Re-Discovery: 20 films you might have missed over the last decade

The last decade of cinema has brought with it some favourites you might have missed along the way. Here are 20 films you need to discover (or re-discover) from 2010 to 2019.

Submarine (UK, 2010)

Richard Ayoade‘s directorial debut. Adapted from Joe Dunthorne’s 2008 novel of the same name, Submarine follows the story of the perennially precocious and awkward Oliver Tate as he navigates a teenage romance and a dysfunctional home life. It’s stylish, quirky and often funny, with Craig Roberts and Yasmin Page delivering quality performances. It also boasts a very on-brand soundtrack with original songs penned by Alex Turner. – Simon Clark

Killer Joe (USA, 2011)

Whilst many look to his roles in The Lincoln Lawyer, Magic Mike, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club and TV’s True Detective as examples of peak McConaissance material, Matthew McConaughey‘s little-seen Southern Gothic black comedy Killer Joe should be a leading representation of the actor’s shift from rom-com sex symbol to chameleon-like thespian. Graphically violent and hyper-sexual, and at times savagely both (I dare say you won’t look at a KFC chicken wing the same way again after watching this), William Friedkin’s (The Exorcist) crime flick isn’t necessarily pleasant viewing but, my word, is it bizarrely compelling. – Peter Gray

Searching for Sugarman (Sweden & UK, 2012)

Searching for Sugarman is a fascinating adventure of a documentary. Come for the music and stay for the investigation about a charismatic musician. Strap in because you will be lifted away on this chase to find about a forgotten and creative folk artist. – Natalie Salvo

Smashed (USA, 2012)

In a just world, James Ponsoldt‘s impeccably cast drama detailing the horrid effects of alcoholism would be a household-known title, garnering attention across the board for Mary Elizabeth Winstead‘s criminally ignored central performance.  This is heartbreaking, uncomfortable cinema that revels in realism and refuses to paint any of its players with a sentimental brush. – Peter Gray

20 Feet from Stardom (USA, 2013)

Shining a spotlight on the oft forgotten backing singers to the stars, 20 Feet from Stardom is a surprisingly moving tribute to those not quite in the limelight. As you’d expect, the soundtrack is excellent, but it’s those behind the scenes and personal stories that really prove to be the film’s selling point. – Simon Clark

Locke (UK, 2013)

An unashamed showcase for just how talented Tom Hardy is, Locke puts faith in the popular actor’s ability to hold an entire film from the confides of his car. The film is as minimal as you can get, taking place across a lonely and stressful car ride with multiple story threads revealed as a function of Hardy’s Ivan Locke, a car speaker phone, and various phone calls. Intense close-ups highlight the emotional range of Hardy’s performance, keeping the risky Steven Knight film engaging at all times. It’s surely one of the wildest concept films of the decade. – Chris Singh

The Keeper of Lost Causes (Denmark, 2013)

Based on the Department Q novels from Jussi Adler-Olsen, The Keeper of Lost Causes is the first in a series of film adaptations. Detective Carl Mørck is demoted to Department Q, the cold case unit, following a case gone wrong. With the help of his assistant Assad, the duo get stuck into a case of suspected suicide that doesn’t quite add up. As gritty and darkly compelling as you’d expect from a Danish Noir, it’s a solid start to the series. – Simon Clark

The Counselor (USA, 2013)

Somehow, a crime thriller directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner), written by Cormac McCarthy (author of The Road and No Country For Old Men), and starring Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender and Penelope Cruz bypassed most of the movie-going public and wound up little more than a blip on their respective filmographies.  Now, The Counselor is by no means an easy watch with its dialogue-heavy mentality and odd mix of underplayed and overdone performances (Fassbender’s almost sleepwalking through the movie whilst Bardem is wired beyond belief), but any type of bold, against the grain filmmaking that has the stones to kill off its high-profile cast members and stage a sequence where Diaz literally has sex with a car is surely worth a viewing, right? – Peter Gray

The Skeleton Twins (USA, 2014)

The Skeleton Twins should have been the Little Miss Sunshine or Juno of the 2014 awards season. It’s an absolute gem of a film that deserved similar recognition, and I’ll never understand why it didn’t receive it. The script is incredibly smart and dry, with just enough humour that comic geniuses like Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader take full advantage of. Wiig and Hader play twins Maggie and Milo, a pair of siblings so incredibly messed up and so ridiculously in-sync with each other they both cheat death on the same day; an event that forces them to reconnect, in an attempt to discover just where their lives went wrong. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll potentially ponder your own life choices, and you’ll be completely and utterly delighted by the little film that deserved more love than it received. – Doug Jamieson

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (USA, 2014)

Rinko Kikuchi as a naïve (and infinitely adorable) young Japanese woman who finds a VHS tape of Fargo and thinks the money buried in the snow at the film’s end is real. It’s as interesting as it sounds, and it only gets better, with Kukuchi’s Kumiko thrust into an unlikely solo adventure from Tokyo to Minnesota, ever trapped in her fantasy which is smartly contrasted with the world around her. Director and co-writer David Zellner puts a lot of smarts into this joyful and entertaining piece, and a great deal of physical humour. – Chris Singh

Predestination (Australia, 2014)

This highly underrated sci-fi film (pictured in the article header) was vast in its concept and scope, and elegant in its execution by Australian filmmakers The Spierig Brothers. At the heart of this are two brilliant performances from Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook. Her role showed her off as one of our finest young talents, a promise that continues to pay off through great roles like Siobhan “Shiv” Roy in HBO’s Succession. A film for any fan of films about time travel, great indie sci-fi productions and Ethan Hawke – Larry Heath

Edge of Tomorrow (USA, 2014)

