The 8 best A24 movies you haven't seen

The cult production company’s roster stretches back a decade. Here are the deep cuts you might have missed.

by Douglas Greenwood
20 July 2022, 3:48pm

Nowadays, a movie being produced or distributed by A24 is the ultimate sign of quality. From the heady, Oscar-winning heights of Moonlight, through to the box office glory of Everything, Everywhere All at Once, the studio’s output continues to be considered the upper echelons of cinema. And on TV? You’ve got Euphoria and the upcoming Lily Rose-Depp series The Idol.

Starting next month, a handful of A24’s titles -- from the Oscar winners (Amy) to the ones literally no one has heard of (Laggies?) will come to HBO Max, giving those subscribed to the streaming service the chance to tick off more from their A24 list.

So what’s coming to HBO Max that you might have missed so far? And what other A24 titles might have slipped under your radar but are deserving of your time? Here are eight we recommend.

1. Lean on Pete (Andrew Haigh, 2018)

After director Andrew Haigh gave us the British contemporary queer classic Weekend, he relocated to the great plains of America to tell the story of Lean on Pete. The movie follows Charley, a teenage boy from a broken family who befriends a racehorse, But when he learns that the racehorse is destined for the slaughterhouse, he does everything in his power to save him from that fate. Starring Charlie Plummer and Chloe Sevigny, it’s a moving and evocatively shot story of friendship.

2. Locke (Steven Knight, 2013)

Bought by A24 following its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, this British drama almost never leaves the face of its titular protagonist, played by Tom Hardy, for the entire runtime. Shot in extreme close-up in the driver’s seat of a car, it chronicles one man’s torn journey back to London after working in a city up north. On one hand, his wife and children are waiting for him to return home in time for a football match; on the other, a woman he secretly impregnated has gone into labour. The film watches him have conversations with both, in a race against time that harbours secrets on both sides.

3. Native Son (Rashid Johnson, 2019)

Based on the novel by Richard Wright, this Rashid Johnson-directed drama follows a young Black man in Chicago confronted with a world of extreme wealth when he becomes a chauffeur driver for affluent businessmen. Ashton Sanders plays Bigger Thomas, the film’s protagonist, alongside KiKi Layne and Margaret Qualley.

4. The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot, 2019)

Die hard fans of this movie argue that A24 let it down. Premiering at Sundance in 2019, the critical hype was huge from the off for this partially autobiographical tale about a young Black man in the Californian city. Inspired by the life of American actor Jimmie Fails, it tells the story of how one man tried to reclaim his grandfather’s home from a gentrified area of San Francisco, spreading his roots.

5. In Fabric (Peter Strickland, 2018)

Peter Strickland, one of the few remaining auteurs in Britain, is known for making discomfiting, slightly surreal horror movies. After The Duke of Burgundy (his wild sapphic, sadomasochistic thriller), he made In Fabric. This film about a cursed dress found in a regional British department store is giddy and silly, sure, but it’s also an example of the kind of low-budget movies that rarely get made.

6. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)

Widely considered one of the greatest sci-fi’s of the new century, Jonathan Glazer’s sinister alien drama stars Scarlett Johansson as a human-like extraterrestrial stalking men on the streets of Glasgow. It remains ScarJo’s greatest performance, and arguably her most transformative, but hardly got the box office love it deserved. Jonathan Glazer has been silent on the big screen since, but if rumours are to be believed, he’ll return at the end of 2022.

7. Slow West (John Maclean, 2015)

Seven years before he earned an Oscar nomination for his cowboy western The Power of the Dog, a younger Kodi Smit-McPhee starred in Slow West, a gun-slinging drama about a naive Scotsman crossing the states to meet his lover. But his journey is thrown off-chart when he encounters a hitman, played by Michael Fassbender. On the surface he has good intentions, but it’s soon unveiled that the Scotsman has a more tumultuous journey in store.

8. Hot Summer Nights (Elijah Bynum, 2017)

Three months after Call Me by Your Name bowed at the Sundance Film Festival, another Timothée Chalamet-helmed movie entered our consciousness. A24’s Hot Summer Nights, billed as a neo-noir coming-of-age crime drama, was a sleeper hit at SXSW. In it, Timmy plays Daniel, an unruly teenager spending his summer on Cape Cod who runs into the local dealer. Together, they hatch a money-making plan that gets out of hand.

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