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The 13 Most Overlooked Movies of 2013

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Before Midnight

6. Before Midnight

The Before Sunrise trilogy is undoubtedly the best series of films no one knows about, as the third entry in the Julie Delpy/Ethan Hawke romantic drama franchise earned only $8 million in the United States and $20 million worldwide. The serious issues that arise in this explosively engrossing production are a bit of a change of pace from intoxicatingly uplifting nature of the first two movies are, but Before Midnight is a powerful, superbly written and acted film nonetheless.

5. The To Do List

The To Do List, which stars “Parks and Recreation” star Aubrey Plaza as a teenage prude who decides she needs to knock a series of sexual experiences off her list before heading to college, earned only $4 million, despite being one of the funniest movies of the year. Of course, only watch this movie if you appreciate R-rated, gross-out humor. Also, if you have teenage daughters, it’s best to keep them away from this one.

4. The Spectacular Now

From the guys who made the fantastic (500) Days of Summer comes a more serious movie about high school life, with Miles Teller delivering a fantastic performance as a popular but alcoholic teenager who falls in love with a “plain” schoolmate (Shailene Woodley). The movie only earned $7 million domestically but is among the better releases in 2013.

3. The Way, Way Back

This coming-of-age drama-comedy about an awkward teenager who travels to a New England beach town for the summer to live with his mom (Toni Collette) and her asshole boyfriend (Steve Carrell) only to find friendship in a neighbor girl (AnnaSophia Robb) and the manager of a water park (Sam Rockwell) made our top ten movies of 2013 list, but only made $26 million worldwide.

About Time

2. About Time

One of the more head scratching business moves of 2013 was the decision by Universal Pictures to give About Time a limited release, despite it being a male-friendly romantic comedy with a clever hook (time travel), directed by Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill) and starring Rachel McAdams. The movie made $80 million worldwide, but only $15 million in the United States – despite my strong belief that this film could have easily earned over $100 million domestically if marketed right.

1. Rush

This Ron Howard-directed drama earned $88 million worldwide, but only $27 million domestically, primarily because no one in the United States cares about Formula One racing or movies that star people with European accents. Nonetheless, Rush is a highly entertaining and exciting film that anyone can, and will, enjoy given the chance.

For a full list of 2013’s best and worst movies, click here.

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By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Action Movies, Comedies, Drama Movies, Featured, Horror Movies, Romance Movies, Science Fiction Movies, Sports Movies, Teen Movies, Thriller Movies, Top 10 Movie Lists
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  • ok heh

    Totally agree about Rush, but disagree with the choices of Spectacular Now and The Way, Way Back. I don’t think they add anything new to their genres, and they aren’t very memorable.

    I have some others I’ll have to check out now, thanks!

  • eriksamdahl

    Thanks for the comment. I found Miles Tellers’ performance to be pretty defining, and The Way, Way Back was just enjoyable. But I agree to the extent that neither are genre-breakers.

  • ok heh

    The Way, Way Back reminded much of another coming of age story in an amusement park – Adventureland. I feel like that one hit on all cylinders.

    The best coming of age movie last year was Mud, imho. And I’d say its fairly overlooked.

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