10 Best 2024 Movies So Far

Updated February 20, 2024 • Staff

We may just be a few days into 2024, but there's no stopping the movies. The theaters are packed with new films and the streamers are equally filled with titles of all kinds. There's always something new to see, but we're here to tell you which ones are actually worth your time and money. 

In this list, we're recommending the best films of the year that are available to stream or rent right now. We'll be regularly updating it as we go along, so make sure you keep tabs on this page — or better yet bookmark it for reference. While you're here, you can also check out our comprehensive guide to the best films of 2023

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10.

Upgraded (2024)

No one watches a romantic comedy expecting anything novel, although it’s nice to be surprised once in a while. In the past years, we’ve seen movies like Rye Lane and Palm Springs subvert expectations and give the genre a pleasant, refreshing twist. Upgraded isn’t like those movies. It’s pretty standard and formulaic, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t enjoyable—Amazon Prime’s latest romcom is breezy good fun from start to end. The predictable parts of the film are buoyed by vibrant performances. As leading lady Ana, Camila Mendes expertly toes the line between approachable and aspirational, while Marisa Tomei delivers campy goodness as Ana's boss Claire Dupree, who is like a less serious, more humorous Miranda Priestly. In fact, the entire film is like a pleasant blend of The Devil Wears Prada and every single Cinderella story in Hollywood, from Pretty Woman to What a Girl Wants. If you’re looking for something new, you can skip this film, but if you like recalling your favorites and are satisfied by performances before anything else, then Upgraded comes highly recommended.

Our staff rating: 7.1/10
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Actor: Aimee Carrero, Andrew Schulz, Anthony Stewart Head, Archie Renaux, Camila Mendes, Fola Evans-Akingbola, Grégory Montel, Lena Olin, Marisa Tomei, Matteo Lane, Rachel Matthews, Renny Krupinski, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Thomas Kretschmann
Director: Carlson Young
Rating: R

Free Watching Options:

Watch Upgraded (2024) on Amazon Prime for free
9.

Self Reliance (2024)

It’s kind of amazing how Johnson, who writes, directs, and stars in this feature, narrowly escapes narrative holes by being so darn self-effacing and likable. The female lead Maddy (Anna Kendrick) should be denounced as a Manic Pixie Girl, but because of Johnson and Kendrick’s overflowing charm, you don’t question the flimsiness of her character until much later on. The game itself should not make sense, but because Johnson is so committed in his physical performance, and so arresting in his charisma, all is forgiven. Self Reliance is like a tasty souffle that looks great at the moment, but left for longer, poofs and deflates. As long as you don't take it too seriously, the film should be a fun if forgettable ride.

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Actor: Andy Samberg, Anna Kendrick, Biff Wiff, Bjorn Johnson, Christopher Lloyd, Eduardo Franco, Ely Henry, Emily Hampshire, Eric Edelstein, Gloria Sandoval, Ilia Volok, Jake Johnson, Jeff Kober, John Hans Tester, John Ponzio, Karen Maruyama, Mary Holland, Miriam Flynn, Nancy Lenehan, Natalie Morales, Sky Elobar, Theo Wilson, Wayne Brady
Director: Jake Johnson
Rating: R

Free Watching Options:

Watch Self Reliance (2024) on Hulu for free
8.

Captain Miller (2024)

Set in the British colonial era, Captain Miller is more unapologetically violent than its counterparts, but it’s not mindlessly so. Sure, the film has plenty of spectacle with numerous battles between townsfolk versus British colonialists, some scenes having gruesome, gory deaths. But in between these battles is Dhanush as the central character, contemplating the oppression from his fellow countrymen, the dignity denied to him from both the colony and more privileged locals, and the choices he chooses to make in spite of this. It’s not a straightforward bad versus good anti-colonial film like RRR, and it may not be as emotionally compelling, but Captain Miller is certainly a unique take on British colonialism with all of director Arun Matheswaran’s signature style.

