10 Underrated Shia LaBeouf Movies That Deserve More Credit
Yes, for the last few years Shia LaBeouf was busy making headlines for his off-screen antics – but still, we can't overlook his film choices, which often go under the radar.
Here are some of Shia LaBeouf's overlooked films that you need to add to your must-watch list.
1. "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" (2006)
A heart-wrenching coming-of-age story set in Astoria, Queens, during the 1980s. The story switches between two timelines, with Robert Downey Jr. playing the older version of the main character, Dito, and LaBeouf as the younger.
As a teenager, Dito's caught up in a life filled with neighborhood brawls, family troubles, and peer pressures that come close to claiming his life. Amidst this chaos, he finds an unexpected friendship with Scottish boy Mike.
2. "The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman" (2013)
Who's up for a psychedelic action-romance? Charlie Countryman's mom dies, and he decides to hop on a plane to Bucharest because a vision told him to. While on the plane, he befriends a guy who dies mid-flight and then asks Charlie to find his daughter and give her a gift. But here's where things get messy: the daughter, Gabi, is entangled with a violent crime lord.
Cue the chases, love triangles, and very, very bad decisions.
3. "Man Down" (2015)
This is not your typical war drama. It plays out in three timelines: Gabriel Drummer's life before his military deployment, his traumatic experiences in Afghanistan, and a post-apocalyptic future. As we piece the puzzle together, it's clear that Gabriel is struggling with PTSD and is searching for his wife and son amidst the chaos.
The reality-bending storytelling keeps you wondering what's real and what's the product of Gabriel's fractured mind.
4. "American Honey" (2016)
A teenage girl named Star joins a band of misfit youths traveling the Midwest to sell magazine subscriptions. Star forms a complex relationship with Jake, the crew's top salesman, played by LaBeouf. It's a road trip without a map, where parties, love affairs, and law-breaking activities mix into a wild coctail. The group lives day-to-day, hand-to-mouth, giving us a snapshot of a segment of American youth that's usually ignored.
5. "The Peanut Butter Falcon" (2019)
An adventure story with a twist! Zak, a young man with Down syndrome, escapes from his care home to pursue his wrestling dreams. Along the way, he meets Tyler, a small-time outlaw on the run. They form an unlikely alliance and set out on a Huckleberry Finn-esque adventure through the deltas of the American South.
With crab fishing, raft-building, and life lessons, it's a feel-good story wrapped in an odyssey.
6. "Honey Boy" (2019)
This one's personal – and I mean, literally. Based on Shia LaBeouf's own life, it's a therapeutic look at the cycle of trauma. Young actor Otis, who's a stand-in for Shia himself, is managed by his abusive and alcoholic father, James. Throughout the film, we see Otis grow into a young adult battling with his own addictions and issues, while attending rehab.
7. "Lawless" (2012)
Who doesn't love a good ol' Prohibition-era tale with Tom Hardy in a lead role to spice things up? Three brothers — Forrest, Howard, and Jack Bondurant — run a moonshine business in Virginia. As the youngest, Jack (played by LaBeouf), dreams of moving up from delivery boy to master distiller. Things get messy when a corrupt Special Deputy arrives, itching to get a cut of their profits.
Bootlegging, family loyalty, and good old-fashioned bar brawls — what more could you ask for?
8. "Disturbia" (2007)
What would you do if you were a teenager under house arrest, with nothing but time and binoculars? That's what happens to Kale Brecht. At first, it's all fun and games, spying on his neighbors, until things take a darker turn. Kale starts to suspect that one of his neighbors is a serial killer. The tension rises as Kale and his friends gather evidence while trying not to blow their cover — or worse.
9. "Nymphomaniac" (2013)
Yup, we're going there. Directed by Lars von Trier, this is the story of Joe, a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac. LaBeouf plays Jerôme, an office worker who has an on-and-off romantic relationship with Joe. The story is divided into eight chapters, chronicling different periods of Joe's life, filled with explicit escapades and emotional ups and downs.
While the film's sexual content got most of the attention, the intricate storytelling is what makes it truly compelling.
10. "Eagle Eye" (2008)
In this thriller, Jerry Shaw and Rachel Holloman are strangers thrown together by a mysterious woman who seems to be controlling their every move through technology. She's tracking them through their cell phones, manipulating electronic billboards, and even controlling train systems. It's a heart-racing chase to find out who's pulling the strings and why they've been chosen.