Best A24 Movies, Ranked: 'Moonlight', 'Uncut Gems', 'Lady Bird' (2024)

Best A24 Movies, Ranked: 'Moonlight', 'Uncut Gems', 'Lady Bird' (1)

Best A24 Movies, Ranked: 'Moonlight', 'Uncut Gems', 'Lady Bird' (2)

In the late summer of 2012, the indie film production and distribution company A24 was born. Drama, comedy, horror, documentary, animation – nothing has been off-limits for the New York outfit. Whether it’s a monochromatic reflection of a family (“C’mon C’mon”), an offbeat character study of a former p*rn star (“Red Rocket”), or a man unable to resist a female robot (“Ex Machina”), some of the most memorable pieces of filmmaking of the past decade have come out of its doors.

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It was Aug. 17, 2012, when Variety first wrote about the launch of the company with the plan to release eight to 10 titles annually. A24 was started by David Fenkel, former Oscilloscope Laboratories president and executive at ThinkFilm; Daniel Katz, who led the film finance group at Guggenheim Partners and John Hodges, who served as head of production and development at Big Big Beach Films.

The company would release its very first movie on a limited scale in February 2013 – a film called “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III,” the sophom*ore directorial feature from Roman Coppola, starring Charlie Sheen. Critics panned it, but nonetheless, A24 persisted with four releases over the next six months – “Ginger & Rosa” with Elle Fanning, “Spring Breakers” with James Franco, “The Bling Ring” with Emma Watson and “The Spectacular Now” with Miles Teller.

By 2016, the studio quickly found its way through the Hollywood machine, navigating confidently from the east coast, becoming a production studio and fully financing its first feature film – the coming-of-age LGBTQ drama “Moonlight” from co-writer and director Barry Jenkins. In partnership with Plan B Entertainment, the film garnered universal acclaim and received eight Oscar nominations. In addition to winning supporting actor (Mahershala Ali) and adapted screenplay, in one of the most notorious and memorable Oscar ceremonies (until 2022’s infamous slap), it was named the year’s best picture in an envelope mix-up with one of the nominees, after “La La Land” was first named the winner (for approximately 30 seconds).

The sky was the limit. With critical darlings like “Lady Bird” (2017) by Greta Gerwig and “Eighth Grade” (2018), the studio has been part of partnership deals with Apple TV+ and Showtime Networks for its digital releases. It continues to execute some of the most innovative and thought-provoking films, like “Hereditary” (2018) by Ari Aster and “Uncut Gems” by the Safdie brothers.

After more than a decade in the game, the studio created one of its strongest cinematic slates yet in 2022, including The Daniels’ “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” its highest-grossing film thus far. It went on to win seven Oscars including best picture, director, and three acting prizes for Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Read Variety’s rankings of the 35 best A24 movies, which covers all films released up to Dec 31, 2023.

Honorable mentions:“Enemy” (2014) from Denis Villeneuve; “Morris from America” (2016) from Chad Hartigan; “Swiss Army Man” from Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert; “The Florida Project” (2017) from Sean Baker; “Boys State” (2020) from Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine; “First Cow” (2020) by Kelly Reichardt; “Zola” (2021) from Janicza Bravo: “Pearl” (2022) by Ti West

35. ‘Midsommar’ (2019)

Starring: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper
Director: Ari Aster
Writer(s): Ari Aster
Producer(s): Patrik Andersson, Lara Knudsen

“Midsommar” by Ari Aster captivates its audiences with its immersive atmosphere and stunning visuals, set against the backdrop of a remote Swedish village during a midsummer festival, creating a palpable sense of isolation and impending dread. Pawel Pogorzelski’s outstanding camera work is nothing short of breathtaking, enhancing the film’s eerie and surreal tone. Moreover, the performances by Florence Pugh and the rest of the cast are exceptionally conveyed, adding layers of complexity and dread to the characters to the intense journey. A tour de force in the horror genre.

34. ‘Locke’ (2014)

Starring: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott, Ben Daniels, Tom Holland, Bill Milner
Director: Steven Knight
Writer(s): Steven Knight
Producer(s): Paul Webster, Guy Heeley

Tom Hardy’s expressions are arresting in Steven Knight’s contained thriller. Hardy is likely one of our most unafraid thespians, shown in films like “Bronson,” but in “Locke,” he creates a psychological tour without resting solely on the film’s “gimmick” set piece.