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Action, Adventure
Actor: Abdool Lee, Aditi Balan, Bose Venkat, Dhanush, Edward Sonnenblick, Elango Kumaravel, Jayaprakash, John Kokken, Kaali Venkat, Mark Bennington, Nivedhithaa Sathish, Priyanka Arul Mohan, Shivaraj Kumar, Sumesh Moor, Sundeep Kishan, Swayam Siddha, Viji Chandrasekhar, Vinoth Kishan
Director: Arun Matheswaran

Free Watching Options:

Watch Captain Miller (2024) on Amazon Prime for free
7.

Orion and the Dark (2024)

Going to sleep is something we do every day, though, when we were kids, it certainly wasn’t easy. With family-friendly source material and a new (and adorable!) sleepytime ensemble, Orion and the Dark plays with this fact of childhood, but screenwriter Charlie Kaufman transforms it into something more as the title characters journey into literal midnight dreams, tell stories-within-stories, and return back home with a poetic repetition. It still has some of his existential despair– after all, the overly imaginative Orion literally contemplates the possibility of death through his many, many anxieties– but it doesn’t just play with the classic childhood fear. Kaufman transforms the bedtime story, and the act of storytelling itself, as co-creation and connection between generations of filmmakers and viewers, with this film’s surprisingly layered writing.

Our staff rating: 7.3/10
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Actor: Aliki Theofilopoulos, Amy Hill, Angela Bassett, Aparna Nancherla, Carla Gugino, Colin Hanks, Golda Rosheuvel, Hira Ambrosino, Ike Barinholtz, Jack Fisher, Jacob Tremblay, Matt Dellapina, Nat Faxon, Natasia Demetriou, Nick Kishiyama, Paul Walter Hauser, Ren Hanami, Sean Charmatz, Shannon Chan-Kent, Sky Alexis, Toru Uchikado, Walt Dohrn, Werner Herzog
Director: Sean Charmatz
6.

Giannis: The Marvelous Journey (2024)

Giannis Antetokounmpo's rags-to-riches life story is the stuff of movies, and indeed it’s been told many times on print and screen. But this is the first time he and his family are telling it themselves, which is a big deal since Antetokounmpo, as it turns out, is inseparable from his family. Their revealing interviews about how they struggled as undocumented immigrants from Nigeria in Greece add a new, moving depth to a well-known journey, which Director Kristen Lappas wisely divides into chapters named after Greek ideals Antetokounmpo represents. Despite Lappas’ background (she is Greek-American), she makes sure to balance Antetokounmpo's heroic moments with the Greek government’s at-times unfair treatment of the athlete and other immigrants in the country. She also puts a spotlight on the pressures Antetokounmpo is going through as one of the youngest champs in NBA history. After all, at just 29 years old, he’s already a two-time MVP and playoff winner. This doc proves that the story of how he got there is no less remarkable.

Our staff rating: 7.3/10
Genre: Documentary
Actor: Alex Antetokounmpo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kenny Smith, Kostas Antetokounmpo, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Veronica Antetokounmpo
Director: Kristen Lappas

Free Watching Options:

Watch Giannis: The Marvelous Journey (2024) on Amazon Prime for free
5.

Marmalade (2024)

At first, Marmalade just seemed like a good ol’ fashioned Bonnie and Clyde story being told by one inmate to another. As Baron tells Otis about his titular Bonnie in Joe Keery’s Southern drawl, there’s a charming bittersweet romance about a man pushed into crime because of healthcare costs and a compelling Camila Marrone as a manic pixie dream girl-flavored femme fatale. By its own, it’s already an intriguing twist to the film noir plot. But the second half turns this romance into something completely unexpected, pulling an insane set of interconnected plot twists that’s just fun to experience. There are certain moments that could have been tighter, but the performances were great, the images were stunning, and the plot was surprising. It’s such a daring move for first time writer-director Keir O'Donnell.

Our staff rating: 7.4/10
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance
Actor: Aldis Hodge, Camila Morrone, Hans Christopher, Joe Keery, Susan Brava, Wayne Duvall
Director: Keir O'Donnell
4.

