surprisingly good films from recent years

by maddox-richard | created - 02 May 2011 | updated - 16 Jun 2011 | Public
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1. Step Brothers (2008)

R | 98 min | Comedy

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
51 Metascore

Two aimless middle-aged losers still living at home are forced against their will to become roommates when their parents marry.

Director: Adam McKay | Stars: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Mary Steenburgen, Richard Jenkins

Votes: 230,941 | Gross: $100.47M

2. Herb & Dorothy (2008)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary, Biography

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
74 Metascore

Herb and Dorothy Vogel redefine what it means to be an art collector.

Director: Megumi Sasaki | Stars: Paula Antebi, Will Barnet, Robert Barry, Lynda Benglis

Votes: 770 | Gross: $0.19M

3. Lars and the Real Girl (2007)

PG-13 | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
70 Metascore

A delusional young man strikes up an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet.

Director: Craig Gillespie | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, R.D. Reid

Votes: 124,592 | Gross: $5.97M

4. Whip It (2009)

PG-13 | 111 min | Drama, Sport

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
68 Metascore

In Bodeen, Texas, an indie-rock loving misfit finds a way of dealing with her small-town misery after she discovers a roller derby league in nearby Austin.

Director: Drew Barrymore | Stars: Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore, Kristen Wiig, Sarah Habel

Votes: 58,721 | Gross: $13.04M

5. Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008)

Unrated | 80 min | Documentary, Biography, Drama

7.9
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82 Metascore

Since 1978, Anvil has become one of heavy metal's most influential yet commercially unsuccessful acts. In 2006, after a fledging European tour Anvil sets out to record their thirteenth album and continue to follow their dreams.

Director: Sacha Gervasi | Stars: Robb Reiner, Steve 'Lips' Kudlow, Tiziana Arrigoni, Scott Ian

Votes: 14,179 | Gross: $0.67M

6. Be Kind Rewind (2008)

PG-13 | 102 min | Comedy

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
52 Metascore

Two bumbling store clerks inadvertently erase the footage from all of the tapes in their video rental store. In order to keep the business running, they re-shoot every film in the store with their own camera, with a budget of zero dollars.

Director: Michel Gondry | Stars: Jack Black, Yasiin Bey, Danny Glover, Mia Farrow

Votes: 83,441 | Gross: $11.17M

7. Role Models (2008)

R | 99 min | Comedy

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
61 Metascore

Wild behavior forces a pair of energy drink reps to enroll in a Big Brother program.

Director: David Wain | Stars: Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott, Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Votes: 203,672 | Gross: $67.29M

8. Waitress (2007)

PG-13 | 108 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
75 Metascore

Jenna is a pregnant, unhappily married waitress in the deep south. She meets a newcomer to her town and falls into an unlikely relationship as a last attempt at happiness.

Director: Adrienne Shelly | Stars: Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Jeremy Sisto, Cheryl Hines

Votes: 39,613 | Gross: $19.07M

9. Son of Rambow (2007)

PG-13 | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
66 Metascore

During a long English summer in the early 1980s, two schoolboys from differing backgrounds set out to make a film inspired by First Blood (1982).

Director: Garth Jennings | Stars: Bill Milner, Will Poulter, Jessica Hynes, Anna Wing

Votes: 28,540 | Gross: $1.78M

10. La Vie en Rose (2007)

PG-13 | 140 min | Biography, Drama, Music

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
66 Metascore

Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf's life was filled with tragedy.

Director: Olivier Dahan | Stars: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Pascal Greggory, Emmanuelle Seigner

Votes: 72,779 | Gross: $10.30M

11. Thank You for Smoking (2005)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Drama

7.6
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71 Metascore

Satirical comedy follows the machinations of Big Tobacco's chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son.

Director: Jason Reitman | Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Cameron Bright, Maria Bello, Joan Lunden

Votes: 200,095 | Gross: $24.79M

12. The Proposition (2005)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Western

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
73 Metascore

A lawman apprehends a notorious outlaw and gives him nine days to kill his older brother, or else they'll execute his younger brother.

