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The Best Recent Movies You've Never Heard Of Part 2!

Updated on September 30, 2012

Every year there are a vast number of blockbuster movies, Oscar contenders, big budget action movies and plenty of big name stars filling up the credits. However, as movie buffs know, every year there are also a number of movies made that don't have all the big names, the big budget or the big reputation, but what they lack in these departments they make up for with great acting, originality and fantastic plots.

My previous list of recent movies you haven't seen covered some of my favorites from last year, so I want to update the list for all you movie buffs out there. There is something for everyone in here so please check them out and let me know what you think of them!

Take Shelter - One of the year's best movies.
Take Shelter - One of the year's best movies.

Take Shelter

My personal favorite of all the lesser known recent movies, this one was not only my top movie on this list but one of the finest movies all year in my opinion. Starring Michael Shannon, who is perfect for the role and plays it flawlessly, as a man who sees horrible visions and is certain they are warnings that the world is coming to an end. The film centers on how this affects him psychologically, and also how it puts a strain on his family life with his wife and daughter, who already has health problems of her own. Shannon’s wife is played by up and comer Jessica Chastain, who is quite possibly my favorite new actress, having recently starred in The Tree of Life, The Help and Lawless. This is a film that is part family drama, part mystery, part psychological thriller and even part horror at times. It has it all, and as the plot unfolds towards the dramatic conclusion, you’ll become more and more engrossed by it. Please check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


Bellflower is a low budget gem most have never seen.
Bellflower is a low budget gem most have never seen.


So the first unknown movie on this list is one that really left a mark on me. Not as recent as some of the others but one of the most memorable, dark and daring indie movies I’ve seen in a long time. The film is centered around two friends who spend their spare time preparing for an apocalypse that may or may not ever happen. What unfolds is a fantastic psychological thriller that proves to be one of the darkest, most mind bending films in recent indie history. Also, if you get a chance, look up some of the filmmaker interviews online. The film was made on a budget and some of the stories are really interesting for all you aspiring filmmakers out there.

Take Me Home - Taxicab Romance
Take Me Home - Taxicab Romance

Take Me Home

This little gem is one I just saw recently, and turned out to be one of my favorite indie romantic comedies in recent memory. I have Netflix to thank for this one. One of those films that just catches your eye and then pleasantly surprises you, the story revolves around a broke man and a rich married (unhappily) woman who end up on an impromptu trip from one coast to another. What ensues is pretty standard fare and some may even argue there are some movie clichés in there, but what separates this one is an unmistakable charm that the characters give off, in particular the male lead. There’s also a sense of realism, even within some scenes that seem ridiculous, and that just adds to the charm. Check this one out if you need a pick me up!

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Elizabeth Olson, sister of the well-known Olson twins takes a genuinely chilling turn as a young girl struggling to recover from her time with a cult group who entice young woman and then proceed to subtly brainwash them into their strange way of life. The film builds up slowly, but is full of some fantastic acting from both Olson, and Academy Award Nominee John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone), and some of the most awkward, chilling and haunting moments you’ll see on screen this year. If you’ve never heard of this movie I recommend you to give it a watch soon, but not if you’re in the mood for a feel good movie. A word of warning – this film contains one of the creepiest scenes I’ve seen in a long time. If you get a chance to catch this movie, leave me a comment on which scene you think I’m referring to!

A true indie chiller.
A true indie chiller.
What if there was "Another Earth?"
What if there was "Another Earth?"

Another Earth

One of the most original ideas I’ve seen in a film recently, Another Earth is based on the premise that there is exactly as the title suggests, another earth, out in the Universe. The lead character in the movie is a young girl, who has made a horrific mistake. Upon the discovery of this new planet, questions of what could be there, and whether it is a parallel world, whether it mirrors our own, or whether it is identical in every way arise. A competition is run, where the winner gets to be the first to travel to this new version of our Earth. However, all of this is really just backdrop to the real story, which is that of a girl’s road to redemption and a man’s attempts to move on after terrible tragedy. This is an unknown movie that is truly original, as well as moving and powerful. I definitely recommend this one!

The ups and downs of long distance relationships.
The ups and downs of long distance relationships.

Like Crazy

This indie romance takes an original spin on the long distance relationship, and does so in a down to earth, realistic way that is often charming, but equally as upsetting at times. If, like me, you have split your life among multiple countries, you may be able to relate to the centerpiece of the film’s drama. With Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones both giving very strong performances as two young lovebirds on the wrong side of an expired VISA, who’s relationship has to battle with the distance, disappointment and the sad reality that people grow apart. The movie doesn’t play to standard romance genre clichés and gives us a realistic look at young love and its ups and downs. If you’re looking for a film that will take you on the highs and lows without pulling any punches, then definitely check out “Like Crazy”.

Lars Von Trier's latest head scratcher
Lars Von Trier's latest head scratcher


Here’s one you’ve probably heard of but there’s a good chance you’ve never seen it. Starring the brilliant Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia is Lars Von Trier’s follow up to his highly controversial horror, Antichrist. Now, anyone who has seen his last film would likely say Melancholia could not possibly be any crazier than that. While it does tone down on the graphic romance and violence, his latest effort is just as strange, and one of the most bizarre movies you’re likely to see this year. Revolving around an inherent sense of brooding that something terrible is going to happen, we as the audience seem to know something is looming but what we don’t know is what the characters are thinking and what kind of mental state they are really in. Each character seems to have their own demons; we just don’t know exactly what they are. This creates a dynamic where nothing seems to make sense, yet you always feel as though you know where things are heading. I truly got lost in this film, and if you don’t mind a little ambiguity and room for interpretation I think you will too. Check it out!

