Film critics live in a wonderful bubble where you get to see most movies early and for free. If you’ve been doing it long enough, build a readership, and make the proper contacts, you can expand into festival coverage as well. Meanwhile, outside of the bubble, people pay high costs for tickets at the theater or scrounge around Netflix for what was released in past years. However you end up seeing movies is great, but I fully admit that film critics have a privileged position that should encourage us to sympathize with people who may not be aware of certain indies or didn’t want to chance their time and money on a particular film.
While the 15 films on this list may not be “Best Overall” of the year (although there could be some overlap), they’re certainly worthy of your attention, and we understand why they might have slipped past you. Add them to your queue, your watchlist, or whatever you need to do to make sure they don’t sneak past again.