Director: John Hillcoat | Stars: Ray Winstone, Guy Pearce, Emily Watson, Richard Wilson

Votes: 45,379 | Gross: $1.90M

13. Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

PG | 119 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
80 Metascore

When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Chieko Baishô, Takuya Kimura, Tatsuya Gashûin, Akihiro Miwa

Votes: 249,665 | Gross: $4.71M

14. C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)

Not Rated | 127 min | Comedy, Drama

8.0
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81 Metascore

A young French-Canadian, growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, struggles to reconcile his emerging homosexuality with his father's conservative values and his own Catholic beliefs.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée | Stars: Michel Côté, Marc-André Grondin, Danielle Proulx, Émile Vallée

Votes: 29,053

15. Downfall (2004)

R | 156 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
82 Metascore

Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel | Stars: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler

Votes: 278,449 | Gross: $5.51M

16. Thumbsucker (2005)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
69 Metascore

Justin throws himself and everyone around him into chaos when he attempts to break free from his addiction to his thumb.

Director: Mike Mills | Stars: Lou Taylor Pucci, Tilda Swinton, Vincent D'Onofrio, Keanu Reeves

Votes: 19,505 | Gross: $1.33M

17. Bad Education (2004)

NC-17 | 106 min | Crime, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
81 Metascore

An examination on the effect of Franco-era religious schooling and sexual abuse on the lives of two longtime friends.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Gael García Bernal, Fele Martínez, Javier Cámara, Daniel Giménez Cacho

Votes: 48,847 | Gross: $5.21M

18. Good Bye Lenin! (2003)

R | 121 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.7
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68 Metascore

In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.

Director: Wolfgang Becker | Stars: Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Chulpan Khamatova, Florian Lukas

Votes: 122,958 | Gross: $4.06M

19. Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

PG-13 | 92 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

7.9
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73 Metascore

On Christmas Eve, three homeless people living on the streets of Tokyo find a newborn baby among the trash and set out to find its parents.

Directors: Satoshi Kon, Shôgo Furuya | Stars: Tôru Emori, Yoshiaki Umegaki, Aya Okamoto, Shôzô Îzuka

Votes: 23,151 | Gross: $0.13M

20. Valentin (I) (2002)

PG-13 | 86 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
52 Metascore

An 8-year-old boy, raised by his grandmother, is surrounded by problems in his family he finds only himself capable of solving.

Director: Alejandro Agresti | Stars: Rodrigo Noya, Alejandro Agresti, Julieta Cardinali, Carmen Maura

Votes: 3,897 | Gross: $0.28M

21. American Splendor (2003)

R | 101 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
90 Metascore

An original mix of fiction and reality illuminates the life of comic book hero everyman Harvey Pekar.

Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini | Stars: Paul Giamatti, Shari Springer Berman, Harvey Pekar, Chris Ambrose

Votes: 43,985 | Gross: $6.00M

22. Whale Rider (2002)

PG-13 | 101 min | Drama, Family

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
80 Metascore

A contemporary story of love, rejection and triumph as a young Maori girl fights to fulfill a destiny her grandfather refuses to recognize.

Director: Niki Caro | Stars: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton, Cliff Curtis

Votes: 36,142 | Gross: $20.78M

23. How to Draw a Bunny (2002)

90 min | Documentary

7.5
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78 Metascore

Interviews with Christo, Chuck Close, Roy Lichtenstein, Judith Malina, James Rosenquist and others help illuminate the life and work of Warhol contemporary Ray Johnson.

Director: John W. Walter | Stars: Joseph Ialacci, Richard Feigen, Frances Beatty, Mort Janklow

Votes: 506 | Gross: $0.00M

24. Raising Victor Vargas (2002)

R | 88 min | Drama, Romance

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
83 Metascore

A Lower East Side teen-ager struggles to find some sanity while surrounded by an eccentric grandmother, a crazy new girlfriend, and a longing younger brother.