33. ‘Aftersun’ (2022)

Starring: Paul Mescal, Frankie Corio, Celia Rowlson-Hall
Director: Charlotte Wells
Writer(s): Charlotte Wells
Producer(s): Adele Romanski, Amy Jackson, Barry Jenkins, Mark Ceryak

“Aftersun” emerges as a robust debut film for multiple reasons. Charlotte Wells’ distinctive directorial voice resonates throughout the narrative, infusing it with a fresh perspective and stylistic flair. It’s anchored by remarkable performances from stars Paul Mescal (earning a Best Actor nomination) and Frankie Corio. An most importantly, presenting an authentic family portrayal of a narrative seldom explored, adding depth to its storytelling.

32. ‘On the Rocks’ (2020)

Starring: Rashida Jones, Bill Murray, Marlon Wayans
Director: Sofia Coppola
Writer(s): Sofia Coppola
Producer(s): Sofia Coppola, Youree Henley

Cinema is about joy. You don’t have to push the boundaries of cinema to make a fantastic movie and Coppola’s focus on story and the performances of her delightful threesome of actors is one of the best recent examples. Distributed in collaboration with Apple Original Films, it’s a finely tuned comedy engine that moves effortlessly toward a satisfying resolution.

31. ‘The Witch’ (2015)

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellis Grainger, Lucas Dawson
Director: Robert Eggers
Writer(s): Robert Eggers
Producer(s): Rodrigo Teixeira, Daniel Bekerman, Lars Knudsen, Jodi Redmond, Jay Van Hoy

Easily an entry in the golden age of horror, Robert Eggers’ frightening period piece utilizes the artistry and striking bone structure of Anya Taylor-Joy, who is quickly becoming one of our most arresting actors. He doesn’t make your conventional films, and that’s the best thing he can offer the future landscape of movies.

30. ‘The Bling Ring’ (2013)

Starring: Israel Broussard, Katie Chang, Taissa Farmiga, Claire Julien, Georgia Rock, Emma Watson, Leslie Mann
Director: Sofia Coppola
Writer(s): Sofia Coppola (based on “The Suspects Wore Louboutins” by Nancy Jo Sales)
Producer(s): Roman Coppola, Sofia Coppola, Youree Henry

It’s Emma Watson’s finest acting moment, as she commands the screen under the writing and direction of Sofia Coppola. It’s Coppola’s most “cinematic” endeavor, displaying her auteurist sensibility with Harris Savides (in his final feature film) and Christopher Blauvelt’s cinematography. The rich and famous get the Coppola treatment, and it works.

29. ‘A Ghost Story’ (2017)

Starring: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara
Director: David Lowery
Writer(s): David Lowery
Producer(s): Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston, Adam Donaghey

Eating a pie has never looked more painful as what Rooney Mara demonstrates in David Lowery’s afterlife drama. Under a bed sheet, Casey Affleck delivers a performance of movement and sorrow, while the film features the entrancing original song “I Get Overwhelmed” by Dark Rooms that will sit with you for decades.

28. ‘The Iron Claw’ (2023)

Starring: Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Maura Tierney, Stanley Simons, Holt McCallany, Lily James
Director: Sean Durkin
Writer(s): Sean Durkin
Producer(s): Tessa Ross, Juliette Howell, Sean Durkin, Angus Lamont, Derrin Schlesinger

In the opening of “The Iron Claw,” the narrator introduces the notion that the Von Erich family is cursed. As the film progresses, particularly in its latter half, this supposed curse manifests in ways that exceed mere understatement. Directed by the auteur behind “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” Sean Durkin’s adept handling of his actors stands out as one of the year’s most compelling achievements. The entire ensemble delivers riveting performances, with a particularly poignant moment being Kerry’s meeting with Jack Jr., evoking a enough tears to fill a riverbed.

