5. Office Space (1999)
A movie I only checked out very recently despite having heard of it several times previously. Upon inspection of the synopsis, this definition-of-quirky 90’s comedy doesn’t exactly sound like the most interesting or original of specimens. A satirical take on the monotony of day-jobbing in which several characters intertwine, a love affair spawns and life-long friendships are formed. Going in, this is all one may expect from the entire 89mins of runtime. However, what viewers are actually met with is one of the most enlightening, comical and relatable tales ever committed to film. Completely unadventurous in the best imaginable way, Office Space tracks the day to day life of one computer software company employee, Peter Gibbons (played exceptionally by Ron Livingston), and his journey from self-aware depression to unhinged freedom and the gaining of Joanna’s (Jennifer Aniston) affections. If you ever feel weighed down or caged in with the way your life’s going, this movie is certainly worth a go.
4. Almost Famous (2000)
This semi-autobiographical piece from renowned music writer turned filmmaker Cameron Crowe follows the quite miraculous adventure of a young schoolboy in the 1970’s. From a brief liaison with prolific rock critic Lester Bangs (Phillip Seymour-Hoffman ), 15-year-old William Miller is offered the chance to head out on tour with up and coming rockers ‘Stillwater’, charged with reporting back to Rolling Stone Magazine. This coming of age comedy/drama is an absolute must-see for any fans of the 1970’s rock scene, and in turn pop-culture itself. I could write for hours on the films merits, however its best for all of us if you just go and watch it- right now.
3. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Steven Spielberg Directed, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken and Leonardo DiCaprio starring: I’m going to have a very hard time convincing anyone that this movie is in any way underrated. A biographical crime movie documenting the exploits of 1960’s fraudster Frank Abegnale Jnr, Catch Me If You Can was originally intended for production in the early 1980’s, however book rights were unable to be secured until the late 1990’s. The mix of period perfection and the general quality of Abegnale’s extensive story makes this movie a personal favourite. Far too much comparison to other, perhaps less frivolous Spielberg works amongst critics, do it the opposite of justice.
2. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
A staple horror movie for any child of the 1990’s, The Blair Witch Project is not only a cult classic, but a pioneering piece of work within the recently established ‘found-footage’ genre within contemporary horror cinema. The movie is presented as the recovered footage of several young college student filmmakers on a mission to create a documentary about the legend of the ‘Blair Witch’, local to rural Maryland, in 1994. With a budget of $22,500, Director Eduardo Sanchez does incredibly well to animate both his three main characters and the sinister legend of the witch. Shot in a creepy greyscale and containing a host of ridiculously believable situations, shots and interviews- the movie succeeds in being one of the most scary yet unrevealing of all time, at least in my opinion.
1. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
A must-see for any fond follower of independent cinema, Little Miss Sunshine is the charming tale of the hapless Hoover family of New-Mexico, and their many internal issues and conflicts. Centred around their journey to a Californian beauty pageant, into which daughter Olive is entered, the Hoovers are forced into a lengthy road trip together, resulting in an equal amount of comical and hugely dramatic occurrences. With one of the most complimentary casts I firmly believe I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching (Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Paul Dano, Steve Carell, Abigail Breslin, Toni Collette), it’s a heartfelt yet fully engage-worthy piece of modern cinema.