As we looked through the list of new movies on Paramount+, we noticed a handful of films that deserve another chance to be discovered by a wider audience in the streaming age. These three underrated films on Paramount+ weren’t Hollywood blockbusters or films considered timeless classics. But these are great examples of the power of cinematic storytelling. And chances are, most of you reading this list haven’t seen all three of them yet.
Our picks for September include a period thriller, a gripping crime drama, and a love story that has magic at its heart. These are the three underrated films on Paramount+ you need to watch in September.
Like Water for Chocolate (1992)
Like water for chocolate was acclaimed at the time of its release, but it tends to be overlooked by fans of modern romance. It is a Mexican romantic drama with touches of fantasy. Or “magical realism,” if you prefer. Lumi Cavazos plays Tita, the youngest daughter in her family at the start of the 20th century. Tita’s mother, Mama Elena (Regina Torné), forbids her from marrying and essentially condemns her to a life of loveless servitude.
Even when Tita falls passionately in love with a young man named Pedro (Marco Leonardi), Elena makes him marry Tita’s older sister, Rosaura (Yareli Arizmendi). In Tita’s despair, she discovers that she can convey her intense emotions through the foods she cooks and prepares. Anyone who eats Tita’s food will feel the same emotions as her, but amplified to an even greater degree. Tita doesn’t realize it at the time, but this ability will change her life forever.
Watch Like water for chocolate on Paramount+.
The Road to Perdition (2002)
Remember when Tom Hanks headlined a comic book adaptation alongside a kid named Tyler Hoechlin who grew up to play Superman? Welcome to the road to perdition, adaptation by director Sam Mendes of the graphic novel by Max Allan Collins and artist Richard Piers Rayner. During the Great Depression, Michael Sullivan (Hanks) is a family man who works as a hitman for his other family in the mafia. One day, Michael’s oldest son, Michael Sullivan Jr. (Hoechlin), witnesses his father at work and sees Connor Rooney (Daniel Craig), the son of a mob boss, murder a man.
Despite the older Sullivan’s assertion that his son will keep Connor’s secret, Connor murders Michael’s wife and youngest son. The two Michaels are forced to flee, unaware that Connor has unleashed a crazed assassin named Harlen Maguire (Jude Law) to murder them both. And if you need further convincing on this film’s powerhouse casting, the late Paul Newman plays John Rooney, Michael’s mentor and Connor’s father.
Watch road to perdition on Paramount+.
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)
A bit like the Mexican film Like water for chocolate, Perfume: The story of a murderer embrace the fantastic. However, this story is much darker than the film mentioned above. In 18th century France, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (PassagesBen Whishaw) is an antisocial orphan who develops what can only be described as a superhuman sense of smallness. Jean-Baptiste eventually puts this talent to good use as an apprentice perfumer, but his quest for the perfect perfume begins with the murder of a young girl and the desire to recreate her personal aroma.
As Jean-Baptiste’s ability to create new perfumes grows, he begins murdering women to collect their perfumes. Above all, he wants the perfume of young Laure Richis (Rachel Hurd-Wood). And even the love of Laure’s father, Antoine Richis (Alan Rickman), cannot protect her.
Watch Perfume: The story of a murderer on Paramount+.