Don’t let these 3 June 2024 hidden streaming movie gems fly under your radar

Omar and Johnny next to each other outside a store in My Beautiful Laundrette.
Mainline Pictures

June brings new movies on Netflix, Amazon, Max, and pretty much every other major streaming service. Pride Month is also the perfect time to uplift and showcase new voices, and that includes venturing outside one’s entertainment comfort zone and exploring new and underappreciated movies.

These underrated films are ideal for this momentous month. From undervalued and underseen gems of LGBTQ+ cinema to films that flew under the radar on their original release, these cinematic projects deserve more love from audiences. So celebrate Pride Month by giving them a chance — ideally, you’ll discover something new, not to mention you’ll get to enjoy a film you might’ve not been aware of before.

My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

Johnny resting his chin on Omar's shoulder in My Beautiful Laundrette.
Mainline Pictures

Daniel Day-Lewis gives what could be considered his breakout performance in Stephen Frears’ 1985 romantic drama My Beautiful Laundrette. Set in the Thatcher years, the film centers on Omar (Gordon Warnecke), a young Pakistani man living in London, chronicling his reunion and eventual romance with childhood friend Johnny (Day-Lewis), now a street punk.

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to call My Beautiful Laundrette one of the best romantic movies ever made. Thanks to the electrifying chemistry between Warnecke and Day-Lewis, the film successfully sells its complex love story without forgetting the socio-political context in which it’s set. Yet, it never beats the audience over the head with a “message,” instead allowing its brilliant performances and realistic setting to do all the heavy lifting.

My Beautiful Laundrette is available to stream on PlutoTV.

The Wedding Banquet (1993)

The cast of The Wedding Banquet lying on the grass and smiling for the camera.
Samuel Goldwyn Films

Ang Lee’s 1993 romantic comedy The Wedding Banquet is possibly the most underappreciated entry into his prestigious filmography. The surprisingly progressive film centers on Wai-Tung (Winston Chao), a bisexual man in a gay relationship with Simon (Mitchell Lichtenstein) in New York City. To appease his parents, Wai-Tung agrees to marry Wei-Wei (May Chin), a penniless Chinese artist in need of a green card. However, things get complicated when Wai-Tung’s parents arrive, hoping to throw the couple a lavish wedding party.

The Wedding Banquet handles its chaotic story with humor and sensibility, resulting in a delightful rom-com that defied stereotypes and expectations, especially considering it was released in 1993. A witty screenplay, Lee’s deft direction, and a game cast delivering heartwarming, earnest performances further make The Wedding Banquet worthwhile. It’s a compelling but criminally underrated LGBTQ+ must-watch and one of Lee’s greatest triumphs.

The Wedding Banquet is available to stream on PlutoTV.

Miss Juneteenth (2020)

Jai restine her head on Turquoise's shoulder in Miss Juneteenth.
Vertical Entertainment

In a fair world, Nicole Beharie would’ve received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance in the 2020 drama Miss Juneteenth. The plot follows Turquoise Jones (Beharie), a single mother and former winner of the local Miss Juneteenth beauty pageant, which offers a full scholarship at a historically Black college. Against her obvious wishes, Turquoise enters her 15-year-old daughter,  Kai (Alexis Chikaeze), hoping to claim the reward.

What makes Miss Juneteenth such a triumph is its unassuming attitude. It tells a familiar yet immensely rewarding story, dealing with numerous vital issues without centering itself on them. Instead, it makes excellent use of a truly outstanding Beharie to tell a humane and deeply relatable story about the beauty and hardship of existing in today’s world. Miss Juneteenth is lovely, at times challenging, and ever-rewarding, a gem of a movie that has remained hidden for far too long.

Miss Juneteenth is available to stream on Netflix.