When people look back on the early years of the new millennium they'll remember it for movies like The Dark Knight and Lord of the Rings. Or they'll geek out with their friends about the cult classics they discovered together, rewatching copies of the original version of Donnie Darko or spreading around copies of Idiocracy and laughing at its accuracy. Or we'll remember the prestige movies, the big Oscar winners like No Country For Old Men and Chicago.

But in a better world, maybe we'd remember these movies. These are the other guys, the great films you missed through circumstance or stupidity, through studio stumbling or simply bad timing. The best movies don't always get seen, the best movies don't always win the awards. This isn't a list of critically acclaimed indies which didn't do well at the box office, or films with huge fan followings which couldn't get anyone else to turn out (sorry Serenity). Nor is this a list of movies which flopped at the box office but later found cult success. These movies fell between the cracks and never really found the audience they deserved. When you're thinking back on the aughts, you won’t think of these films, but maybe you should. Consider giving these movies a second chance. Unique and strange, funny and weird, challenging and sexy; they're the most unfairly overlooked movies of the past decade.

Black Snake Moan (2007)
Samuel L. Jackson will be forever remembered for Pulp Fiction but he gives the best performance of his career as Lazarus, an aging, god-fearing blues man in Black Snake Moan. When he finds a half-naked, whored-up party girl (Christina Ricci) lying in his driveway, he carries the beaten up, high, and unconscious hottie into his house, nurses her back to physical health, and soon decides the writhing, sexed-up, drugged out girl's mental health is his responsibility as well. His southern hospitality goes a little too far when he chains the girl to his radiator to keep her out of trouble, but despite the chains Black Snake Moan is a movie about healing and redemption. Writer/director Craig Brewer's film is smart and savvy but the movie's also a big bomb of sensuality and southern grit. Soulful, down and dirty blues grinds its way through the movie as the soundtrack of Lazarus's life. It's sweet sound that stitches this underappreciated, brazen film together. Why didn't anyone see it? I can't explain it as anything other than uptight Americans skipping it based on the posters which featured Ricci scantily clad and in chains. Ironically, it's a deeply spiritual film, one with a lot of good things to say about the religious fervor which likely kept audiences away in the first place.

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