IMDb is among the best resources for cinephiles, and has provided film fans with a great database of movie news, trivia, production information, and references. It is largely seen as the best way for moviegoers to look up details about their favorite movies. Among IMDb’s most popular features is its system of ratings and rankings, and a lot of publicity has surrounded the films that rank highly enough to place on IMDb’s Top 250 movies of all-time.
However, not every film gets that sort of acclaim, and as with any system that allows the public to vote on ratings, there are films that have struggled to grow past their low rating. It’s easy to look at a low IMDb rating, particularly one below the threshold of 6.0, and automatically dismiss it. That being said, there are certainly films that for one reason or another carry a low user rating, but should be checked out regardless. Here are ten great movies with an IMDb rating lower than 6.0.
10. High Life (5.9)
Claire Danes is a signature filmmaker with a passionate fanbase, but considering that High Life was her first English language film and starred one of the world’s most famous actors, Robert Pattinson, more novice audience members may have been caught off guard by Danes’s spiritual, sexually motivated science fiction mystery. The film has echoes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, as most space movies do, but it is not a traditional space adventure in any sense.
Between its abstract visuals, metaphorical science fiction plotting, and a generally pensive and pessimistic view of humanity, High Life is an abrasive experience, but its rich themes and jaw dropping visuals make it a rewarding film upon rewatch. Pattinson has proven again that he is one of the bravest and most adventurous actors of his generation, and his performance as a father who loses one family and finds another gives a human heart to the often obtuse story. High Life may not be for everyone, but it’s certainly worth a look for its craftsmanship alone, and doesn’t deserve its low rating.
9. The Holcroft Covenant (5.7)
Sometimes movies are just lost to time, and The Holcroft Covenant is one of those films that didn’t get a fair shake back in 1985, and has never received its deserved critical appreciation. Based on a Robert Ludlum novel, the film follows the son of a Nazi associate (Michael Caine) who becomes wrapped up in an international conspiracy to discover secret funds and stop a future rise of the Third Reich. Energetically directed by the legendary John Frankenheimer, the film bounces between locations with grace and condenses the novel’s material into a lean and thrilling espionage thriller.
Caine isn’t an actor normally associated with action films, but he’s surprisingly dynamic in the role, and is able to bring a flawed character to life while still being riveting in the action sequences. The plot is intricate to the point of being incomprehensible, but Frankenheimer’s energy keeps the momentum going and is able to land all the key plot twists. Mostly forgotten, The Holcroft Covenant won’t be remembered as one of the great espionage thrillers of all-time, but it’s certainly worth a look for fans of the genre.
8. The Trust (5.4)
Nicolas Cage has had an interesting career over the past ten years, and now almost solely stars in micro budget direct-to-DVD or streaming genre films. It seems like Cage can never say no to a script, and due to the fact that his reputation has been almost permanently soiled, it’s hard to take a chance on one of his new projects. However, Cage will occasionally remind moviegoers of the great actor he is, and The Trust is a thoroughly underrated dark comedy that gave the surprising duo of Cage and Elijah Wood.
Cage and Wood play corrupt cops who decide to pull off a dangerous heist, and the planning and preparation for said heist is creative and refreshingly unpolished. The characters were definitely written for the actors specifically, and the film makes use of Cage’s eccentricities and Wood’s ability to play softer, straight laced characters. Combining low budget thrills with a good dose of ultra-violence, The Trust is one of Cage’s best films in the later stage of his career, and should be an enjoyable watch for heist movie enthusiasts.
7. Rules Don’t Apply (5.7)
Rules Don’t Apply was intended to be Warren Beatty’s comeback vehicle; he wrote, directed, and starred in the film as an aging Howard Hughes, and although the film received a flashy premiere at the AFI film festival and was initially seen as a prime Oscar contender, it became a colossal box office bomb and essentially sowed the seeds for Beatty’s retirement. Yes, Rules Don’t Apply is sprawling and somewhat messy, but it’s also haplessly sincere, and gives Beatty a great role to chew on that also serves as a means of self-reflection.
As Hughes, Beatty looks deeper into what it means to be larger than life, and the consequences of his behavior is felt through the shattered romance between an aspiring actress (Lily Collins) and a charismatic driver (Alden Ehrenreich) that find each other through their mutual employment under Hughes. The production design is lavish and nostalgic, and the frequent cameos from A-listers and rising stars breathe life into an eccentric cast of supporting characters. Rules Don’t Apply is an essential film for fans of Beatty, and his presumably final film should be appreciated for the personal text that it is.
6. Digging for Fire (5.8)
Jake Johnson and Joe Swanberg have one of the most unique actor/director collaborations of this generation; between films like Win it All and Drinking Buddies, they’ve been able to capture relaxing and moving stories of mundane life that are both emotionally intimate and refreshingly low key. Digging for Fire is an exercise in artistic freedom, as the entire film was shot with only a loose outline and only basic plot points conceived ahead of time.
Such an endeavor requires the actors to have full knowledge of their characters and interpersonal relationships, and the film’s excellent ensemble, which includes Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jenny Slate, Chris Messina, Brie Larson, Sam Rockwell, and Mike Birbiglia, are all charming as a group of loosely connected friends whose weekend is thrown off by the discovery of a gun and bone. It’s a hangout movie that explores priorities and midlife realizations, and it is surprising that this charming film didn’t gather more audience support.