Two Hands (1999)
Why You Haven't Seen It: Despite receiving huge acclaim in its own country at the time of release, this Australian film had a mixed release in other countries, not being released in the US until 2005, and even then it was only on DVD.
Why You Should: At the time, it was heralded as the ‘Australian Goodfellas ’, telling the tale of a young man (played by Heath Ledger) on the run from local gangster Pando (played by Bryan Brown). Both actors give superb performances in the film, but its director Gregor Jordan’s delivery of a fast-paced, exhilaratingly fresh thriller.
All The Little Animals (1998)
Why You Haven't Seen it: The film stars a then-relatively unknown Christian Bale in what is a very understated film.
Why You Should: Bale is excellent as the slow-minded young man escaping from an abusive stepfather, but he is matched by an equally brilliant John Hurt as the mysterious older man who takes him under his wing in this touching, compelling drama.
Why You Haven't Seen It: Despite a host of Oscar noms and other awards attention, the film has fallen into relative obscurity in recent years.
Why You Should: The film stars Meryl Streep, who typically disappears into the role of Karen Silkwood, a plant worker who was bullied and harassed after investigating the factory’s health and safty violations, but also features just-as-superb performances by Kurt Russell and Cher. Yes, Cher.
Why You Haven't Seen It: It received a somewhat confused release, intended as a theatrical film but released directly on DVD and shown on TV in the US.
Why You Should: Clive Owen stars as an aspiring writer who starts work as a casino croupier in a film that is soaked in sultry atmosphere, artistic flair and smooth, shadowy characters.
Mysterious Skin (2004)
Why You Haven't Seen It: Even with its many festival accolades, you may not have been willing to seek out such a distressing tale of sexual abuse.
Why You Should: Writer-director Greg Araki always delivers fresh, honest – and usually shocking - films and this is no different, but then you also get to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt deliver a performance unlike any other in his career – that of abuse victim-turned-male prostitute Neil. It’s a role that really set him apart as an incredible talent to watch.
Why You Haven't Seen It: It’s a harrowing tale of heroin addiction, which, frankly, just might not be your cup of tea…
Why You Should: While the film features an interesting early role for Keira Knightley, it’s Molly Parker who really proves to be a revelation as the heroin-addicted mother on a self-destructive path who has to be cared for by her 16-year-old son.
Why You Haven't Seen It: Despite winning big at Sundance, the film opened with little-to-no public interest.
Why You Should: It's a shocking, brutally honest look at drug running, as seen by a young boy firmly entrenched in a world filled with crack-peddling gangsters. Drama unfolds in a gratifyingly rich and complex way as the boy uses the chess lessons taught to him by his alcoholic father (played brilliantly by Samuel L. Jackson) to devise an escape plan.
Why You Haven't Seen It: You might not be wanting to seek this one out as, despite some brilliant performances, it’s hardly an uplifting film.
Why You Should: It’s a powerful adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s great novel Jude The Obscure and, while some may consider it a hard slog, it’s a truly cathartic viewing experience that will stay with you for weeks. Also, it features Malekith himself, Chris Eccleston.
Why You Haven't Seen It: Anglo-French produced black-and-white animated science fiction films aren’t known for their high-profile theatrical releases.
Why You Should: It’s a stunning visual spectacle with a unique animated style all utilised to tell a noirish futuristic sci-fi story where the main character is voiced by Bond himself, Daniel Craig.
Cry Baby (1990)
Why You Haven't Seen It: It flopped hard upon release and has remained a little-seen oddball film ever since.
Why You Should: It has become something of a cult classic, even spawning a Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical, but the real draw is in seeing Johnny Depp singing (read: lip-synching) and dancing.
Nobodys Fool (1994)
Why You Haven't Seen It: It’s a mostly quiet, family-oriented film with an unusually unshowy role for Bruce Willis and, despite two Academy Award nominations, seems to have slipped under the radar in recent years.
Why You Should: It provides one of Paul Newman’s best latter-day roles as Sully, a retirement-aged scoundrel suddenly confronted with his estranged son and young grandson. Newman gives a nuanced performance in what is a solid, heart-warming film.
Why You Haven't Seen It: Marking writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson's feature film debut, the movie ended up with a very troubled release after the studio recut the film and changed the title to Hard Eight without Anderson's consent.
Why You Should: It's an intimate, understated character study starring John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson among others, which shows Anderson to be a major talent even before the likes of Boogie Nights and Magnolia .
Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)
Why You Haven't Seen It: A story based around the supposed lives of two minor characters in Shakespeare's Hamlet ? It doesn't sound particularly compelling...
Why You Should: The film is a borderline genius rewrite of Hamlet , as told from the eyes of its least fleshed-out characters, who prove to be utter buffoons. Gary Oldman and Tim Roth take the title roles, with Oldman in particular providing huge laughs with expert bumbling comic timing.
Why You Haven't Seen It: It's a film about two guys who wander lost in the desert while bickering. It hardly spells 'box office hit'.
Why You Should: It's a wonderfully surreal film, directed by Gus Van Sant as the first instalment of his 'Death Trilogy', and stars Matt Damon and Casey Affleck (who co-wrote the film with Van Sant) who fill their semi-improvised roles with a natural chemistry and wit.
Richard III (1995)
Why You Haven't Seen It: There are so many Shakespeare adaptations, it's easy for several to slip through the net.
