10 Movies with Underrated Cinematography, According to Reddit

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10 Movies with Underrated Cinematography, According to Reddit

The art and technology of motion-picture photography is one of the key elements in filmmaking, as it helps set the ambiance and tone for the story the director is telling. As a rule, it consists of singular techniques like general composition, lighting, and usage of lenses and filters, as well as other camera-related aspects, including angles and movements.



What’s so interesting about cinematography is that it can improve a film by an incredible amount. If a movie is mediocre but features great visual scenes, the finished product will likely still leave a mark on viewers. Over the years, a huge number of famous movies have thrilled audiences with stunning images. But which are some of the most underappreciated?

10 ‘The Master’ (2012)

Image via The Weinstein Company

Starring Joaquin Phoenix in one of his most memorable roles, The Master centers on a troubled drifter who struggles with the trauma of having served in World War II. When the charismatic leader of a religious movement known as the Cause, Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), and Freddie meet on a fateful night in 1950, the latter’s life takes an interesting turn of events.

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Paul Thomas Anderson‘s incredible drama with stunning cinematography by Mihai Mălaimare Jr. certainly makes for a compelling watch, with one of its biggest highlights being the stunning visuals it features. Even though the cinematography of the 2012 film has been nominated for a couple of different awards, users on Reddit still believe it deserved more recognition than it has gotten. “I was pretty shocked to discover that this film wasn’t even nominated for cinematography at the Oscar,” a deleted user said.

9 ‘It Follows’ (2014)

It Follows
Image via The Weinstein Company

In the thrilling horror mystery, It Follows, a series of strange incidents start unfolding after a young woman (Maika Monroe) is followed by an unknown force after having a seemingly innocent sexual encounter with a guy she hardly knows.

Directed by David Robert Mitchel, this refreshing and unsettling film provides horror fans with a different take on the genre, with some people even considering it a cult classic today. Furthermore, Mike Gioulakis‘s work as the DoP does not go unnoticed. “Masterful use of unmotivated camera movements that work perfectly with the narrative,” the Redditor imarziali wrote. “A lot of the wides feels like something straight out of a Gregory Crewdson still.”

8 ‘Midsommar’ (2019)

Image via A24

After his highly praised A24 flick Hereditary, Ari Aster went on to make another one for the books. Midsommar is a folk horror that follows Florence Pugh‘s character Dani as she travels to Sweden with a group of friends for a midsummer festival, only to find herself trapped in a cult practice of Scandinavian paganism in the broad daylight.

“I know it gets its praise, but Midsommar blew me away with its cinematography,” bulldogfilms commented. “Not just the beautiful, picturesque scenes of the festival but that opening scene with the paramedics…” Even though Pawel Pogorzelski‘s stunning work was noticed by some smaller award ceremonies like Columbus Film Critics Association and Film Independent Spirit Awards, Redditors think that it should’ve gotten more love.

7 ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’ (2019)

The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Image via A24

Tackling themes of nostalgia, belonging, and family, The Last Black Man in San Francisco is a moving and alluring watch by Joe Talbot (also his debut feature). Its premise revolves around Jimmie (Jimmie Fails) and his best friend Mont (Jonathan Majors‘ first starring role) as the two attempt to regain the house built by the latter’s grandfather (Danny Glover).

Based on Fails’ real-life experiences, this touching feature combines an expertly executed premise with equally great cinematography by Adam Newport-Berra, who does a wonderful job at shooting the film. “Also great soundtrack. Loved it,” the Redditor elferrydavid said when a now-deleted user praised the movie’s visuals (one of the year’s best-looking).

6 ‘Overlord’ (2018)

Image via Paramount Pictures

Following a group of American soldiers who have fallen behind enemy lines after attempting to destroy a German radio-jamming tower, Overlord follows the unearthing of terrifying Nazi experiments as D-Day approaches.

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Directed by Julius Avery, the 2018 film combines genres of horror, action, and science fiction to interesting results. According to the user CGDParadox, Laurie Rose and Fabian Wagner‘s work as DoPs should have been given more credit. “The cinematography in Overlord has always impressed me, the opening scene especially was spectacular,” they wrote. “I went into that movie expecting a fun movie but was surprised when I came away from it being really impressed.”

5 ‘Macbeth’ (2015)

Image via The Weinstein Company

Starring Michael Fassbender, this take on the William Shakespeare classic historical war tale — which has been adapted to the big screen a few times now — is directed by Justin Kurzel and illustrates the character’s journey into a self-fulfilling prophecy of becoming the King of Scotland.

MacBeth is awesome, love Adam Arkapaw (and even though it’s a terrible movie the cinematography in Assassin’s Creed is amazing too),” commented the Redditor spacemonkey81. Featuring an earthy color palette and the aid of two different cameras, the Spotlight Award winner’s work in the film is undeniably great.

4 ‘Mother!’ (2017)

Image via Paramount Pictures

Disturbing and haunting, Darren Aronofsky‘s film is a bizarre Mother Earth analogy that provides much food for thought. Depicting a couple’s peaceful existence, it’s disturbed when uninvited guests show up unannounced at their place, Mother! is both a compelling and bizarre film.

“I think Mother! shot by Matthew Libatique was brilliant and had such an intimate feel in a sublime and tense way,” the user Cyberpunkbully wrote on the website. Cinematography is a huge part of the unsettling film, as it relies on several aspects to help tell the story better, including the usage of color.

3 ‘Good Morning’ (1959)

Good Morning
Image via Shochiku

Directed by Yasujirō Ozu, Good Morning tells the (seemingly) simplistic story of two children as they take a vow of silence to force their parents to get them a television, tackling, like many other films by the filmmaker, the recurring theme of intergenerational relationship challenges.

Featuring stunning color, this hidden gem is undoubtedly worth checking. According to the Redditor SimpleSatyr, it has “such wonderful picturesque cinematography” and is “simple yet beautiful.” In the same comment, the user revealed that they believe Yûharu Atsuta‘s work does not “come up enough” in conversations around best-shot films.

2 ‘Ghost in the Shell’ (2017)

Ghost in the Shell
Image via Paramount Pictures

Set in the near future, Ghost in the Shell depicts a reality where humans are given cybernetic enhancements like enhanced strength, vision, and intelligence. In the meantime, a company creates artificial bodies called “shells” that can incorporate a human brain rather than an AI.

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Despite her great performance, Rupert Sanders‘ movie received major criticism for casting Scarlett Johansson in an Asian lead role, which, among other things, caused the film to lack its source material’s magic. On Reddit, Willal212 admitted that, while most people hate the movie, they were “absolutely stunned” by its “production design and cinematography” (by Jess Hall), adding that it featured the “most believable, yet artistic use of the ‘used future’ aesthetic” they have ever seen.

1 ‘Alien 3’ (1992)

Alien 3
Image via 20th Century Studios

Like Ghost in the Shell, Alien 3 isn’t among the highest-rated science fiction flicks, with many believing it to be one of the weakest entries of the franchise. In the David Fincher film, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) crashes onto Fiorina 161 while returning from LV-426 and learns that she unintentionally brought an unwanted visitor.

Despite its weak execution, Alien 3 is regarded as one of the most stylish and visually alluring, with some people believing its cinematography by Alex Thomson is highly underappreciated. “IMHO is the best-looking of any Alien (or AvP) film, save for the first one,” the user ScottDS said.

KEEP READING: Best Cinematography Oscar Winners of the 21st Century, Ranked

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