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STUDIO RANKED: A24

Distribution and production company A24 seemed to come out of nowhere. The first time I actively remembered the company's name, it was attached to The Witch which I thought was absolutely incredible when they distributed it to theaters at the beginning of 2016. Looking back on the other productions they have distributed, though, it's clear that they didn't really just appear out of thin air. They've helped out of the box filmmaking reach a wider audience since their inception in 2012, with their first few films being released in 2013.

In just a few short years after its start, towards the end of 2016, A24 would successfully transition from simply curating the cream of the crop of art for distribution…

  • Moonlight

    1.Moonlight

    ★★★★★

    Already taking a risk to prove it had the chops to make its own films, A24 decided to take it a step further by producing a high quality coming of age film focused on the gay black experience. The risk paid off greatly, as Moonlight not only became the most incredible film to date in A24's own portfolio, but also raised the bar for other films of similar subjects, pushed the film towards an audience that may have otherwise never seen such a story, and deservedly earned major awards and nominations along the way.

  • The Witch

    2.The Witch

    ★★★★★

    Like most of the films distributed by A24, this is a divisive one to its audience. While modern audience members expect a film with such a subject to be a full out, screaming horror, The Witch is so much more than that. Its an authentic look at a time period in early American culture where a mythology was being formed. This is horror in its most pure, truest state, and within a real historical context at that. You don't need monsters to jump out at you when you can just live deliciously instead.

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  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  • Under the Skin

    4.Under the Skin

    ★★★★½

    A24 doesn't seem to shy away from the avant garde, even when the production just might not recoup its money through the box office. Such is the case with Under the Skin, which is a phenomenal artistic endeavor. Under the Skin is not only an experience, but is very experimental itself. It's quiet and, although linear, doesn't quite try to explain itself. Instead, it invokes feeling through its visual aesthetic and leaves you with a memorable aura that you can't exactly put your finger on. While audiences didn't rush to see it in droves, it did receive critical acclaim, and absolutely deservedly so.

  • The Lobster

    5.The Lobster

    ★★★★½

    The Lobster is that movie that you want to laugh out loud at, but you put your hand over your mouth because you're not sure if you actually should be laughing or not. It is that darkest of comedies that is so bizarre, but also very relatable. It is even more so bizarre because it is relatable. A24 seems to have no problem exploring these themes of awkwardness.

  • Hereditary

    6.Hereditary

    ★★★★½

    A24 brings the wild imagination of director Ari Aster, who has been creating provocative and horrifying short films, to a wider audience. Hereditary is a very unconventional approach that really feels like three different styles of film in one, but all connected through a single story. It's a strong family drama, with an incredibly powerful performance by Toni Collette, but also part psychological thriller and part supernatural horror. What a mix!

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  • The Rover

    7.The Rover

    ★★★★½

    I was hesitant to watch this one, based on an odd poster design and a cast that didn’t initially win me over. I should have trusted in A24 to deliver right off the bat, because it does. The Rover is a desolate look at how we rove through the world, and the powerful effect we can have on others. Robert Pattinson finally gets my attention here, in a wonderfully damaged role. What a dog of a film, and based on a story by Joel Edgerton at that.

  • The Farewell

    8.The Farewell

    ★★★★

  • It Comes at Night

    9.It Comes at Night

    ★★★★

    It Comes at Night seems to be an experiment in interpretation, as the film is left so open that a lot of different ideas of what the movie actually means can be derived. It is heavy but with extra, extra room to breath. It’s also the exact type of abstract movie that you would expect to see coming out of a company like A24.

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  • The Lighthouse

    10.The Lighthouse

    ★★★★

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  • Krisha

    11.Krisha

    ★★★★

    A24 has helped to put a couple of first time feature-length film directors into a wider audience view. Such is the case with Krisha. The directorial debut of Trey Edward Shults proves to be incredibly intense and impressively grating. Don't let the lull of calm fool you. Krisha is always ready to ratchet up that perfect family moment into something truly nerve-wracking.

