Florence Pugh as Dani in Midsommar

17 of the Best A24 Movies So Far

You smarty-pants, you.

Film studio A24 has a reputation for showcasing more avant-garde fare than the typical film studio. As a result, some moviegoers tend to poke fun at the studio for its seemingly pretentious fanbase. Still, it cannot be denied that A24 has released some of the most thought-provoking and intriguing films of late.

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The best part is, A24’s slate represents a wide array of genres and themes, from mind-gutting horror films to evocative indies that make viewers stare pensively at a wall for two hours after. With that being said, here are some of the best films that A24 has released so far.

Past Lives

Hae Sung (Teo Yoo) and Nora (Greta Lee) silently speak to one another.

The word that best describes Celine Song’s film Past Lives? Melancholy. This film is melancholy in the best way. It’s the kind of sad that fills your heart with joy and nostalgia and your eyes with wistful tears.

Greta Lee and Teo Yoo as former childhood sweethearts Nora/Na Young and Hae Sung have achingly palpable chemistry. Watching them express their deep, vague longing with glances and chaste hugs that reflect much deeper subtext is like watching an acting master class. Song’s elegant and incisive direction allows you to sit in the beautiful pain of it all so that it’s almost but never “too much.”

Past Lives shows us that all relationships between people are important, and should be treated with care, respect, and love. -Teresa

Where to watch Past Lives: Prime Video

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Marcel the Shell, a goofy little shell with a googly eye and shoes standing on the carpet in "Marcel the Shell"

Thirteen years ago, writer/director Dean Fleischer-Camp dropped serious adorable on the world with his short film, Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, co-created with writer/actor Jenny Slate, who also does the voice of Marcel. Two subsequent Marcel the Shell short films were released in 2011 and 2014, and they delivered some much needed sweetness to a tumultuous and difficult decade.

In 2021, A24 gave us the feature-length Marcel film we desperately needed. With Slate reprising her role, and Fleischer-Camp directing and co-writing the script with Slate and Nick Paley, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On retains the adorable sweetness of the original shorts while also creating a really poignant look at life in the face of loss, grief, and feeling (or actually being) really small. -Teresa

Where to watch Marcel the Shell with Shoes On: Paramount+


Mia Goth in a scene from the film 'X.' She is a young white woman seated at a make-up table with large bulbs around the mirror. Her arms are folded on the table as she looks over her shoulder. She has long, brown hair and is wearing a red, black, and white striped tube top. It's a 1970s period look.

While Ti West’s film, X, is a horror movie, it’s arguably more a film about sex positivity than anything else. After all, the cast of characters we follow, led by Mia Goth’s Maxine, arrives at a house they’ve rented to shoot a porn film, and the main antagonist, an elderly woman named Pearl, does what she does because she just wants her husband to have sex with her, gosh-dangit!

Using horror to explore the role that sex plays in people’s lives is hugely interesting, and while the film doesn’t entirely stick the landing, it does make you think, and warrants further discussion. Luckily, it ended up being the first in a franchise. -Teresa

Where to watch X: Prime Video or Paramount+


Mia Goth in a scene from the film 'Pearl.' She is a young white woman with a big smile and a blank stare staring into the camera. Her long dark hair is up in two braids looped up on either side of her head with white bows tying them up.

And here’s the other entry (so far) in the sex-positive X horror franchise. Pearl gives the backstory of X‘s antagonist, showing her as a young woman dealing with a repressive family while having a lustful and adventurous personality.

Interestingly, Mia Goth was cast in the role of Pearl for this prequel, drawing an even greater parallel between Pearl and Maxine than even X did. A third film in the trilogy, titled MaXXXine, is due for release in 2024 starring, you guessed it, Mia Goth. Also from A24. -Teresa

Where to watch Pearl: Paramount+

After Yang

Film still from After Yang featuring Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja as Mika and Justin H. Min as Yang

After Yang is a very small sci-fi film dealing with very big ideas. Starring Colin Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith, and directed by Kogonada (Pachinko), it tells the story of a couple and their adoptive daughter, Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja). Also part of their family is a robotic teenage boy named Yang (Justin H. Min), who was created to live with the family to help connect Mika to her Chinese culture.