Jacqueline Novak: Get on Your Knees (2024)

We’re familiar with dick jokes from stand-up comedians, especially male stand-up, but Jacqueline Novak’s 90-minute show about the blow job feels completely new. Get on Your Knees feels like casual storytelling from someone experienced yet distant enough to be a cool authority on it (say, your best friend’s older sister’s best friend), but funnier. It’s like a gossip session about a first experience, except the breathless, dizzying stream of thought is peppered with philosophical thought and points out the absurdity around the language and common attitudes about sex. And as she does so, and as she talks about self-conscious fumbling and unanswered questions, she strides back and forth, in an easy, self-assured way, the way we’d like to feel going into the act.

Our staff rating: 7.5/10
Genre: Comedy
Actor: Jacqueline Novak
Director: Natasha Lyonne
Rating: R
3.

Stonewalling (2024)

At two hours and nearly 30 minutes, Stonewalling is quite long. The third film from spouses Ryuji Otsuka and Huang Ji takes place in slow, slice-of-life moments, centered around a female lead that mostly doesn’t actively make choices for her own life, so it can feel frustrating to watch. But as the film unfolds, Lynn’s passivity turns out to be the tragically familiar surrender of today’s working class. Lynn tries to make choices to pay out her mother’s debt, to ensure that she’s not indebted herself, through jobs that commodify her youth, her beauty, and even her body, but each move consequently limits her next options. She tries to bargain for other solutions, but it turns out these solutions were never there in the first place. All she can do is quietly adapt, with each failed promise culminating into a baby’s cry.

Our staff rating: 7.5/10
Genre: Drama
Actor: Cui Chu, Huang Xiaoxiong, Liu Long, Xiao Zilong, Yao Honggui
Director: Huang Ji, Ryuji Otsuka
2.

The Wrath of Becky (2023)

There’s not much to analyze in The Wrath of Becky, which might sound like a jab, but for grindhouse thrillers such as this, it comes as a compliment. The story is lean, the action is on point, and the dialogue is whipsmart. There is little to distract from the main attraction, which is the creatively gruesome ways in which everyone tries to kill each other. 

It’s so simple, in fact, that you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a standalone film, instead of a sequel to an earlier movie, simply titled Becky. Efficiently, parts of the first installment appear as flashbacks here, but they’re hardly needed to convince us of Becky’s ferocious might. Wilson already does an excellent job with minimal but evocative gestures. Seann William Scott, too, is surprisingly terrifying as the head of the Neo-Nazi group out to get Becky. It’s easy enough to paint the incel as a villain, but to portray him with such palpable terror is a challenge that Scott steps up to.

Our staff rating: 7.6/10
Genre: Action, Horror, Thriller
Actor: Aaron Dalla Villa, Alison Cimmet, Courtney Gains, Denise Burse, Derek Gaines, Jill Larson, John D. Hickman, Kate Siegel, Lulu Wilson, Matt Angel, Michael Sirow, Seann William Scott, Zoie Morris
Director: Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote
Rating: R

Free Watching Options:

Watch The Wrath of Becky (2023) on Showtime for free
1.

The Greatest Night in Pop (2024)

We Are the World is a charity single created for African famine relief. It was a smash success– it inspired plenty of other charity singles and already has a TV documentary about it. But The Greatest Night in Pop reveals new behind-the-scenes footage with a home video flair, intercut with interviews from those who were in the booth on that fateful day. The anecdotes about that night might have already been said elsewhere, but director Bao Nguyen manages to capture the energy in the room, peeking into the emotions of the various personalities that helped shape the song. It’s an intriguing, if straightforward documentary, and it’s certainly a treat watching the decade’s best voices collaborate to make this one track.

Our staff rating: 7.7/10
Genre: Documentary, Music
Actor: Al Jarreau, Anita Pointer, Bette Midler, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Bob Geldof, Bonnie Pointer, Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Dan Aykroyd, Daryl Hall, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Harry Belafonte, Huey Lewis, Jackie Jackson, James Ingram, Jeffrey Osborne, Jermaine Jackson, John Oates, Kenny Loggins, Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes, La Toya Jackson, Lindsey Buckingham, Lionel Richie, Marlon Jackson, Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Quincy Jones, Randy Jackson, Ray Charles, Ruth Pointer, Sheila E., Steve Perry, STEVEN IVORY, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Tito Jackson, Tom Bähler, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Director: Bao Nguyen
Rating: PG-13

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