  • Waves

    12.Waves

    ★★★★

  • Green Room

    13.Green Room

    ★★★★

    If you think A24 is holding the punches with the films it distributes, let Green Room prove you wrong. This punk vs. white supremacy clash is brutal, and will keep your stress levels high and your legs uncomfortable. While the film is ultra-violent, it isn't needlessly so. In fact, it all serves its instinctual purpose, just as the punk movement itself. This is camaraderie against the misguided authority that forces you down. Pick up your nearest weapon and get ready to brawl against all odds.

  • The Florida Project

    14.The Florida Project

    ★★★★

  • First Reformed

    15.First Reformed

    ★★★★

  • Locke

    16.Locke

    ★★★★

    A24's choices for a different kind of filmmaking are highlighted by films like Locke, which single handedly stars Tom Hardy in a riveting drive. Yes, the entire film takes place inside of a car as it bounds on to an important destination. Although it may sound a bit boring in its premise, it is everything but. The cinematography and editing lull as a night time drive would, but the story, supported by conversations the title character has with the voices surrounding him, creates tension and intrigue. This is people, or person, watching at its best.

  • A Most Violent Year

    17.A Most Violent Year

    ★★★★

    Contrary to its title, A Most Violent Year is not terribly violent. It does have its moments, but the film's focus is more on character, and skillfully so. Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain are both incredibly well cast here, though the true scene stealer is Elyes Gabel as Julian. It's a stylish thriller that keeps you guessing the intent and the integrity of everyone all the way through to the very last moment, and it just might surprise you there, as A24 movies often do.

  • Amy

    18.Amy

    ★★★★

    Amy is a traumatic look at the quick rise and fall of singer Amy Winehouse. Starting slow and gradually, but harshly, building to the penultimate tragedy, this documentary is sometimes hard to watch but portrays a sympathetic look at some very troubling issues with abuse, addiction and mental illness. This film truly solidifies the idea that the Cinderella rags to riches story does not always end with a happily ever after and shows A24's care to celebrate artists as they really were.

  • The Captive

    19.The Captive

    ★★★★

    The Captive is purely Atom Egoyan fare, from its heart wrenching story that builds through uncomfortableness and twists that go back and forth between moments of clarity and assumptions to its subtle but powerfully realistic performances from the actors all around. Egoyan presents a stark white, snowy landscape that is like watching the happenings of a desperate snow globe. It may be a poor choice of words here, but it really is all very captivating and beautifully saddening to watch as it unfolds. It fits right in with A24's selections, so there is no wonder why the company became its distributor before the film was even shown at the Cannes Film Festival.

  • Climax

    20.Climax

    ★★★★

  • Tusk

    21.Tusk

    ★★★★

    Apparently inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Tusk is an unconventional horror from the mind of Kevin Smith. While the film's first half dances through a great, dark mood, setting an incredible atmosphere through both story and sight, its second half pulls no punches in being a kind of odd torture to watch. It's garnering of mixed reviews is surely expected as this is not the type of film that everyone can enjoy. That just shows the jumps A24 will make in delivering films that push you out of your comfort zone.

  • Remember

    22.Remember

    ★★★★

    Remember is an incredibly powerful movie with a climax that, even if you see it coming, still punches you right in the gut. What a devastating statement this film makes, with great performances by legendary actors Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau. It seems A24 and Atom Egoyan are a brilliantly catastrophic combination.

  • De Palma

    23.De Palma

    ★★★★

  • Midsommar

    24.Midsommar

    ★★★½

  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer

    25.The Killing of a Sacred Deer

    ★★★½

    The Killing of a Sacred Deer is the second feature by Yorgos Lanthimos that A24 has released, and it’s just as quirky as the first. But while The Lobster has the experiences of love, dating and relationships in which to play on, helping to add levity to its stark awkwardness, Sacred Deer goes without that comedy bend, and feels much more horrifying because of it. What really pushes the movie to be intriguing despite, or maybe in addition to, its bleakness is the strong on-screen chemistry between Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan who really nail Lanthimos’ odd acting style, unlike the rest of this cast.

