The Best Films of 2024 (So Far), And What To Look Forward To

The Best Films of 2024 (So Far), And What To Look Forward To

Halfway through 2024, it's time to take a look at the year so far and what we still have left to look forward to. 2024 has already proven to be full of beautiful, brilliant cinema; haunting existential terror, energetic romantic thrills, high octane action, live action Looney Tunes hilarity, subversive noir hijinks, effervescent magical realism, and so much more. So here are the five best films of the year so far - and five films to look for as the second half of the year spins into gear.

Evil Does Not Exist

Conceived and directed by its soundscape, Evil Does Not Exist feels more like composer Eiko Ishibashi's film than Ryūsuke Hamaguchi's. Hamaguchi gently guides an oblique and languid narrative that slowly blossoms into a revelation, deftly wielding the stunning nature inspired score to extract a potent fable of encroaching corporate urbanization. While his last film, international hit Drive My Car, was a hopeful and humanist story about our ability to write our own stories and begin to pull ourselves out of grief - Evil Does Not Exist puts all its weight on the enigmatic nature of its ominous title. Is the world consumed by an evil determined to slowly destroy everything sacred, or are we slowly destroying ourselves, consumed by a blind ignorance to our own actions in the name of doing our jobs?


Challengers drips with palpable homoeroticism, each bead of sweat extracted with excruciating lust – it’s never crystal clear where the layered performances of desire end and where the final realization of who wants who ends – and maybe it doesn’t matter. Matches focus more on prolonged shots of bodies in motion than of the precise motions of the ball. Muscles pulse and limbs thrust, sweat drips from every pore, and when the ball is in motion it rockets straight through the lens. Every movement is an expression of a yearning powerful enough to shatter a racket, every glance a distant longing laced with the sinister machinations of a rapidly corroding triptych.

Read my full review here.


George Miller isn’t foolish enough to imagine he could live up to – let alone top – the dizzying heights of Fury Road’s thrill ride, but he also knows that wouldn’t be any fun anyway. Instead, Furiosa reconstructs the mythology of the wasteland so effortlessly that it’s strange this piece of the puzzle has been missing for nearly a decade, feeling less like a reverse engineered prequel and more like a lost beginning that was always there but never seen. Where most prequels are plagued by a stifling determinism, Furiosa doesn’t look to explain Fury Road so much as it seeks to enrich it, and Miller producing a whole new $170 million epic with the express purpose of taking his previous masterpiece to an even higher level of intensity is, simply put, one of the most baller things a director has ever done.

Read my full review here.


Much like Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure (1997), Chime exudes an icy sense of dread, a palpable atmosphere of realizing some latent dissociative violence lurking beneath the skin. Only here he abandons the formalist exercise in procedure, no longer concerned with narrative specifics or a descent into psychosis through obsession. Chime is pure subcutaneous evil, a ringing in the ears that permeates every surface, an anger insistent on pouring out from the ether. An ambient suffering, not initiated by external malice or existential despair but simply there, waiting for something to finally awaken it.

Read my full review here.

The Beast

"There must be beautiful things in this chaos. Don't be scared." Bertrand Bonello's beguiling masterpiece almost demands multiple viewings to fully soak in its centuries-spanning, genre-bending epic. Twisting and corroding imagery and ideas between an elegant period-piece romance, a destructively violent home invasion thriller, and a cold dystopian sci-fi landscape of emotional erasure, Bonello takes the core idea of the Henry James novella the film is loosely adapted from and reconfigures it into a wholly existential terror. James may have been concerned with the possibility of wasting his life in fear of some inscrutable impending doom, but Bonello is more concerned with the possibility that humanity is slowly being stripped of all purpose, falling victim to violent apathy and bleak disaffection. Nonetheless, some of us still hold on to a permeating yearning, a conviction that we may still find some connection yet in our infinite pasts, our present moments, and the many futures that lie ahead. A beautiful thing amidst the chaos.

Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In

Soi Cheang is one of Hong Kong's greatest contemporary filmmakers, leading the charge in revitalizing the country's long history of crime and action cinema. His 2021 film Limbo is a filthy, grime-covered neo-noir masterpiece of institutional decay and violent chaos; 2012's Motorway is a high-octane thrill ride of screeching rubber and roaring engines. And nearly a decade after directing action masterpiece SPL 2: A Time For Consequences, he returns to the world of bloody martial arts, this time suffocating in the grungy claustrophobia of the Kowloon Walled City in the 1980s. Produced by action veteran Wilson Yip, scored by Kenji Kawai, and starring Louis Koo alongside martial arts legend Sammo Hung, Twilight of the Warriors is primed to be some of the finest action cinema we'll see all year.

Alien: Romulus

For anyone who believes that every Alien film is good (there are dozens of us and this does include Alien: Resurrection), the prospect of returning to theaters to once again be graced with visions of slime-coated biomechanical nightmares is as exciting as it gets. Director Fede Álvarez might not have a stellar filmography to bank on, but his reverence for the franchise and his dedication to making as much of Romulus as he possibly can with goopy practical effects make this an incredibly enticing prospect. Here's hoping we can keep believing that every Alien film is good after August.

The Substance

Coralie Fargeat's Revenge is one of the most confident debut features in recent memory, subverting a long standing history of horror genre tropes to create a lean, bleak desert survival/revenge film that's as metal as it is bloody, taking the violence of New French Extremity and turning it into action catharsis. Sophomore feature The Substance promises more genre-bending, subversive feminist horror, where an aging model is offered a mysterious chemical injection that will turn her into the "best version of herself." Starring Demi Moore and Margaret Qualley, there are few things more exciting than new entries into the twisted body horror canon.


Undoubtedly one of the strongest working voices in American cinema, Sean Baker's films effortlessly paint empathetic portraits of the working class, immigrants, sex workers, and impoverished youth. Palme d'Or winner Anora is another such portrait, starring Mikey Madison as a Russian-American sex worker in Brooklyn who marries the son of a Russian oligarch, only to be caught in an anxiety-fueled whirlwind of the wealthy trying to take everything she's earned away from her. If there's anything to always be on the lookout for, it's a new Sean Baker film, and his victory at Cannes only cements it as one of the year's most anticipated releases.

The Shrouds

The only thing more promising than the prospect of a new David Cronenberg film is knowing that its screening at Cannes has already proved it a divisive one, and if Cronenberg isn't coming out of left field to the degree that he completely befuddles audiences, he wouldn't be the filmmaker he is today. His last film, beguiling body horror masterpiece Crimes of the Future, similarly divided audiences with its biotechnology oddities and vision of a future where humanity is faced with adapting our bodies to the overproduction of plastics and chemicals. The Shrouds is a much more personal venture, written as a response to the passing of Cronenberg's wife. It stars Vincent Cassel as a stark Cronenberg self-insert, a man who has just lost his wife and invents a new technology to monitor lost loved ones from the grave. The weirder Cronenberg gets, the better, and combining his penchant for stilted, asynchronous body horror with incredibly personal tender sentimentality makes this one of 2024's most fascinating upcoming releases.