27. ‘The Disaster Artist’ (2017)

Starring: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Ari Graynor, Josh Hutcherson, Jacki Weaver, Zac Efron
Director: James Franco
Writer(s): Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber (based on “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made” by Greg Estero and Tom Bissell)
Producer(s): James Franco, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Vince Jolivette, James Weaver

“500 Days of Summer” writers Neustadter and Weber capture the mystery of the making of “The Room” with biting tenacity and a too-often-overlooked incredible turn by Dave Franco. The adapted screenplay mention proved that the Oscars can recognize comedies – just not often enough.

26. ‘Amy’ (2015)

Starring: Amy Winehouse
Director: Asif Kapadia
Writer(s): Asif Kapadia
Producer(s): James Gay-Rees

The Oscar-winning documentary examines the life and death of Amy Winehouse with a broad scope, using archival footage and clips to offer a glimpse into an artist we lost far too soon.

25. ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’ (2019)

Starring: Jimmie Falls, Jonathan Majors, Tichina Arnold, Rob Morgan, Mike Epps, Finn Wittrock, Danny Glover
Director: Joe Talbot
Writer(s): Joe Talbot, Rob Richert, Jimmy Falls
Producer(s): Khaliah Neal, Joe Talbot, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Christina Oh

Joe Talbot, thank you for making movies and entering our world. His delectable debut film shines with wondrous performances from Jimmie Falls and Jonathan Majors. It’s hard to take your eyes off the screen, so the film’s omission from most awards is something that remains questionable, but many can discover its magic in the cinematic afterlife.

24. ‘Hereditary’ (2018)

Starring: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd, Gabriel Byrne
Director: Ari Aster
Writer(s): Ari Aster
Producer(s): Kevin Frakes, Lars Knudsen, Buddy Patrick

Toni Collette, plain and simple. This woman’s depiction of anguish and suffering through a horror lens is terrifyingly thrilling. Ari Aster’s difficult assembly holds nothing back and even allows the space for the audience to take the talents of Alex Wolff and Milly Shapiro home with us.

23. ‘Under the Skin’ (2014)

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Taylor Mackay
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Writer(s): Walter Campbell, Jonathan Glazer (based on “Under the Skin” by Michel Faber)
Producer(s): James Wilson, Nick Wechsler

Everything about Jonathan Glazer’s single character orchestra rests upon the assurance of Scarlett Johansson’s audacious turn. Also featuring some of the best sound work by the amazing Johnnie Burn and an entrancing score by Mica Levi, the film is a genre-bending force.

22. ‘Obvious Child’ (2014)

Starring: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffman, Gabe Liedman, Richard Kind, Polly Draper, David Cross
Director: Gillian Robespierre
Writer(s): Gillian Robespierre, Karen Maine, Elisabeth Holm
Producer(s): Elisabeth Holm

We love Jenny Slate and the movie world loves her. She’s a box of talent, selling her whimsical charm and joyous delight in Gillian Robespierre’s underrated comedy. A terrific standout for women filmmakers sharing fresh material regarding life and the obstacles that hit along the way.

21. ‘Red Rocket’ (2021)

Starring: Simon Rex, Bree Elrod, Suzanna Son, Judy Hill, Brittney Rodriguez
Director: Sean Baker
Writer(s): Chris Bergoch, Sean Baker
Producer(s): Sean Baker, Alex Coco, Samantha Quan, Alex Saks, Shih-Ching Tsou

With his uncomfortable and biting depiction of a former p*rn star who is grooming a young girl, Sean Baker pushes the boundaries as a screenwriter and filmmaker. Simon Rex’s Mikey Saber is a grotesque human, but it’s an invigorating performance that won him an Independent Spirit Award for best male actor. If only Oscar would have followed suit, along with the technical mastery of Bree Elrod and newcomer Suzanna Son.

20. ‘Marcel the Shell with Shoes On’ (2022)

Starring: Jenny Slate, Isabella Rossellini, Rosa Salazar, Thomas Mann, Dean Fleischer Camp, Lesley Stahl
Director: Dean Fleischer Camp
Writer(s): Dean Fleischer Camp, Jenny Slate, Nick Paley, Elisabeth Holm (based on characters created by Dean Fleischer Camp and Jenny Slate)
Producer(s): Dean Flesicher Camp, Jenny Slate, Terry Leonard, Elisabeth Holm, Andrew Goldman, Caroline Kaplan, Paul Mezey

Animation is about pushing boundaries. It’s not a genre, it’s a medium. This is shown once again by the pleasures of the live-action/animated “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.” Voice performances are also on par with anything seen in Pixar films, with Jenny Slate leading the way and Isabella Rossellini breaking your heart. Please don’t forget this one, Academy.