It’s an American sci-fi action film adaptation of a Japanese novel starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt that involves an invasion of aliens and our lead character being trapped in a time loop. Adaptations of Japanese works into the Western market have generally been average at best, but this one manages to stay fairly true to the source material. The action is gritty, with our fighters battling monsters using mechanical exoskeletons. Some of the best moments are the Groundhog Day-like repeated death sequences that Cruise’s character suffers as he attempts to figure out the time loop. Blunt is also a standout as the special forces warrior that must help Cruise survive long enough to defeat the invading aliens. A perfect blend of science fiction and action with some sprinkling of comedy to occasionally lighten the tone. – Carina Nilma

Legend (USA, 2015)

A biographical film examining the rise and fall of the Kray Twins, Reggie and Ron, twin brothers who control London’s criminal underworld in the 1960’s. Tom Hardy plays the dual role of both Reggie and Ron in this film and is compelling to watch. And it’s even more fascinating to discover that they shot this by having Hardy filming roles of one brother on one day, and switching to the other brother the next. It’s a travesty that he wasn’t nominated for more awards, however the film received mostly mixed reviews and never got more mainstream recognition. The story may be a little flawed, painting the brothers in a particularly positive light despite how violent they were and demeaning the role of Frances Shea, Reggie’s wife portrayed by Emily Browning. However the film deserves all the praise for Hardy’s portrayal and work in this film that makes it a redeemable watch. – Carina Nilma

Land of Mine (Denmark & Germany, 2015)

A capsule drama telling the very insular story of inexperienced teenage German soldiers forced to remove active mines post-WWII. That’s already got tragedy written all over it, and the gruelling way this unadorned story unravels is certainly hard to watch. Director Martin Zandvliet does a fantastic job capturing the immense scale of the operation, while the star performance from Roland Møller as Sgt. Carl Leopold Rasmussen perfectly highlights the transformative power of empathy and humanity. – Chris Singh

Swiss Army Man (USA, 2016)

Who would have thought that a pair of music video directors – Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – could team up with Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe and Mary Elizabeth Winstead to make a comedy-drama-adventure film that examines existentialism and love and the intimacy of friendships and relationships with the use of a farty corpse. Hank (Dano) finds himself Castaway-like lost on an island with only the corpse of Manny (Radcliffe) for company. He soon discovers that Manny has magical powers, and on their journey to try and find civilisation again Hank teaches Manny all about life including the joys of eating out, going to the movies and falling in love. It’s an extremely surreal and quirky movie, and obviously the amount of farts and penis jokes in it can sometimes seem crude but all of that is outweighed by the endearing performances of our two leads in Dano and Radcliffe. – Carina Nilma

Suntan (Greece, 2016)

A cautionary tale about the obsession of recapturing youth and the oversexed wants of a lonely European summer, Suntan flips wholesome drama into something more sinister and grotesque as it follows Makis Papadimitriou as a middle-aged GP newly employed on a resort island. The many holidays who flirt through the town prove too strong a temptation for the lonely doctor, which leads to an almost cringe-worthy spiral of social awkwardness, sexual entitlement and misogyny. It’s hard to watch, but the story is so wonderfully told and acted that Suntan deserves a second look. – Chris Singh

Lean on Pete (UK, 2017)

The deceptively simple narrative of a boy’s journey across several U.S. states with a horse sounds rather nauseating, but thanks to a star-making performance from Charlie Plummer and a whole host of intriguing turns in the storyline, Lean on Pete becomes a truly special experience. With its unflinching portrayal of rural America, there’s deeper meaning to be found hiding within this film’s premise. It captures the life of an American teen we rarely see on screen. There’s plenty of tragedy here, but also plenty of light. Moving, heartbreaking, and deeply earnest, Lean on Pete is an unassuming, understated, and underrated gem. – Doug Jamieson

mother! (USA, 2017)

Without a doubt 2017’s most polarising movie, Darren Aronofsky‘s psychological horror outing turned mainstream audiences away in record figures; an underwhelming North American box office run, a near-unheard of “F” Cinemascore grade, and multiple detractors crying “worst movie ever” essentially silenced its longevity.  And whilst mother! was absolutely misleading in its advertisements, the fact that Aronofsky has such left-of-centre masterpieces as Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream to his name should’ve tipped off audiences that this was going to be anything other than a narratively simple affair.  An allegory for the raping and torment inflicted upon Mother Earth, this is a challenging piece of artistic brilliance that absolutely deserves viewing with fresh, unbiased eyes. – Peter Gray

Only the Brave (USA, 2017)

Josh Brolin may be the warm and inspiring fire chief in this highly emotional film based on the real-life tragedy of the Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighting crew. But it’s Miles Teller as a down and out budding firefighter who really sits as the emotional core of the film, and helps it resonate in a way only inspiring and punishing true stories can. Having just a GQ article as its source material, Only the Brave highlights the reverence and respect society has for firefighters, and Joseph Kosinski does an incredible job delivering that. – Chris Singh

Long Shot (USA, 2019) 

A smart, politically minded romantic comedy starring Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron that flips the power positions of its archetypal characters, all the while maintaining a genuine sense of humour… and y’all didn’t turn out in droves to see it?!?! One of 2019’s biggest mysteries as to why Long Shot wasn’t the gonzo box office success it should’ve been may never be answered, BUT now that it’s available on the home video market you have no excuse to not acquaint yourself with what is one of this decade’s most delightful comedies. Another great comedy that got ignored… – Peter Gray

Peter Gray

Film critic with a penchant for Dwayne Johnson, Jason Momoa, Michelle Pfeiffer and horror movies, harbouring the desire to be a face of entertainment news.