The Reel Breakdown

Five Overlooked Films of 2011

The Reel Breakdown

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Photo by Miramax/Focus Features/Lionsgate

By the time the Golden Globes arrive on Sunday, we pretty much know the awards season field from high to low: "The Artist," "The Descendants," "The Help," "Moneyball," and "Bridesmaids" and a few more -- a Spielberg, a Scorsese. But what happened to all the great films, most available on DVD, that were tossed under the bus? Here's our list of five must-see movies that deserved awards but were lost along the way: "The Debt," "Warrior," "Jane Eyre," "The Devil's Double," and "Like Crazy."

1. "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close": Sandra Bullock acts her heart out as a 9/11 widow -- a supporting role -- in this tearjerker. It explores the tragic terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center in New York and the impact it had on a young boy. While the film was hailed as a possible awards-season monster, it's quietly faded away, along with the hopes for Bullock, Tom Hanks, Max von Sydow, child actor Thomas Horn, and director Stephen Daldry.

2. "The Debt": While Jessica Chastain is up for best supporting actress for "The Help," she was relatively unknown only a year ago. This terrific young actress had a major role in "The Debt," playing the younger version of Oscar winner Helen Mirren's Mossad operative. The ensemble spy thriller, which also features a buff Sam Worthington, opened on Labor Day weekend and was quickly forgotten. In one of the most harrowing scenes, Chastain, as a young Mossad agent, knee-clamps a Nazi war-criminal gynecologist and stabs him in the neck with a hypodermic needle. It's every bit as horrific as the famous dental chair scene with Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier in "Marathon Man."

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3. "Jane Eyre": In this nearly forgotten Michael Fassbender ("X-Men: First Class") film, the studly Irish actor who generated so much commentary for his full-frontal nudity in "Shame" creates more heat while fully clothed. He plays the tortured Victorian gentleman, Rochester, opposite Mia Wasikowska's plain-Jane governess. Based on the Charlotte Bronte classic, with lush cinematography and gorgeous sets and costumes, this is the ultimate smart girl's romance. Just don't call it a chick flick.

4. "The Devil's Double": I still can't get over the fact that Dominic Cooper, best known for playing Amanda Seyfried's love interest in "Mamma Mia!", didn't get any award love for his astounding dual role. He plays both Saddam Hussein's maniacally evil son Uday and the appealing look-alike Latif Yahia forced to become his body double. Directed by Lee Tamahori, "The Devil's Double" unfolds like an action thriller, but this odd and sometimes darkly funny take on the evil-twin trope reveals as much about the nature of true villainy on earth as any Sunday sermon.

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5. "Like Crazy": Out of Sundance last year, this smart indie romance generated big buzz for newcomer Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin, who play star-crossed, college-educated lovers. Their characters fall crazy in love, and then try to maintain that passion in a Los Angeles-to-London long-distance romance that stretches to the breaking point. Add points for Jennifer Lawrence ("Winter's Bone") as a very plausible other woman, performed just as the actress shifted from supporting roles to stardom.

Catch all the Yahoo! coverage of the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, January 15, starting at 4 p.m. PT. Discover the stars and films that made the final cut of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

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