Overlooked Film Genres to Binge Right Now

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So many Hollywood films today are centered around the same tired experiences and storylines that have been seen many times before. Film enthusiasts enjoy stories that are unique, have greater character and provide a strong message for the audience. For those interested in branching out and exploring some new film sub-genres, here are a few that are certainly worth giving a chance.

Poker Films

Poker films are great stories that often showcase the rise of the underdog. Most of these films follow up-and-comers and what they need to go through to reach the top. Over the years, there have been some truly phenomenal films in this genre like The Cincinnati Kid, Maverick, Grinders and more. 

The beauty of poker films is that they contain incredible moments of thrilling suspense and visceral emotion that they truly never get credit for. Great poker films like Rounders offer a realistic look at the grind and the struggle it takes to go after your dreams. Over on Netflix, there is a wide variety of old and new poker-themed releases to choose from, with some of the best scenes ever committed to celluloid available.

Film Noir

This classic genre normally revolves around black and white crime dramas. When looking for films that are unlike anything else on the big screen, this varied category is guaranteed to transport viewers to a different time. Film noir relies heavily on atmosphere, slow pacing, crime driven storylines and heartfelt emotional performances. 

Among the most famous films of the genre are classics like The Big Sleep, with Humphrey Bogart, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing, which in many ways was the predecessor to Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. However, two of the most iconic from this era are On The Waterfront, with Marlon Brando, and possibly the most famous of all, Casablanca. While the best days of film noir are well in the past, the DNA of this art form is all over Hollywood. Many contemporary films have borrowed elements of film noir and adapted it for the modern audience. For examples of this, check out the cyberpunk originator Blade Runner or the criminally underrated high-school drama Brick, which starred a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 

Disaster Films

Disaster films play an interesting role in cinema. They combine elements of blockbuster action movies with thrilling suspense. These films have a way of touching a certain nerve that horror films can’t reach. This is because disaster films seem in some way more plausible, as if the reality portrayed within them could actually happen at some point. Whether the plot centers around catastrophic natural disasters like The Day After Tomorrow or pandemic films like Contagion, disaster films are truly terrifying.

There is a case to be made that alien invasion films like Independence Day fit into this genre as well. Regardless of interest in the big budget special effects or the real world survival scenarios, disaster films are always intriguing and entertaining to say the least. 

Historical Films

Historical films are incredible to watch because, most of the time, the audience knows a bit of the background around the events portrayed; it’s then fascinating to see how these circumstances likely played out in real time. Not only do they make an entertaining piece of cinema, but they provide greater knowledge about the world and society itself as they dive deep into the represented era. There is a treasure trove of films that range from those based on historical events to those that stay as factual as possible. 

Films like Gangs of New York show an incredibly detailed look at New York City in the early 1800s, and the life of the citizens at that time. Through the performances of a sensational cast made up of Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio and Drew Barrymore, the viewer is treated to a story of love, legacy, and vengeance. The amount of attention that was paid to the smaller details of this film make it one of a kind and it feels like a faithful adaptation of real world events. 


Another fantastic recommendation is the British historical drama Lawrence of Arabia, which is an absolute gem and cannot be missed. Taking place around the time of World War I and just after, this film follows the story of Thomas Edward Lawrence, a British Army lieutenant. After being assigned a mission to assess the status of the Arab and Turkish conflict, he becomes intertwined with the war and eventually leads the Arabs against the Turks. This 1962 film was nominated for 10 Oscars upon release, and is considered one of the best films of all time. There are many historical films that are worth watching and they may very well have the power to change opinions on what a great film consists of.

Leah has been living in and exploring Madrid since 2013 when she moved to the city for a simple summer abroad. After falling in love with Madrid, she started the Citylife Blog in 2014 with the goal to share everything there is to know about her favourite place on earth! In her spare time you will find Leah at some of Madrid's many museums and cultural exhibitions.

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