Smart TVs are now the standard in home entertainment with just about every TV sold nowadays including some type of smart hub operating system. If you’re fortunate to own a TCL smart TV that’s either Google, Android or Roku driven, then you have access to a tonne of entertainment applications, including an almost limitless movie library provided by a variety of streaming platforms.
But an abundance of options sometimes means some great movies can slip through the cracks, even if you think you’ve exhausted your current movie library. There are some current and older movies that probably didn’t get the attention they deserved for whatever reason, but the good thing is, they’re always available to stream on your Smart TV.
This list is to make you aware of some hidden gems that may have flown under your radar and are worth checking out on your smart TV. It’s made up of movies from different genres on different streaming platforms, including some foreign movies, (a largely undervalued market) to cater to different tastes and moods.
Some are recent and some not so recent, but all of them are worthy of viewing if you’re stuck for something worthwhile to watch. Most of these aren’t considered blockbusters so there’s a good chance they’ve passed you by. So here’s your chance to catch up on these underappreciated gems.
Starting off the list is a buddy comedy that doesn’t get talked about in the same class as the Lethal Weapons and Rush Hours of the genre but is nonetheless an entertaining romp thanks to the offbeat chemistry of its two leading co-stars, Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe.
Additionally, behind all the witty dialogue and well-timed humour, the plot actually plays out like a decent thriller. If you’re into buddy, bromance movies then definitely check out The Nice Guys.
By far the most unique movie on this list, Hardcore Henry is a wild action ride, shot entirely in the first-person perspective that never takes its foot off the throttle until the end credits roll. If you’re into movies like John Wick and love first-person video games, then strap yourself in for a similar experience from the point of view of the lead character, Henry. One of the most action-packed and nausea-inducing (in a good way) action movies, unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Foreign movies frequently get overlooked by Western audiences, which is a real shame as some bona fide bangers do slip through the cracks. Troll is one of them. From Norway, Troll is about exactly what its title suggests, a giant Troll. And not the annoying internet trolls we come across on social media.
Norse mythology is rich in troll folklore so you can expect a true-to-legend interpretation, unlike the usual Hollywood stereotypes such as Shrek or the colourful, pop singing Trolls from the box office kids’ animations.
One of the more serious movies on this list is a good cop, bad cop movie that has largely gone unnoticed, even with its all-star cast. Starring Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Frank Grillo and Jon Voight, Pride and Glory is a crime drama about police corruption with a story that gets pretty dark.
If you loved movies like Training Day, Cop Land and American Gangster, then it’s highly likely, you’re going to find a lot to like with Pride and Glory.
Horror is one of the most popular genres in all of cinema, so it’s easy to miss the good ones that get lost in the copious amount of horror movies that seemingly get released on a daily basis. However, only some horror movies get done right and become cult classics. Slither is one of them.
Written and directed by super-hero movie specialist James Gunn, with a recognisable cast such as sci-fi favorite Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks and Michael Rooker, Slither is one of those mid-2000 horrors that feels like a homage to classic gore horror flicks from the 80s. And although it may have not won any awards, it never takes itself too seriously, resulting in a fun time for horror fans.
A Netflix original, Spectral is about a Special-Ops team sent to a European country infested by apparitions, or ghosts. It’s a visually spectacular sci-fi, action flick that’s full of the usual cliches but that’s what makes it so popcorn worthy. It’s like a modern-day Ghostbusters meets Aliens meets Starship Troopers.
If you’re looking for some mindless fun with impressive CGI and are willing to ignore multiple plot holes, then Spectral is excellent entertainment value.
Staying firmly in the Sci-Fi/Action genre, Dredd is a comic book adaptation that seemingly came out of nowhere and hit it out of the park. Fans of the comic would even argue it’s way more entertaining and truer to the source material than Sylvester Stallone’s attempt at the character in 1995, and they would be right. Karl Urban plays Dredd like the ruthless, silent executioner he’s meant to be, and Lena Headey does a great job, as usual, playing the antagonist.
The movie is packed full of slow-motion, bullet-time action sequences that are jaw-dropping and brutal. Even if you’re not familiar with the comic book franchise, this film is an easy pick for any sci-fi action fans.
Foreign cinema strikes again with a ultra-visual, martial arts masterpiece from China that really needs to be experienced with a top-of-the-range Smart TV.
Fans of game-changing movies such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon will absolutely love Shadow. Not just for its masterful fight choreography, but its innovative and stunning cinematography that is a notch above anything you’ve seen in its genre. Even if you’re not a fan of period fantasy martial arts movies, the dramatic story and plot twists are more than enough to keep you engaged in this masterpiece.
If you’re a fan of the hit TV show Yellowstone, then Wind River will be right up your alley. Written, directed, and acted by many of the same cast and crew of Yellowstone, Wind River is a movie that packs a lot of the same drama and action Yellowstone is known for in the modern-day cowboy versus Indians setting. To make things even better, you can watch it for free on FreeVee via the Prime Video app.
Last but definitely not least is the final installment to The Chronicles of Riddick series, and probably the last movie Vin Diesel was actually cool in. It’s highly recommended you watch all the movies in order starting with the cult classic Pitch Black, because what’s most appealing about them is not the cool sci-fi universe that’s beautifully fleshed out in the movies, but the character of Riddick himself.
Known as an escape artist rather than a cold-blooded killer, there’s more to the character than you would think which sets the series apart from generic sci-fi action movies.