A father's nightmare.
A father's nightmare.

Angel's Crest

A parent’s worst nightmare is losing their child, and this unknown gem deals with one man, and his entire town’s attempts to deal with this very nightmare. Our main character, Ethan, is a young man who is essentially a single father, in the small town of Angel’s Crest. His son’s mother is an alcoholic, and he is charged with raising his son. He has some demons of his own however, and when his son goes missing under his watch, he responsibility it placed into question by many members of the community. The questioning comes in particular from the police officer in charge of the investigation, played by Jeremy Piven, who takes a break from his usually funny man roles to put in a fantastic performance as a man trying to prove the guilt of a man who is already suffering, while also suffering through some demons of his own. The movie is one that is dark, cold and depressing, but there are glimmers of light and small moments that really stand out and hit home while contrasting with the generally gloomy atmosphere. For a look into grief, personal demons and the power of the past, check out Angel’s Crest.

Take Shelter - Official Trailer


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Have you ever seen- In My Father's Den?

    • jmartin1344 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      Hi Jamie, I'm glad you loved those films as much as I did. I need to watch Bellflower again soon. Definitely check out those one's you haven't seen! Thanks for reading!

    • JamieHGarrett profile image


      5 years ago from North Carolina

      Bellflower Rules the World! Sorry, I love that movie a lot. I love the others too that I've seen - Another Earth (love Britt Marling) and Take Shelter (how crazy good is Michael Shannon?). MMMM is so good it hurts (I love Elizabeth Olsen. And can John Hawkes do any wrong?) Melancholia is purely fantastic. I've never seen the others, so thanks for giving me a couple of new films to check out.

    • jmartin1344 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      Thanks for reading Thief12 - I have wanted to see Sound of My Voice ever since I saw Another Earth, and even more now that I saw 'The East' with Brit Marling recently - glad you reminded me. I'll track it down. Thanks!

    • Thief12 profile image

      Carlo Giovannetti 

      5 years ago from Puerto Rico

      I've seen Take Shelter, Another Earth, and Melancholia, and liked them all three to varying degrees and for different reasons. Heard about the others but I haven't seen them (I've heard Martha Marcia May Marlene is pretty good).

      BTW, since you brought up Another Earth, have you heard about Sound of My Voice, also written, produced, and starred by Brit Marling? That was another lesser known, but surprisingly good little film.

    • jmartin1344 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      That's such a good point. I always argue and believe that the quality of a movie isn't always based on how much you liked it or liked the ending... but sometimes if it has a really strong effect on you or leaves behind something then it's quality film making!

      Thanks for reading!

    • citywolf profile image

      Sarah Wolfe 

      6 years ago from Oregon

      Melancholia is an interesting choice. It's so unnerving that one needs a couple of days to assess like or dislike. Whenever a movie can do that to me, I know it's a good one.

    • jmartin1344 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      alancaster, thanks for checking out some of my hubs - I'm glad you haven't heard of any, that's exactly what I'm going for! If you ever get some free time and do feel like watching one I recommend "Take Shelter" the most!


    • jmartin1344 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      LaThing - thanks a lot for reading! Like Crazy is light hearted but also a bit heavy at times... Take me Home is definitely a feel good film!

      Hope you get a chance to check some of them out!

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 

      7 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Dead right, I've never heard of any of these! Mind you, I think I've been living under a stone lately - writing my Hubs and working through editing my own stories. Interesting films, nevertheless. Interesting presentation as well. Like it!

    • LaThing profile image


      7 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Great hub! Heard of Melancholia, never watched it though. Loved another earth..... Would like to see Like Crazy, and Take Me Home. Both sounds like lighthearted romantic movie. Really enjoyed your hub, thanks! Voting up and interesting.......

    • jmartin1344 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      Cogerson, appreciate the comment! I thought the same thing about Another Earth - but without giving too much away, the more I sat and thought about it I kind of felt better about how it closed. I won't say any more so I don't spoil it. Either way, it was a very interesting film.

      I love John Hawkes - he was fantastic in Winter's Bone - ever since then I have been trying to catch him in as much as possible. He's really good in MMMM, so if you're a fan I would check that out.

      Thanks again for reading! I enjoy checking out your movie hubs also - very interesting ranking hubs - it's like the Moneyball of movie hubs!

    • jmartin1344 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

      Thanks for checking out the hub Domenick - Wow, that is a good reference for starters, I totally forgot she was in that film! But yes Take Shelter is definitely my favorite on this list - please check that one out for sure. Definitely worthwhile... hopefully you enjoy it.

      Thanks again for giving this a read!

    • Cogerson profile image


      7 years ago from Virginia

      I have seen about half of the movies on your list....I did not like Melancholia at all....but I enjoyed Another Earth and Taking Shelter very much....although I wish Another Earth had at least one more scene in the movie as I think it would create a little more closure to the movie. Ones that I want to see but have not watched yet....Like Crazy and Martha Marcy May Marlene( I have been a huge John Hawkes fan since his excellent supporting role in Identity.) Voted up and awesome. I really enjoyed reading this hub.

    • profile image

      Domenick Dicce 

      7 years ago

      The only one I have heard of here is Melancholia. Not interested in that one because Kirsten Dunst has not been able to draw me into any of her characters since Interview With A Vampire. Michael Shannon always does interesting work and Take Shelter really caught my interest. Might be checking that one out soon.


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