The Oscars are slated for March 4, the Golden Globes happened earlier this month, and a number of smaller ceremonies will air between the two. It’s award season in Hollywood, and that means excitement. In a year full of fantastic films such as Get Out, Lady Bird, and Call Me By Your Name, there’s a lot of fun to be had speculating on which films will win what accolades.
Yes, it’s a good time for talking about movies—but a bad time for seeing new ones. Several of the year’s biggest movies have been annoyingly limited releases, and at this point in the year walking into a standard theater will likely yield disappointing results. The Last Jedi for the third month in a row? Another Jumanji movie, somehow? It’s evident that studios just don’t care about what they’re releasing right now.
This Hollywood apathy can be annoying if you’re looking for a “good” movie to watch—but it might be just as good of an excuse to embrace the bad. Not every movie is trying to win awards, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t smaller releases that aren’t a blast to watch (ironically or not). Here are some overlooked movies that will never win a Best Picture award, but that you’ll probably enjoy nevertheless:
I’m In Love With a Church Girl
This movie has Ja Rule playing “smart, rich, good looking” Miles Montego—“the largest drug trafficker in all of California”, whose life is turned upside down when he falls for a beautiful churchgoing woman. Oh—and, for some inexplicable reason, Stephen Baldwin is a cop. This movie has an astonishing 6% on Rotten Tomatoes, but you shouldn’t put too much stock into the fact that it scores lower marks than similar Christian production company fare. As canned and heavy handed as it is, I’m In Love With a Church Girl has a fun and overblown sense of grittiness. Not only does Church Girl have more to say about redemption then most Christian movies—it also has a lot more car chases and Jesus–loving rappers.
An Uncommon Grace
The Hallmark channel has a monopoly on original movies that can make you cry about being single on Christmas—but that’s not all they do. For instance, this one is about a former active combat nurse who starts a complicated relationship with an Amish man trying to solve a violent crime. This one deserves praise for subverting gender roles while still incorporating that classic Hallmark staple of Amish characters. Nothing gets us going like butter churning. And murder, I guess.
The Pregnancy Pact
If the Hallmark Channel is the sweet small town girl looking for a wounded stranger to heal, Lifetime is her coked–up sister who sleeps with men for drug money and sets houses on fire for fun. The Pregnancy Pact, a Lifetime original “based on a true story” that follows a woman investigating a rash of recent pregnancies among high school students in her town, only to find that they had all made a pact with each other to become pregnant (for some reason). We can’t make this stuff up, but apparently Lifetime can.
The Universal Soldier movies
How could we forget the under–awarded genres of science fiction and action for this list? Lumping all of the movies in the Universal Soldier franchise together might offend some people. This science fiction franchise has movies that vary wildly in quality and Jean Claude Van Damme’s screen time—but that’s precisely why we’re including them on this list. Whether you’re trying to find a movie horrible enough to mock with your friends, or a movie that doesn’t care about artistic merit but is still fun and engaging, Universal Soldier has a couple of movies for all of us.