  • A Ghost Story

    26.A Ghost Story

    ★★★½

    With A Ghost Story, A24 distributes another art house film, this time one that combines a vintage hipster aesthetic with a minimalist story drenched in existential nihilism. If ever a movie deserved to be called a slow burn, it is this one, especially when it comes to pie. It is deliberate and moody, with a stringy backing score by Daniel Hart that creates an eerie ambiance. And as a rather unconventional telling of the classic ghost story trope, it also means that, best of all, Casey Affleck is mostly hidden under a sheet.

  • Lady Bird

    27.Lady Bird

    ★★★½

    Lady Bird grabbed audiences during its release in 2017, to the point of surpassing Moonlight to become A24’s most financially successful film release to date. Saoirse Ronan, and even more so Laurie Metcalf, effectively pull what could be a generic coming-of-age film into something more, even if not fully original.

  • Room

    28.Room

    ★★★½

    Room is yet another distribution selection from A24 that has really payed off. The claustrophobic drama went on to win several high awards and accolades, especially for star Brie Larson's performance. Although it is sometimes tough to sit through for various reasons, the film is an inspirational look at the lives and relationships and freedoms that most of us really take for granted. It's another thought provoking film for their catalogue.

  • Ex Machina

    29.Ex Machina

    ★★★½

    A24 stepped in to distribute Ex Machina in the United States when Universal and Focus Features saw it unfit to do so, for whatever reason, while still releasing it everywhere else in the world. An unfortunate decision on the latter's part became a great one for A24, as the film proved to be a major success, and understandably so. Its a very atmospheric film that, although predictable in story, showcases great style and equally great performances, even winning an Academy Award.

  • Eighth Grade

    30.Eighth Grade

    ★★★½

  • Swiss Army Man

    31.Swiss Army Man

    ★★★½

    The notes for this film reportedly contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Swiss Army Man is an interesting look from the other side of loneliness and mental illness. Even though the low-brow humor does serve a purpose, it becomes a bit redundant as the movie goes on, and lessens the impact of the story to an extent. Still, such a film taking place in this out there, modern, fantasy world has become a kind of running theme with A24. I’m surprised this didn’t turn out to be a full blown musical at this rate.

  • Life After Beth

    32.Life After Beth

    ★★★½

    This dark comedy, expertly starring the likes of Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon, keeps a nice balance between the quirkily absurd and a beating heart. Life After Beth approaches those existential questions about life after death from all angles, including that of the dead, with the dry humor you would expect from someone who's been buried in dirt for a time. This is the zombie film as only an indie company could do it, adding yet another great movie to the A24 distribution list.

  • Lean on Pete

    33.Lean on Pete

    ★★★½

  • The Blackcoat's Daughter
  • American Honey

    35.American Honey

    ★★★

  • Good Time

    36.Good Time

    ★★★

  • Gloria Bell

    37.Gloria Bell

    ★★★

  • The Disaster Artist

    38.The Disaster Artist

    ★★★

    Of course a quirky independent film production and distribution company like A24 is going to be associated with a behind the scenes telling of one of the oddest cult classics ever made, The Room, and it's equally mysterious creator Tommy Wiseau. With James Franco at the helm as director, and starring as the director, and with brother Dave starring alongside him recreating some of the worst scenes to ever be projected not he big screen, this is about as surreal as Hollywood filmmaking gets.

  • Free Fire

    39.Free Fire

    ★★★

    Free Fire is a classic shoot-me-up with a good cast, decent plot and a couple of surprises. Its a little more on the nose than I usually expect from A24, but does touch into the company’s history of ultra violence a bit and continues the ball rolling for Brie Larson, who owns this film, for sure.

