In many ways nothing can quite beat the experience of watching a big A-list film. The kind of film that can be read about as if it is already an Oscars winner years before release and that has a dedicated facebook page and twitter account courting millions of adoring fans months before the director even knows how the film will end. The chance to witness dramatic special effects, stunning cityscapes, huge medieval battles and dystopian space-age worlds in breathtaking clarity is understandably considered the apex of 21st century escapism. But for many of these films, this external beauty often overshadows a systemic lack of substance and a mundane narrative brought on by an over zealous focus on visual satisfaction rather than internal beauty. Film can be a powerful tool for moralistic exploration into the dark recesses of the human soul or the emotive equity of friendship and loyalty – film can be a powerful means of reflection upon society, life and how personal tragedy and loss can bring out the best and most dynamic human traits. Unfortunately films that do exactly this are more difficult to market and often get lost amongst the Godzillas and Iron Man’s of this world. In other words, all too often the films that will promise to have the greatest emotional impact are never even seen by the vast majority of the movie-going public.
Below are a selection of five films that too many people will never choose to see, but that will offer guaranteed enjoyment to those that do. Emotionally provocative, funny, heartbreaking and audaciously unapologetic about their courageous exploration of life, these are the films that transcend genre categorisation. And for good reason.