What are the best A24 movies? Since launching in 2012, A24 has become a mark of quality. If you see that logo, you can be sure you’re seeing of the best movies of the last decade. So many modern classics have been produced by the studio from a number of notable first-time directors.
These have ranged from horror movies to drama movies, comedy movies to teen movies, and more. Genre doesn’t matter to A24 so much as quality and independence. The production house has yet to do a sequel or attempt to cultivate a franchise, instead developing a reputation for original filmmaking that speaks to the human experience.
We’ve listed the best A24 movies as a way of demonstrating just how great and widespread this storytelling is. We won’t lie, these choices are tough, and our list of honorary mentions would be just as long. But that’s what these lists are about: pointing out the absolute top-tier choices for anyone curious and throwing out a hot take or two in the process.
What are the best A24 movies?
- The Blackcoat’s Daughter
- High Life
- Swiss Army Man
- Eighth Grade
- The Farewell
- A Ghost Story
- The Witch
- Green Room
- Uncut Gems
After the harrowing suburban terror of Hereditary, Ari Aster takes a trip to Sweden for Midsommar. The added sunshine and flowers are proof that he doesn’t need darkness for his psychological chillers to get inside our heads.
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Reeling from the simultaneous deaths of her sister and parents, an emotionally frail Dani (Florence Pugh) joins her emotionally distant boyfriend and his friends on a study trip to Europe for the midsummer festival. Upon arrival, it soon becomes clear their hospitality, a small rural community, has far graver activities than daisy chains in store.
Taking place clear as day exudes a certain confidence, and Aster stays one step ahead with a punchy, uneasy screenplay. Pugh’s central performance is key, a fractured character made whole by the ceremony. Acutely cathartic.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter
A sordid, three-pronged tale of possession that manages to feel novel despite the use of several tropes. Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, and Lucy Boynton are each a different perspective on a demonic encounter in a religious boarding school that has last, bloody consequences.
Osgood Perkins, son of original Norman Bates actor Norman Perkins, made his directorial debut for his third scripted feature, and it’s clear he knows a thing or two about mood and atmosphere. The Blackcoat’s Daughter (September in certain regions) isn’t going to shock anyone who understands the tropes, but the snowy loneliness leaves a chill in the air, with no small thanks to Roberts in particular.
French filmmaker Claire Denis tends to deliver her work in twos, and so after the 2017 romance movie Let The Sunshine In came the morbid space drama High Life, starring Robert Pattinson. Rest assured, this does not suggest a compatible double-feature.
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A group of convicts on death row, Pattinson, Mia Goth, André Benjamin and Juliette Binoche among them, is instead sent into space to gather information on a black hole. The monotony of their one-way trip gradually breaks some crew members down, causing friction and increasingly erratic behaviour.
Solaris and The Martian’s extremely dour cousin, Denis, ponders our crushing unimportance in the grand scheme of the universe. Yet, there’s comfort in the nothingness, or at least, something to seeing it displayed as a bleak ocean of mundanity.
Swiss Army Man
Daniel Radcliffe, Paul Dano, and Mary Elizabeth, directed by the same duo that made Everything Everywhere All At Once. Oh, and Radcliffe – Harry Potter himself – is an inanimate corpse. Swiss Army Man is miraculous, an absurdist gem that’s the purest kind of lightning in a bottle.
Dano plays Hank, a man who becomes stuck on a deserted island. Desperate for company, he finds Manny, a dead body that can propel itself through water by farting. It just gets weirder from there, building to a conclusion that’s utterly hilarious, and distinctly heartfelt. As Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan shine ever brighter, always remember it started here, with a buttload of farts.
Bo Burnham adds movie director to his ever-growing list of talents with an introspective look at youth and social media. Eighth-grader Kayla (Elsie Fisher) creates vlogs as a way of dealing with her anxiety, not too far away from Burnham’s own relationship with YouTube in the late-2000s.
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Having lived it, Burnham’s depiction of Kayla comes with a degree of understanding and humility. What can often seem like self-obsession is shown to be profound self-consciousness that gets chewed up by social media algorithms and the like. A definitive film on the internet’s place in our lives.
