25 Best Movies You’ve Probably Never Seen

Source: Courtesy of The Criterion Collection

5. A Brighter Summer Day (1991)
> Starring: Chang Chen, Lisa Yang, Kuo-Chu Chang, Elaine Jin
> Director: Edward Yang
> IMDb user rating: 8.3/10 (9,853 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 94% (1,139 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (20 votes)

This sweeping crime drama takes place in the early 1960s and culls from director Edward Yang’s own experiences growing up in Taipei. While grappling with poor grades and first love, a young boy (Chang Chen) ends up in the middle of a gang war. A pillar of the Taiwanese New Wave, the film is also considered one of the most underrated masterpieces of the 1990s.

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

4. The Best of Youth (2003)
> Starring: Luigi Lo Cascio, Alessio Boni, Jasmine Trinca, Adriana Asti
> Director: Marco Tullio Giordana
> IMDb user rating: 8.5/10 (21,835 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 98% (7,762 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (63 votes)

Clocking in at just over six hours, this Italian epic follows two brothers through four decades of personal and political upheaval. It was developed as a miniseries but released theatrically in two separate installments.

Source: Courtesy of Odyssey/Cinecom International

3. Time of the Gypsies (1988)
> Starring: Davor Dujmović, Bora Todorović, Ljubica Adžović, Husnija Hasimović
> Director: Emir Kusturica
> IMDb user rating: 8.1/10 (30,383 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 97% (6,935 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (07 votes)

Director Emir Kusturica injects coming-of-age themes and a touch of magical realism into this Serbian crime dramedy. It tells the story of a Romani teenager with telekinetic powers who takes up with a gang of local thieves.

Source: Courtesy of Toho Company

2. Woman in the Dunes (1964)
> Starring: Eiji Okada, Kyōko Kishida, Hiroko Itō, Kōji Mitsui
> Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
> IMDb user rating: 8.5/10 (19,582 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 93% (5,415 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (30 votes)

A traveling entomologist (Eiji Okada) is lured into a prison of sand in this Japanese New Wave masterpiece. With no means of escape, he and a young woman (Kyōko Kishida) perform hard labor on behalf of local villagers. Dream-like visuals and creative camerawork turn absurdist drama into modern myth.

Source: Courtesy of Brandon Films

1. Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
> Starring: Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Kyôko Kagawa, Eitarō Shindō
> Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
> IMDb user rating: 8.4/10 (16,246 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 95% (3,981 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (18 votes)

Director Kenji Mizoguchi’s tragic drama takes place in medieval Japan and spins a merciless tale of survival. Separated from their parents and sold into slavery, two children embark on a quest for reunification. “Every cut threatens to swallow a galaxy,” wrote critic Jaime N. Christley for the Village Voice.

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