A little while ago we asked movie guru Ian Haydn Smith to select his picks of the 13 best movies most people have never heard of—for those nights when you’re tired of the latest superhero punch-ups and want to watch something different and good. Smith came through with not only those 13 movies but also an additional dozen…and we’re not going to keep these extra movies a secret from you. So here are 12 fantastic movies you can look for on DVD or to stream that range from the early days of cinema to modern times, from a ghost story to gripping suspense to heart-tugging drama and even documentaries you won’t soon forget…
The Phantom Carriage (1921). A great silent ghost story.
The Last Laugh (1924). A silent film with no text – just a visual language so clear that we understand everything that’s happening.
Bigger Than Life (1956). A powerful family drama with a great performance by James Mason.
The Exiles (1961). In the 1950s, LA’s Bunker Hill was home to a large Native American population. This tells a few of their stories.
Le Boucher (1970, in French with subtitles). French Director Claude Chabrol does Hitchcock with style.
Cria Cuervos (1975, in Spanish with subtitles). Spain under the fascist rule of General Franco is seen through the eyes of a young girl.
Barry Lyndon (1975). The Stanley Kubrick film that everyone forgets but that is an equal to his finest work.
Come and See (1985, mostly in Russian with subtitles). A drama set during WWII that might just be the finest anti-war film ever made.
The Vanishing (1988, in Dutch and French with subtitles). A woman disappears. Her partner spends years looking for her. This film offers one of the most shocking endings in the history of cinema.
Hana-Bi (1997, in Japanese with subtitles). The finest film by the great Japanese director Takeshi Kitano. It balances a personal tale with a visceral crime story.
The Gleaners and I (2001, in French with subtitles). French director Agnès Varda offers a lovely documentary about contemporary French life.
Nostalgia for the Light (2010, in Spanish with subtitles). The victims of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet…and astronomers looking into the vastness of space converge in this brilliant and moving documentary.