19. ‘The End of the Tour’ (2015)

Starring: Jason Segel, Jesse Eisenberg
Director: James Ponsoldt
Writer(s): Donald Margulies (based on “Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself” by David Lipsky)
Producer(s): James Dahl, Matt DeRoss, David Kanter, Mark Manuel, Ted O’Neal

There are few things that can make me smile more than thinking about Jason Segal’s savvy performance in James Ponsoldt’s drama. It’s everything that acting is about, and his invitation into the life of David Foster Wallace is a gift we didn’t know we needed. We’ll be eternally grateful.

18. It Comes at Night (2017)

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Riley Keough
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Writer(s): Trey Edward Shults
Producer(s): David Kaplan, Andrea Roa

It’s not just about the monster you see, but also the one that lives inside of you. Shults shows the viewer that very theme in the deeply dark drama that introduced the world to the talents of Kelvin Harrison Jr. Led with juggernaut performances by Joel Edgerton and Carmen Ejogo, the tension is almost impossible to survive but you’re the better for having experienced it.

17. The Lobster (2016)

Starring: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Barden, Olivia Colman, Ashley Jensen, Ariane Labed, Angeliki Papoulia, John C. Reilly, Léa Seydoux, Michael Smiley, Ben Whishaw
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writer(s): Efthimis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos
Producer(s): Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Yorgos Lanthimos, Lee Magiday

It’s the kind of comedy that makes you cringe in a prickly way. But there might be no better kind. Colin Farrell is massively entertaining and precise in Yorgos Lanthimos’ darkly constructed romp about relationships and reincarnation. Like many, I still can’t watch the “fork” scene.

16. ‘Uncut Gems’ (2019)

Starring: Adam Sandler, Lakeith Stanfield, Julia Fox, Kevin Garnett, Idina Menzel, Eric Bogosian
Director: Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie
Writer(s): Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie
Producer(s): Eli Bush, Sebastian Bear-McClard, Scott Rudin

The social media and cinema-loving community united to get behind the mission to educate the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences that Adam Sandler, once again, delivered an awards-worthy performance in the Safdie brothers’ tension-filled flick. With Sandler’s best outing since “Punch Drunk Love” and memorable moments from Lakeith Stanfield and NBA basketball star Kevin Garnett, the film’s existence would be warranted even if it was only for the single moment of Julia Fox saying “uncut jamzzzz” that went viral on Tiktok.

15. Room (2015)

Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers, William H. Macy
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Writer(s): Emma Donoghue (based on “Room” by Emma Donoghue)
Producer(s): Ed Guiney, David Gross

Brie Larson gets to cement herself as one of the gifted actresses of her generation while co-leading her drama with the young Jacob Tremblay. Nominated for best picture, the adaptation is a fresh and honest look at PTSD and the general wonderment of the world from a child’s perspective. It also asks Hollywood, why isn’t Joan Allen in more movies and can we please get her an Oscar one day soon?

14. ’20th Century Women’ (2016)

Starring: Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, Lucas Jade Zumann
Director: Mike Mills
Writer(s): Mike Mills
Producer(s): Megan Ellison, Anne Carey, Youree Henley

Displaying Annette Bening’s best performance since “American Beauty” (1999) and Greta Gerwig’s career best outing, Mike Mills’ period drama offers meditation and. The surprise original screenplay nom for Mills at the Academy Awards was a welcome surprise, but it was worthy of so much more.

13. ‘Eighth Grade’ (2018)

Starring: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Jake Ryan, Fred Hechinger
Director: Bo Burnham
Writer(s): Bo Burnham
Producer(s): Eli Bush, Scott Rudin, Christopher Storer, Lila Yacoub

The innocence and struggle of a 13-year-old girl is captured lavishly by debut director Bo Burnham in his hit dramedy “Eighth Grade.” Bestowing the gift of newcomer Elsie Fisher, he beat some incredible odds to beat out the likes of Bradley Cooper (“A Star is Born”) for the DGA prize for first-time directing. We sure wish the original screenplay nom would have come along for Oscar.