Director: Peter Sollett | Stars: Victor Rasuk, Donna Maldonado, Kevin Rivera, Krystal Rodriguez

Votes: 4,914 | Gross: $2.07M

25. The Man Without a Past (2002)

PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.7
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84 Metascore

The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or ... See full summary »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki | Stars: Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen, Annikki Tähti, Juhani Niemelä

Votes: 19,179 | Gross: $0.92M

26. Elling (2001)

R | 89 min | Comedy, Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
70 Metascore

When his mother, who has sheltered him his entire 40 years, dies, Elling, a sensitive, would-be poet, is sent to live in a state institution. There he meets Kjell Bjarne, a gentle giant and... See full summary »

Director: Petter Næss | Stars: Per Christian Ellefsen, Sven Nordin, Marit Pia Jacobsen, Jørgen Langhelle

Votes: 12,977 | Gross: $0.31M

27. Monsoon Wedding (2001)

R | 114 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
77 Metascore

A stressed father, a bride-to-be with a secret, a smitten event planner, and relatives from around the world create much ado about the preparations for an arranged marriage in India.

Director: Mira Nair | Stars: Naseeruddin Shah, Lillete Dubey, Shefali Shah, Vijay Raaz

Votes: 21,106 | Gross: $13.88M

28. Secretary (2002)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
63 Metascore

A young woman, recently released from a mental hospital, gets a job as a secretary to a demanding lawyer, where their employer-employee relationship turns into a sexual, sadomasochistic one.

Director: Steven Shainberg | Stars: James Spader, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jeremy Davies, Lesley Ann Warren

Votes: 73,080 | Gross: $4.06M

29. Tillsammans (2000)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.5
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84 Metascore

It is the 70s and a group of very different individuals live together as a community. One of the members sister, Elisabeth needs a new place to stay with her children after having had ... See full summary »

Director: Lukas Moodysson | Stars: Lisa Lindgren, Michael Nyqvist, Emma Samuelsson, Sam Kessel

Votes: 18,647 | Gross: $1.07M

30. The Taste of Others (2000)

R | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
78 Metascore

Three men, three women, opposites, possibilities, and tastes. Castella owns a industrial steel barrel plant in Rouen; Bruno is his flute-playing driver, Franck is his temporary bodyguard ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Jaoui | Stars: Anne Alvaro, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Alain Chabat, Agnès Jaoui

Votes: 8,167 | Gross: $0.64M

31. A Room for Romeo Brass (1999)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
65 Metascore

Two twelve-year-old boys, Romeo and Gavin, undergo an extraordinary test of character and friendship when Morell, a naive but eccentric and dangerous stranger, comes between them. Morell ... See full summary »

Director: Shane Meadows | Stars: Martin Arrowsmith, Dave Blant, Darren Campbell, Paddy Considine

Votes: 4,821 | Gross: $0.02M

32. Musíme si pomáhat (2000)

PG-13 | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, War

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
69 Metascore

In Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia, a childless couple agree to hide a Jewish friend at great personal risk of discovery and execution.

Director: Jan Hrebejk | Stars: Bolek Polívka, Csongor Kassai, Jaroslav Dusek, Anna Sisková

Votes: 4,425 | Gross: $1.32M

33. West Beirut (1998)

PG-13 | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.8
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In April, 1975, civil war breaks out; Beirut is partitioned along a Moslem-Christian line. Tarek is in high school, making Super 8 movies with his friend, Omar. At first the war is a lark: ... See full summary »

Director: Ziad Doueiri | Stars: Rami Doueiri, Naamar Sahli, Mohamad Chamas, Rola Al Amin

Votes: 2,624 | Gross: $0.34M

34. The Castle (1997)

R | 85 min | Comedy, Drama

7.7
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A working-class family from Melbourne, Australia fights city hall after being told they must vacate their beloved family home to allow for infrastructural expansion.

Director: Rob Sitch | Stars: Michael Caton, Anne Tenney, Stephen Curry, Anthony Simcoe

Votes: 12,933 | Gross: $0.86M

35. Marius and Jeannette (1997)

105 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.0
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Marius is the keeper of an abandoned cement works staying high above the quarter of l'Estaque in Marseilles. Jeannette is bringing up her two children alone with her poor checkout operator ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Guédiguian | Stars: Ariane Ascaride, Gérard Meylan, Pascale Roberts, Jacques Boudet

Votes: 1,396 | Gross: $0.28M

36. Yi ge dou bu neng shao (1999)

G | 106 min | Drama

7.7
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73 Metascore

In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each ... See full summary »

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Minzhi Wei, Huike Zhang, Zhenda Tian, Enman Gao

Votes: 7,245 | Gross: $0.59M