Just how good are A24 films? Well, when you Google the name of the indie production company, one of the top questions that pops up is, “Why are A24 films so good?” That’s how you know you made it. A24, founded in 2012 by Daniel Katz, David Fenkel, and John Hodges, is known for being a one-stop shop for excellent filmmaking. What’s A24’s secret sauce? Maybe it’s the way its projects are shot. Or the very, very talented directors and actors its hires. Perhaps, A24 simply know how to tell a damn good story. Either way, when you see that A24 distributed a movie you’re about to watch, you just know it’s going to be good.
A24’s aptitude for moviemaking has produced a trough of compelling films. From the Oscar-winning Moonlight, to the bone-chilling Hereditary, to the star-studded Uncut Gems—you surely have a favorite. Well, we do, too—15, in fact. Below, we’ve ranked best 15 films the company has made so far.
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What do you think would happen if And Then There Were None took place in 2022? Well, watch Bodies Bodies Bodies to find out. The comedic thriller follows a rich group of twenty-somethings who spend the night in a remote mansion. When one friend turns up dead, tensions rise amongst the group while they try to identify the killer… and turn against each other in the process. Also, you know, Pete Davidson is there, too.—B.M.
Ti West’s homage to 1970s exploitation films burst onto the horror movie scene with its bold, damn near unforgettable story. X follows a group of young adults as they journey to a rural Texas farm to covertly shoot a stag film at the cabin they rented from an unwitting old couple. X oozes sleaze, sex, and classic-slasher-film amounts of blood. X stands as a fresh take on the formulaic slasher genre—one that brings new hope to the future of horror movies.—Sirena He
Pearl, the secret prequel film to X, which was filmed immediately following the first, stands out from its bloody original. Paying homage to the golden era of Hollywood films, Pearl is the origin story for an unhinged, ambitious girl whose personality is too big for her small town. Mia Goth reprises her role as the younger Pearl, who turns into the deranged elderly woman in X. Goth brings an impassioned performance that evokes empathy for the lonely and out of control young Pearl. The next film in the trilogy is set to premiere next year, and following the adventures of Maxine after X.—S.H.
Featuring one of the best performances from the beloved late actor Anton Yelchin, Green Room is a hyper-violent horror film set in the claustrophobic green room of a punk club. In the film, Yelchin and his bandmates wind up playing at a punk club populated by neo-Nazis—and are forced into a terrifying bloody standoff against them when they witness a murder. Plus, Patrick Stewart appears in a role unlike any he’s ever played before. Instead of his usual calm and kindly demeanor, Stewart plays a cold and ruthless villain who’ll haunt your dreams.—S.H.
The Jenny Slate-led romantic comedy puts a spin on the typical meet-cute. In Obvious Child, Slate has a one-night stand and finds herself knocked up a few weeks later. She contemplates having an abortion, all while still stalking her ex—and maybe falling in love with the new man in her life who is unaware of her situation. Things get complicated, but Obvious Child never takes itself too seriously. The film also dared to broach the topic of abortion in a way that feels realistic, tender, and compassionate.—S.H.
Spellbinding and surreal, The Green Knight honors and deconstructs the Arthurian legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. In the classic chivalric romance, reckless Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, accepts a challenge from the sinister Green Knight: any knight who can land a blow may keep his imposing axe, but one year later, the knight must journey to the Green Chapel, where they’ll receive the same blow. When Gawain beheads the Green Knight, he seals his fate—and tees up the bulk of the movie, too. The Green Knight traces Gawain’s quest to confront his challenger; along the way, he contends with ghosts, giants, thieves, talking foxes, and so much more. This dreamlike film moves like a medieval poem, circling back again and again to resonant images and themes. Full of bewitching contradictions, The Green Knight is an unforgettable epic about masculinity, mortality, and the true meaning of honor.—Adrienne Westenfeld
Bo Burnham’s directorial debut, 2018’s Eighth Grade does something incredible: it manages to brilliantly convey the joys and pains of being young in the smartphone era, while still being instantly relatable to everyone who was ever young. (Everyone, obviously.) Consider this a call for a Boyhood-esque catchup with Eighth Grade‘s lovable hero, Kayla.—Brady Langmann
Quiet and subtly terrifying (until it’s suddenly about pure survival), The Lighthouse is the kind of film that director Robert Eggers described as “a movie where both Jung and Freud would be furiously eating their popcorn.” Set in 1890s New England, everything isn’t as it seems when a never-ending storm keeps the experienced lighthouse keeper (Willem Dafoe) locked up with the novice trainee (Robert Pattinson). Shot in black and white with claustrophobic interiors, The Lighthouse is tense and mysterious—as an unfortunate circumstance slowly drives the two keepers into a violent and Oedipal panic.—Josh Rosenberg
Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird is a coming-of-age film that perfectly captures the awkwardness of adolescence. But not in the way you’d think. Instead of focusing on puberty, Gerwig highlights the point where you’re not a child but not quite an adult either, along with all the tension that comes with it. Plus, there’s plenty to laugh and cry about as Lady Bird follows Christine’s struggle to co-exist with her mother, during her senior year of high school.—B.M.
Named after a water parsley plant native to South Korea that grows best in poor soil, Minari follows South Korean immigrants who settle on a farm in Arkansas during the ’80s. As their children explore the confusing culture-clash of American assimilation, so does new farmer Jacob Yi (Steve Yeun) in his pursuit to create a better life for his family. Of course, Yuh-Jung Youn gives a singular performance as their aging matriarch.—J.R.
Being anxious at Passover is as quintessentially a shared Jewish experience as the Old Testament adage that suffering leads to understanding. In this way, the Safdie Brothers’s Uncut Gems may be the first film since Joel & Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man to accurately explore man’s search for meaning from the POV of the most guilt-ridden Jewish man on the planet. Adam Sandler’s Howard Ratner isn’t simply a gambling addict trying to make up overdue debts. He just wants to win for once—and win big.—J.R.
Everything Everywhere All At Once
You know, I could wax poetic about Ari Aster’s Hereditary, going on about its staggeringly deep layers of subtext, burn-in-your-brain imagery, and once-in-a-decade horror performance from Toni Colette. In the end? Hereditary is the most a film has ever scared many of us. Period.—B.L.
In this delicate and breathtaking Moonlight, Chiron, a young Black man, struggles to accept his identity when he falls in love with his best friend. The story spans three time periods, moving through childhood, his teen years, and adulthood, as Chiron confronts what it means to be queer. Barry Jenkins’s 2017 Best Picture winner still stands as a staggering feat of moviemaking today—and is easily the best of A24’s monumental contributions to film. (Which, of course, is saying a lot.)—B.M.
Josh Rosenberg is an entertainment writer living in Brooklyn, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day; his work can be found at Spin, Insider, Vibe, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.
Associate Staff Writer
Bria McNeal is a Manhattan based journalist who is patiently awaiting B5’s revival.
Sirena He is an editorial assistant and writer who focuses on media and culture.
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