12. ‘Waves’ (2019)

Starring: Kelvin Harrison Jr, Lucas Hedges, Taylor Russell, Alexa Demie, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sterling K. Brown
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Writer(s): Trey Edward Shults
Producer(s): Kevin Turen, James Wilson, Trey Edward Shults

It may be a heavy sit for many cinephiles but not all vivid expressions should be easy. Schults’ respectful portrait of addiction and regret made stars out of Kelvin Harrison Jr and Taylor Russell, with some of the best uses of panoramic camera work ever shown in modern cinema.

11. ‘Minari’ (2020)

Starring: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Yuh-jung Youn, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, Will Patton
Director: Lee Isaac Chung
Writer(s): Lee Isaac Chung
Producer(s): Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Christina Oh

Lee Isaac Chung gets up close and personal with the predominately Asian cast, offering the world a much-needed redefining of what makes an American movie. With tender turns throughout, notably by the overlooked Yeri Han, and the comical and scene-stealing balance of Yuh Jung-Youn, the playful and narrative focus doesn’t rely on big set pieces in order to get the tearducts flowing. The characters take up that job.

10. ‘Past Lives’ (2023)

Starring: Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, John Magaro
Director: Celine Song
Writer(s): Celine Song
Producer(s): David Hinojosa, Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler

“Past Lives” writer and director Celine Song handles the delicate themes of love and destiny surrounding the Korean Buddhist concept of In-Yun — the connection, fate and destiny of two people. It’s a tear-jerker that has the power to change your cinematic DNA, given its powerhouse ensemble of actors (Greta Lee, Tee Yoo and John Magaro) and reinventing a genre we thought we knew all too well.

9. ‘Ex Machina’ (2015)

Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno, Gana Bayarsaikhan, Corey Johnson
Director: Alex Garland
Writer(s): Alex Garland
Producer(s): Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich

Alex Garland is brave, and he holds nothing back when he makes a film. I will always be reminded of conversing with the late producer Steve Golin at a tastemaker event for “Spotlight,” who shared that “Ex Machina” was by far his favorite film of the year, along with many of his friends. Maybe it was the dance moves of Oscar Isaac, the sultry elegance of Alicia Vikander or daring depiction by Domhnall Gleeson. The safer answer is all of the above. Although it wasn’t nominated for best picture, who could forget its jaw dropping win for visual effects against four other bigger movies?

8. ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ (2022)

Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jenny Slate, Harry Shun Jr., James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis
Director: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Writer(s): Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Producer(s): Dan Kwan, Mike Larocca, Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Daniel Scheinert, Jonathan Wang

In The Daniels’ comically charged look at the multiverse, they exquisitely allow the visual cues on screen to assist in the spot-on performances of the dynamic cast. Michelle Yeoh is grounded in a role that’s just as emotionally challenging as it is physically demanding. One of the heroes by the end credits is the riveting turn of Stephanie Hsu as Joy, the daughter and “threat” to the multiverse. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the return of “Goonies” actor Ke Huy Quan, utterly brilliant, and Jamie Lee Curtis, as committed as ever.

7. ‘The Farewell’ (2019)

Starring: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen
Director: Lulu Wang
Writer(s): Lulu Wang
Producer(s): Daniele Melia, Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf, Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng, Lulu Wang, Anita Gou

It’s not just about the laughs in Lulu Wang’s carefully designed picture, which showed that Awkwafina could go on to explore more challenging characters in the future. She clearly knocks it out of the park in every frame. Even more spirited is Zhao Shuzhen, who always provided a pathway for Yuh Jung-Youn (“Minari”) the following year. With Anna Franquesa Solano’s stunning camera movements, it begs the question — why aren’t we getting a collaboration with these two once a year?

6. ‘The Zone of Interest’ (2023)

Starring: Christian Friedel, Sandra Hüller
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Writer(s): Jonathan Glazer (based on “The Zone of Interest” by Martin Amis)
Producer(s): James Wilson, Ewa Puszczyńska

Jonathan Glazer’s 105-minute exploration of a bleak Nazi drama, told from the perpetrator’s viewpoint is a harrowing journey. Rather than relying on imagery to depict the atrocities leading to the murder of six million Jews, Glazer, alongside his frequent sound collaborator Johnnie Burn, crafts a haunting soundscape that leaves a lasting impact. The film won two Oscars for interenational feature and sound.

