Do you consider yourself a fantasy movie buff? Are you always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in this genre? If so, you’re probably familiar with some of the usual suspects—think Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. But what about those underrated gems that don’t always get the recognition they deserve? In this article, we celebrate 10 underrated fantasy movies that every movie buff should watch right now! From hidden gems to forgotten classics, each of these movies is sure to transport you to a world of wonder and adventure. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s explore!
Hollywood has produced some great fantasy movies over the years, but Willow (1988) is often overlooked. Directed by Ron Howard and starring Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, and Warwick Davis, Willow is a fun and exciting adventure that’s perfect for any movie buff looking for a good time.
The story follows young farmer Willow Ufgood (Davis), who must protect a special baby from the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh). With the help of his friend Madmartigan (Kilmer), Willow sets out on a dangerous quest to keep the baby safe. Along the way, they’ll have to face off against Bavmorda’s forces, as well as all sorts of magical creatures.
Willow is a great fantasy movie because it has everything you could want in such a film. There’s action, adventure, magic, and even some romance. Plus, the performances by both Kilmer and Davis are top-notch. If you’re looking for a underrated fantasy film to watch, Willow should definitely be at the top of your list.
Stardust is a romantic fantasy adventure film directed by Matthew Vaughn and based on the 1999 novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman. The film stars Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Sienna Miller, Ricky Gervais, and Robert De Niro.
The story follows Tristan (Cox), a young man from the English village of Wall who attempts to retrieve a fallen star for his belovedVictoria (Danes). When he crosses the wall into the magical kingdom of Stormhold, he finds himself in the middle of an epic battle for the crown. Along the way, he encounters a trio of witches (Miller, Gervais, and De Niro), who help him on his quest.
With its star-studded cast and lavish production design, Stardust is a visually stunning film that captures the imagination. Cox and Danes have great chemistry as the two lead characters, and Miller steals every scene she’s in as the wicked witch Lamia. The film is packed with humor and action, making it an entertaining ride from start to finish.
Ladyhawke is a 1985 American romantic fantasy film directed by Richard Donner and starring Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer, and Michelle Pfeiffer. The film was released on June 7, 1985 in the United States.
The movie tells the story of two lovers who are cursed to never be able to touch each other. Isabeau is transformed into a hawk by day while Etienne becomes a wolf by night. They must find a way to break the curse before it destroys them both.
Ladyhawke is one of those underrated fantasy films that every movie buff should watch right now. It’s a classic love story with a unique twist that will keep you entertained from beginning to end.
First Knight (1995)
First Knight is a 1995 American historical adventure film directed by Jerry Zucker. The film stars Sean Connery as King Arthur, Richard Gere as Lancelot, Julia Ormond as Guinevere, and Ben Cross as Malagant. First Knight is a retelling of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, focusing on the relationship between Arthur and Lancelot.
The film was generally well-received by critics. Rotten Tomatoes has a 73% rating, based on 22 reviews. The site’s consensus reads: “A fairytale romance with enough action and chivalry to satisfy, First Knight is an old-fashioned epic bolstered by strong performances from its leads.” On Metacritic, the film has a score of 60 out of 100, based on 15 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.
First Knight was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Art Direction (Eve Stewart and Stephenie McMillan) and Best Original Score (Jerry Goldsmith).
The Beastmaster (1982)
The Beastmaster is a 1982 sword and sorcery film directed by Don Coscarelli. It stars Marc Singer as Dar, the titular Beastmaster, who was orphaned as a child and raised by animals in the wild. After his village is destroyed by a rival tribe, Dar sets out on a quest for revenge with the help of his animal companions. Along the way, he falls in love with a slave girl named Kiri (Tanya Roberts) and discovers that he has the ability to communicate with animals. The Beastmaster is considered to be one of the most underrated fantasy films of all time and is definitely worth a watch for any movie buff.
The Green Knight (2021)
The Green Knight is a 2021 American fantasy drama film directed by David Lowery, based on the 14th-century Arthurian poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It stars Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Sean Harris, and Kate Dickie.
The film follows a young knight named Gawain (Patel) who is tasked with finding and defeating the titular Green Knight (Harris), a seemingly invincible foe. Along the way he meets a strange array of characters, including a beautiful woman named Bertilak de Hautdesert (Vikander) who may have ulterior motives.
The Green Knight is a visually stunning film that does an excellent job of bringing to life the mystical world of Arthurian legend. While it may not be as action-packed as some other fantasy films, it more than makes up for it with its gorgeous visuals and intriguing story.
Dragonslayer was released in 1981 to mixed reviews, but has since become a cult classic. The film follows Gawain (played by Peter MacNicol), a young wizard’s apprentice, as he attempts to stop an evil sorcerer from sacrificing virgins to a dragon. Along the way, Gawain forms an unlikely alliance with Ulrich (Rutger Hauer), a former dragonslayer who has been cursed with immortality.
While Dragonslayer is not without its flaws, it is a visually stunning film that is filled with excitement and adventure. If you are a fan of fantasy movies, then this is definitely one that you need to check out!
In Neil Gaiman’s “dark and dreamlike” fantasy film MirrorMask, fifteen-year-old Helena is juggling life as a circus performer with the responsibilities of being a teenager. When her mother falls seriously ill, Helena runs away from home and finds herself in a strange and dangerous world that looks like it was pulled out of one of her own designs. As she searches for a way back home, Helena must face her fears and learn to believe in herself before it’s too late.
With its visually stunning production design, imaginative creatures, and witty script, MirrorMask is a “delightfully odd” (Entertainment Weekly) fantasy film that is perfect for anyone who loves Neil Gaiman or wants to see something different.
When it comes to underrated fantasy movies, Excalibur (1981) definitely deserves a spot on the list. This movie is loosely based on the Arthurian legend, and tells the story of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. While the movie may not be as well-known as some of the other entries on this list, it’s definitely a must-watch for any fan of fantasy movies.
Excalibur boasts an impressive cast, including Nigel Terry as King Arthur, Helen Mirren as Morgan le Fay, and Liam Neeson as Gawain. The movie was directed by John Boorman, who also helmed films like Deliverance and Zardoz. Excalibur is visually stunning, with beautiful cinematography and set design. The action sequences are also well done, making for an overall exciting and fun watch.
If you’re looking for a underrated fantasy movie to add to your watchlist, make sure to check out Excalibur. You won’t be disappointed.
Disney+’s 2020 film “Onward” was one of the most underrated fantasy films of the year. The movie follows two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot (voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt), who go on a quest to find a magical stone that will bring their father back for one day.
Although “Onward” was not as successful as some of Disney’s other recent releases, it is still a great film that is perfect for any fantasy movie fan. The movie’s visuals are stunning, and the story is heartwarming and humorous. If you’re looking for a fun and exciting fantasy adventure, be sure to check out “Onward”!
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