December 16, 2008 10:00 ET

Overlooked Movies of 2008 From's Karina Longworth

GRAND RAPIDS, MI--(Marketwire - December 16, 2008) - Just in time for the end of 2008 and the arrival of so many awards contenders into theaters, SpoutBlog editor Karina Longworth has chose ten under-the-radar films that are worthy of being seen. "Some of these titles had blink-and-you-missed-it releases in 2008, others took the film festival circuit by storm this and will appear in 2009," says Longworth. "All of them deserve a slot on your Netflix queue."

"Medicine for Melancholy": Inverting the typical romantic comedy structure, Jo and Micah meet drunkenly and then share an awkward morning-after breakfast. Though her first instinct is to pretend like the night before never happened, Jo is eventually charmed by Micah's persistence, and the two end up spending the day walking and talking, flirting and arguing, and exploring the complex social divisions of San Francisco. Nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards. In theaters and VOD in February 2009.

"Heavy Metal in Baghdad": Produced by Spike Jonze, Baghdad is a documentary on Acrassicauda, a Metallica-inspired Iraqi metal band who are forced to run for their lives when their hometown is upended by war. Tailored to short-attention spans, it defies so-called Iraq movie fatigue by making the experience of everyday Iraqis truly relatable. Currently on DVD and

"A Christmas Tale": This weird but warm, painfully funny while often heartbreaking contemporary fairy tale of sorts features a cast full of France's some of biggest movie stars. Christmas stars Catherine Deneuve as family matriarch Junon, who calls her adult children home for the holidays upon learning that she's in need of a bone marrow transplant. Currently in limited theatrical release.

"Paranoid Park": His biopic MILK is getting all the Oscar buzz, but the visually stunning and disturbing Paranoid Park represents the opposite pole of director Gus Van Sant's output: small, truly independent portraits of sad young men dealing with life and death. Currently on DVD.

"Poultrygeist - Night of the Chicken Dead": From the people who brought you The Toxic Avenger comes this satire about zombie chickens rising from a fast food dump built over a Native American burial ground. Currently on DVD.

"Encounters at the End of the World": From field trips out to document the undeniable natural marvels of the Arctic region to encounters with "abominations" like ATMS and yoga studios on the icy continent's research base, Grizzly Man director Werner Herzog catalogs it all in his patented, dramatically-phrased deadpan. Currently on DVD.

"Timecrimes": This tightly-plotted Spanish-language sci-fi thriller was directed by Oscar nominee Nacho Vigalondo. Convoluted and silly in the best possible ways, Timecrimes takes the concept of disturbances in the spacetime continuum way beyond where Back to the Future left off. A David Cronenberg-directed remake is scheduled for next year. In limited release December 12.

View more information on all 10 movies at

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