5. ‘A Most Violent Year’ (2014)

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandra Nivola, Albert Brooks, Elyes Gabel
Director: J.C. Chandor
Writer(s): J.C. Chandor
Producer(s): J.C. Chandor, Neal Dodson, Anna Gerb

A period drama that sits comfortably in the arsenal of writer and director J.C. Chandor as his best film, the Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain vehicle is powerfully ambitious as it pushes to challenge the viewer with its imagery and underlying themes. It’s also a craftsman masterclass from the always brilliant Bradford Young behind the camera and subtle beauty from Alex Ebert’s music.

4. ‘Close’ (2022)

Starring: Eden Dambrine, Gustav de Waele,
Director: Lukas Dhont
Writer(s): Lukas Dhont, Angelo Tijssens
Producer(s): Dirk Impens, Michiel Dhont

Lukas Dhont crafts one of the most poignant coming-of-age dramas in recent memory, delving into the lives of Léo (Eden Dambrine) and Rémi (Gustav de Waele), two thirteen-year-old boys whose summer bond is tested upon returning to school. The tender beauty adeptly captures moments of existential uncertainty and emotional disconnection, themes universally resonant yet challenging to portray. Drawing parallels to acclaimed films like “Boyhood” (2014) and “Moonlight” (2016), this narrative has the power to profoundly impact viewers, evoking heartbreak. Nominated for international feature, representing Belgium, it stands as a testament to the depth and quality found in non-English cinema, which deserves greater recognition.

3. ‘C’mon C’mon’ (2021)

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffmann, Scoot McNairy, Molly Webster, Woody Norman
Director: Mike Mills
Writer(s): Mike Mills
Producer(s): Chelsea Barnard, Lila Yacoub, Andrea Longacre-White

What’s incredible about Mike Mills’ modest but beautiful “C’mon C’mon” is that it’s clearly not for everyone who loves movies, and that’s why it sits so high on this list. It speaks directly to the soul with its art-house flavor, which Mills does not shy away from, and its lingering in an individual moment. In addition, it features what is Joaquin Phoenix’s single greatest performance as he steers his Johnny with an articulate countenance, yet unsure of himself. Robbie Ryan’s black-and-white cinematography is the chef’s kiss on this delicious endeavor that includes the sweetness of newcomer Woody Norman and the underrated Gaby Hoffman.

2. ‘Lady Bird’ (2017)

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Lois Smith
Director: Greta Gerwig
Writer(s): Greta Gerwig
Producer(s): Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Evelyn O’Neill

Making her debut as a solo director, Greta Gerwig captured an accurate snapshot of a high school senior in 2002, simply trying to figure herself out. Capturing the mundane and comical daily life of a teenager, Saoirse Ronan became a beloved pop culture symbol, while Laurie Metcalf brought new depths to the familiar role of a coming-of-age film mother. The film’s four Oscar noms are all well-deserved and gave mainstream audiences a chance to see the awesomeness that is Beanie Feldstein.

1. ‘Moonlight’ (2016)

Starring: Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali
Director: Barry Jenkins
Writer(s): Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney
Producer(s): Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner

A stunning insight into the life of a young Black man coming to terms with his sexuality, Barry Jenkins’ empathetic and resounding film captured the hearts of audiences and the Hollywood industry. One of the decade’s finest ensembles is at work here, with standouts by Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali, Oscar-nominee Naomie Harris, and the unsung heroes of Trevante Rhodes and Janelle Monáe. Not to mention the introduction of young sensations Jharrel Jerome and Ashton Sanders. All of their beauty is captured against the blue hues of cinematographer James Laxton. “Moonlight” also featured the first Black woman to be nominated for editing with Joi McMillon, plus a notable score by Nicholas Britell.

Best of Variety

Best A24 Movies, Ranked: 'Moonlight', 'Uncut Gems', 'Lady Bird' (2024)


What was A24 best picture? ›

In 2022, A24 distributed the film Everything Everywhere All at Once, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and six more Oscars; the film has also received acclaim from both audiences and critics.

