Film · Recommendation

Movies Under The Radar – 2016 Edition

Every year there are hundreds of movies released either in the cinema, straight to video or on demand that for one reason or another just don’t get the marketing they need to get a sizeable audience. A lot of the times they don’t have big names attached to it and many time debutants are involved. Call them ‘indie’ films or just small budget, sometimes real gems quite simply go under the average movie-goer’s radar.
Read on to find out about five such movies that were released in 2016 that I came across – movies that probably just slipped by you but are worth watching.

  • Kubo and the Two Strings

A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armour worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past. (IMDb)

This is a brilliant family adventure film told in the stop-motion animation method. This is where the movie’s brilliance lies and so does its reason for going under people radar. The film making technique coupled with the story told makes this movie an absolute must watch. However, people just aren’t used to watching this form of storytelling; a form that takes years to make. Marvel at the way this movie is made, watch the ‘making of’ if you can and enjoy one of the most beautiful covers of While my Guitar Gently Weeps by Regina Skeptor. Click here for your listening pleasure.

4/5 for me.

  • Hunt for The Wilderpeople

A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush. (IMDb)

This is an amazing story of survival told with humour through very lovable characters by Taika Waititi. I have really come to enjoy his sensibilities through this movie and his previous one What We Do In The Shadows…also based in New Zealand. Hunt for the Wilderpeople has equal measures of laugh out loud moments and moments that get you in the feels. The story feels very grounded in the real world and extremely compelling at the same time. Based on his previous work, Taika Waititi now has be really excited on his take on Thor: Ragnorak. 

4/5 for me.

  • The Nice Guys

In 1970s Los Angeles, a mismatched pair of private eyes investigate a missing girl and the mysterious death of a porn star. (IMDb)

The Nice Guys by Shane Black is a spiritual sequel to his directorial debut in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It has a very similar tone, a somewhat similar story, the same humour, the same form of storytelling and the same type of characters we as audiences are asked to root for…and I am all in with all those aspects of this movie. This was a really fun time through and through. I knew Ryan Gosling had some comedy chops from Crazy, Stupid Love; but I had no idea Russell Crowe had it in him with his deadpan demeanour. I highly recommend you check this out if you haven’t already. I firmly believe this is one of those movies that will gain popularity over time.

4/5 for me.

  • Lion

A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family. (IMDb)

This is an Oscar calibre film and was nominated for 6 Oscars in the end, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. I believe all those nominations are justly deserved. Lion is a very cinematic story that had me feeling emotional all the way through. Based on a true story, this film does a very good job at keeping the audience engaged largely down to the performances by Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman who both received the aforementioned Oscar nominations. Lion has one of the best uplifting and emotional ending to the story that I saw in 2016; we all know whats coming but its beautiful to watch nonetheless. You also learn why the movie was titled Lion and that adds multiple layers to the main character’s persona.

4/5 for me.

  • Sing Street

This was my second favourite movie of 2016. Despite being a very small and self contained story, it is one that is extremely relatable to all. We’ve all been in situations where you’d go to great lengths to impress a girl.

The performances are great, the chemistry between all the characters is brilliant and the music is beautiful. How do you not love this:

This is by far my favourite coming of age movies of all time..I absolutely adore it! You can read my extended review here.

5/5 for me.

Honourable mentions:

The Edge of Seventeen (trailer) and Eddie the Eagle (trailer)

That is all folks. These are the movies I felt just didn’t get enough attention while they were in the cinema…from the ones I did watch. I am sure many of you will feel there are other titles that should also be on this list.

Let me know! Maybe you’ve seen these movies, do you agree with my assessment? Comment below and share to get the discussion started –Tweet me or find me on Facebook.

Stay awesome!



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