10 of the Most Underappreciated R-Rated Movies Ever

10 of the Most Underappreciated R-Rated Movies Ever

The tricky factor about R-rated movies is that a huge chunk of society isn’t welcome to watch them. When an R-rated movie gets released in theaters, anyone under the age of 17 isn’t welcome to purchase tickets and enjoy the show. Since R-rated movies are specifically designed for adults, they’ll only do well if adults are interested enough to watch without worrying about the youngsters they might have in their lives.

That said, there are tons of R-rated movies that have fallen into the “underrated” category over the years. Some of these epic movies deserve more clout, respect, and recognition than what they originally received. There are a few ways you can decipher if a movie is successful. One way is by analyzing how much revenue was earned at the box office. When a movie earns more money than what was allocated for its budget, it’s clear that it was a success.

Another way is by reviewing opinions from critics and audiences. If most people have positive things to say about a movie, that indicates its success. The number of awards and accolades a movie receives is another factor to consider. Underrated movies don’t tend to garner full-fledged success, though. R-rated movies occasionally fall prey to these unsavory scenarios. While we’re on the topic of R-rated movies, click here to uncover the highest-grossing R-rated movies of all time.

To gather this list of R-rated movies that are way too underrated, 24/7 Tempo consulted several entertainment sources. These include IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and ScreenRant.

Blood Diamond (2006)

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio speaks at the United Nations Climate Summit on September 23, 2014 in New York City. The summit, which is meeting one day before the UN General Assembly begins, is bringing together world leaders, scientists and activists looking to curb climate change. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in “Blood Diamond.”

Avg. IMDb rating: 8 out of 10
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly, Kagiso Kuypers

“Blood Diamond” is an underrated R-rated movie that should have pulled in at least one Oscar award. Despite knowing that the film received five nominations (including one for Leonardo DiCaprio as Best Actor), the movie didn’t win any Oscars at all. “Blood Diamond” tells the story of two men venturing through Sierra Leone during the 1990s.

One man is a Caucasian mercenary while the other is a Black fisherman. They come from two different cultures, but they have one shared goal in mind – they’re trying to track down a rare gem that will change the trajectory of their lives. When they team up with a beautiful American journalist, played by Jennifer Connelly, they realize their goal might be easier to achieve.

Plush (2013)

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Emily Browning is the leading actress in “Plush.”

Avg. IMDb rating: 5.2 out of 10
Starring: Emily Browning, Xavier Samuel, Cam Gigandet, Dawn Olivieri

In 2013, “Plush” hit theaters as a horror movie that also fit into the drama and mystery categories. The R-rated movie is worth watching for people who love the intrigue of a haunted tale, but it only earned 5.2 stars out of 10 on IMDb. This underrated movie deserves more positive attention based on its plot.

It focuses on a young woman striving to succeed as a singer in the music industry. She’s married to a man who wants to be with her forever, but she still gets romantically involved with a guitar player with a dark past. Her romantic interest in the charming guitarist leads her down a dangerous path since his secrets are impossible to run away from.

Almost Famous (2000)

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Kate Hudson is phenomenal in “Almost Famous.”

Avg. IMDb rating: 7.9 out of 10
Starring: Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Frances McDormand

Kate Hudson put on the show of her life in “Almost Famous” when it premiered in 2000. Her brilliance on screen is one of the reasons this movie deserves more respect and admiration. It’s considered an underrated R-rated film since it only pulled in $47.4 million at the box office against its budget of $60 million.

If this movie were to hit theaters today, there’s a chance it would be received by audiences a little better since young adults with burning desires to escape the system by succeeding  in the Hollywood industry can resonate with the storyline. “Almost Famous” is set in the 1970s. It focuses on a teenager who hangs out with a popular rock band during their ongoing concert tour.

Kick-Ass (2010)

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Aaron Taylor-Johnson is the leading actor in “Kick-Ass.”

Avg. IMDb rating: 7.6 out of 10
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Chloë Grace Moretz, Garrett M. Brown

Calculating the gross earnings of “Kick-Ass” in the United States reveals that the movie only pulled in $48 million. The R-rated film is beyond underrated based on the fact that it should’ve attracted more moviegoers when it first hit theaters. With the cast lineup including Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Nicolas Cage, it only makes sense to question where this movie could have possibly gone wrong.

“Kick-Ass” tells the story of an angsty teenager who’s obsessed with comic books. He’s ready to reinvent himself as someone capable of saving others from doom. In true superhero form, he becomes a vigilante in the streets of his city. The only catch is that he doesn’t have any real super powers backing him up as he fights against dangerous criminals. 

I Know Who Killed Me (2007)

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“I Know Who Killed Me” is a 2007 movie starring Lindsay Lohan.

Avg. IMDb rating: 3.6 out of 10
Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Julia Ormond, Neal McDonough

“I Know Who Killed Me” is an R-rated movie with an excruciatingly low score on IMDb of 3.6 out of 10. The 2007 movie stars Lindsay Lohan in leading role. It has a gripping storyline that should not have been judged so harshly when it first premiered. “I Know Who Killed Me” tells the edgy story of a young woman working as an exotic dancer in a nightclub.