Has A24 ever won an Oscar? ›

How A24 Made Oscars History: “Lovable” Actors, Social Media Savvy and a “Wild West” Season. To win its Oscars for 'Everything Everywhere All at Once' and 'The Whale,' the indie studio capitalized on the underdog charisma of the films' casts.

What is the highest rated A24 movie on Rotten Tomatoes? ›

A24's 20 Best Movies, Ranked by Rotten Tomatoes
  1. 1 Lady Bird - 99% A24.
  2. 2 Eighth Grade (2019) - 99% A24. ...
  3. 3 Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2022) - 98% A24. ...
  4. 4 Moonlight (2016) - 98% A24. ...
  5. 5 Minari - 98% A24. ...
  6. 6 The Farewell (2019) - 97% A24. ...
  7. 7 Past Lives (2023) - 98% A24. ...
  8. 8 The Florida Project (2017) - 96% ...
Aug 12, 2023

Is A24 prestigious? ›

It's no secret that A24 has made some of the best films in modern cinema. If you see A24 before the opening credits, you can bet it'll be worth the watch. In recent years, many of the studio's films have earned the Academy's stamp of approval.

Why is A24 so good? ›

Being auteur-driven, A24 supports independent filmmakers and independent cinema by believing in them and giving them a platform to be seen by the world. Some filmmakers A24 has successfully given a break to include - Robert Eggers, Daniels, Ari Aster, David Lowery and many others.

What was A24 first hit? ›

A24 began in 2013 with A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, directed by Roman Coppola. It was decidedly not a box office or critical success, but does present one of A24's modus operandi: Giving risky movies from established outsider filmmakers a shot in the theatrical space.

What is the most expensive A24 film? ›

Much has been made about Alex Garland's “Civil War” being the most expensive movie in A24 history, its production was said to have cost around $50 million. However, Jeff Sneider is hearing that Garland's next film, “Warfare”, which he's co-directing with Ray Mendoza, might be even more expensive.

How did A24 get so big? ›

In fact, A24's brand is so appealing that even their merchandise is coveted—partly a result of customer loyalty, but also of A24's savvy practice of producing unique items sold in limited quantities. And it's this combination of clever marketing of very particular content that's paying off for A24.

Which movie has 0 rotten tomatoes? ›

FilmYearNo. of reviews
Jaws: The Revenge198740
Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol198720
Problem Child199029
Highlander 2: The Quickening199124
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Has Rotten Tomatoes ever rated a movie 100%? ›

A number of these films also appear on the AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies lists, but there are many others and several entries with dozens of positive reviews, which are considered surprising to some experts. To date, Leave No Trace holds the site's record, with a rating of 100% and 252 positive reviews.

What was a24s first movie? ›

Its first film, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, was released on February 8, 2013.

Who is the target audience of A24? ›

A24 in itself has a connotation of being sincere and authentic as its content resonates with its primarily Generation Z and millennial audience.

Who funds A24 Films? ›

About. Based in New York, US, and founded in 2012, A24 Films LLC is an American independent entertainment company that specializes in film distribution, and film and television production. In March 2022, A24 Films LLC raised USD 225 million in venture funding co-led by Stripes and Neuberger Berman.

Who finances A24 Films? ›

In 2022 the company raised $225 million from a group of investors, including private equity firm Stripes LLC. The deal valued A24 at $2.5 billion, a staggering amount by the penurious standards of the indie film world.

Is A24 the best studio right now? ›

With more than 45 Academy Award nominations and an army of cinephiles in logo hats at its back, A24 is one of the most powerful forces in independent filmmaking today.

How did A24 become successful? ›

Its understanding of internet culture, fandom, and customer acquisition has been critical to its success. Like few other brands – let alone fellow studios – A24 has mastered social media distribution.

What is the biggest budget film for A24? ›

Civil War has been in the plans long before A24's public announcement, with the first reports of Alex Garland partnering with the company breaking back in January 2022. The budget was $50 million for the creation of the film, which makes it A24's most expensive project to date.

Did A24 do good time? ›

The film was released by A24 on August 11 that same year.

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