Why You Should: It stars Ian McKellen (who also co-wrote the film) and the setting is updated to a fictionalised 30s-set fascist Great Britain, which makes the film all the more compelling. It also stars Robert Downey Jr. In a film based on a Shakespeare play. How can anyone not want to see that?
Zero Effect (1998)
Why You Haven't Seen It: It screened at Cannes to positive reviews, but ultimately it is a difficult film to pigeonhole, being a dramatic comedy mystery film.
Why You Should: Bill Pullman and Ben Stiller make for a great oddball pair of investigators in what is an eccentric blend of nourish twists and comic timing.
This Boys Life (1993)
Why You Haven't Seen It: It stars Robert De Niro and a pre-fame Leonardo DiCaprio and, as such, has been overshadowed by other higher-profile films in their respective careers.
Why You Should: it's a remarkably powerful story about domestic abuse and teenage rebellion and it features extraordinary performances from its two leads. Plus it marks Tobey Maguire's movie debut...
Why You Haven't Seen It: It's an understated coming-of-age film that was entirely made in Australia, so it may have passed by wider global audiences.
Why You Should: Forgetting that the film marks Thandie Newton's movie debut and also sees appearances by Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts, the story boasts complex characters, a low-key, humdrum realism and many memorable scenes.
The Words (2013)
Why You Haven't Seen It: It was only released earlier this year, and to mostly negative reviews so there wouldn't have been too many people trying to seek it out.
Why You Should: While critics weren't kind about the film initially, it has since received a more mixed response overall, with many praising the film for its intriguing ambiguity and cleverly-constructed plot. If that isn't enough to at least get you interested, Bradley Cooper is currently bringing his A-game to everything and it's no different here.
Why You Haven't Seen It: It's an indie thriller that received a limited release.
Why You Should: The film tells the events leading up to a car crash (at 11.14pm) from five different perspectives, including that of one Hilary Swank. As such, it is an inventive, expertly plotted movie with twists, turns and a large pinch of black humour.
Why You Haven't Seen It: Despite boasting big-name stars like Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts and Ryan Gosling, the film was a complete box office bomb.
Why You Should: It's a provocative psychological thriller with a compelling visual style and a third act that will make you reassess the rest of the film for imagery clues. Thought-provoking but sadly under-appreciated.
Paperback Hero (1999)
Why You Haven't Seen It: It's an Australian rom-com that, on the face of it, is just lighthearted fluff.
Why You Should: It IS just lighthearted fluff, but a lot of fun for it, and a pre-Wolverine Hugh Jackman proves to be a very likeable rom-com lead, a role that he has rarely adopted since.
Six Degrees Of Separation (1993)
Why You Haven't Seen It: Based on the Pulitzer Prize nominated play, this simple location story that explores social themes doesn't quite have wide, mainstream appeal.
Why You Should: It's brilliantly scripted and contains many great performances, including those by Ian McKellen, Donald Sutherland and an Oscar-nominated Stockard Channing. Most importantly though, it features a Fresh Prince-era Will Smith in a surprisingly mature role.
Beautiful Girls (1996)
Why You Haven't Seen It: It hasn't exactly got a spectacular hook - It's a low-key film about five friends dealing with life's complications as young 30-somethings.
Why You Should: It's a touching rendition of mini-mid-life crises as these men struggle to commit to being grown adults, and it features a wonderful old-before-her-time performance from a young Natalie Portman.
Why You Haven't Seen It: Despite it winning a ton of awards on the festival circuit, the very fact that it is an uncompromising depiction of the 1981 Irish hunger strike might not appeal to many…
Why You Should: It’s powerful, compelling and, at times, deeply disturbing. It also put Michael Fassbender – who went on a medically monitored diet in order to play the fasting Bobby Sands – on the map.
Arizona Dream (1992)
Why You Haven't Seen It: It’s a surreal comedy that involves fish, flying machines, pet turtles and a dream about halibut. It’s easy to see why this isn’t appearing on many ‘Best Of’ lists.
Why You Should: It’s utterly bizarre, goofy as anything and truly brilliant for it. Johnny Depp holds the film together, but the film’s unpredictable, oddball nature is what makes it so compelling.
Less Than Zero (1987)
Why You Haven't Seen It: It has somehow been gradually forgotten over the years, becoming an underrated – but nonetheless important - cross-section slice of 80s culture.
Why You Should: It’s Robert Downey Jr’s first truly great performance, playing a disintegrating, drug-addicted rich boy ensconced in a world of seedy LA hedonism, as birthed by Bret Easton Ellis.
Boy A (2007)
Why You Haven't Seen It: It was originally a Channel 4 drama, which then received a limited theatrical release elsewhere in the world.
Why You Should: Andrew Garfield won huge acclaim for his lead role in this film about an ex-convict finally released from prison after committing murder as a child, and he received the 2008 Best Actor BAFTA Award for his efforts.
A Love Song For Bobby Long (2004)
Why You Haven't Seen It: It has never been given a proper release in the UK.
Why You Should: Scarlett Johansson and John Travolta might seem like an unlikely pairing in any film, but this simmering Southern sweatbox story gives them plenty of room to breathe against a backdrop dripping in lush literature and romanticism.
The Believer (2001)
Why You Haven't Seen It: It received a somewhat muted theatrical release, even showing on cable in the US before it reached cinemas, and this is despite winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
Why You Should: Ryan Gosling gives an incredible raw lead performance as Danny Balint, a violent Neo-Nazi who joins the KKK but is revealed by a reporter to be Jewish. It’s a powerful film based on real events and Gosling is spellbinding as the conflicted man at the heart of it all.