South Korean political action thriller. About an attempted coup in North Korea, and the communist soldier who rescues Kim Jong-il by abducting him into the South. It moves fluently between epic action scenes, high-quality political intrigue between Korea, China and America, and also has genuinely funny dialogue in places. It’s also fascinating to see a more nuanced take on the political tensions in the region, within and between the countries involved. Rare to see a film of this scale move so deftly. And the whole scene in the obstetrician is wild. Boog1000

Available on Netflix in the US and UK

Perfect Sense

Sorry to recommend a film about an epidemic but … I liked Perfect Sense by David Mackenzie, with Ewan McGregor and Eva Green (Stannis Baratheon shows up as well). It’s a film about adapting to a worsening situation and being forced to realise what’s important. I thought it was elegantly shot and the leads make the film about people and not the situation. Catmeow50

Available on Amazon Prime in the UK and to rent in the US

Aniara

Really enjoyed its bleak outlook at the vastness of space and how cold a spaceship can be. The depiction of humans also works well in our current climate. Worth a watch. Artie_Fufkin

Available to watch on Hulu in the US and on BFI Player or to rent in the UK

An Honest Liar

Great little documentary about a famous magician who became a debunked con artist like Uri Geller and evangelical preacher-healers. There is also some personal drama that plays out as the subject is being interviewed that adds an extra element of intrigue. slicineyeballs

Available on Amazon Prime in the UK and US

Coherence

This is a gem of a low-budget high-quality sci-fi film, with improvised dialogue performed by an all but unknown cast – the only exception being Nicholas Brendon, who brings just a tiny bit of the Xander Harris quips for our entertainment.

A great one to watch without knowing too much about it. If you liked Primer you’ll love it. If you didn’t like Primer then [expletive deleted]. Nesbit101

Available on Amazon Prime and Hulu in the US and on Amazon Prime in the UK

Love & Mercy

Fantastically heartbreaking performances from Paul Dano and John Cusack who play Brian Wilson, both at different but troubled times in his career as he grappled with his deteriorating mental health while producing the album Pet Sounds. Adam2502

Available on BBC iPlayer in the UK and Amazon Prime and Hulu in the US