The entertainment company A24 has been turning some studio heads at just how successful an arthouse or independent film could be if marketed correctly. Robert Eggers’ film The Witch is (arguably) the film that really put A24 on the map. And with later successes like Ari Aster’s Hereditary and Midsummer, Robert Eggers’ second film The Lighthouse, and Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin all being of the horror genre, lukewarm fans could easily begin to associate the entertainment company with the horror genre. But A24 and horror are not synonymous, and there are plenty of great movies A24 has either produced or distributed that fall under other genres like drama, comedy, thriller, sci-fi, or romance.
Joshua Safdie and Ben Safdie (or the Safdie brothers) are the minds behind two of the best crime thrillers in recent years, one movie leaning more towards comedy and the other on the serious side. Uncut Gems is the more popular of the two films, but Good Time starring Robert Pattinson was perhaps the greatest film of 2017—or at least highly ranked—despite it being relatively unknown. It only made about $4.1 million at the box office, compared to Uncut Gems which made about $50 million. Despite their differences in revenue, both Safdie brothers films are very entertaining with soundtracks that perfectly set the tone of the stories.
Another film worth checking out would be Lulu Wang’s The Farewell. This comedy-drama is one of the highest-rated A24 films, and follows the story of an aspiring Chinese-American writer who is very close to her grandmother. Things take a turn when she gets a rejection letter for a grant and is told her grandmother has terminal lung cancer with only a few months left to live. What makes this story more interesting than others with a similar premise is the characters’ choice to keep the cancer results a secret from the grandmother so that she can live the last months of her life stress-free. Although the ending is happy, there is an essence of sadness, but The Farewell shouldn’t be skipped.
Although many A24 films have been nominated for Oscars, only one has won Best Picture. That film is Moonlight—the story of a Black, gay man growing up and discovering his sexuality despite feeling the need to hide who he really is. This is a type of film that viewers won’t see often, but is done in a unique way that breaks the film up into three stages (childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood) that correlate with each act of the film. Moonlight shows how the main character has a horrible relationship with his mom who verbally abuses him, and he often gets picked on by almost everyone, except his closeted best friend and lover.
For viewers who like slice-of-life films that will make them both laugh and cry, then they should watch these 3 drama-comedies: The Florida Project, Mid90s, and Lady Bird are all very different but share the ability to find the humor in a sad situation. Mid90s (written and directed by Jonah Hill) is a coming-of-age tale about a group of skateboarders living in Los Angeles in the 1990s. Fans describe the film as “nostalgic.”
The Florida Project (with Willem Dafoe) is another film viewers won’t see too often but is every bit as worthy of being made as anything else. It tells the story of a young, unemployed, single mother and her 6-year-old carefree daughter going through the struggles of life while ironically living next to Disney World—the happiest place on Earth—in a bubblegum pink motel. This film was directed and co-written by Sean Baker, who is known for his gritty and real dramas that follow typically unsavory characters who turn out to be more than meets the eye.
Lady Bird is another coming-of-age story about a young girl growing up in the early 2000s who seems to have issues with the relationships in her life. Saoirse Ronan plays one opinionated teen who’s dealing with the effects of her dad losing his job while dealing with teenaged hormones and trying to navigate life. For those who like thrillers, two of the best A24 thriller films would have to be Room with Brie Larson and Enemy with Jake Gyllenhaal. Both of these films deal with heavy subject matter (with Room being especially dark) and should not be watched at a lively party or gathering.
Although fans of A24 could spend their free time watching and waiting for new horror movies from the entertainment company, there are plenty of other great films to watch. Robert Pattinson’s High Life is the perfect sci-fi thriller for those who like a bit of mystery and enjoy a good drama with a deeper message. Other great movies that A24 has released that movie fans shouldn’t miss out on are Threaten starring Steven Yeun (Glenn from The Walking Dead) and Eighth Grade written and directed by Bo Burnham. Both of these dramas offer viewers different experiences and perspectives, but are still worth a watch.
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The Best A24 Films That Are Not Horror Movies