What is culture and what does it mean to a person? To a family? Is a robot child still a child? What happens when the robot child malfunctions? This A24 gem examines all of these things and more in a smart, grounded, lovely film. -Teresa

Where to watch After Yang: Prime Video

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Jobu Tupaki fights in an elaborate costume in Everything Everywhere All at Once

I gotta be real: I still have to watch this movie all the way through, and I don’t normally rank things without seeing them myself. But I think the reviews speak for themselves, and even if I end up not liking it, everything I’m hearing about this movie tells me that’d be more of a “me” problem.

Honestly, the only reason I’m not sitting my ass down and watching it is because it sounds like it’ll hit too close to home. An Asian woman confronts her traumatic relationship with her mom? No thanks, I need the salt in my eyes today. -Madeline

Where to watch Everything Everywhere All at Once: Showtime

Bodies Bodies Bodies

Four friends in Bodies Bodies Bodies

A lot of people thought the ending of Bodies Bodies Bodies was cheap and excessive, but I thought it was pretty fun and matched the tonal theme of the movie: that this generation (my generation, really) is very, very good at blowing things out of proportion.

At the same time, the film had a very knowing way of going about this, instead of doing the “Maher” approach of “All kids are dumb.” I mean, yeah, these guys are kinda dumb, but there’s a lot to be said within this movie if you’re not dumb enough to take the time to think about it. -Madeline

Where to watch Bodies Bodies Bodies: Prime Video


Jacob and his family examine their new plot of land in Minari.

Stories featuring Asian immigrants in America are few and far between these days, and even rarer are those which are able to depict immigrant families with love, authenticity, and engagement. Minari does all of this and then some.

At times heart-wrenching, and sometimes gut-busting, this film follows the story of a family of Korean immigrants who hope to make a living as farmers in the midwest. The film’s leads, Steven Yeun and Han Ye-ri (of American and Korean fame, respectively), share a powerful dynamic that only enhances the joy and charm of the cast as an ensemble. -Madeline

Where to watch Minari: Hulu, Prime Video

The Green Knight

Dev Patel in The Green Knight (2021)

Although much of this film’s point and plot were lost on those without a prior knowledge of the Arthurian canon, The Green Knight still prevailed as one of the most gripping movies of 2021. Bringing modern twists regarding masculinity and sexuality to a classic tale of chivalry and despair, this retelling is not only faithful—it’s innovative, and wondrously so.

This is in no small part thanks to Dev Patel’s sincere performance as Sir Gawain. He manages to embody the spirit of this literary hero so well, one can’t help but pity him (as well as grumble in frustration) as he scrapes through his harrowing quest. -Madeline

Where to watch The Green Knight: Prime Video, Showtime


A young Chiron stands in the ocean in Moonlight.

There’s a reason everyone spoke so highly of this movie, and why it won so many accolades. Moonlight is nothing short of a masterpiece, and everything about it is utterly artful and genuine. Sometimes, this means it’s difficult to watch, but like all good art, this was the intention. It’s a film that’s meant to make viewers feel. And feel they did: Moonlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2017, as well as Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali.

Moonlight follows the story of sweet-natured Chiron from childhood to adulthood, watching him as he relies on various people to help him deal with strife, both at home and in his community at large. Touching on themes of masculinity, sexuality, and innocence challenged by grief, Chiron’s story is one of the most compelling narratives in modern film. -Madeline

Where to watch Moonlight: Apple TV, Prime Video, Showtime, Kanopy, Hulu

Lady Bird

Christine, a.k.a. "Lady Bird," laments a boring afternoon spent in church.

Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is nothing short of a game-changer in the world of coming-of-age stories. While the narrative itself is nothing new—that of a bored, unstimulated suburban girl finding her place in the world—it’s told in a way that’s refreshing, authentic, hilarious, and painstakingly relatable.

Christine “Lady Bird” MacPherson is an incredibly real protagonist, in that she’s both understandable and quite frustrating to watch, particularly when interacting with her mother. All the same, her growth into an independent young woman is handled with a great deal of empathy and objectivity, which is sorely needed. -Madeline

Where to watch Lady Bird: Apple TV+, Prime Video, Showtime, Kanopy

The Lighthouse

Wake and Winslow take a grim shot before embarking to their Lighthouse.

Hold onto your sea caps, this one’s a doozy—in the best way possible. The Lighthouse (which we called “dark, disgusting, and wonderful“) hearkens back to days spent sick in bed, feeling as though you’re losing your mind. It’s a claustrophobic, neurotic, anxiety-inducing tale of two men who need each other so much that they start to hate one another, and it’s fantastic.

Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe clearly had a good time in their roles as salty seamen, as they truly give their all in their portrayals of cantankerous men slowly going mad. Although the film will have you feeling your muscles uneasily clench all the way to the end, it will also have you burst out laughing during the many moments of sheer, unbridled antagonism shown by Wake and Winslow. -Madeline

Where to watch The Lighthouse: Apple TV+, Prime Video, Showtime, Kanopy


Taylor Russell in Waves

As the most underrated film on this list, Waves deserves quite a bit more attention than it has received. Similar to HBO’s Euphoria, it tackles heavy subjects such as addiction, assault, and familial strife, yet it does so with quite a bit more grace, feeling, and respect for its teenage subjects.

Following a horrific tragedy within one family, Waves chronicles the experiences that forever changed the lives of the two children: wrestling star Tyler and his sensitive little sister, Emily. It very much feels like a snapshot of the modern teenage experience, with an excellent soundtrack to highlight this point (featuring the likes of Frank Ocean and Animal Collective). -Madeline

Where to watch Waves: Apple TV+, Prime Video, Peacock, Hulu

The Farewell

Billi and her family steel themselves as they walk with their ailing grandmother in The Farewell.

For Asian Americans such as myself, the gap between one’s American-ness and Asian-ness can sometimes feel impossible to bridge. But there are times when the two coalesce naturally and poignantly, and no other film exemplifies this experience better than The Farewell.

Signaling Awkwafina’s transition from comedies into dramas, this tear-jerking film follows a family attempting to bring light and joy to their grandmother’s final days as she succumbs to her sickness. Although Awkwafina’s Billi struggles to feel like a part of it all, ultimately she’s one of the anchors of the whole situation, and the moments of happiness and connection created by the family are utterly tangible to viewers. -Madeline

Where to watch The Farewell: Apple TV+, Prime Video, Showtime, Kanopy, Hulu


Dani feels conflicted as she begins to bond with the cult in Midsommar.

As Ari Aster’s sophomore horror title, many fans of his previous movie Hereditary had high expectations for Midsommar. And in nearly every single way, Midsommar ultimately rose above its predecessor as one of A24’s best horror films to date.

It has everything: psychological manipulation, cult stuff, gruesome deaths, and even the added caveat of desexualized expressions of feminine suffering (problematic though they still may be). It’s a deeply unsettling and horrific movie that will leave viewers feeling nauseous and awful the day after, but in a way that makes them think, and in a way that sends a message—the message being, if you live your life with no regard for others, you may just end up in a Swedish cult. -Madeline

Where to watch Midsommar: Apple TV+, Prime Video, Showtime, Kanopy, Hulu

Ex Machina

Ava tests the limits of her self-awareness by examining another face in Ex Machina.

The best sort of sci-fi is the sci-fi that deals with psychology, instead of just focusing on how cool technology could be. Advancements in technology can sometimes be more harmful than productive, and in the case of Ex Machina, they can be downright unraveling.

Following the story of a man falling in love with an android (beautifully and disturbingly portrayed by Domnhall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander, respectively), Ex Machina asks a lot of questions about our relationship to artificial intelligence. The answers it provides are less about AI itself, and more about us, in ways that will stick with us for a long time after our initial viewing. -Madeline

Where to watch Ex Machina: Apple TV+, Prime Video, HBO Max, Kanopy, Hulu

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Jimmie and Mont look up at their house in The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Of all the films on this list, The Last Black Man in San Francisco has the most heart, by far. This is in large part because it’s based on the life of its lead actor, Jimmie Fails, who co-wrote the story with his childhood best friend, director Joe Talbot.

This movie will strike a chord with anyone who knows anything about San Francisco, as it reckons with the realities of gentrification and familial roots. In addition, Fails and his eccentric friend Mont (played by the impeccable Jonathan Majors) have a truly affectionate and memorable relationship, which helps to make Fail’s grandfather’s house feel like a character in and of itself throughout the movie. -Madeline

Where to watch The Last Black Man in San Francisco: Apple TV+, Prime Video, Showtime, Kanopy, Hulu

(featured image: A24)

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Image of Madeline Carpou
Madeline Carpou
Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).
Image of Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.