We're halfway through 2024. Here are the 10 best movies of the year (so far). (2024)

Brian TruittUSA TODAY

The sauciest tennis movie maybe ever. A queer bodybuilding revenge thriller. A very different Bible tale.

When it comes to the films of 2024, these are a few of our favorite things.

Last year was an amazing year for movies. This year, though, has been a little rough. People are freaking out over box-office receipts, and high-profile flicks – most recently, "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" and "The Garfield Movie" – aren't exactly raking in the cash; in fact, only five films in 2024 have cleared the $100 million bar domestically. And the movies themselves have been just OK on the whole. Usually, Hollywood backloads the really good stuff, and after "Madame Web," "Argylle" and other rather middling fare, more quality is desperately needed.

Thankfully, there have also been some standouts. Here are 2024’s best movies so far, definitively ranked:

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10. 'The First Omen'

"The Omen" franchise receives a nice refresh with this prequel to the original 1976 movie. Nell Tiger Free stars as a young American novitiate at an Italian orphanage who becomes embroiled in a rogue Catholic Church conspiracy to birth the antichrist. There's plenty of nun horror and a jaw-droppingly gonzo finale, but feminist undertones and a timely take on religion bring depth and relevance to a demonically effective chiller.

Where to watch: Hulu, Disney+.

9. 'The Book of Clarence'

Jeymes Samuel's thoughtful and subversive take on the biblical resurrection story stars LaKeith Stanfield as Clarence, a streetwise Jerusalem man in Jesus' time. Seeing the power and swagger Jesus has, Clarence proclaims himself "the new messiah," tries his hand at miracles and runs afoul of the Romans in a spiritually touching Everyman story anyone can relate to, whether you’re a believer or not.

Where to watch: Netflix.

8. 'Late Night With the Devil'

David Dastmalchian makes everything he's in better, from the "Ant-Man" movies and "The Suicide Squad" to "Oppenheimer" and "The Boogeyman." He gets a hell of a lead role in this discomforting and mind-bending retro horror movie, starring as a 1970s late-night TV host who is tired of losing in the ratings to Johnny Carson and brings on a supposedly possessed girl in a Halloween gambit that spirals supernaturally out of control.

Where to watch: Shudder.

7. 'Drive-Away Dolls'

Director Ethan Coen's goofball crime comedy is a playfully madcap turn on the “Thelma & Louise” model, with Geraldine Viswanathan and Margaret Qualley playing lesbian friends needing to get away from their everyday lives. Driving a rental car to Florida, they find something weird in the trunk and wind up on a campy, noir-spattered road trip. (Extra cool points for including a fun bit from cameo king Matt Damon.)

Where to watch: Peaco*ck.

6. 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga'

In the prequel to "Mad Max: Fury Road," Anya Taylor-Joy takes over Charlize Theron's title role as young Furiosa embarks upon an epic revenge quest that involves vehicular mayhem, explosive action sequences, rampant road rage and the weirdest villain Chris Hemsworth will probably ever play. It's no "Fury Road" but "Mad Max" mastermind George Miller again delivers a wild and worthy dystopian thrill ride through the Wasteland.

Where to watch: In theaters.

5. 'Hit Man'

Glen Powell may be a rising star after "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Anyone But You," but the real talent scouts have been on board since his wise ballplayer in Richard Linklater's "Everybody Wants Some!!" They team again for an irresistible noir comedy and Powell's most wide-ranging role to date, a nerdy philosophy professor who moonlights as a fake assassin on cop crime stings and falls for a "client" (Adria Arjona) wanting to off her hubby.

Where to watch: In theaters and on Netflix.

4. 'Challengers'

Just when you think sports movies are all the same, director Luca Guadagnino ("Call Me By Your Name") serves up an art-house topspin with his engaging, hot-blooded tennis melodrama. Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor star as young doubles partners and Zendaya is the teen singles sensation who creates an emotionally complicated love triangle that unfolds in fierce fashion on and off the court over several tumultuous years.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Fandango at Home, Amazon.

3. 'Love Lies Bleeding'

Eyes lock between pumped-up Midwestern bodybuilder Jackie (Katy O'Brian) and introverted gym manager Lou (Kristen Stewart) and a love connection sparks. Then everything falls apart, and bodies start hitting the ground, in director Rose Glass' sultry, sweaty and sufficiently bizarre neo-noir thriller. Come for the bullets and barbells, stay for O'Brian's fantastic star-making turn, deftly capturing the troubled soul underneath Jackie’s muscles.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Fandango at Home, Amazon.

2. 'Civil War'

With his riveting cautionary tale, director Alex Garland takes our current political and cultural divide to a disturbing place and makes audiences confront what an actual modern civil war would look like. The thriller doubles as a journalism movie, too, with Kirsten Dunst turning in an outstanding performance as a world-weary photographer who takes a rookie (Cailee Spaeny) under her wing on the dangerous road to a scoop for the ages.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Fandango at Home, Amazon.

1. 'Dune: Part Two'

For a much-anticipated epic sci-fi movie, director Denis Villeneuve's 2021 "Dune: Part One" was aggressively average. (Heck, that David Lynch "Dune" was more enjoyable.) But all is forgiven now, Denis: "Part Two" is a sprawling, sandworm-filled triumph. Timothée Chalamet finally finds his way as the messianic Paul Atreides – plus digs into the thorny issues that come with being a savior figure – in a gripping, action-packed sequel exploring power, colonialism and religion.

Where to watch: Max.

We're halfway through 2024. Here are the 10 best movies of the year (so far). (2024)
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