These days, if you're after a good movie, like a truly good movie, being affiliated with A24 is usually a promising sign. More than Netflix, it's this film studio that's changing the face of television and cinema, churning out projects that not only entertain but nourish too.
Founded by three best friends – Daniel Katz, David Fenkel and John Hodges – in 2012 and based in New York City, somehow they've managed to tap into the zeitgeist, bringing us the magic of indie film via some of the most talented filmmakers of today. Euphoria, Midsommar, Moonlight – there are just a few examples that prove A24 has the midas touch. So if you're not already knee-deep in the A24 universe, we're here to ease you in one movie at a time. Below, behold 24 of the best film produced by A24. Happy watching!
1. The Florida Project
Told through the eyes of 6-year-old Moonee, we follow her technicoloured world living in a budget motel on the outskirts of Disney World over the course of a single summer. Lurking beneath the patina of childlike innocence is the reality of Mooney and her mum Halley's hand-to-mouth existence. There's run ins with child molesters and violent men, and Halley must explore increasingly dangerous avenues to make ends meet. Both mother and daughter are played by newcomers. While Willem Dafoe stands in as their protective building manager Bobby.
Ari Aster cements himself as king of horror at A24 with his directorial debut Hereditary. Starring our Toni Collette, Hereditary sinks to new levels of hellishness as it follows a family who have just lost a child. Investigation leads them unravel generations of family secrets explaining the haunting presence dogging them.
Another Ari Aster masterpiece. Florence Pugh shines in this cultic horror. Despite their crap relationship, Dani and Christian decide to stay together after Dani experiences an gruesome family tragedy. Eager to get a change of scenery, Dani invites herself on a trip Christian and his friends are making to a remote Swedish village – much to his friends chagrin – for the rare midsummer festival. Blissful and brightly lit as their surroundings are, things begin to go south when the festival rituals and villagers take a violent and jarring turn.
Through a three-tiered narrative, Barry Jenkins draws us into the coming-of-age of Chiron, as he develops from child to teen to hardened adult. Painting a deftly observed portrait of what is to grow up Black in America, it's no wonder that Moonlight took home an Oscar for Best Picture in 2017. Featuring stand out performances from Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris.
Jonah Hill, we're yours, signed, sealed, delivered. But if there's anything that could have heightened our love for the actor-cum-director, it would be his earnest skateboarding project titled Mid90s. As he stated in countless interviews leading up to the film's release, "skate movies are always done incorrectly; I was well aware of that going into it". But not this one, it has heart. Where other skate films are concerned with cheesy, exaggerated tricks and jargon, this is refreshingly underdone. Clothing is subtle, less costume-like, and the relationships while gritty, imperfect and laced with toxic masculinity, aren't romanticised. They're as real and as nuanced as the performances of the non-actors hired for the film, like Sunny Suljic, Olan Prenatt and Gio Galicia. Plus Alexa Demie and Paloma Elsesser's younger sister, Ama, also star.
6. Ex Machina
That's the beauty of acting. You can know with every inch of your loins that you're obsessed with a person and then Oscar Isaac plays someone as repulsive as Nathan and you feel yourself instantly dry up. Alicia Vikander is convincing as Ava, she even had us fooled with her naive fembot act. Domhnall Gleeson is good too. A24 sure know how to do thrillers, and if Ex Machina gives evidence of anything else, it's that Oscar Isaac has some, moves?
7. American Honey
Another tender portrait of life on the margins by Andrea Arnold. While it's hard to get behind a film with Shia LeBoeuf, the performances given by Sasha Lane and Riley Keough are too good to turn away from. Set on a sprawling road in middle America nowhere, Star crosses paths with a motley crew of teens at a supermarket. She joins them in their minivan, dank with bong smoke and the sweaty, musty film that comes from a tangle of teen bodies, to sell magazine subscriptions across the country. Arnold's lens masterfully oscillates between boredom and intensity with the high octane, all-or-nothing feverishness of being a teen.
8. Lady Bird
Saoirse Ronan plays Christine, a high school senior who is navigating the changes of young adulthood and a strained relationship with her mother (which always makes us cry). This coming-of-age comedy slash drama written and directed by Greta Gerwig is a heartfelt homage to Sacramento, where Gerwig and Didion were raised. Plus it features Timothée Chalamet, so there's that too.
9. 20th Century Women
It baffles me that this film hasn't received more recognition. Mike Mills pens a love letter to the matriarchs in his life, with a trio of performances by Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning. It's the intergenerational depiction of womanhood that sings here. Plus, it's a reminder that the world really is just split into two categories; those who love Black Flag and those who listen to Talking Heads.
10. Spring Breakers
Starring in Spring Breakers is one way to murder your reputation as Disney Channel sweetheart. That's exactly what Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez did in this unhinged film from king of teen angst and debauchery himself, Harmony Korine. If you're looking for your feral girl summer inspiration, Candy, Cotty, Brit and Faith offer it in spades. We only wish we could remove the lobe that stores James Franco's performance as Alien. Truly disturbing.