Lulu Wang’s tender comedy about a family that keep their grandmother’s fatal diagnosis from her could’ve gone so wrong in so many places, but such sincerity and candour make it only moving. Inspired by Wang’s real life, we get to know an extended household who come together to celebrate their matriarch, making abundantly clear the legacy that’s already been created.
Not everyone agrees with the situation, and heated arguments over culture and expectations become nuggets of wisdom. Wang imparts to us, just as she has learned, that just because conversations are hard, it doesn’t mean they need to be negative. Change is constant, but such is life, and we’re all in it together.
A Ghost Story
In filmmaking, it’s not about the cost for any given effects but how you use them. David Lowery’s sombre tone-poem places a sheet with eyeholes over Casey Affleck, and it’s as effective as any ghost movie.
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When C, played by Affleck, is killed in a car accident, he becomes a spectral being that floats around the small house he rented with his wife. She’s moved away, but he remains, trying to get a letter she wrote left inside one of the walls. All of time is captured around him, from early settlers to endless urban sprawl.
Yet he hangs around for the last thing his heart desires. Lowery’s knack for emotionally vibrant filmmaking, as evidenced by Pete’s Dragon and The Green Knight, practically radiates from A Ghost Story, which is exactly as described and yet feels like something much greater.
Robert Eggers tells us straight away that a witch that lives in the woods of his New England folktale. As we gradually learn, that knowledge can be scarier than any magic. After being pushed out of a colony for disparate religious beliefs, a family mysteriously loses their child. Suspicions eventually land on big sister Thomasin (Anya-Taylor Joy), who claims innocence.
We know she’s telling the truth, but we also know they aren’t wrong in thinking something’s afoot. Religious zealotry and paranoia create a foreboding atmosphere, made all the heavier by Eggers’s penchant for realism to the point of genuine discomfort. The Witch might be bookended by make-believe, but in-between, it’s all real.
It must be said: A24 movies usually have amazing final shots. The last scene or image is often one that puts a finely tuned point on the preceding feature. Moonlight could be the most poignant, landing on a stunning frame that hurts your heart.
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Over the course of three chapters, Barry Jenkins captures the life of Chiron, a Black child who grows up in Miami during a drugs epidemic. Sexuality and race intersect during Chiron’s upbringing, himself portrayed by Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Roberts.
He grows close to another boy, Kevin, and their lives remain linked despite tumultuous paths to adulthood. Based on a semi-autobiographical play by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Jenkins creates an empathetic, nuanced portrait of manhood that rejects violence and desires companionship. That many don’t find it is a bitter truth that makes Moonlight heartbreaking.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but it’s punk rock and Leatherface is replaced by a bunch of maniacal neo-Nazis. What else needs to be said? At first, Jeremy Saulnier’s follow-up to Blue Ruin seems like it might be a half-witted road trip, but then things take a turn when the Ain’t Rights get locked inside a venue after witnessing a murder.
This isn’t just any regular club – it was a fascist festival they reluctantly agreed to. A bloody mistake. Band members attempts to bargain with their captors lead to machetes and feral dogs. Patrick Stewart, so often a comfort, is in fine form as the sociopathic ringleader.
Green Room is a horror movie whose monsters wear no masks. They’re regular people, emphatic white supremacists who cannot be reasoned with or met with halfway. Before the Ain’t Rights arrived, they were advised not to bring up any politics. They listened and still got caught up in it anyway. There are some films from the 2010s that captured the acutely political zeitgeist, and Green Room is one of them.
Uncut Gems is a dazzling whirlwind of a movie, and it’s deeply, deeply stressful. The crime thriller movie focusses on a gambling addict Howie Ratner, whose personal and professional life is in complete turmoil. His gambling and mounting debt problems force him to take ever-increasing risks, putting him and his family in immediate and growing danger. Despite that growing tension and threat of impending doom, Uncut Gems is also often very funny.
At the heart of the movie is Adam Sandler‘s performance as Howie Ratner. It’s the actor’s greatest role ever put to screen, and is one of the most egregious Oscar snubs of all time. Still, that couldn’t matter less and the success of the movie is its own reward for the performance of a lifetime. Uncut Gems isn’t just one of the best A24 movies, it’s one of the best movies of the 2010s