Holy Motors

Every year a whole plethora of films are released and intended for mass consumption. Out of the hundreds of films released domestically, only a few become massive hits and manage to blast their way into the public consciousness. Films like “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises” get the high box-office rankings. And then there are the indie hits like “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and the French film, “The Intouchables,” which is able to break through to reach an audience through positive word of mouth.

But there are plenty of quality films that deserve to be seen and talked about besides those that went mainstream . They are not necessarily underrated – lots of these films have been held in high esteem by established critics – but under the radar for most people. The criteria for this list? All of them made less than two million dollars in the US box office receipts.

Of course, if there are any films that you would like to mention – as I am sure there must be quite a handful that have escaped my viewing pleasures this year – please comment below and let us know. And please remember to note: these were all released in 2012 in the US (the dates am I going by), though different countries may have released some of these entries much earlier.

 

20. Cosmopolis

Cosmopolis

David Cronenberg always makes an interesting film. As the first of two films in which the protagonist rides in a limo for an entire day, “Cosmopolis” is a satire on the coldness of the 1% played here by a surprisingly good Robert Pattinson. Maybe, if you have no charisma or personality, it lends itself to a character who is emotionally cold (yes, that’s an obligatory dig on Robert Pattinson).

Like a lot of the films on this list, this isn’t a movie for everyone. The lead is not likable, the story can be meandering, and the message can be incoherent. But by the third act, when Paul Giamatti’s character is introduced, the film begins to click on its own. It is indelibly a satire for the modern era in which Occupy Wall Street had only been away a little more than a year. Under the hands of David Cronenberg, this is an emotionally and intellectually satisfying film.

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This article was first posted on January 5, 2013