11. Everything Everywhere All At Once
Everyone lost their minds when this A24 movie came out. TikTokers were crying into their phone cameras desperately urging any of the 12 people who hadn't see it to march their butts to the local cinema and watch it pronto. Besides the hotdogs for fingers, kooky alternate universes and general rollercoaster ride through sci-fi gobbledegook, there is real substance to be found between the mother-daughter dynamic of Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu, along with their husband and father played by Ke Huy Quan. Dig in.
12. Uncut Gems
We all wish we were Josh Safdie's muse for Uncut Gems. Sadly, that role was filled by pop culture queen Julia Fox. Adam Sandler switches gears from romantic comedy to play Howard Ratner, a slippery, sleazy jeweller operating among equally outsized personalities in Manhattan's Diamond District. It's chaotic and you'll need a shower afterwards. A gem in the A24 film catalogues.
A moving family drama about a father who uproots his family from California to Arkansas with a dream to sew familiar Korean crops, and subconsciously a future for his children and wife. Set in the Reagan years, despite his tireless efforts, the American Dream is always just out of reach. A story about resilience, marriage faultlines and roots, Steven Yeun's performance will render you heartsick.
A24 have never been one to shy away from chaos, that's why this tale that began as an unhinged Twitter thread reads as the perfect source material for a new film. Starring A24 favourite Riley Keough and Taylour Paige, Zola tells the story of two girls who meet in a diner and bond over pole dancing. When Stefani texts Zola the next day inviting her to Florida to make some extra money and she accepts, things take a turn when the trip is not exactly what she expects. All we can say is: Buckle. Up.
15. The Tragedy of Macbeth
Joel Coen shifts away from his brother to reshape one of the Bard's most famous plays. Led by Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, both powerhouses in their own right, The Tragedy of Macbeth plunges us into a minimal tense and monochromatic set, offering up Lady Macbeth and Macbeth in the winter of their life. Because of this, the stakes are higher and betrayal cuts deeper.
16. Obvious Child
A lesser known picture in A24's arsenal, there's Jenny Slate. Jake Lacy plays the nice guy, again. Gaby Hoffmann is the feminist voice of reason we all yearn for and who isn't addicted to Paul Simon's iconic track of the same name? Obvious Child may not have all the furnishings of being a straggler in your twenties but its ordinariness is why it's so compelling. That, and the way it depicts abortion without any pro-life undertones.
17. The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Jimmie Fails is on a mission to reclaim the home his grandfather built in 1946 that rests in San Francisco. Joined by his best friend Mont, he strives to reconstruct a community hollowed out by gentrification and the passing of time. The music is great too.
18. The Green Knight
Dev Patel can be our knight in shining armour any day. Based off the Arthurian legend, Patel portrays protagonist Sir Gawain, King Arthur’s “reckless and headstrong” nephew, in David Lowery's A24 medieval fantasy.
The only film based on the life of Amy Winehouse that we can comfortably get behind. Just like Princess Diana, Hollywood love making a profit off their pain. Moving on. In 2015, A24 respectfully explored the life of Amy Winehouse from rebellious teen to celebrated artist, covering her lowest moments struggling with addiction and bulimia and the times when she was on top of her game. It won an Oscar for Best Documentary in 2016.
20. Ginger & Rosa
Set within the climate of the Cold War and Cuban Missile Crisis, we're introduced to Ginger and Rosa, inseparable friends since birth. Warm vignettes of their closeness contrasts to their bleak surrounds. Ginger is bookish and cerebral while Rosa is charismatic, teaching the other how to kiss boys, smoke cigarettes and do as teenagers do. In the meantime, both girls mothers are weathering their own storms, and Ginger's pacifist father Roland appears a bohemian, free-spirited figure until it's this quality that drives a wedge between the two girls.
21. The Disaster Artist
The Franco brothers team up to bring the little known and truly absurd story behind cult film The Room to the mainstream. It's a tragicomedy that's immortalised lines like "You're tearing me apart Lisa" and "Oh, hi Mark".
22. Hot Summer Nights
We'll watch anything that stars Timmy at least once. After being sent to Cape Cod by his absent mum for the summer, Daniel gets in over his head selling drugs and falling in love with his partner's sister. Think of it as the precursor to Elio.
23. The Lighthouse
A psychological thriller about two lighthouse keepers as they descend into madness in remote New England. It's claustrophobic, it's grizzly, and it requires a whole lot of stamina to finish. The fact that it stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe makes the queer subtext all the more erotic.
24. Swiss Army Man
Castaway walked so Swiss Army Man could run. Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano are the onscreen pairing we never knew we needed. Absurd, emotional and profound all at once, world weary Hank sees the world through the crude and babyish eyes of Mannie, who washes up on the shore of a deserted island just as Hank is about to commit suicide.