Best Movies of 2024

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Since January has already seen many noteworthy movies released this year, February alone has already provided many worth-seeing titles to add to your viewing list. From Dune Part Two (certified Fresh upon its release) and Chime to Love Lies Bleeding – each has something worthwhile on offer for moviegoers to discover!

Denis Villeneuve continues his adaptation of Frank Herbert with an epic alien tale about genetically engineered messiahs, space witches, sandworms and goth fascist planets – featuring Zendaya as Fremen warrior Chani.

The Animal Kingdom

In a year filled with action flicks, monster-filled mega releases, and George Miller’s breathtaking Fury Road prequel, The Animal Kingdom stands out as an emotionally stirring and thought-provoking film. Without resorting to special effects for its emotional resonance or human elements, The Animal Kingdom provides an emotionally charged drama about one family’s struggle to come to terms with their mutation, grounded by talented cast who add human emotion while offsetting its more fantastical elements by providing character context despite an overall vague treatment of key conflicts.

Set in the near future, this novel centers around an unpredictable disease that is rapidly turning people into hybrid animals. At first it’s an inconvenience; chef Francois (Romain Duris) grumbles about Paris traffic while son Emile (Paul Kircher) worries over his newly sprouted wings; but as their bodies transform further and bonds form among themselves and instinct takes control, we become invested.

The Animal Kingdom is one of 2024’s most impressively imaginative films, boasting vivid imagery and expertly assembled tropes that seem both familiar and strange at the same time – hybrid creatures from Island of Dr Moreau; body transformation from The Fly; even some hints of X-Men superhero imagery! Yet its director manages to present these ideas against an earthbound setting (a provincial town surrounded by lush forests) to give an immersive sense of an unruly universe that keeps changing without our conscious intervention.

VFX in this film are mostly reserved for scenes where characters undergo transformations, yet when they do occur their scope is impressive. From an octopus to a praying mantis to the transformations themselves – each scene showcases award-worthy makeup and designs; yet more grounded scenes such as when Emile begins accepting his birdlike identity slowly is often equally gripping; witnessing Emile struggle against and eventually accept his new bird-like identity is deeply moving; giving this science-fiction drama greater depth than would normally be expected from an apocalyptic science-fiction drama.

The Beast

Though studios usually save their most-awarded releases for awards season, a wide range of worthwhile films have been released throughout 2024. From stunning thrillers to an adaption of The Three Musketeers, 2024 has seen both major-league blockbusters as well as unexpected gems that deserve your consideration.

Bertrand Bonello’s The Beast stands out as an ambitious sci-fi romance that covers multiple timelines. Starring Lea Seydoux as Gabrielle in modern Los Angeles where she must suppress her feelings to advance her career; Parisian aristocrat Louis (George MacKay); and her hollowed out future.

Bonello deftly connects each timeline through Seydoux’s extraordinary central performance as she expresses fear, lust and anger through her eyes as she navigates different scenarios; while various references to dolls, psychics and hyper-Lynchian atmosphere serve to put each mode of The Beast into dialogue with each other.

Charlie Chaplin’s depiction of industrialization as well as James Cameron’s vision of robots enslaving humanity inspired The Beast’s fantasy-based approach and examination of our anxieties regarding technological progress. Additionally, this picture is deeply romantic and deeply moving.

Noteworthy releases this year also include Josh O’Connor’s star turn as an Englishman leading a band of grave robbers through Italy in Alice Rohrwacher’s spellbinding masterpiece La Chimera and Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s horror flick about an infected sound spreading madness and violence to its victims.

Hit Man rounds out our list with two action movies, with Glen Powell staring as Gary Johnson – an undercover cop posing as a hitman who falls for Maddy Masters (Good Omens’ Adria Arjona). This witty, smart and highly satisfying flick is highly entertaining!

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

George Miller’s Furiosa stands as both a prequel and spinoff to 2015’s blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road. It centers on Furiosa (Charlize Theron in the original, Alyla Browne now), who finds her life taken unexpectedly off track when captured by a marauding band of raiders led by Wasteland warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth).

Miller and Nico Lathouris’ script takes its time revealing what makes Furiosa such an indomitable child even when separated from her steely mother, sister, and community. We also see Dementus rise to power – an infamous Jesus figure who roams his desert kingdom on an extravagant three-bike chariot.

Chapter three marks the turning point in this film as Furiosa joins forces with Director Miller, Cinematographer Simon Duggan and their stunt team to launch an inaugural run for a massive Citadel provisions truck. Director Miller, Cinematographer Duggan and their stunt team know exactly how to craft vehicular chaos that keeps audiences riveted – using IMAX cameras fully immerse viewers in all the sounds from vehicles as they ride across sand dunes, cross strips of dirt or plunder through towns in their pursuit for resources.

Although the story falters periodically, Theron and Browne deliver stellar performances – particularly the latter’s stellar portrayal as young Furiosa forced to adapt in painful ways. Though some parts of the film may feel one note, its crescendo comes when Furiosa hits her most legendary and terrifying note with her haunting gaze and otherworldliness.

Furiosa may not be one of the more mind-boggling post-apocalyptic action films ever to grace theaters, but it certainly provides plenty of entertainment value. A thrilling ride and spectacular spectacle await fans of the franchise; plus it will likely become available digital VOD sooner rather than expected!

Hit Man

At the movies, 2024 has started off well. Blockbusters like Birds of Prey and Frozen 2 have drawn large audiences while prestige movies and indie fare have found new followers. But it has also been an exciting year full of unpredictedly brilliant smaller films that kept us at the edge of our seats.

Hit Man is an outstanding smaller film featuring Glen Powell and Adria Arjona that manages to be both funny and sexually explicit while offering up an intriguing plot line that grows more complex by the minute. A true treat for film enthusiasts. One of the smartest, funniest movies seen recently.

Based on a true story, this film follows Gary Johnson, an academic psychology and philosophy professor at the University of New Orleans who lives a seemingly ordinary life until suddenly becoming drawn into amateur undercover assassins’ circles. Johnson pretended to be a hit man meeting with people seeking his services and then donned various wigs, accents and makeup to try to look like each person he encountered along his journey.

When on track, this film can take some unexpected twists and turns and bewildering turns; when on target however, it becomes an entertaining comedy with great script and performances by an impressive cast. Richard Linklater co-wrote its screenplay with Skip Hollandsworth; it serves as proof that he can create movies outside his Before trilogy that are just as entertaining and memorable.

Powell and Arjona share an incredible chemistry. There’s an electric spark between them that shines through each scene even when things get weird, which speaks volumes for their acting skills. It deserves wide audience appeal if it finds one; otherwise it could become one of 2024’s stand-out films; an ideal choice for date night moviegoers!