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Five great movies you probably haven't seen (but probably should)

By Joe Gieringer
On September 25, 2012

If you're like me, you probably like movies a little too much. Got an exam next week? Studying can wait until after your Netflix instant queue is three films shorter. But with thousands of flicks released worldwide each year, it's pretty easy for deserving titles to be shelved and forgotten. So just for you, here's a list of five movies you should take a chance on and spend a night in watching.

Donnie Darko (2001)

Teen angst, discourse on Smurfs' sexuality, and a six-foot tall, terrifying bunny rabbit - everything you could ever ask for in a movie, right? Richard Kelly's directorial debut has earned a spot as one of the great cult classics of our age, and for good reason. With an all-star cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore, Katherine Ross, Seth Rogen and even a young Ashley Tisdale just to name a few, Donnie Darko is misunderstood by most. A convoluted plot about time travel and telekinesis tends to scare potential fans away, but if you take the time to dig deeper, Darko reveals itself to be on of the most rewarding movies you'll ever experience.

Black Dynamite (2009)

Taking its cue from the irreverent "Blaxploitation" movement in the '70s, Black Dynamite is easily one of the most underrated comedic gems ever recorded. It plays up every stereotype of every race and refuses to apologize, while Michael Jai White brings the smooth talking, kung-fu-kicking and one line-spouting title character to life. Just watch the scene where Black Dynamite and company conclude that drugs are being trafficked by way of a popular brand of malt liquor and you'll be hooked.

Source Code (2011)

Honestly, I tossed a coin to choose between this and Duncan Jones' lesser known sweetheart, Moon (which I also highly recommend), and Source Code won - so I guess Jake Gyllenhaal has two spots. Yeah, it made close to $150 million at the box office. But about two-thirds of that was outside of the U.S., and I have yet to meet more than a handful of people that actually took the time to go see it. The chemistry between Gyllenhaal and the lovely Michelle Monaghan is incredibly convincing, and the cinematography puts Jones in

Big Fish (2003)

The rare Tim Burton flick that I actually enjoy, Big Fish is about a journalist, Will Bloom, a man desperately trying to reconnect with his dying father Edward, whose fantastic and exaggerated life stories have gotten in the way of their relationship, though as Will recounts Edward's life, there might be more truth to them than he knows. Though it received its fair share of award nominations, this Danny Elfman scored sleeper remains unseen by a surprising number of people, given the high profile of its cast and their stellar performances. Do yourself a favor and give the colorful and creative Big Fish a chance - the final scene at the river is one of the most touching and heartwarming scenes in recent memory.

Ink (2009)

The most obscure film on this list, Ink was a happy accident that I clicked on when blindly scrolling through Netflix. It's directed and written by Jamin Winans with a nobody cast on a shoestring budget of $250,000, and yet against all odds it succeeds as one of the most visually enthralling and creatively brilliant movies I've ever watched. A two-sentence plot description doesn't do this unlikely indie justice, so I'll suffice to say that it's like something out of a dream sequence you can't quite remember the morning after. Mark my words; Ink is destined for cult classic greatness.

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