With big releases like the expensive The Gray Man and hugely popular TV shows like Stranger Things, Netflix’s hits are well-known but that means a lot of their vast selection flies under the radar. That’s the case with films from their extensive back catalog, including ones from the 2000s.
There are iconic movies from the era available like Anchorman, Mean Girls, The Departed, and Catch Me If You Can, which will grab the eye of any subscriber. If you dive a little deeper into the world of your Netflix account though, you’ll stumble upon these hidden gems that are worth a look.
It’s hard to believe that anything from the 2000s starring Jet Li went overlooked by a lot of people. The guy was blossoming as the new king of martial arts and action movies at the turn of the century. That included a starring role in the underrated The One.
The film stands out because it’s an early look at the concept of the multiverse, as Li plays versions of himself from different realities as one attempts to kill the others to gain power. Reviews weren’t strong but it should be checked out now given the popularity of multiverse stories.
Speaking of movies that didn’t get sparkling reviews, Thirteen Ghosts falls into that category. A remake of a 1960 film of the same name, Thirteen Ghosts takes place in a mansion where the titular spirits are being held captive and of course, they get loose.
With the likes of Shannon Elizabeth and Matthew Lillard in the cast, it’s almost like this film is a perfect capture of the era. Even rapper Rah Digga appears in this movie. The monsters are genuinely scary at points, particularly the Juggernaut, and the kills are exactly what plenty of horror fans are looking for in a movie like this.
If a movie like this came out today, it would likely be more remembered simply because of the lead actors involved. That’s because rom-com icon Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo are two of the most well-known and respected actors of the past decade or so.
Just Like Heaven is based on the novel If Only It Were True and tells the story of an architect (Ruffalo) who falls for the spirit of the woman who used to live in his apartment (Witherspoon) after she is in a car accident. While the plot didn’t grab everyone, the charming chemistry of the leads makes this work.
It’s always great to discover a hidden gem that features actors you know very well. Cleaner fits the bill as the cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, Keke Palmer, and Ed Harris, just to name a few. Alas, it underperformed at the box office and didn’t receive strong critical praise.
That being said, there are things to like about this thriller where a crime scene cleaner (Jackson) ends up in what he believes is a cover-up. Those who do like the movie have praised the performance of Jackson and the way that the mystery unravels.
Long before he played Roman, one of the funniest characters in Fast and the Furious, Tyrese Gibson broke through in 2001’s Baby Boy. While that was mostly a hit with critics, his work in Waist Deep a few years later has been overlooked by too many people.
Loosely based on Bonnie and Clyde, this film focuses on an ex-convict (Gibson) who gets involved with a gang after his car is stolen with his son inside of it. It doesn’t do anything new with the genre but features some pulse-pounding sequences and solid supporting turns from the likes of Meagan Good.
He might not have a name on the level of Steven Spielberg or Christopher Nolan but James Mangold is a very accomplished filmmaker. He’s directed 3:10 to Yuma, Logan, Ford v Ferrari, and so many other films but one that doesn’t get discussed much is Identity.
Loosely based on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, this film focuses on 10 strangers who get killed off one by one at an isolated hotel, leading to the survivors trying to figure out who is behind it all. It has become something of a cult classic due to the gripping story and strong cast.
A romantic comedy from the early 2000s starring Cameron Diaz feels like an automatic hit. She was kind of everywhere after the success of There’s Something About Mary and she appeared in plenty of money-making films though The Sweetest Thing didn’t quite pull that off.
While it wasn’t a hit, there are still so many reasons to check out this movie about friends embarking on a road trip to find the guy who hit it off with one of them. Diaz is joined by Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, Jason Bateman, and more in this hilarious rom-com.
If there’s one movie here that was overlooked by almost everyone, it’s Chaos. This 2005 flick didn’t even receive a North American release until more than two years after it was first premiered and combined with the direct-to-DVD status, nobody really saw it.
However, giving it a chance could prove worth it as the film is led by the quality trio of Jason Statham, Ryan Phillippe, and Wesley Snipes. The premise is basic as two cops hunt down a bank robber but it’s filled with solid action, good performances, and it has a great twist near the end.
Not only is 3 Idiots a lesser-known film that you should check out but it’s also listed as one of the most well-received comedy films ever made. In fact, it still currently holds a rare 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and though it doesn’t have a ton of reviews, the audience score is also an impressive 93%.
This coming-of-age flick (a comedy genre staple) centers on a trio of college friends and follows their lives in 1997, 2001, and 2007. 3 Idiots became a huge hit in India and won nearly 60 awards in the country, meaning any film lover needs to check it out.
The romantic comedy genre doesn’t often have something new to say and for the most part, The Girl Next Door falls into that category. But like the best rom-coms, it overcomes that by featuring sharp writing, actors who work well together, and some genuine laughs.
This movie has those things in spades as it tells the story of a high school senior who falls for the girl who moves in next to him, who happens to be an adult film star. Elisha Cuthbert, Emile Hirsch, Paul Dano, Timothy Olyphant, and the rest of the cast do a fun job to bring it all together.
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Author: Kevin Pantoja