She goes missing for a temporary period of time, but when she finally resurfaces, she claims to be someone else stuck in the wrong body. Prior to this movie, Lohan proved herself to be a reliable actress in films like “Mean Girls” and “Georgia Rule” from the early 2000s. “I Know Who Killed Me” is another movie that should be added to Lohan’s list of films worth mentioning. The movie keeps viewers glued to the screen from start to finish, making it one of the most underrated R-rated movies ever.

Resident Evil (2002)

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“Resident Evil” is an underrated movie starring Milla Jovovich.

Avg. IMDb rating: 6.6 out of 10
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Ryan McCluskey, Oscar Pearce

Plenty of moviegoers can agree that “Resident Evil” from 2002 was a brilliant action movie that now deserves a modern remake. It tells the story of a special military unit fighting back against diabolical scientists who created a super computer. The technology they concocted mutated to a level that went completely out of control.

With an IMDb score of 6.6 out of 10 and domestic box office earnings of $40 million, “Resident Evil” is the definition of an underrated R-rated movie. Since the film didn’t do too well in the early 2000s, there’s a chance it would be better off as a remake today with a new cast lineup. Director Paul W.S. Anderson handled the job for the original “Resident Evil” and continued directing its sequels in 2010, 2014, and 2016.

Heathers (1988)

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American actress Winona Ryder in the press room of the 1990 ShoWest Awards, held at Bally's Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, 8th February 1990. The ceremony, organised by the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), awarded Ryder the Female Star of Tomorrow Award. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Winona Ryder stars in “Heathers” from 1988.

Avg. IMDb rating: 7.2 out of 10
Starring: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk

Years before “Mean Girls” was a popular movie to watch, “Heathers” seemingly paved the way for that type of drama. The comedy-crime movie premiered in 1988 with a well-placed R rating. It focuses on a group of high school kids trying to navigate the differences between being exceptionally popular and being boringly average.

The “Heathers” on campus at are a clique of gorgeous girls who dominate over everyone else with their charm and beauty. Ironically, all three girls in the group share the same first name: Heather. This movie goes far beyond the topic of bullying as it rears into its murderous territories. “Heathers” is an iconic 80s movie that’s constantly getting compared to “Mean Girls.” For this reason, it’s a super underrated film.

After the Dark (2013)

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“After the Dark” is a 2013 movie starring James D’Arcy.

Avg. IMDb rating: 5.6 out of 10
Starring: James D’Arcy, Sophie Lowe, Daryl Sabara, Freddie Stroma

“After the Dark” is an R-rated movie that’s been labeled as completely underrated since it’s 2013 release. The plot of “After the Dark” is spell-binding, which is why its low IMDb rating of 5.6 out of 10 stars is such a shock to the system. The mysterious film focuses on a philosophy teacher who poses a darkly creative challenge for his class of graduating seniors.

Out of 20 students, he asks them to figure out which 10 of them should migrate to an underground shelter to restart humanity. The 10 who are chosen will survive in the case of a massive nuclear apocalypse. Posing such a question to his class causes intense dialogue to unfold between his students. The heavy-hitting topic of survival makes this movie worthwhile — especially regarding who deserve to live more than someone else.

Ex Machina (2014)

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Avg. IMDb rating: 7.7 out of 10
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Sonoya Mizuno

In 2014, “Ex Machina” hit theaters as an R-rated sci-fi thriller. The movie started loads of conversations among viewers about the way highly advanced artificial intelligence might impact the world someday. Despite its intriguing premise, it still didn’t do well at the box office. “Ex Machina” is considered an underrated movie since it only pulled in $37.3 million.

The good news is that the movie still profited based on its budget of $15 million. It tells a story of a young programmer landing a job as an AI investigator. He’s forced to work with a female-gendered humanoid robot who exhibit human qualities. Her behaviors are realistic enough to confuse anyone who interacts with her. It’s been 10 years since “Ex Machina” made waves in the Hollywood industry. Fears about AI are just as fervent as they once were back then.

Perfect Sense (2011)

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2011’s “Perfect Sense” stars Ewan McGregor.

Avg. IMDb rating: 7 out of 10
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Eva Green, Lauren Tempany, Connie Nielsen

Love stories are often critiqued harsher than typical movies from other genres. If audiences don’t believe a love story could actually happen in the real world, a romance movie will automatically get labeled “cheesy” or “corny.” When “Perfect Sense” premiered in 2011, it wasn’t received well by audiences. For that reason, it’s now become a completely underrated movie.

Regardless, “Perfect Sense” deserves more positive attention from viewers. It tells the story of a scientist and chef who develop lovey-dovey feelings for each other in the midst of a worldwide epidemic. The epidemic starts stealing everyone’s sensory perceptions, so they’re racing through time to experience romance with each other before their bodies go numb.

Ewan McGregor is the talented actor who leads the way in the dramatic movie. His history of coming from action-packed movies like “The Island” and the Star Wars franchise made his presence in “Perfect Sense” a little more special. To uncover more incredible R-rated movies, click here too read about the best R-rated movies you probably haven’t seen yet.

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