  • Dark Places

    40.Dark Places

    ★★★

    Not everything from A24 is perfect, despite what you might think based on the way I gush about them. The lower half of this list certainly includes some stumbles. Case in point is Dark Places. But while typical of crime thrillers in many ways, Charlize Theron always delivers a believable performance and the rest of the cast still rounds it out well.

  • Obvious Child

    41.Obvious Child

    ★★★

    Jenny Slate stars in Obvious Child, a film that is as entertaining as it is obnoxious. Another wise choice for A24 to pick up as Slate would go on to receive quite some recognition for the role.

  • The Monster

    42.The Monster

    ★★½

    There are some great things going on here including an unconventional mother / daughter story, a play on the title, and some cool special effects and creature designs. A simple film, yet packed with a lot behind it, The Monster is the type of movie that might not have gotten much attention if it weren’t for a distributor like A24 behind it pushing for more subversion.

  • Spring Breakers

    43.Spring Breakers

    ★★½

    Spring Breakers is simultaneously a hit and a miss. It's seemingly luxurious portrayal of the world of sex, drugs and violence draws its audience in like moths to a flame and the film's styling perfectly nails that "I don't give a shit" attitude, the overall wild party spring break atmosphere, with a modern music video vibe. Where it suffers, unfortunately, is in that audience's continued glamorization of the type of story at hand. It is a bratty film for a bratty generation. So, for what it is, it seems to work and helped to put its distributor, A24, on the map in its first year.

  • Son of a Gun

    44.Son of a Gun

    ★★½

    This is a mostly predictable and forgettable film with a star who, alone, could draw in the box office, so it is no wonder why A24 went with it. Ewan McGregor turns that likable charm into something untrustworthy. But exactly who can you trust when you're the son of a gun?

  • Laggies

    45.Laggies

    ★★½

    Laggies is both a romantic comedy and a slice of life story at once, following Keira Knightly as 28 year old Megan as she becomes best friends with a 16 year old girl, reverting back to her high-school days. While it doesn't really present anything new, it isn't quite cliche' either. It rides on humble charm and reliability even, or especially, in awkward situations. Laggies is rather unlike most of the selections from A24, as it seems more conventional than not, but helps to round out the company to bigger audiences.

  • Morris from America

    46.Morris from America

    ★★½

    Morris from America is the perspective of an African-American outside of America, not a story that has been explored much in film, so its nice to see and stands out in that regard, even if it still falls into some of the same tropes as usual.

  • Mojave

    47.Mojave

    ★★½

    The premise of Oscar Isaac and Garrett Hedlund at odds in the desert seems interesting enough. What more could you need? Turns out, you’d need quite a bit more as the film ends up being cliché and boring. Not even the A24 logo saved this one for me.

  • Slice

    48.Slice

    ★★

  • High Life

    49.High Life

    ★★

  • Woodshock

    50.Woodshock

    ★★

    A24 delivers another experimental film in Woodshock. Directors Laura and Kate Mulleavy, fashion designers behind the brand Rodarte, venture into their first feature film here. It plays out more like an editorial photo shoot, and though there is a very subtle story behind it, it never really steps out of being a kind of lackluster dream.

  • Into the Forest

    51.Into the Forest

    ★★

    Although it has a lot of potential, Into the Forest fails to actually take us into the forest, unfortunately coming off a bit shallow. I can see why A24 would be interested in such a premise, but the whole thing is pretty lackluster.

  • Revenge of the Green Dragons

    52.Revenge of the Green Dragons

    ★★

    It may be based on a true story, and even an interesting story chronicling the rise of two boys within the ranks of a Chinatown gang in NYC in 1980s. That story is unfortunately translated into the poorly written script of Revenge of the Green Dragons that just can't be saved by its cast and the rest of its crew. Even still, the film marks A24's attempt to bring some diversity to its stable early on in the distributor's years.